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Effects of frustration of the achievement motive on task processing: Findings from diffusion model analyses

Veronika Lerche
Kiel University

In motive research, the analysis of experimental data by means of mathematical models like the diffusion model is not yet a common approach. Based on the results of two studies (N1 = 108, N2 = 104), I demonstrate that the diffusion model (Ratcliff, 1978) is a useful tool to gain more insights into motivational processes. The experiments were inspired by findings of a study by Brunstein and Hoyer (2002). They observed that individuals high in the implicit achievement motive who receive negative intraindividual performance feedback speed up in a response time task. The reduced mean response times were interpreted in terms of an increase in effort. In the two studies, in which I used a similar feedback manipulation, individuals with high implicit achievement motive decreased their threshold separation parameter. Thus, they became less cautious over the time working on the task. Accordingly, the decrease in response times previously reported might mainly be attributable to a change in strategy (focusing on speed instead of accuracy) rather than to an increase in effort. The results will be discussed in the context of emotion regulation strategies.



diffusion model
achievement motive


Reaction Times
Accumulator/Diffusion models
Changes in model parameters over time? Last updated 3 years ago

Thanks for this interesting presentation! Attaching a clear computational meaning to terms like "effort" seems like a good way forward. Would it be possible to look at changes in these model parameters over time (e.g., by task block) to get a more fine-grained picture of the effects of frustration?

Dr. Maarten van der Velde 1 comment
Cite this as:

Lerche, V. (2020, July). Effects of frustration of the achievement motive on task processing: Findings from diffusion model analyses. Paper presented at Virtual MathPsych/ICCM 2020. Via