Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Planning and motivation: Distinguishing between executive and emotional control
by Somlo, David Nicholas, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2009, 48; 1481595
Abstract (Summary)

This study sought to examine the effect of performance contingent reward on planning and the cognitive/personality systems that underly this effect. Measures of effortful control (emotional processing), working memory (neutral processing), and sensitivity to reward were taken from a sample of 76 undergraduates and assessed in relation to performance on a measure of long-term planning.

Primarily, we aimed to show the functional distinction between cognitive control systems that act on affectively neutral impulses and personality-related systems that act on affectively charged imputes. Secondary analyses address the hypothesis that one's sensitivity to reward moderates the use of effortful control when planning under conditions of motivation.

Significant results demonstrate that (a) performance-contingent reward is effective in boosting the use of planning and (b) that effortful control is related to planning under conditions of reward, but not in the expected direction. Possible interpretations of this latter, counterintuitive result are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: MacDonald, Kevin
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 48/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Experimental psychology, Cognitive psychology
Publication Number: 1481595
ISBN: 978-1-109-65815-6
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