The Ovsiankina effect is an effect named after its researcher, the psychologist Maria Ovsiankina (1898–1993), when an action is interrupted and resumed. As research results published in 1928 showed, there is a clear tendency to resume an interrupted action if the action goal has not yet been achieved. This tendency can be explained with the help of Kurt Lewin's field theory and the interpretation of the interrupted action as a state of a tense system, which can also lead to better remembering of the interrupted versus the completed actions ( Zeigarnik effect ). The Ovsiankina effect states that an interrupted task triggers a "quasi-need" (according to Lewin, a state of tension that arises when a person sets goals) to resume the task even without an incentive value. As further investigations by Lewin students Käte Lissner and Wera Mahler have shown, this tendency to take up again does not come into play if the system relaxes through a suitable substitute action .
- Ovsiankina, Maria: The resumption of interrupted actions . In: Psychological Research 11 (3/4) (1928), 302–379. electronic version (PDF; 6.1 MB)
- Lewin, Kurt: Principles of topological psychology , 1936
- Zeigarnik effect and Ovsiankina effect are often falsely equated or confused - see Bernadette Lindorfer and Gerhard Stemberger, Unfinished Business - The experiments of the Lewin group on the structure and dynamics of personality and psychological environment in Phenomenal 1–2 / 2012, p 63-70. electronic version (PDF; 1.1 MB)
- Peter M. Gollwitzer and Christine Liu: Resumption . In: Enzyklopädie der Psychologie , Teilband Motivation, Volition und Handlung, Göttingen: Hogrefe 1995, pp. 209–240. electronic version (PDF; 1.2 MB)