دانلود مقاله ISI انگلیسی شماره 22338
عنوان فارسی مقاله

تصمیمات سرعت / دقت و صحت عملکرد وظایف: ساخته شده در تجاری کردن و یا نگرانی های استراتژیک مجزا؟

کد مقاله سال انتشار مقاله انگلیسی ترجمه فارسی تعداد کلمات
22338 2003 17 صفحه PDF سفارش دهید محاسبه نشده
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عنوان انگلیسی
Speed/accuracy decisions in task performance: Built-in trade-off or separate strategic concerns?
منبع

Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)

Journal : Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 90, Issue 1, January 2003, Pages 148–164

کلمات کلیدی
تجارت کردن
پیش نمایش مقاله
پیش نمایش مقاله تصمیمات سرعت / دقت و صحت عملکرد وظایف: ساخته شده در تجاری کردن و یا نگرانی های استراتژیک مجزا؟

چکیده انگلیسی

In four studies we show that participants’ regulatory focus influences speed/accuracy decisions in different tasks. According to regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997), promotion focus concerns with accomplishments and aspirations produce strategic eagerness whereas prevention focus concerns with safety and responsibilities produce strategic vigilance. Studies 1–3 show faster performance and less accuracy in simple drawing tasks for participants with a chronic or situationally induced promotion focus compared to participants with a prevention focus. These studies also show that as participants move closer to the goal of completing the task, speed increases and accuracy decreases for participants with a promotion focus, whereas speed decreases and accuracy increases for participants with a prevention focus. Study 4 basically replicates these results for situationally induced regulatory focus with a more complex proofreading task. The study found that a promotion focus led to faster proofreading compared to a prevention focus, whereas a prevention focus led to higher accuracy in finding more difficult errors than a promotion focus. Through speed and searching for easy errors, promotion focus participants maximized their proofreading performance. In all four studies, the speed effects were independent of the accuracy effects and vice versa. These results show that speed/accuracy (or quantity/quality) decisions are influenced by the strategic inclinations of participants varying in regulatory focus rather than by a built-in trade-off.

