Type of Document Dissertation Author Shapiro, Brett Simon URN etd-06252006-163030 Title Changes in Affect, Self-Efficacy, Motivation and Performance Among Participants in a Boring And Challenging Task Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Gershon Tenenbaum Committee Chair Briley Proctor Committee Member James Sampson Committee Member Jane Burkhead Committee Member Keywords
- Reversal theory
- metamotivational states
Date of Defense 2005-09-23 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe present study examined Reversal theory (RT), which explains the personality and motivations of individuals as they engage in activity or competition. RT is concerned with two metamotivational states, the telic state and the paratelic state. In a telic state, an individual is said to be serious-minded, non-playful, and adhering to less challenging activity while in a paratelic state individuals are playful in nature, spontaneous, and not serious-minded.
Prior RT research has focused on athlete’s preference for risky or safe sports based on their specific metamotivational dominance. The present research builds on past research by looking at one’s metamotivational dominance, self-efficacy, motivation, and affect (i.e., arousal and pleasure) in relationship to two non-athletic tasks (i.e., circling vowels and completing puzzles). It was hypothesized that telic individuals would perform better and have higher self-efficacy, motivation, and affect in the task of circling vowels and that the paratelic individuals would perform better and have higher self-efficacy, motivation, and affect in the task of completing puzzles.
Ninety-five participants completed the Sensation Seeking Scale-V (Zuckerman, 1979), and based on the results a final sample of 32 participants who met telic and paratelic
characteristics were asked to participate in the study. Participants completed two different tasks: circling vowels (i.e., a boring task) and completing puzzles (i.e., a challenging task). Results indicated that with regards to the boring and challenging task, the hypotheses for task performance and affect were in the expected hypothesized direction, however, the hypotheses for self-efficacy and motivation were not supported. It is essential for future research to explore the following: (1) It should examine differences between telic and paratelic individuals under conditions which vary in complexity, excitation, and challenge, and identify tasks that truly differentiate telic from paratelic individuals; (2) it should develop better measurement tools for eliciting more reliable measures of metamotivational dominance and hedonic tone; and (3) it should focus on tasks that are better categorized and specified.
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