ERIC Number: ED211908
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Aspirations, Attributions, and Locus of Control.
Samuel, William; McNall, Sidne J.
Self-evaluation is thought to play a major role in personality and motivation. Preliminary experience with success or failure, levels of aspiration, attributions for performance, and locus of control may all be interrelated factors in human motivation. After receiving success, failure, or no feedback on a concept formation task, subjects (N=90) were asked what level of performance they anticipated on a subsequent test and the extent to which they attributed their previous performance to ability, effort, luck, or task difficulty. All subjects also completed Rotter's scale for belief in internal/external control of reinforcement. Subjects in the successful group had a higher level of aspiration than those given no feedback; both groups predicted higher scores than did subjects who experienced preliminary failure. Individuals who succeeded tended to attribute their performance to ability and effort, whereas those who failed tended to choose luck and task difficulty. Individuals who were given no feedback on the task generally followed their internal or external personality dispositions in making task attributions. The findings suggest that, when working on a novel task, individuals tend to use their present performance to determine their level of aspiration. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981).