Effects of rate, patterning, and contingency of reinforcement upon perceived control and learned helplessness

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Timothy C. Daughtry (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Richard L. Shull

Abstract: The effects of rate, patterning, and contingency of reinforcement upon ratings of perceived control and subsequent performance on anagrams were explored. Sixty college students learned a pretreatment task and received either contingent or noncontingent reinforcement. Under each of these conditions, either a high or low rate of reinforcement was given. The noncontingent conditions were further subdivided into yoked (increasing) and random (unchanging) patterns of reinforcement. It was found that higher rates of reinforcement were perceived as more controllable than lower rates regardless of actual contingency. It was concluded that human judgements of control are not based on the controllability of outcomes by responding. None of the pretreatments affected subsequent anagram performance. Several possible reasons for the failure to find an effect on anagram performance were discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1979
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Helplessness (Psychology)
Locus of control.

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