Stefan Schulz-Hardt, Imke Meinken, Alexandra Rott and Dieter Frey

Psychische Sättigung: Eine neue experimentelle Untersuchung zu einem alten Konstrukt

Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie

The present experiment on the phenomenon of psychic satiation expands on the work of Karsten (1928) and Lewin (1928). Psychic satiation denotes a loss of intrinsic motivation when the same action is performed repeatedly. Although many studies have shown the high theoretical and practical relevance of this phenomenon, the conditions which lead to or reinforce psychic satiation have rarely been investigated empirically. Based on the concept of psychic satiation as formulated by Karsten and Lewin and refined by Schulz-Hardt, Rott, Meinken, and Frey (in press), we predicted that psychic satiation will increase if the task does not lend itself to being carried out ``peripherally'' (i.e., as an almost unconscious incidental action) and if it has high personal relevance. These predictions were investigated in an experiment with 66 high-school students who performed different versions of the ``Konzentrations-Leistungs-Test'' (concentration-performance-test, KLT). The results are largely in line with our predictions. In addition, the results indicate that the relation between satiation and performance is moderated by personal relevance and the induced task characteristic.