Assignment choice, effort, and assignment completion: Does work ethic predict those who choose higher-effort assignments?

John T. Parkhurst*, Matthew S. Fleisher, Christopher H. Skinner, David J. Woehr, Meredith L. Hawthorn-Embree

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

After completing the Multidimensional Work-Ethic Profile (MWEP), 98 college students were given a 20-problem math computation assignment and instructed to stop working on the assignment after completing 10 problems. Next, they were allowed to choose to finish either the partially completed assignment that had 10 problems remaining or a new assignment that contained 9 matched problems and therefore required 10% less effort to complete. Significantly more students chose the new, lower-effort assignment. Logistic regression showed that MWEP scores were significantly related to choice, with Leisure being the most significant factor. These results supported earlier research on the partial-assignment completion effect, effort, and choice and extended this research by showing that the MWEP could account for a significant amount of assignment choice variance. The discussion focuses on the validity of the MWEP, theoretical implications related to work ethic, assignment completion, and future educational research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-579
Number of pages5
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • Assignment choice
  • Effort
  • Leisure
  • Partial-assignment completion effect
  • Work ethic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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