Although the effect of teacher expectations on student performance has been well documented, little research has focused on the effect of teacher personality styles on student-teacher interactions. To investigate the effect of teachers' locus of control and their expectations of their own effectiveness on student success, 77 female college students enrolled in undergraduate psychology classes were administered the Rotter Locus of Control Scale; subjects scoring in the upper and lower one third of the distribution were then assigned to one of four treatment conditions: positive/negative student expectation or positive/negative teacher expectation. They were then assigned as teachers in a contrived session in which each teacher taught a student confederate an eleven-word vocabulary list and administered a quiz. After the lesson, teachers rated their attitudes toward the student, the lesson, and their performance. An analysis of the results showed that teachers in the positive student expectation group rated the student as having more ability than did those in the negative condition; and teachers in the positive teacher expectation condition thought they had significantly more ability than those in the negative teacher condition. Teachers in the positive teacher expectation condition also tended to rate their students more positively. Subjects with an internal locus of control were more susceptible to information about their students' competence than were subjects with an external locus of control. Neither internal nor external locus of control subjects showed any susceptibility to information about their own expected ability. (BL)
Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).