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Titel: The Köhler Effect: Definition of terms, empirical observations and theoretical concept.
Autor(en): Witte, E.H.
Erscheinungsdatum: 2002
Serie/Report Nr.: Hamburger Forschungsberichte zur Sozialpsychologie;40
Zusammenfassung: This study tries to define relevant terms. It outlines those components which influence the processes of motivation gains and losses in groups, namely the unit of research, the measure of performance, the concatenation operation and the type of task. Because of its topicality the Köhler effect is the focus of this study. This effect can be further differentiated into: a) an additive, b) conjunctive, c) loss-avoiding, and d) compensatory Köhler effect, depending on the baseline used, e.g., the average, poorest or most capable group member, or whether a Ringelmann effect can be expected. In addition, the optimal performance ratio needed to produce motivation gains in groups has to be examined. In some cases this ratio remains unspecified, whilst in others it is specifically determined in an attempt to produce gains in motivation. This differentiation of empirical effects can be extended by introducing intervening variables by which the effects can be explained. Here, two kinds of variables are introduced; situational incentives (instrumentality / challenge) and personal dispositions (self-monitoring and the tendency to compete). With these assumptions in mind, a questionnaire study was conducted to supplement existing experimental findings. According to these data a performance ratio can be determined which results in a general Köhler effect, and the situational incentives within varying performance constellations can be assessed and predicted on account of personal motivation dispositions. Finally, the motivation theory based on these findings is used as an extension of the "collective effort model' (Karau & Williams (1993), and suggestions for further research are made.
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