Monetary incentives in speeded perceptual decision: effects of penalizing errors versus slow responses
journal contributionposted on 20.01.2016, 12:06 by Michael Dambacher, R. Hübner, J. Schlösser
The influence of monetary incentives on performance has been widely investigated among various disciplines. While the results reveal positive incentive effects only under specific conditions, the exact nature, and the contribution of mediating factors are largely unexplored. The present study examined influences of payoff schemes as one of these factors. In particular, we manipulated penalties for errors and slow responses in a speeded categorization task. The data show improved performance for monetary over symbolic incentives when (a) penalties are higher for slow responses than for errors, and (b) neither slow responses nor errors are punished. Conversely, payoff schemes with stronger punishment for errors than for slow responses resulted in worse performance under monetary incentives. The findings suggest that an emphasis of speed is favorable for positive influences of monetary incentives, whereas an emphasis of accuracy under time pressure has the opposite effect.