ERIC Number: ED308943
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Cognitive-Motivational Influences on the Task-Related Help-Seeking Behavior of Black Children.
Nelson-Le Gall, Sharon; Jones, Elaine
The study examined relationships between children's mastery motivation, self-assessment of performance, and task-related help-seeking behavior during task performance. A total of 79 average-achieving black elementary school students in the third- and fifth-grades, who varied in mastery motivation, performed a multi-trial verbal task and were given the opportunity to seek help on each trial after making a tentative response and assessing their performance by rating their confidence in the correctness of the response. A response-contingent payoff system was implemented to encourage children to restrict their help-seeking to those instances in which they perceived that they could not make a correct response without assistance. As predicted, children's self-assessments of performance, regardless of their accuracy, appeared to influence help-seeking more than the actual performance outcomes. Neither children's self-assessments of performance nor their overall rate of help-seeking varied with level of measured mastery motivation. However, the type of help sought did vary as expected with mastery motivation. Differences in motivational orientation influenced requests for help only when children perceived their initial solutions to be incorrect. These findings are discussed in the context of the analyses of help-seeking as an instrumental learning and achievement strategy. Implications for analyses of black children's achievement styles are highlighted. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 1989).