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Perceived choice and self-concept change as a function of option similarity and selected personality variables

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Title:
Perceived choice and self-concept change as a function of option similarity and selected personality variables
Creator:
Rubio, Charles Tuyes, 1947-
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Language:
English
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xi, 167 leaves : ; 28cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Ascriptions ( jstor )
Cognitive psychology ( jstor )
Freedom of choice ( jstor )
Personality psychology ( jstor )
Philosophical psychology ( jstor )
Psychology ( jstor )
Ratings ( jstor )
Self ( jstor )
Self concept ( jstor )
Social psychology ( jstor )
Choice (Psychology) ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Psychology -- UF ( lcsh )
Personality ( lcsh )
Psychology thesis Ph. D ( lcsh )
Self-perception ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 160-166.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Charles T. Rubio.

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PERCEIVED CHOICE AND SELF-CONCEPT CHANGE AS A FUNCTION OF OPTION SIMILARITY AND SELECTED
PERSONALITY VARIABLES













By

CHARLES T. RUBIO


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY






UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1975
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Many people have contributed to the preparation of

this dissertation. I am especially grateful to Dr. Franz Epting for his valuable suggestions and for the many hours he has spent in helping me clarify the complexities of this area. Thanks are extended to my committee members, Dr. Wiley Rasbury, Dr. Audrey Schumacher, Dr. Lawrence Severy, md Dr. Betty Siegel, for their suggestions and assistance which have facilitated the completion of this endeavor.

In analyzing the data I was aided by Dr. Rose Ray, whose dedication and perseverance are much appreciated. I am indebted to Cathy Miller, Don Posner, Linda Jernigan, and Jan Morris, who have contributed their time during the various stages of gathering and processing the data. A word of thanks to Nancy McDavid for typing this manuscript, and to all the students who participated in this study.

Finally, warmest appreciation is extended to my

parents, Carlos and Mignon, through whom I have learned to value my own decisions.

















TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........ .................. ii

LIST OF TABLES .......... ................... vi

ABSTRACT ......... ...................... viii

INTRODUCTION ............ .................... 1
General Overview ......... ................ 3
Review of Relevant Issues ....... ............ 3
The Meaning and Referents of Freedom .... ...... 8 Some Functions of Perceived Freedom and Control. 13 Perceived Choice as Personal Causation ..... 18 Perceived Choice and Psychological Theory. . .. 22
Perceived choice and the correspondence
between attitudes and behavior ........ 23
Perceived freedom of choice and the attribution process ...... ................ 24
Some Determinants of Perceived Choice ...... . 25 Previous Research in Perceived Choice ...... . 31
Relative similarity of the alternatives. . 33 Relative cost of each alternative ...... . 34 Relative valence of the alternatives . . .. 37
Predecision uncertainty and the number of
alternatives ...... ................ 39
Consequences of a choice .. .......... 40
Behavior and attributed choice ........ 41 Individual differences in perceived choice . 46

FORMULATION OF THE PROBLEM AND STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESES ................................. 48
The Elements of the Self-Concept System To Be
Considered ...... .................... 53
Hypotheses Regarding Individual Differences in
Perceived Choice ...... ................ 56
Awareness of consequences and the perception
of choice ....... .................. ....60
Attribution of responsibility and perceived
choice ........ ................... 61
Satisfaction-with-self and perceived choice. 70


iii










TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)


Page

METHOD. ....................... 71
Subjects ........ .................... 71
Instruments .......... .................. 71
The independent variables ............ . 71
The dependent variable ... ........... 82

RESULTS .*.*.*.............................. 92
Perceived Choice and Option Characteristics from
Elicited Construct Pairs ... ............ 92
Similarity of options ... ............ . 92
Individual Differences in Perceived Choice
withElicited Construct Pairs .. .......... 99
Awareness of consequences ............ . 101
Ascription of responsibility ......... 104 Satisfaction-with-self ... ........... ...106
Perceived Choice and Option Characteristics from
Provided Construct Pairs ... ............ 106
Similarity of options ... ............ 107
Analysis of perceived choice as a function
of the SWS characteristic of the options . 109
Individual Differences in Perceived Choice with
Provided Construct Pairs ... ............ ...i1
Comparison of Choice Ratings for Provided and
Elicited Constructs ..... ............... .....113
Analysis of Options Chosen from Elicited
Constructs ....... ................... 113
Similar options ..... ............... 115
Dissimilar options .... ............. 116
Options of partial similarity .......... . 117
Analysis of Chosen Options from Provided Constructs ....... ................... ..117
Similar options ..... ............... 119
Dissimilar options .... ............. 119
Options of partial similarity .......... . 121

DISCUSSION. .................................. 125
Individual Differences in Perceived Choice . . . 129 Problems for Future Research .. .......... 135

APPENDICES

A INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODIFIED REPERTORY TEST (MRT) 138

B INSTRUCTIONS FOR RATING OF PERCEIVED SELF. . . . 142










TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)

APPENDICES Page (continued)

