If You're Allowed to Quit, You'll Work Even Harder

Posted on February 18, 2014

The results of a new study show that you may have more success getting employees to persevere on projects by giving them the option not to participate.

The option to abandon a project might just strengthen your resolve to complete it, according to a study published in Psychological Science.

The study, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvanis and Georgia State University, is detailed at the Association of Psychological Science's Minds for Business blog. It explored how people responded when given the option to complete a task as opposed to being required to do so.

Researchers Rom Schrift and Jeffrey Parker's subjects were asked to complete a word-search puzzle and told they could win a prize based on their performance. The rub: Some participants were allowed to opt out of doing the puzzle.

Those who were given the option not to participate not only spent more time on the puzzle, they performed better on it.

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Category(s):Workplace Issues

Source material from Inc