Effort Lab

Liverpool John Moores University

Welcome to the Effort Lab

The Effort Lab focuses on the determinants and mechanisms of effort investment in goal-directed behavior. To investigate this fundamental issue of human motivation and behavior, we employ behavioral and physiological methods.


Dr. Michael Richter

Phone: +44 151 231 2220
Email: m.richter@ljmu.ac.uk
Affiliation: Liverpool John Moores University

I am an experimental psychologist examining the mechanisms underlying effort investment in goal pursuit employing behavioral and physiological measures. I am especially interested in understanding the similarities and differences between physical and mental effort.

I studied Psychology at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany. During my PhD at the same university, I examined the impact of mood on effort-related cardiovascular response-supervised by Professor Guido H.E. Gendolla. After my PhD in 2004, I worked at the Geneva Motivation Lab at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, as Assistant, Maître-assistant, and Maître d'enseignement et de recherche. In 2015, I moved to Liverpool John Moores University, where I currently hold a position as a Senior Lecturer at the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology.

Lia's Photo

Lia Harrison

Phone: NA
Email: L.R.Henderson@ljmu.ac.uk
Affiliation: Liverpool John Moores University

I am a Research Assistant working on the Achievement Motive Project with Dr Michael Richter. We are investigating how achievement motive and task difficulty affect the effort that individuals invest in a physical handgrip task.

I studied Psychology (BSc) at the University of Liverpool, graduating in 2016. For my third year dissertation I conducted research into episodic memory, investigating the extent to which people are able to create new memories while attempting to retrieve information from their long-term memory. time perception.

Jess' Photo

Jessica Henderson

Phone: NA
Email: J.L.Henderson@ljmu.ac.uk
Affiliation: Liverpool John Moores University

I am a research assistant working with Dr Ruth Ogden, Dr Michael Richter, and Prof Francis McGlone. We are currently investigating arousal effects on time perception and timed behaviour. This includes measuring physiological arousal and subjective interpretations of duration in response to arousing and emotional images.

I studied Psychology (BSc) at The University of Huddersfield, and Psychology (MRes) at The University of Manchester. For my Master dissertation, I conducted a physiological investigation of repetitive stimulation on time perception.

Kate's Photo

Katherine Slade

Phone: +44 151 904 6327
Email: K.Slade@2012.ljmu.ac.uk
Affiliation: Liverpool John Moores University

I am a PhD student interested in the physiological correlates of effort mobilization during listening, and the subsequent impact on individuals perceptions of fatigue.

I studied Applied Psychology (BSc) at Liverpool John Moores University wherein, for my third year dissertation, I researched the impact of gender on the use of children’s spelling strategies in the framework of connected writing. Since graduating in 2015 I joined the Effort Lab group at the same university as a post-graduate researcher, where I am working on my PhD in the autonomic correlates of listening effort supervised by Dr. Michael Richter, Prof. Stephen Fairclough and Dr. Sophia Kramer (University of Amsterdam).

Kate's award-winning Three-Minute-Thesis presentation: Kate's 3MT presentation

A brief description of Kate's PhD project: Watch the YouTube video


Florence Mazeres

Phone: +41 22 379 92 32
Email: florence.mazeres@unige.ch
Affiliation: University of Geneva

I am a PhD student interested in the impact of implicit and explicit achievement motives on effort mobilization in mental and physical tasks. I am also interested in working memory, enactment, and gestures.

I studied Psychology at the University of Lyon, France. In my Master thesis, I examined the influence of enactment on working memory performance. In 2016, I joined the Geneva Motivation Lab at the University of Geneva, where I currently work on my PhD on the impact of achievement motive on effort supervised by Dr. Kerstin Brinkmann (University of Geneva) and Dr. Michael Richter (Liverpool John Moores University).

Recent Publications

Kuipers, M., Richter, M., Scheepers, D., Immink, M. A., Sjak-Shie, E., & van Steenbergen, H. (in press). How effortful is cognitive control? Insights from a novel method measuring single-trial evoked beta-adrenergic cardiac reactivity. International Journal of Psychophysiology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2016.10.007 Link to article

Richter, M., & Slade, K. (in press). Interpretation of physiological indicators of motivation: Caveats and recommendations. International Journal of Psychophysiology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2017.04.007 Link to article

Pichora-Fuller, M. K., Kramer, S. E., Eckert, M., et al. (2016). Hearing impairment and cognitive energy: A framework for understanding effortful listening (FUEL). Ear and Hearing, 37, 5S-27S. doi:10.1097/AUD.0000000000000312 Link to article

Richter, M. (2016). The moderating effect of success importance on the relationship between listening demand and listening effort. Ear and Hearing, 37, 111S-117S. doi:10.1097/AUD.0000000000000295 Link to article

Richter, M. (2016). Residual tests in the analysis of planned contrasts: Problems and solutions. Psychological Methods, 21, 112-120. doi:10.1037/met0000044 Link to article

Richter, M. (2016). Comment: Where is the theory? A critical comment on multiple arousal theory. Emotion Review, 8, 82-83. doi:10.1177/1754073915572146 Link to article

Richter, M., Brinkmann, K., & Carbajal, I. (2016). Effort and autonomic activity: A meta-analysis of four decades of research on motivational intensity theory. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 108, 34. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2016.07.113 <Link to article

Richter, M., Gendolla, G. H. E., & Wright, R. A. (2016). Three decades of research on motivational intensity theory: What we have learned about effort and what we still don't know. In A. J. Elliot (Ed.), Advances in motivation science (pp. 149-186). Cambridge, MA: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/bs.adms.2016.02.001 Link to article

Stanek, J. C., & Richter, M. (2016). Evidence against the primacy of energy conservation: Exerted force in possible and impossible handgrip tasks. Motivation Science, 2, 49-65. doi:10.1037/mot0000028 Link to article

Richter, M. (2015). Commentary; Pre-crastination: Hastening subgoal completion at the expense of extra physical effort". Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1269. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01269 Link to article

Richter, M. (2015). Goal pursuit and energy conservation: Energy investment increases with task demand but does not equal it. Motivation and Emotion, 39, 25–33. doi:10.1007/s11031-014-9429-y Link to article

Richter, M., & Stanek, J. (2015). The muscle metaphor in self-regulation in the light of current theorizing on muscle physiology. In G. H. E. Gendolla, M. Tops, & S. L. Koole (Eds.), Handbook of biobehavioral approaches to self-regulation (pp. 55–68). New York, NY: Springer. Link to chapter

Intensity List

The intensity list has the goal to inform about recent developments and publications (e.g., "in press" work) on topics related to the intensity aspect of motivation and emotion.

If you would like to disseminate information via the intensity list, please send a short description of the information that you would like to see on the intensity list to guido.gendolla@unige.ch or m.richter@ljmu.ac.uk. If possible, provide a link to a web page that provides detailed information.

If you would like to receive the information that is disseminated via the intensity list, you may access the Intensity List RSS Feed using your favorite news aggregator (also termed feed reader or rss reader) and/or you may send a short note to guido.gendolla@unige.ch. Guido will add your email address to a mailing list and keep you informed.


Michael Richter
Liverpool John Moores University
School of Natural Sciences and Psychology
Tom Reilly Building, Byrom Street
L3 3AF, UK

Phone: +44 151 904 2220
Email: m.richter@ljmu.ac.uk