C MEANS OF PERCEIVED-SELF, PREFERRED-SELF AND
SATISFACTION-WITH-SELF (SWS) RATINGS FOR
TRIADIC COMPARISONS IN WHICH THE SELF IS INCLUDED
VERSUS EXCLUDED AS AN ELEMENT ... ........... 144

D AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES ..... ............. 145

E CODING GUIDE FOR AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES
STORIES ......... ...... .............. 147

F INTERCORRELATION MATRIX OF AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES STORIES ........ .................. 148

G PRINCIPAL COMPONENT FACTOR ANALYSIS OF AWARENESS
OF CONSEQUENCES STORIES ..... .............. 149

H ASCRIPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY ... ........... 150

I INSTRUCTIONS FOR PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS WITH
ELICITED CONSTRUCTS ....... ................ 153

J INSTRUCTIONS FOR PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS WITH
PROVIDED CONSTRUCTS ....... ................ 156

K ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR MEASURE OF PERCEIVED
CHOICE WITH ELICITED CONSTRUCTS ... .......... 159

REFERENCES .......... ...................... 160

VITA ............ ......................... 167

















LIST OF TABLES


TABLE Page

1 MATRIX DEPICTING CONSTRUCT PAIR RELATIONSHIPS
SELECTED FOR THE MEASURE OF PERCEIVED CHOICE. . 83

2 OUTLINE OF THE DATA GATHERING PROCEDURE AND
INSTRUMENTS ........ .................. 89

3 MEAN RATINGS OF PERCEIVED CHOICE FOR ELICITED
CONSTRUCT PAIRS ...... ................ 94

4 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS FOR SIMILAR AND
DISSIMILAR OPTIONS AT TWO LEVELS OF SATISFACTIONWITH-SELF ........ ...................

5 INTERCORRELATION MATRIX OF THE THREE INDIVIDUAL
DIFFERENCE MEASURES .... ............ .. 100

6 MEANS OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCE MEASURES FOR
SUBJECTS ABOVE AND BELOW THE MEDIAN ON EACH
MEASURE ......... .................... 102

7 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING FOR SUBJECTS ABOVE
AND BELOW THE MEDIAN OF AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES
AT TWO LEVELS OF PERCEIVED-SELF SIMILARITY. . . 103

8 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING FOR SUBJECTS ABOVE
AND BELOW THE MEDIAN ON ASCRIPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY AT TWO LEVELS OF PERCEIVED-SELF
SIMILARITY ........ .................. 105

9 MEAN RATINGS OF PERCEIVED CHOICE FOR FOUR CONDITIONS OF OPTION SIMILARITY FOR PROVIDED
CONSTRUCT PAIRS ...... ................ 108

10 MEAN RATING OF PERCEIVED CHOICE FOR SIMILAR AND
DISSIMILAR PAIRS AT TWO LEVELS OF SATISFACTIONWITH-SELF (SWS) ......... ............. 110

11 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING FOR PAIRS EQUAL ON
ONLY ONE CHARACTERISTIC AT TWO LEVELS OF
SATISFACTION WITH SELF (SWS) SIMILARITY . . . . 112











LIST OF TABLES (continued)


TABLE Fage

12 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS FOR PROVIDED AND ELICITED CONSTRUCT PAIRS AT TWO LEVELS
OF OPTION EQUALITY ...... ............... 114

13 PROPORTION OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FROM PAIRS OF PARTIAL SIMILARITY COMPARED WITH PROPORTIONS OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FROM PAIRS SIMILAR ON BOTH
CHARACTERISTICS ...... ................ 118

14 PROPORTION OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FOR DISSIMILAR PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS .... ............ 120

15 PROPORTIONS OF OPTIONS SELECTED FROM PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS OF PARTIAL SIMILARITY COMPOSED
OF EQUAL AND UNEQUAL SATISFACTION-WITH-SELF
CONSTRUCT PAIRS ...... ................ 122

16 PROPORTION OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FROM PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS OF PARTIAL SIMILARITY COMPOSED
OF UNEQUAL SATISFACTION-WITH-SELF CONSTRUCTS . . 124


vii










Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

PERCEIVED CHOICE AND SELF-CONCEPT CHANGE AS
A FUNCTION OF OPTION SIMILARITY AND SELECTED PERSONALITY VARIABLES

By

Charles T. Rubio

December, 1975

Chairman: Dr. Franz Epting
Major Department: Psychology

The purpose of this study was to examine some of the

determinants of the perception of choice one has when given the opportunity to change his self-concept. Three characteristics of the self-concept were considered: 1) the perceivedself; 2) the liked-to-be-self; and 3) satisfaction-with-self (SWS), i.e., the discrepancy between the first two characteristics. In addition, the effects of two personality variables were examined: 1) awareness of consequences (AC), i.e., how aware the individual is of the consequences of his choices for himself and others, and 2) ascription of responsibility (AR), i.e., whether or not the individual accepts responsibility for his decisions. The following hypotheses were tested: 1) perceived choice will be greater when the perceived-self and liked-to-be-self ratings are similar between options than when they are dissimilar; 2) when the satisfaction-with-self of the options are held constant but the ratings for the perceived-self and likedto-be-self are different for each concept, perceived choice


viii










will be less than when both characteristics are similar; 3) when all other characteristics are dissimilar perceived choice will be greater when the liked-to-be-self ratings of the options are similar than when the perceived-self ratings are similar; 4) perceived choice will be greater for individuals who are high on AC compared with individuals low on this variable; 5) perceived choice will be greater for individuals high on AR compared with individuals low on this variable; and 6) perceived choice will be positively related to satisfaction-with-self.

