Social loafing and social facilitation: An empirical test of the cognitive-motivational model of performance

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Taylor & Francis


A study was conducted to test Paulus's (1983) cognitive-motivational model of individual task performance in a group. Sixty-four undergraduates completed computerized maze tasks either alone or in the presence of a confederate who played the game on a separate computer. Consequences of task performance for subjects were manipulated by whether the performance scores were identifiable or not. Cognitive and motivational outcomes of the tasks were measured. Paulus's model is supported with some modification. We found task performance to be a function of task complexity, the presence of others, the expected consequences of task performance, and the social anxiety associated with task performance. We conclude that social loafing and social facilitation can be integrated in a task-performance model as Paulus (1.983) suggested.