Term of Award

Spring 1991

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Gary McClure

Committee Member 1

Richard L. Rogers

Committee Member 2

Paul R. Kleinginna, Jr.


This study examined the effects of failure on the frequency of self-reinforcement for Learning-Oriented (strive to improve ability) and Performance-Oriented (strive to prove ability) subjects. After "failure", the Performance-oriented subjects were expected to significantly decrease the frequency of their selfreinforcement, while the Learning-oriented would exhibit no change. Volunteers from an introductory psychology course completed a subset of the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility Scale to determine orientation, and half of the Frequency of Self-reinforcement Questionnaire to measure the amount of non-verbal reinforcement during a task. Next, a one-minute brainstorming task was administered, quickly "scored" with a randomly assigned "pass" or "fail" grade, and followed by completion of the second half of the Frequency of Self-reinforcement Questionnaire. Analysis of the data did not produce significant differences in the frequency of self-reinforcement between the groups regardless of outcome, thus failing to support the hypothesis.

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