Date of Award
Master of Arts
The present investigation explored the effects of personal control (skill instruction), no personal control (chance instruction), "success," and "failure" as independent variables in a task situation which might influence a change in subjects control orientations. 70 college subjects were randomly assigned to one of six experimental groups and a control group, and were tested for their locus of control orientations on the Rotter I-E scale both before and after participation in an original task situation and answering additional rating questions. Results indicate that significant interactive effects existed between locus of control orientation and successful task performance in task situations with varying amounts of personal control. The study also revealed that subjects who were told that the task was one of skill rated the task accordingly, and of these subjects only those who "failed" significantly changed their ratings to indicate that more chance was involved. Conversely, subjects who were told that the task was one of chance initially rated the task accordingly, and of these subjects only those who "succeeded " significantly changed their ratings to indicate that more skill was involved. It was also found that skill oriented subjects attached a significantly greater importance to doing well on the task than those chance oriented. Results were discussed in view of several "within the design" issues which shed light on limitations and strengths of the investigation, and suggestions for further research in this particular and timely area were given. It was concluded that the present study establishes itself as an important link in the chain of research on I-E control modification by its substantiation of factors involved in effecting such orientation change. It was further concluded that the results carry implications for areas having a direct influence on individuals' lives such as psychotherapies, school settings, minority and disadvantaged groups, and work settings.
Allin, Robert Bailey Jr., "Locus of control modification as a function of situational control and performance feedback" (1979). Master's Theses. 433.