Vincent Rose

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




An analogue study was conducted to test the clinical efficacy of covert reinforcement (Cautela, 1970) and to assess the role of behavioral .rehearsal in covert reinforcement. A secondary purpose was to determine the effects of image clarity, subject anxiety level and rate of extra session imagery on the therapeutic effect of covert reinforcement. Forty introductory psychology students who scored above 8 on Rotter's (1966) I-E scale were seen for four, fifteen minute sessions over a two week period. Subjects were divided into five groups: a covert reinforcement group, an overt reinforcement group, a behavioral rehearsal group, an activity control group and a no treatment control group. Subjects were assessed on Rotter's I-E scale before treatment, after treatment, and at a two week follow up. The covert reinforcement and overt reinforcement groups read outloud statements implying internal and external locus of control and were reinforced after reading statements implying internal locus of control. The behavioral rehearsal group read outloud statements which implied internal locus of control and neutral statements. They were instructed to say, "Yes, it would be nice to be that way" after internal statements. The activity control group read outloud statements which implied internal and external locus of control with no consequence for reading either type of statement. The no treatment control was tested at the same times as the above groups but had no contact with the experimenter during the two week treatment phase.

Included in

Psychology Commons