The effects of feedback and sex of the experimenter on preschoolers' achievement expectancies and performance evaluations


This study examined the influence of perceived competence (expectancy), evaluative feedback, and causal attribution on preschoolers' achievement motivational patterns. Preschoolers were randomly assigned to either male or female experimenters and asked to perform a cognitive task while receiving positive, negative, or no feedback. The subjects then performed the task a second time with no feedback. As predicted, boys were found to have higher initial performance expectancies than girls, even though girls performed as well or better on the task. Girls followed the predicted pattern of giving the highest performance evaluations following positive feedback, and the lowest evaluations following negative feedback, while boys gave the lowest evaluations following positive feedback. Expectancies were found to predict performance primarily in the absence of feedback. Both boys and girls were found to modify their performance expectancies when receiving evaluative feedback. Contrary to predictions, no gender-related differences were found in causal attributions.Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 30-04, page: 1002.Chair: Carol Weisbrod.Thesis (M.A.)--American University, 1991

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