Uncontrollability versus perceived failure as determinants of subsequent performance deficits

Marika Tiggemann, Adrian Barnett, Anthony H. Winefield

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    An experiment is reported that attempted to dissociate the effects of uncontrollability from those of failure in the standard learned helplessness induction procedure involving instrumental tasks. The task was administered to both university and high school students. The primary finding was a grade by controllability interaction, whereby uncontrollability had a larger effect for university students who became much more helpless. Further analysis revealed that while controllability or uncontrollability was the main determinant of university student performance, the performance of the high school students depended primarily upon success or failure. Perhaps we have previously generalized too widely from a restricted subject population.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)257-268
    Number of pages12
    JournalMotivation and Emotion
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1983


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