Personality, Motivation and Cognitive Performance.
Final rept. Oct 93-Jul 97
NORTHWESTERN UNIV EVANSTON IL DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
Pagination or Media Count:
This project examined the determinants of efficient cognitive performance. Specific questions addressed how environmental stressors combine with time of day and individual differences in personality to affect motivational variables that in turn affect components of information processing. Our research addressed three separate objectives 1 to do systematic taxonomic work on the relationship between personality traits, situational moderators, and activational states 2 to develop and test models of stable individual differences and transient affective states as they affect the detection, encoding, storage, and processing of information and 3 to test and revise our models of motivational effects upon complex cognitive performance. Results showed that individual differences in temperament combine with a variety of stressors e.g., time of day, exercise, stimulant drugs, feedback to affect two components of motivational intensity, energetic arousal and tense arousal, and one of motivational direction. The two components of arousal have systematic effects on performance on a variety of simple and complex cognitive tasks. Cognitive performance measures examined included complex problem solving as well as attention, learning, memory and performance tasks. New techniques were developed that demonstrated the importance of within subject variation in energetic and tense arousal.