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Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 139–153 | Cite as

The relationship of probability of success and performance following unsolvable problems: Reactance and helplessness effects

  • Mario Mikulincer
Article

Abstract

The present study assessed the effects of amount of helplessness training and probability of success given prior to performance on motivational involvement and on subsequent task performance. Subjects were exposed to either high, low, or no helplessness training on a series of cognitive discrimination problems and were given instructions regarding the probability of success on those problems. In the low helplessness condition, subjects who received moderate probability of success exhibited higher motivation to perform, higher levels of frustration and hostility, and better performance than subjects in the no helplessness condition. In the high helplessness condition, subjects who received moderate or high probability of success exhibited higher motivational involvement and greater performance decrements in the subsequent task than did control subjects. The results are discussed within the context of Wortman and Brehm's theory of reactance and helplessness.

Keywords

Control Subject High Probability Social Psychology Task Performance Helplessness Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Mikulincer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

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