Unpacking the complex link between pride and creative achievement.
When Lisa Williams and David DeSteno told this to their participants, they noticed a significant increase in perseverance on a difficult cognitive task. When they took out the "Great job" part and just told the participants they performed exceptional, they saw no increase in perseverance. They also put people in a generally positive mood by having them look at pleasant pictures, such as a wedding and a tropical landscape. Again, no increase in perseverance. What was it about this particular phrasing that increased motivation? The winning phrasing was effective because it activated one of our most deeply-rooted emotions: pride.