مقدمه انگلیسی

One of the fundamental questions since the beginning of experimental psychology has been when and why people are fast or accurate (Woodworth, 1899). Across psychological areas, the so-called speed/accuracy trade-off or quantity/quality conflict has been of major concern. In cognitive psychology, it has inspired theorizing about motor performances (Fitts, 1954; Fitts & Peterson, 1964; Howarth, Beggs, & Bowden, 1971; Keele, 1968; Keele & Posner, 1968; Meyer, Abrams, Kornblum, & Wright, 1988; Meyer, Smith, & Wright, 1982; Woodworth, 1899; Zelaznik, Mone, McCabe, & Thaman, 1988). In developmental psychology it has, for example, been introduced as a diagnosticum for developmental coordination disorder (cf. Maruff, Wilson, Trebilcock, & Currie, 1999). In personality psychology, it has been used as an indicator for concentration and attention (cf. Brickenkamp, 1972), impulsivity and reflexivity (cf. Bush & Dweck, 1975; Dickman, 1985; Dickman & Meyer, 1988; Leung & Connolly, 1997; Salkind & Nelson, 1980), extraversion and neuroticisim (Malhotra, Malhotra, & Jerath, 1989; Socan & Bucik, 1998), anxiety (Revelle & Leon, 1985), intelligence (Phillips & Rabbitt, 1995; Tucker & Warr, 1996), general processes involved in achievement orientation (cf. Miller & Vernon, 1997), information processing (Dunn, Vaughan, Kreuzer, & Kurtzberg, 1999), and specific disabilities and problems (Chabot, Petros, & McCord, 1983; Raesaenen & Ahonen, 1995; Snowling, Hulme, & Goulandris, 1994). Speed and accuracy have been investigated in the human resources area as well, with respect to supervisory monitoring (Brewer & Ridgway, 1998), selection of planning strategies (Josephs & Hahn, 1995), self-efficacy perceptions on sales performance (Lee & Gillen, 1989), computer menu structures (Seppaelae & Salvendy, 1985), the relationship between personality and faculty research productivity (Taylor, Locke, Lee, & Gist, 1984), and diverse leadership styles (Johnson, 1975).1 Given the extensive interest in speed/accuracy decisions, it is surprising that the basic processes underlying these decisions are still poorly understood. Why are some people fast and why some accurate? Are those differences due to personality variables, situational variables, or both? Are there circumstances where people are both fast and accurate, thus optimizing task performance? The psychological literature generally treats speed/accuracy decisions as involving a built-in trade-off, people either trade speed for accuracy or vice versa. However, in this paper we want to go beyond the notion of built-in trade-off. We want to propose a self-regulatory account of behavior in speed/accuracy tasks. From our perspective, people can have different self regulatory foci, either a promotion focus or a prevention focus, which involve strategic concerns that influence speed/accuracy decisions. Let us briefly describe regulatory focus theory (e.g., Higgins, 1998) from which the model is derived, and then delineate its implications for performance in speed/accuracy tasks. Regulatory focus theory distinguishes between two kinds of goal pursuit that vary in regulatory focus concerns: concerns with attainment of aspirations and accomplishments (promotion focus), and concerns with attainment of responsibilities and safety (prevention focus). These distinct regulatory concerns can be emphasized either chronically or momentarily. To illustrate, employer–employee interaction can chronically emphasize goal pursuit with either promotion focus concerns or prevention focus concerns (see also Higgins, 1989). Employees in employer–employee interactions that involve a promotion focus experience pleasure when employers, for example, reward an employee by praising her creativity and encouraging the employee to seek opportunities to engage in rewarding activities. The employee experiences pain, when employers, for example, stop praising or when they ignore her achievements. The pleasure or pain from these interactions are experienced as the presence or absence of positive outcomes, respectively. The employers’ messages are communicated in reference to a state of the employee that does or does not meet promotion concerns, either “This is what I ideally like you to do” or “This is not what I ideally like you to do”, respectively. The regulatory focus is one of promotion, a concern with advancement and accomplishment, hopes, and aspirations (ideals). Strategically, individuals with a promotion focus are eager to approach matches to a desired end-state (i.e., pursue all means of advancement). Employees in employer–employee interactions that involve a prevention focus experience pleasure when employers, for example, train the employee to be alert to potential dangers or misbehaviors. The employees experience pain when employers, for example, yell at or punish the employee for being irresponsible or careless. Here, the pleasure and pain are experienced as the absence or presence of negative outcomes. The employers’ messages are communicated in reference to a state of the employee that does or does not meet some prevention concerns, either “This is what I believe you ought to do” or “This is not what I believe you ought to do”, respectively. The regulatory focus is one of prevention, a concern with protection and safety, duties, and responsibilities (oughts). Strategically, individuals with a prevention focus are vigilant to avoid mismatches to a desired end-state (i.e., careful to avoid mistakes). According to the theory, momentary situations as well as chronic leadership styles can also temporarily induce either a promotion focus or a prevention focus on goal attainment. For example, feedback messages or task instructions can communicate gain/non-gain information (promotion focus) or non-loss/loss information (prevention focus). A promotion focus and a prevention focus involve different motivational