Effort is typically considered aversive such that rewards requiring less effort are preferred over identical value rewards that require greater effort, commonly referred to as effort discounting. Although effort has been repeatedly shown to be weighed as a cost, there are indications to suggest that under some conditions it may increase preferences. An example for how effort affects preferences is the contrast effect were items that follow effort production gain value. In the current study we examined whether the association of grip effort with snack food items would change preferences. In four experiments, we first identified each participants individual preferences of snack food items and subjective maximal grip force. We then associated different effort levels with items of similar preference. Finally, we tested for changes in preferences following the effort association. Across the four studies, effort association had no effect on preferences. Using Bayesian analyses, we conclude that simultaneous association of effort does not change preferences in our studies and call for a replication effort of previous findings.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience