Personality and motivation: Sources of inefficiency in cognitive performance

William Revelle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Impulsivity and anxiety are two dimensions of personality which have strong effects upon the efficiency of cognitive performance. The effects of these two variables depend upon characteristics of the task as well as upon four types of tradeoffs between psychological resources. Tasks may be characterized in terms of their relative requirements for sustained information transfer (SIT), short-term memory (STM), and long-term memory (LTM). Resource tradeoffs may be automatic, strategic, directional, or stylistic. Impulsivity effects on performance involve an automatic arousal-induced tradeoff between SIT and STM, strategic tradeoffs of speed for accuracy, and stylistic differences in persistence. Anxiety effects involve strategic, directional, and stylistic tradeoffs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-452
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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