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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EXPECTANCY OF SUCCESS AND TASK DIFFICULTY AS A FUNCTION OF ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE SUCCESS CRITERIA

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Subjects made expectancy of success (Ps) statements in a dart throwing task under two success criterion conditions. In an absolute criterion condition. subjects estimated the probability of their gaining a fixed number of points on trials at increasing distances from the target. Subjects in a relative success criterion condition estimated where they would rank in a group of 100 subjects on each trial. A significant difference in linear trends (p < 0.001) between the criterion groups was obtained, with Ps remaining relatively constant across difficulty levels in the relative criterion condition while declining rapidly as a function of task difficulty in the absolute criterion condition. Implications regarding the generality of the expectancy variable in the Akinson-Feather motivational model are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1976-01-01

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