Term of Award

1991

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Paul R. Kleinginna, Jr.

Committee Member 1

Richard L. Rogers

Committee Member 2

Margaret A. Boyd

Abstract

This experiment examined the possibility that the intrinsic motivation of African-Americans would be undermined significantly more than that of European-Americans' by receiving controlling versus informational feedback. Subjects were 90 African- and European-American female and male undergraduate students who worked on "Nina" puzzles. Subjects in the experimental groups were given either controlling or informational feedback about their performances on the puzzles. The control group received no feedback. The dependent measure, intrinsic motivation, was assessed with the Mayo Task Reaction Questionnaire (TRQ). Subjects also completed the General Causality Orientation Scale (GCOS), which measured their orientations toward autonomy and control. Statistical analysis of the data did not reveal any significant differences for race or feedback. Although no predictions were made regarding gender effects, results showed a significant feedback effect for African- American females. Analyses computed on the GCOS did not reveal any racial differences on subjects' orientation toward autonomy and control. There were, however, gender differences.

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