Persistence at a difficult task with alternative task of intermediate difficulty

N. T. Feather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

60 male Ss were tested individually for persistence at an insoluble task presented to them as very difficult. They experienced repeated failure at the task but could turn to a similar task described as intermediate in difficulty whenever they wished. Differences in persistence at the initial task were examined between Ss high in n Achievement and low in Test Anxiety (HL) and Ss low in n Achievement and high in Test Anxiety (LH). Results show that: (a) persistence is positively related to initail estimates of probability of success (Ps) at the task for HL Ss (p <.005) but there is no relationship between persistence and initial estimates of Ps for LH Ss; (b) estimates of Ps tend to rise initially and then to fall following repeated failure (p <.05); (c) Ss who persisted at the initial task show a later preference for that task (p <.05). Results are discussed in terms of the "motive-expectancy-value" model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-609
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Abnormal and Social Psychology
Volume66
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1963
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ACHIEVEMENT NEED, &
  • ANXIETY, PERSISTENCE AT DIFFICULT TASK, &
  • NEED ACHIEVEMENT
  • PERSISTENCE AT DIFFICULT TASK, &
  • SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • TEST ANXIETY

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