Chen, Huys, Stringaris and Nielson (2023): On the Misery of Cognitive Effort psyArXiv
(A) Task manipulation on trial-by-trial mood ratings and (B) Task manipulation on performance accuracy
The effect of cognitive effort on mood is unclear. Expending cognitive effort is generally avoided but expenditure of cognitive effort is the primary feature of some popular recreational activities, such as sudoku or video games. It is unknown what immediate impact cognitive effort has on momentary mood. With a letter sorting task, we found that increased difficulty, and consequently cognitive effort, leads to more errors and lower mood ratings. In a follow up study, we validated our results in a different sample and showed that, even with removal of reward feedback, cognitive effort remain impactful on mood.