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Motivated for near impossibility: how task type and reward modulate task enjoyment and the striatal activation for extremely difficult task

Sakaki, M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1993-5765, Meliss, S., Murayama, K., Yomogida, Y., Matsumori, K., Sugiura, A., Matsumoto, M. and Matsumoto, K. (2022) Motivated for near impossibility: how task type and reward modulate task enjoyment and the striatal activation for extremely difficult task. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. ISSN 1531-135X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3758/s13415-022-01046-4

Abstract/Summary

Economic and decision-making theories suppose that people would disengage from a task with near zero success probability, because this implicates little normative utility values. However, humans often are motivated for an extremely challenging task, even without any extrinsic incentives. The current study aimed to address the nature of this challenge-based motivation and its neural correlates. We found that, when participants played a skill-based task without extrinsic incentives, their task enjoyment increased as the chance of success decreased, even if the task was almost impossible to achieve. However, such challenge-based motivation was not observed when participants were rewarded for the task or the reward was determined in a probabilistic manner. The activation in the ventral striatum/pallidum tracked the pattern of task enjoyment. These results suggest that people are intrinsically motivated to challenge a nearly impossible task but only when the task requires certain skills and extrinsic rewards are unavailable.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:108582
Publisher:Springer

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