ERIC Number: ED237917
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Effort versus Ability: Preferences and Affective Reactions in Achievement Settings.
Psychological researchers continue to debate the relative contribution of ability and effort to feelings of self-worth. To investigate student preferences for ability or effort and their relationship to self-worth, and to assess the relative contribution of ability and effort to affective experience, two separate studies were undertaken. In the first study, 148 college students were asked if they preferred to succeed or fail with high ability-low effort, or with low ability-high effort, in both school and work. In the second study, 64 college students rated the relative contribution of ability and effort to their midterm examination performance and subsequently rated the extent to which they felt pride (given success) and shame (given failure). An analysis of the results showed that both ability and effort contributed to feelings of self-worth, with high ability preferred over high effort when ability was still of instrumental value. Effort was linked with pride, guilt, and happiness, while failure ascribed to low ability was associated with feelings of shame. Future research should examine a general model which includes ability and effort, task importance, perceived task difficulty, and expectancy as determinants of self-worth and emotion. (BL)
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 (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983). Best copy available.