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NCJ Number: 52168 Find in a Library
Title: LEARNED HELPLESSNESS AND REINFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITY IN CHILDREN
Journal: JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY  Volume:25  Issue:1  Dated:(1973)  Pages:109-116
Author(s): C S DWECK; N D REPUCCI
Corporate Author: American Psychological Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1973
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychological Assoc
Washington, DC 20002-4242
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 60607
Sale Source: University of Illinois at Chicago
Dept of Criminal Justice
Chicago, IL 60607
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY INVESTIGATED THE EFFECTS OF LOW EXPECTANCY OF REINFORCEMENT AND LOW EXPECTANCY FOR THE CONTROL OF REINFORCEMENT ON PERFORMANCE IN AN ACHIEVEMENT SITUATION INVOLVING 40 FIFTH-GRADE STUDENTS.
Abstract: SUBJECTS WERE GIVEN CONTINUED SUCCESS (READILY SOLUBLE PROBLEMS) IN THE PRESENCE OF AN ADULT (SUCCESS EXPERIMENTER) AND CONTINUED FAILURE TO (INSOLUBLE PROBLEMS) IN THE PRESENCE OF ANOTHER ADULT (FAILURE EXPERIMENTER). TRIALS FOR EACH CONDITION WERE INTERSPERSED RANDOMLY. EXPECTANCIES AND PERFORMANCE IN THE PRESENCE OF EACH ADULT WERE MONITORED. IT WAS HYPOTHESIZED THAT CHILDREN WHO GAVE UP IN THE FACE OF PROLONGED FAILURE, AS OPPOSED TO THOSE WHO PERSISTED IN THEIR EFFORTS, WOULD HAVE PROFILES ON THE INTELLECTUAL ACHIEVMENT RESPONSIBILITY SCALE THAT REFLECTED LESS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUCCESSES AND FAILURES AND A GREATER TENDENCY TO VIEW OUTCOMES AS DUE TO THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF ABILITY RATHER THAN TO EFFORT. EACH OF 20 MALE AND 20 FEMALE STUDENTS SELECTED FROM FOUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN A LOWER MIDDLE CLASS SUBURB OF NEW HAVEN, CONN., WAS SEEN INDIVIDUALLY AND WAS ESCORTED BY THE TWO EXPERIMENTERS FROM THE CLASSROOM TO AN EXPERIMENTAL ROOM WITHIN THE SCHOOL. SEVERAL CHILDREN FAILED TO COMPLETE PROBLEMS ADMINISTERED BY THE FAILURE EXPERIMENTER WHEN HER PROBLEMS BECAME SOLUBLE, EVEN THOUGH THEY PREVIOUSLY HAD SOLVED ALMOST IDENTICAL PROBLEMS FROM THE SUCCESS EXPERIMENTER AND CONTINUED TO PERFORM WELL ON THE SUCCESS EXPERIMENTER'S PROBLEMS. SUBJECTS WITH THE LARGEST PERFORMANCE DECREMENTS WERE THOSE WHO TOOK LESS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUTCOMES OF THEIR ACTIONS AND WHO, WHEN THEY DID ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY, ATTRIBUTED SUCCESS AND FAILURE TO THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF ABILITY RATHER THAN TO EXPENDITURE OF EFFORT. THOSE SUBJECTS THO PERSISTED IN THE FACE OF PROLONGED FAILURE PLACED MORE EMPHASIS ON THE ROLE OF EFFORT IN DETERMINING THE OUTCOME OF THEIR BEHAVIOR. MALES DISPLAYED THIS CHARACTERISTIC TO A GREATER EXTENT THAN FEMALES. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS FOR STRATEGIES OF BEHAVIORAL CHANGE ARE DISCUSSED. SUPPORTING DATA AND REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR'S ABSTRACT MODIFIED--DEP)
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Students
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52168

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