Financial reward has differential effects on behavioural and self-report measures of listening effort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To investigate the effects of listening demands and motivation on listening effort (LE) in a novel speech recognition task.
Design: We manipulated listening demands and motivation using vocoded speech and financial reward, respectively, and measured task performance (correct response rate) and indices of LE (response times (RTs), subjective ratings of LE and likelihood of giving up). Effects of inter-individual differences in cognitive skills and personality on task performance and LE were also assessed within the context of Cognitive Energetics Theory (CET).
Study Sample: 24 participants with normal-hearing (age range: 19 – 33 years, 6 male).
Results: High listening demands decreased the correct response rate and increased RTs, self-rated LE and self-rated likelihood of giving up. High financial reward increased subjective LE ratings only. Mixed-effects modelling showed small fixed effects for competitiveness on LE measured using RTs. Small fixed effects were found for cognitive skills (lexical decision RTs and backwards digit span) on LE measured using RTs and correct response rate, respectively.
Conclusions: The effects of listening demands on LE in the speech recognition task aligned with CET, whereas predictions regarding the influence of motivation, cognitive skills and personality were only partially supported.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-910
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021


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