orientations. Whereas individuals in a promotion focus with their inclination to approach matches are eager to attain advancements and gains, individuals in a prevention focus with their inclination to avoid mismatches are vigilant to assure safety and non-losses. In signal detection terms (e.g., Green & Swets, 1966; Tanner & Swets, 1954), individuals in a state of eagerness from a promotion focus are motivated to ensure “hits” and ensure against errors of omission (i.e., a lack of accomplishment). In contrast, individuals in a state of vigilance from a prevention focus are motivated to ensure “correct rejections” and ensure against errors of commission (i.e., making a mistake). These regulatory differences have been shown to influence performance in signal detection tasks. In recognition memory tasks for example, individuals in a promotion focus want to ensure recognizing a true target (i.e., want many “hits”) and ensure against omitting a true target (i.e., want few “misses” or errors of omission), thereby producing an overall inclination to say “Yes” (a “risky” bias). Individuals in a prevention focus want to ensure rejecting a false distractor (i.e., want many “correct rejections”) and ensure against failing to reject a false distractor (i.e., want few “false alarms” or errors of commission), thereby producing an overall inclination to say “No” (a “conservative” bias). A study by Crowe and Higgins (1997) tested these predictions. Participants were told that they would first perform a recognition memory task and then would be assigned a second, final task. A liked and disliked activities have been selected earlier for each participant to serve as the final task. The participants were told that which of the alternative final tasks they would work on at the end of the session depended on their performance on the initial recognition task. The relation between the initial memory task and the final task was described as contingent for everyone, but the framing varied as a function of both regulatory focus (promotion versus prevention) and valence (self-regulation) succeeding (pleasure) versus self-regulation failing (pain). Valence was included to test whether regulatory focus influences decision-making independent of participants’ imagining pleasant versus painful outcomes (i.e., independent of regulatory anticipation, see Higgins, 1997). More specifically, the contingency framing was as follows: (a) Promotion Succeeding—“If you do well on the word recognition memory task, you will get to do the [liked task] instead of the other task;” (b) Promotion Failing—“If you don’t do well on the recognition memory task, you won’t get to do the [liked] task but will have to do another task instead;” (c) Prevention Succeeding—“As long as you don’t do poorly on the word recognition memory task, you won’t have to do the [disliked task] but will have to do the other task instead;” and (d) Prevention Failing—“If you do poorly on the word recognition memory task, you will have to do the [disliked task] instead of the other task.” The study found, as predicted, that participants in the promotion focus condition had a risky bias of saying “Yes” in the recognition memory task, whereas participants in the prevention focus condition had a conservative bias of saying “No.” Moreover, these regulatory focus effects were independent of the valence of the framing (i.e., success versus failure framing), which itself had no significant effects. Using the same paradigm, Crowe and Higgins (1997) found in a second study that when individuals work on a task where generating any number of alternatives is correct, those in a promotion focus generate more distinct alternatives (insuring hits) whereas those in a prevention focus are more repetitive (insuring against errors of commission). The results of additional studies provide substantial evidence for eagerness motivation in a promotion focus versus vigilance motivation in a prevention focus (Förster, Higgins, & Idson, 1998; Liberman, Idson, Camacho, & Higgins, 1999; Liberman, Molden, Idson, & Higgins, 2001; Roney, Higgins, & Shah, 1995; Shah, Higgins, & Friedman, 1998). To sum up, a promotion focus emphasis on strategic eagerness should lead to a more risky processing style that is concerned with getting hits, whereas a prevention focus emphasis on strategic vigilance should lead to a more careful processing style concerned with avoiding mistakes. Thus, generally one would expect participants in a promotion focus to be faster at the expense of accuracy and participants in a prevention focus to be more accurate at the expense of speed. This difference is due to strategic concerns with gains and non-gains (promotion) versus losses and non-losses (prevention) rather than to a built-in trade-off. That is people do not necessarily experience a built-in conflict between being accurate or fast. Rather, when they have strong promotion focus concerns they naturally are eager for hits (speed) and when they have strong prevention focus concerns they naturally are vigilant against mistakes (accuracy). If this is true, more specific predictions can be derived for motivation in speed/accuracy tasks than is possible from the notion of a built-in trade-off. The first is that if strategic motivation increases the closer a person is to goal completion (the classic “goal looms larger” effect), than promotion focus eagerness and speed should increase the closer one is to goal completion, and prevention focus vigilance and accuracy should increase the closer one is to goal completion. Let us consider the background for this prediction. There is evidence that regulatory focus influences motivational strength as reflected in the “goal looms larger” effect (Förster et al., 1998). This effect refers to the fact that motivation increases as the distance to the goal decreases (see Brown, 1948; Hearst, 1960 and Hearst, 1962; Lewin, 