Burnout Patients Primed with Success Did Not Perform Better on a Cognitive Task than Burnout Patients Primed with Failure


Burnout patients perform poorer on cognitive tasks than healthy controls. A possible explanation for this decreased performance is a relatively permanent reduced motivation to expend effort. In a previous study, we failed to enhance the performance of burnout patients using a monetary incentive and positive feedback. In an attempt to bypass cognitions about fatigue and performance, we tried to motivate healthy controls and burnout patients implicitly by priming participants with either success or failure prior to task performance. As expected, healthy controls primed with success outperformed healthy controls primed with failure. However, no differential priming effect was observed in burnout patients. This suggests that success priming fails to enhance performance in subjects with burnout.

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Dam, A. , Keijsers, G. , Verbraak, M. , Eling, P. & Becker, E. (2012). Burnout Patients Primed with Success Did Not Perform Better on a Cognitive Task than Burnout Patients Primed with Failure. Psychology, 3, 583-589. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.38087.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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