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effort justification

a phenomenon whereby people come to evaluate a particular task or activity more favorably when it involves something that is difficult or unpleasant. The effect is most likely to occur when there are no obvious reasons for performing the task. Because expending effort to perform a useless or unenjoyable task, or experiencing unpleasant consequences in doing so, is cognitively inconsistent (see cognitive dissonance), people are assumed to shift their evaluations of the task in a positive direction to restore consistency. See also cognitive dissonance theory; dissonance reduction.

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Psychology term of the day

February 26th 2024