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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 22, 2022

Motivation in a Reciprocal Task: Interaction Effects of Task Meaning, Goal Salience, and Time Pressure

  • Valentin Wagner ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Gerhard Riener


We investigate the effectiveness of task meaning, time pressure, and knowing the upper bound of performance (maximum performance goal) in a reciprocal information digitization task and their interactions. Participants search information about schools where the quantity dimension of information refers to the number of schools and the quality dimension to finding the correct name of the headmaster. We obtain measures of quality (correctly entered information) and quantity (number of digitized entities). Time pressure has a positive effect on quantity and a negative on quality. Moreover, we cannot replicate the positive effects of high task meaning found in previous research. This indicates that its effectiveness might depend on the work context. While time pressure significantly decreases quality, its interaction with task meaning and maximum performance goals increases quantity marginally without loss in quality.

JEL Classification: M12; M52; J30

Corresponding author: Valentin Wagner, Institute for Innovation and Technology (IIT), Steinplatz 1, 10623 Berlin, Germany, E-mail:


We would like to thank seminar participants at the University of Düsseldorf. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (

Received: 2021-07-19
Revised: 2022-05-10
Accepted: 2022-05-29
Published Online: 2022-06-22

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