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The Get Ready Mindset: When Anticipated Future Resource Demands Increase Effort Allocation to Unrelated Current Tasks Anick Bosmans, Rik Pieters and Hans.

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Presentation on theme: "The Get Ready Mindset: When Anticipated Future Resource Demands Increase Effort Allocation to Unrelated Current Tasks Anick Bosmans, Rik Pieters and Hans."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Get Ready Mindset: When Anticipated Future Resource Demands Increase Effort Allocation to Unrelated Current Tasks Anick Bosmans, Rik Pieters and Hans Baumgartner

2 The Get Ready Mindset Outline of research idea  allocation of scarce cognitive resources in sequential tasks; specifically, how do expectations of future task demands influence resource allocation to unrelated current tasks?  the anticipation of a difficult future task activates a “get ready mindset”;  the resources mobilized in anticipation of future task demands may inadvertently transfer to unrelated current tasks;  ability to keep tasks separate moderates the hypothesized resource carry-over;

3 The Get Ready Mindset Getting ready for future performance  similar to Gollwitzer et al.’s postulate of an implemen- tation mindset, anticipated future task demands may create a get ready mindset;  cognitive, affective and motivational states evoked by one context sometimes carry over to other, unrelated contexts: □ Gollwitzer et al.’s (1990) work on implementation mindsets □ Dillman’s work on residual arousal □ misattribution of mood (Schwarz and Clore 1983; Pham 1998)  resources mobilized in anticipation of a difficult future task may carry over to unrelated current tasks;

4 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 1A: Mindset activation and product evaluation  34 Ps completed two tasks: □ Initial task: write about an easy or difficult future task (manipulation of Future Task Difficulty) □ Focal information search task: evaluate a diet drink based on various information links  Dependent variables: □ Number of words and letters used to describe the initial task □ Product evaluation (e.g., like it/dislike it) □ Number of information links consulted

5 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 1A: Results Easy Future Task Difficult Future Task F(1,32)p # of words/letters65/27473/343<1n.s. Product evaluation <1n.s. # of information links consulted <.01

6 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 1B: Mindset activation and baseline effort  68 Ps completed several tasks: □ Different Manipulation of Future Task Difficulty: come up with as many $1 gifts as possible (described as an easy or difficulty task, or no information) □ Practice gift listing task □ Focal information search task: evaluate a diet drink based on various information links  Dependent variables: □ Expectation of having to work hard during the session □ Product evaluation □ Number of information links consulted

7 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 1B: Results Easy Future Task Control Difficult Future Task F(2,65)p Manipulation check <.01 Performance in practice task n.s. # of information links consulted <.001

8 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 1C: Mindset activation and idea generation  77 Ps completed several tasks:  Manipulation of Future Task Difficulty: come up with as many $1 gifts as possible (described as an easy or difficulty task)  Different Focal task: generate ideas about how to lose 6 lbs. of weight in a month  Future task: list 1$ gifts  Dependent variables:  Expected difficulty level of the weight loss and gift listing tasks  Quantitative effort (number of weight loss ideas) and qualitative effort (high effort-related minus low effort- related thoughts, observer ratings of effort)

9 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 1C: Results Easy Future Task Difficult Future Task Fp Expected difficulty of the weight loss task n.s. Expected difficulty of the gift listing task <.001 # of dieting ideas <.05 # of effort-related thoughts <.01 Observer-rated effort <.001

10 The Get Ready Mindset Keeping things separate  transfer effects occur b/c people have trouble separating experiences associated with one object, event or activity from those associated with others;  as the ability to separate experiences increases, carry-over effects should become less likely: □ Situational: as the distinctiveness of tasks increases, carry-over of resources should decrease; □ Dispositional: people who are characteristically better able to separate experiences (independent vs. interdependent style of processing) should exhibit less carry-over of resources;

11 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 2A: Task similarity as a moderator  59 Ps completed several tasks:  Manipulation of Task Similarity: tasks are related/unrelated and draw on similar/different psychological processes;  Different Manipulation of Future Task Difficulty: anagram task that was said to be perceived as easy or difficult by previous Ps;  Practice anagram task  Focal task: generate ideas about how to lose 6 lbs. of weight in a month  Dependent variable:  number of weight loss ideas

12 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 2A: Results  No significant effects in the practice task;  # of dieting ideas:

13 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 2B: Processing style as a moderator  67 Ps completed several tasks:  Manipulation of Future Task Difficulty: anagram task that was perceived as easy or difficult by previous Ps;  Practice anagram task  Focal task: evaluate a diet drink based on various information links (information search)  After several filler tasks, three RT measures to assess independent vs. interdependent style of processing;  Dependent variable:  number of information links consulted  time spent reading each piece of information consulted

14 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 2B: Results

15 The Get Ready Mindset IndependentsInterdependents Processing Style Reading times (in seconds) Difficult Easy Experiment 2B: Results

16 The Get Ready MindsetDiscussion  when people expected to engage in a difficult future task, they expended more – not less – effort on an unrelated intervening task;  this finding was replicated with different manipulations of task difficulty and different focal tasks and effort measures;  results are not due to differences in achievement motives, standards of performance, mood, self-esteem, or resource completion;  resource carry-over is moderated by people’s ability to separate tasks (task distinctiveness and independent vs. interdependent style of processing);

17 The Get Ready Mindset Discussion (cont’d)  Question whether information about the difficulty of the future task established different performance standards: □ Manipulation checks and performance on practice tasks argue against this account; □ No explicit evidence for the processes underlying the standard-of- performance account;  Question of when people will conserve and when carry-over will occur: □ Some evidence of conservation in Experiments 2A and 2B □ Salience of resource scarcity and extent of self-control required in the future task as relevant factors  Implications of resource carry-over for performance on the future task

18 The Get Ready Mindset Manipulation in Experiment 1A We are currently investigating how people experience routine [complex] tasks. Routine tasks are tasks that are relatively simple, require no or little energy, and are relatively effortless. You do not become tired after performing a routine task [Complex tasks are tasks that are difficult, require a substantial amount of energy, and are relatively effortful. You become tired after performing a complex task]. In this task you are asked to describe – in as much detail as possible – a routine [complex] task that you plan to carry out in the near future (i.e., in a few moments or in a couple of hours). Think about a task that you expect to be easy and effortless [difficult and effortful].” In the space below please describe as elaborately and in as much detail as possible an easy, routine task [a difficult, complex task] that you anticipate to carry out in the near future. Also, discuss the reasons why you anticipate this task to be easy [difficult] and why the task will require little or no [a lot of] energy.

19 The Get Ready Mindset Experiment 2A: Manipulation checks  Future Task Difficulty:  65 Ps received the same task difficulty instructions as in the main experiment;  Ps in the Difficult Future Task condition anticipated having to work harder in the remainder of the experiment than Ps in the Easy Future Task condition (5.50 vs. 4.39);  no significant differences in mood states, self-esteem, or extent of resource depletion;  Perceived Task Similarity:  34 Ps received the same task similarity instructions as in the main experiment;  Ps who received the similar task instructions rated the two tasks as more similar than Ps who received the dissimilar task instructions (4.90 vs. 3.68);

20 The Get Ready Mindset Stimuli used to measure processing style


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