Should i Stay or Should i Go? Motivational Activation Predicts Online Content Changes

Kevin Wise, Seoyon Hong, Hyunmin Lee, Rachel Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores how motivational activation influences real-time selection behavior during picture viewing on a computer. We measured the trait level motivational reactivity (ASA and DSA) of 40 participants, who then viewed a series of pictures. Each participant was given the opportunity to select a new picture of either similar or different valence as the picture currently viewed. We recorded indicators of participants' selection behavior: their propensity to change picture valence, ratio of pleasant to unpleasant pictures selected, and decision time (how long it took them to decide on the valence of the next picture). Results showed that motivational activation predicts each of these behavioral indicators, leading to some preliminary implications for online user experience as well as the suggestion that media outlets might consider variance in motivational activation when selecting online content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Media Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • emotion
  • interactive media
  • motivation
  • online behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Should i Stay or Should i Go? Motivational Activation Predicts Online Content Changes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this