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EFFECTS OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE ON CHILDREN'S PERCEPTIONS OF INTERNAL-EXTERNAL LOCUS OF CONTROL

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Abstract:

Little attention has been devoted to the effects of childhood achievement experiences as they might determine generalized internal-external control orientations (I-F). It was hypothesized that chronic success or failure on intellectual tasks will lead to expectancies of internal or external control, respectively. Nine- and ten-year-old school children were presented with a competitive dot-counting task in which success and failure were manipulated. Pre- and post-measures were taken on an itemized I-E instrument derived from three previously used scales. Post-measures were generally unaffected by the success-failure manipulation. However, children who actually performed poorly on the task displayed a more external control orientation than did those who had performed well. Further analysis of the I-F items revealed that those who had actually performed poorly were most likely to attribute their achievement experiences in general to luck. These findings were interpreted as providing a bridge between study of a personality trait (I-E) and the attributional analysis of achievement events.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1978.6.1.1

Publication date: 1978-01-01

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