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A cost/benefit motivational model is presented based on the discrepancy between a benefits equals costs line and a negatively accelerated performance curve. The model posits that people attempt to maximize benefits while minimizing costs and that the critical point is where the lines cross. Performance increments beyond that point are seen as not cost effective. It was proposed that high achievers expend additional effort in spite of a lower benefits to costs ratio, whereas low achievers do not. In an application of the model, 119 college students (47 men and 72 women) were studied. Those who remained in a 2.5 hour long class session following an examination administered in the first 45 minutes had significantly higher achievement in the course than did those who left.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-01-01

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