ERIC Number: ED226399
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Consistency and Need-Fulfillment Theories as Predictors of Eye Contact Behavior in Low Self-Esteem Subjects in Response to Various Feedback Conditions.
Bridle, Mary J.; Frandsen, Kenneth D.
Consistency theory holds that persons are motivated to behave in ways that maintain a "steady state" cognitively and otherwise; need-fulfillment theory argues that people will act in ways that reinforce their sense of worth and enhance their self-esteem. While consistency theory predicts that low self-esteem persons will exhibit more eye contact when receiving negative feedback signals than when receiving positive feedback signals, need-fulfillment theory predicts just the reverse. Therefore, a study was conducted to test these opposing predictions. Eighty-nine subjects identified as having low self-esteem were divided into four experimental conditions in which they received combinations of positive and negative personal and performance feedback. Three data sets were generated through observation of eye contact behavior, an attitude questionnaire, and the generation of a set of variables examining whether subjects differentiated between performance and personal feedback. Analysis of eye contact data produced no statistically significant effects, while analysis of questionnaires did indicate effects for feedback. No significant effect was found for differentiating between the two types of feedback. These results provide only weak support for the eye-contact hypotheses and bring into question the choice of dependent variables. (Questionnaires used in the study are appended.) (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Eye Contact
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (Albuquerque, NM, February 19-22, 1983).