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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 20, 2010

UNDERACHIEVERS DO BETTER AT FUN TASKS

Scientific Blogging - Hard workers who are motivated to achieve generally excel on specific tasks when they are reminded of the benefits of their hard work. But when a task is presented as fun, researchers report in a new Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study, the same hard-working individuals are often outperformed by those less motivated to achieve.

The findings suggest that two students may respond quite differently to a teacher's exhortation that they strive for excellence, said University of Illinois psychology professor Dolores AlbarracĂ­n, who conducted the research with William Hart, of the University of Florida. One may be spurred to try harder, while another may become less motivated. . .

The researchers found that those with high achievement motivation did better on a task when they also were exposed to subconscious "priming" (the flash of a word on a computer screen, for example, that appeared too briefly to be consciously noticed) that related to winning, mastery or excellence. Those with low achievement motivation did worse under the same conditions. . .

These finding suggest that achievement primes inhibit the desire to have fun in those who are motivated to achieve, the authors wrote. But in people who lack achievement motivation, the same cues seem to enhance their desire - and ability - to perform a task seen as fun.


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