1951; Losco & Epstein, 1977; Miller, 1944 and Miller, 1959; Miller & Murray, 1955). The value of each successive step toward a goal increases as its contribution to final goal attainment increases (Förster et al., 1998; see also Brendl & Higgins, 1995). Each successive step reduces a higher proportion of the remaining discrepancy. If the goal is to solve each of 10 anagrams, for example, solving the first reduces 10% of the remaining discrepancy whereas solving the last reduces 100% of the remaining discrepancy. As the value of each successive step increases, the motivation to take the step and reach the goal increases, the “goal looms larger” effect. The strategic motivations, however, are different for promotion and prevention. As the “goal looms larger,” an increase in strategic approach motivation (increasing eagerness) should be more evident for people in a promotion than a prevention focus, whereas an increase in strategic avoidance motivation (increasing vigilance) should be more evident for people in a prevention than a promotion focus. To test these hypotheses, Förster et al. (1998; Studies 1 & 2) used arm pressure as an on-line measure of motivational strength. Arm flexion (in which the direction of force is toward the self) has been shown to be more associated with consumption or approach, whereas arm extension (in which the direction of force is away from the self) is more associated with rejection or avoidance (see Cacioppo, Priester, & Bernston, 1993; Chen & Bargh, 1999; Förster et al., 1998; Förster & Strack, 1997; Förster & Strack, 1998; Priester, Cacioppo, & Petty, 1996; Solarz, 1960). Each participant solved two sets of seven solvable anagrams. While solving one set, they pressed on the flat surface of a machine on the bottom of a table inducing arm flexion (i.e., approach), and while solving the other set they pressed the machine on top of the table inducing arm extension (i.e., avoidance). Promotion versus prevention focus was either a chronic individual difference (Study 1) or an experimental variable manipulated by framing (Study 2). Both studies found that the approach gradient was more positive for participants with a promotion than a prevention focus, and the avoidance gradient was more positive for participants with a prevention than a promotion focus. These effects were independent of participants’ expectancies, and they were replicated in a third study that used persistence rather than arm pressure as the measure of motivational strength (see also Förster et al., in press). Accordingly, if strategic concerns drive the processes in performing speed/accuracy tasks, we would predict speed and accuracy to follow the same motivational “goal looms larger” principle. In the promotion focus motivational state of eagerness, speed in speed/accuracy tasks should increase the closer one is to a goal whereas accuracy should not. In the prevention focus motivational state of vigilance on the other hand, accuracy should increase the closer one is to goal completion whereas speed should not. This specific hypothesis is tested in Studies 1 to 3. Study 4 tests another specific prediction of our strategic concern perspective that is not derivable from the notion of a built-in trade-off. The question here is under which circumstances would people be both fast and accurate? Efficient self-regulation should overcome the speed/accuracy trade-off under certain conditions, so that greater speed need not sacrifice accuracy. There are tasks, for instance, where the goal itself is to be as accurate as much as possible. A common example of such a task is proofreading. The purpose of proofreading is to check a manuscript for accuracy. The goal is to make the manuscript as accurate as possible. The signal is the actual presence of an error and every error found is a “hit.” Individuals in a promotion focus should eagerly pursue as many “hits” as possible. They should be motivated to maximize the number of “hits” they find during the time they have to search. To do so, they need to be efficient. They cannot afford to waste time searching for difficult errors when they can attain more “hits” during the limited time they have by searching for easy errors. We would predict, then, that individuals in a promotion focus would find more errors in a given time period than individuals in a prevention focus, that is, speed would be greater for a promotion than a prevention focus, and this would be accomplished largely by promotion focus individuals being especially accurate in searching for easy errors. Thus, for individuals in a promotion focus, accuracy would not be sacrificed for speed with respect to easy errors. Rather, speed and accuracy in finding easy errors would be maximized. In contrast, individuals in a prevention focus are not concerned with maximization or efficiency. They are concerned with being vigilant against mistakes. They want to ensure against failing to correct errors. Because failing to correct difficult errors is more likely than failing to correct easy errors, individuals in a prevention focus should concentrate on being vigilant against difficult errors. For difficult errors, then, individuals in a prevention focus should be more accurate than individuals in a promotion focus. Correcting difficult errors takes more time, however. Thus, individuals in a prevention focus could be characterized as sacrificing overall speed for the sake of accuracy. Because participants in a prevention focus are vigilantly looking for difficult errors, they might miss at the same time easy errors. This does not mean that there is a built-in speed/accuracy trade-off, however, because no similar sacrifice would be evident for individuals in a promotion focus. Rather, both individuals in a promotion focus and individuals in a prevention focus would be simply functioning in terms of their specific strategic concerns.

