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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2006 Sep;91(3):436-55.

Mere effort as the mediator of the evaluation-performance relationship.

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  • Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA. valentine@neu.edu


The research traditions that have examined the evaluation-performance relationship do not agree on the mediating process(es), nor is there any compelling evidence that favors one account over the others. In the current research, a molecular analysis of performance on the Remote Associates Test was undertaken in an effort to identify the mediating process(es). This analysis suggests that the potential for evaluation leads participants to put greater effort into the prepotent response and that this mere effort alone can account for the typical finding that evaluation improves performance on simple items and debilitates performance on complex ones. Subsequent research will be aimed at testing the generalizability of this account.

((c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

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