Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lotsof, Erwin||Woodruff, Arnold Bond, 1920-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Learning; Psychology of


As an outgrowth of studies dealing with expectancy has come a molar personality construct currently being investigated as a major personality variable. Social Learning theorists have referred to it as "Internal (I) versus External (E) control of reinforcement." This paradigm is characterized as representing a generalized expectancy which results in an individual categorizing situations as being under (I) or beyond (E) his personal control. Scales have been developed which attempt to measure individual differences in the extent to which a situation is categorized as being within one's control (internal) or beyond one's control (external). The present study was designed to find the extent to which a child's behavior in a culturally defined skill situation can be accounted for by the I-E variable. Expectancy statements of children (to whom an I-E scale had been administered) were recorded throughout a series of trials in which the child's perceived success or failure on the skill task was controlled by the experimenter. After the first thirty trials, on which the subjects experienced success on a partial reinforcement schedule, there were a series of extinction trials during which the subjects experienced no successes. In general, the children's scores on the I-E scale were found to be significantly related to the number of trials to the extinction criteria. The implications of this finding were discussed in terms of methodological, social, and applied issues.


Includes bibliographical references.


iii, 64 pages




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