February 22, 2016

Interest drives performance

This study supports what I wrote in this article, namely that interest drives performance:

The role of interest in optimizing performance and self-regulation
Paul A. O’Keefe & Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia (2014)

  • Task performance was optimized when affect- and value-related interest were high. 
  • Depletion was also minimized when affect- and value-related interest were high. 
  • Interest supports effective and efficient engagement without depleting resources. 
  • Results underscore the importance of interest as a motivational variable. 

Abstract: The present research tested the hypothesis that interest functions, in part, to optimize performance while also optimizing self-regulatory resources, and that this occurs when both affect- and value-related interest are high. Study 1 provided evidence that both affect- and value-related interest support task performance such that undergraduates (N = 153) in the high task importance condition, who also reported high affect-related interest, demonstrated relatively superior performance on a word-forming problem set. Study 2 (N = 88) provided further evidence that affect- and value-related interest were associated with superior anagram performance. A subsequent task demonstrated that self-regulatory resources were optimized for participants with both high affect- and value-related interest. The present studies provide evidence that high levels of performance can be achieved while maintaining optimal self-regulatory resources, depending on affect-related interest and the task’s personal significance. Implications for goal pursuit and self-regulation are discussed.

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