Kacie M Kinkade, Gabriella L Silone



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Research suggests that people exert less effort when working in a group compared to working individually, and groups often have trouble coordinating their efforts (Emich, 2014). These effects are partially explained by transpersonal efficacy, an individual's confidence in another's ability to produce a specific outcome and which can motivate performance on a task (Emich, 2012). However, extant research has been limited to physical performance tasks, such as basketball. The present research investigates the effects of over-confidence and motivational factors on group performance within an academic sphere. In this study, groups of three to four participants will work together to complete logic puzzles. Prior to working on the puzzles, we will assess participants’ baseline motivation to perform well. The expectations about the difficulty of a performance task will be manipulated by telling some groups that the task will be easy and others that the task will difficult. The participants will then estimate how well they will perform on the puzzles, work on the puzzles as a group, and complete follow-up questions assessing motivation, effort, and individual and group performance. We hypothesize that groups led to believe that the puzzles are difficult will put in more effort, not perform as well, and be less confident in their correct answers than groups who are led to believe that the puzzles are easy (Merkle, 2009; Pelham, DeHart, & Carvallo, 2001), thus demonstrating under-confidence. However, we hypothesize that groups who are led to believe that the puzzles are easy will put in less effort, perform better, and be more confident in their correct answers than the groups led to believe that the puzzles are difficult, thus demonstrating over-confidence. We predict that both groups will complete the same amount of puzzles regardless of the informed difficulty of the questions, even though motivation and effort will vary.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research - Undergraduate

Primary Advisor

Susan T. Davis

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

The Effect of Motivation Factors on Group Performance