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Structuring experiences for internal or external attribution of control over reinforcement : the interaction of reinforcement contingency and situational constraint

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Item Summary

Title: Structuring experiences for internal or external attribution of control over reinforcement : the interaction of reinforcement contingency and situational constraint
Authors: Shapiro, Beppie J.
Keywords: Control (Psychology)
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Issue Date: 1979
Abstract: In a given situation, a person may feel personally in control of, or responsible for, any reinforcements he or she receives, or the cause of reinforcement may be seen as lying outside personal control, perhaps in a more powerful person, in chance, or destiny. These perceptions of the source of reinforcement received in a particular situation are called internal or external attributions of control over reinforcement. Situational variables, as well as characteristics of the person, influence the location of the attribution on the internal-external continuum. In this paper, two aspects of experience which determine the attribution of control over reinforcement in specific situations are suggested: reinforcement contingency, and constraint. (Constraint is defined as the lack of resources to engage all the behavior-reinforcement sequences which a person associates with the situation.) An experiment designed to examine the effect of varying contingency and constraint, on attribution of reinforcement control to internal or external sources, is described, and the results reported. Julian Rotter proposed in 1954 that situational attributions of control are partly determined by an individual's generalized expectancy for internal or external control of reinforcements; and that individuals may be characterized by their position on a dimension of internal to external generalized expectancy. Such a generalized expectancy, hereinafter referred to as locus of control (Rotter's term), would operate to determine attribution of control in a given situation to the extent that the cause of the reinforcement was ambiguous. Rotter's model of the ontology of locus of control considers locus of control the product of a series of experiences in which control is predominantly attributed either to internal, or external, causes. The design of the experiment referred to above permitted an examination of the relationship between model of the ontology of locus of control considers locus of control the product of a series of experiences in which control is predominantly attributed either to internal, or external, causes. The design of the experiment referred to above permitted an examination of the relationship between attributions and locus of control. The organization of the paper is as follows: first, a discussion of the constructs attribution of control (Section II) and locus of control (Section III), followed by a model of the process by which an individual acquires his internal or external orientation (Section IV). Section V addresses the situational determinants of reinforcement control attribution; Section VI, the definition and elaboration of concepts used in this study; the research hypotheses are stated and the experiment is described in Section VII. The results of the experiment are reported in Section VIII. A discussion (Section IX) is followed by a summary and conclusion in Section X.
Description: Typescript.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1979.
Bibliography: leaves [70]-75.
Microfiche.
75 leaves ill. 29 cm
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/9709
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Educational Psychology



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