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Abstract

Subjects were presented with an easy or moderately difficult memorization task and told they could earn either a very low or very high chance of obtaining a modest prize if they did well. A measure of goal attractiveness was taken during an interval immediately preceding the task performance period. As expected, anticipatory goal attractiveness ratings were higher in the moderately difficult condition than in the easy condition when the probability of goal attainment (given success) was high, but were low in both task conditions when the probability of goal attainment (given success) was low. Results are discussed in terms of Brehm's recent theory of motivation.