Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1976

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Robert Markley


One hundred sixty elementary school students and one hundred sixty undergraduate college students took a ten-item anagrams test. The subjects’ expectancies of success were manipulated by having them attempt to solve either easy or insolvable practice items and having them read normative statements detailing the performance of others on the test. Upon completing the tests, subjects attributed their performance outcomes (pass or fail) to the causal factors of ability, effort, luck, and task difficulty. The data revealed that grade school students who passed had higher measures on the four factors than grade school students who failed. College students who passed had higher effort and lower ability attributions than college students who failed. There were, also, interaction effects between pretest manipulations and outcome on college students’ attributions to effort and luck. Due to confounding variables, however, the results were not clearly interpretable.


Copyright 1976 Brian Belden


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