ERIC Number: ED083305
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The Effect of Being Able to Control Aversive Stimuli.
Geer, James H.
Research was conducted to investigate the phenomena associated with an individual's having perceived control or actual control over aversive stimuli. In all, 10 studies were conducted, 7 of which were directly relevant to investigating variables affecting perceived or actual control, and 3 being "spin-off" experiments. The seven studies tested the following hypotheses: the effects of control cannot be accounted for strictly by the fact that when one has control he also often is able to predict; that increased amounts of prior no-control would interfere with subsequent effects of gain or control; that unpredictable events elicited more autonomic activity than predictable events; that differing degrees of no-control would have different effects upon the control phenomena; the effect of control and/or no control prior to either control or no control and the effect of predictability; that subjects could be misled as to whether or not they had control and that their perception was an important variable in the effect of control; and that subjects would more frequently elect to control under conditions that had increased control. The three spin-off studies were concerned with modeling. The methods used to evaluate the hypotheses were varied, and each involved an experiment manipulation to induce the condition under study. Results of the studies showed that: being able to predict or control aversive stimuli reduces the negative effects; prior experience with contol has the effect of modifying subsequent experience; the phenomena apply to those situations in which others are the recipients of the aversive stimuli; and to affect the phenomena, powerful variables must be employed as the control phenomena are robust. (DB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York Research Foundation, Albany.