نتیجه گیری انگلیسی

Returning to our initial questions, our results show why some people are fast and why others are accurate. When eagerly pursuing as many hits as possible in a promotion focus, individuals are fast and efficient. In contrast, when vigilantly ensuring correct rejections in a prevention focus, they are accurate but slow. In all four studies the speed effects were independent of the accuracy effects and vice versa. Thus, regulatory focus concerns can quite naturally produce eager or vigilant strategies, leading to fast or accurate behavior (or both). Our motivational account can predict more specifically that this also varies as a function of the subjective distance to the goal (see Studies 1–3). For individuals with a promotion focus, strength of strategic eagerness is greater the closer they are to the goal and thus they are faster as the goal looms larger. In sharp contrast, for individuals with a prevention focus strength of strategic vigilance is greater the closer they are to the goal and thus they are more accurate as the goal looms larger. Those differences are obtained when regulatory focus is a personality variable and when it is a situation variable. That is chronic inclinations as well as situationally-framed task instructions can produce fast and/or accurate behavior. Because participants with a prevention framing started with a higher amount of money, they might have experienced greater risk aversion (Studies 2–4). One might wonder then, whether our results could be explained by the mechanism of “risk aversion.” However, even if prevention framing participants did have greater risk aversion, it is not at all clear how this would account for the full pattern of findings. The concept of risk aversion per se would not predict the promotion and prevention differential effects for speed versus accuracy nor their interaction with goals looming larger. Risk aversion would be silent with respect to this complicated set of opposite interactions for these different dependent measures. Moreover, Study 1 did not manipulate regulatory focus using framing instructions that could have manipulated amount of risk aversion. It examined the effects of chronic individual differences in regulatory focus and obtained the same results as the other studies. Thus, the predicted results were obtained independent of any instructional manipulation of risk aversion. One might also wonder how our work is related to other theories in goal orientation. Most research relating motivation to performance has emphasized differences in goal orientation, such as pride in success versus fear of failure (e.g., Atkinson, 1964; McClelland, Atkinson, Clark, & Lowell, 1953), intrinsic versus extrinsic (e.g., Deci & Ryan, 1985), or performance versus learning (e.g., Dweck, 1996). The distinction between a promotion focus with its eagerness strategic inclination and a prevention focus with its vigilance strategic inclination is independent of these goal orientation distinctions. For example, individuals with high pride in success can have either a promotion focus or a prevention focus. Although both have a high achievement orientation, they differ in their eagerness versus vigilance strategic inclination (see Higgins et al., 2000). As another example, both individuals in a promotion focus who use an eagerness strategy to perform a task and individuals in a prevention focus who use a vigilance strategy experience a regulatory fit that increases both their enjoyment of doing the task and the value of the task outcomes (see Freitas & Higgins, 2002; Higgins, 2000). As a final example, a performance goal of demonstrating one’s ability could be represented as a responsibility (prevention focus) and be pursued with a vigilance strategy or it could be represented as an accomplishment (promotion focus) and be pursued with an eagerness strategy. Any goal can be pursued with either a promotion focus or a prevention focus, and thus regulatory focus is independent of type of goal orientation (see Higgins, 1997). The results of Study 4 also show that people can be both fast and accurate to the extent that the task includes easy problems that serve the needs of a promotion focus to maximize efficiency (i.e., maximize hits). On the basis of these results, it might be interesting to investigate, whether speed can also be improved in a prevention focus, such as when speed signifies an ought or responsibility. That is, in dangerous situations like heavy traffic that induce a prevention focus, vigilance could lead to fast behavior, such as faster breaking. As another example, when there is a competitive necessity to get products out of the door to consumers quickly and thus employees must avoid the mistake of being too slow, faster performances for employees in a prevention focus would be predicted. Similarly, if accuracy tasks are means to pursue a promotion focus goal, such as hitting clay targets in trapshooting, accuracy should increase within a promotion focus. The results show that framing a situation as a promotion or a prevention task can produces different strategic inclinations that can fulfill different functions in a work context. There are situations in which accurate outcomes are crucial, and situations where doing things quickly and efficiently are more important. On the basis of our results, employers can decide how to frame a task for their employees. For example if the task is easy, framing in terms of gains and non-gains might work better than framing in terms of losses and non-losses. However, if the task at hand is difficult and if accuracy is crucial, then loss and non loss framing would be more effective.

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