From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Veronica Foster, ww2 gunsmith, hard at work -b.jpg

In psychology, effortfulness is the subjective experience of exertion when performing an activity, especially the mental concentration and energy required. In many applications, effortfulness is simply reported by a patient, client, or experimental subject. There has been some work establishing an association among reported effortfulness and objective measures, such as in brain imaging. Effortfulness is used as a diagnostic indicator in medical and psychological diagnosis and assessment. It is also used as an indicator in psychological experimentation, especially in the field of memory.[1]

In the study of aging, Patrick Rabbitt proposed an effortfulness hypothesis in the 1960s: that as their hearing became less acute with age, people would require additional effort to make out what was said and that this effort made it harder to remember it.[2]


  1. ^ Language, Memory, and Aging, Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 262, ISBN 9780521448765 
  2. ^ Tun, McCoy, Wingfield (2009), Aging, Hearing Acuity, and the Attentional Costs of Effortful Listening, Vol. 24 (3), pp. 761–766, doi:10.1037/a0014802