ERIC Number: ED204012
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Development of Self-Control in Delay of Gratification: The Effects of Goal Contingency and Response Feedback on Delay Time and Active Work Accomplished.
Vellekoop, Ronald B.; Worell, Judith P.
This study investigated effects of response feedback and presentation of a goal-contingency on preschool children's delay time and work productivity in a voluntary delay-of-gratification paradigm. Subjects were 64 middle class preschool children (32 boys and 32 girls). The children's ages ranged from 3.6 years to 5.7 years. In the goal-contingency conditions, completion of a given quantity of active work was promised to decrease waiting time for the preferred reward, implying that the child's active work would be instrumental in shortening the delay period. In the response feedback conditions, the child was provided with immediate and continuous feedback on the quantity of active work done. Sex-of-subject was the third independent variable in the 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design. The dependent variables were delay time and active work total (the quantity of active work completed during the period measured by delay time). Age-of-subject was investigated for its effects as a concommitant variable. As predicted, response feedback and the goal-contingency effectively increased delay time and active work total, while sex-of-subject did not. Significant statistical effects were found for age-of-subject. There were no significant statistical interactions. The findings were discussed in light of prior literature on performance goals, response feedback, outcome expectancy, outcome attribution, intrinsic motivation, behavioral differences of the sexes, and developmental differences in self-verbalization. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association Convention (Atlanta, GA, March 25-28, 1981).