Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Peter Vietze

Committee Member

Ruth Propper

Committee Member

Kevin Askew


Motivation (Psychology), Attention, Signs and signboards


Motivation is a complex psychological construct, and one with astoundingly broad applicability. There are likely many underlying components of motivation, including memory, emotion, experience, physiology, talent, and attention. Research by Suri and Gross (2015) provides evidence for the basic hypothesis that attention contributes to motivation. By hanging signs in office cafeterias to draw attention to apples, they were able to demonstrate a significant increase in apple sales. The experiment described in this paper was designed to replicate the effect seen by Suri and Gross, using signs to draw attention to drinking water in order to increase water dispensed in an office setting. The experiment was also designed to test the hypotheses that attention and resulting motivation wane over time as attention habituates to new stimuli, and that a change in stimuli can recapture attention to result in increased motivation. The results of this experiment replicated the effect demonstrated by Suri and Gross, though the additional hypotheses were not supported.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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