The Effect of Motivation and Attention on Bias in Memory for Duration


In the present study, we investigated the effect of regulatory focus on bias in memory for task duration. Specifically, whether or not a person’s motivational outlook, seeking gains or avoiding losses, would cause them to over- or underestimate task duration. Eighty-four college students completed an origami task for which motivational focus (gains or losses), experience with the task and amount of attention directed to the task were manipulated. Participants with a focus on seeking gains tended to remember the task as taking less time when their attention was drawn towards the details of the task instead of away from the task than did participants in the other conditions. It seems that this effect occurred because participants with a focus for seeking gains did not sufficiently account for the fact that drawing attention toward the task caused them to take longer on the task than on previous trials.

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Schwab, S. , Memmert, D. & Roy, M. (2013). The Effect of Motivation and Attention on Bias in Memory for Duration. Psychology, 4, 83-87. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.42011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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