Eighty university males participated in the study. Two methodologies were used: 1) an actor paradigm, in which 22 construct dimensions were elicited from each subject who then indicated his perceived- and liked-to-be-self placements, and 2) an observer paradigm, in which the construct dimensions with the perceived-self and liked-to-be-self placements were provided each subject. The construct dimensions were presented in pairs and subjects had to rate their perception of choice when given the opportunity to change themselves along one dimension while remaining the same on the other. Options varied in the degree of similarity of the perceived-self, liked-to-be-self, and SWS characteristics between options. AC was measured by coding responses subjects gave to four stories involving individuals faced with decisions. AR was measured by having subjects express agreement or disagreement to statements carrying a rationale











for accepting or rejecting responsibility for various behaviors.

Hypotheses 1 and 2 were supported by both methodologies. It was found that perceived choice was greater for similar options than for dissimilar ones. The results did not support hypothesis 3. Perceived choice was not found to be greater for options with similar liked-to-be-self ratings compared with options having similar perceived-self ratings. There was, however, evidence which indicated that the reverse occurred under certain conditions. In support of hypothesis 4 it was found that high AC subjects perceived more choice than low AC subjects under the actor paradigm but not under the observer paradigm. Hypothesis 5, that choice would be greater for high AR subjects, was not supported with either paradigm. There was a significant interaction effect, however, which indicated that high AR subjects perceived more choice than low AR subjects when options were grouped according to perceived-self similarity. This resultwas obtained only under the actor paradigm. Hypothesis 6 which stated that high SWS subjects would perceive more choice than low SWS subjects was not supported. A trend in support of hypothesis 6 was evident under the actor but not the observer paradigm.

The results were discussed with respect to the instruction set given the subjects and the method of assessing










the individual difference variables. The different results obtained under the two paradigms were discussed in terms of the meaningfulness of the elicited versus provided constructs. A heightened involvement in the task was also proposed to account for the individual difference effects that emerged with the subjects' own constructs but not with those that were provided to them.

















INTRODUCTION


The focus of this study is freedom of choice, an

experience that individuals have in varying degrees and circumstances. Freedom of choice has long been of interest to philosophers and psychotherapists and has recently become a research topic of social psychologists (e.g., Harvey & Johnston, 1973; Steiner, 1970). This is, in part, due to the pivitol role free choice has played in important social psychological theories such as attribution of responsibility and cognitive dissonance. Traditionally researchers in these areas have generally treated choice as an independent variable manipulated to produce varying degrees of dissonance and attribution. More recently, the emphasis has been on perceived choice as a dependent variable and studies are now reporting on the determinants of the perception of choice (Harvey & Harris, 1974; Kruglanski & Cohen, 1974; Steiner, Rotermond, & Talabar, 1974).

This is a comparatively new line of research that

extends the study of the decision-making process from the traditional concerns of the probabilistic reasoning and






2



exchange theorists (Thurstone, 1959; Luce, 1959; Tversky, 1972) to the phenomenon of the individual's own initial perception of choice. Perceived choice has been related to such concepts as competence and personal control (Harvey & Harris, 1974) and is considered by some writers (Berger, 1972; Greenwald, 1971; Schnee, 1972; Rogers, 1963) to be a major goal of psychotherapy. The present study is aimed at increasing our understanding of the experience of choice. This is an attempt to examine the effect of certain cues presumed latent in the choice context as well as some of the more stable characteristics of individuals that account for variations in the perception of choice.

Specifically, this is an investigation of factors

that affect one's perception of choice when given the opportunity or suggestion to change how one has traditionally conceptualized himself. It is concerned with those subjective situations involving choice and movement within one's own self-concept system. Consequently, unlike previous research in perceived choice, the present investigation will have the person himself define and supply the parameters of his choice domaine. By so doing, it is hoped to explore more personal and meaningful realms of choice.










General Overview

In order to provide an appropriate context for the study that will be reported the greater part of this introduction will be devoted to a discussion of the role perceived freedom has had within psychology. It will begin with a consideration of the various meanings of perceived freedom of choice and, later, attempt to show that perceived choice has important consequences for organismic functioning. In this latter context perceived choice will be related to such theoretical concepts as personal causation, autonomy, and competence. Following this general discussion, the position perceived choice has held within several theoretical approaches as an independent variable and with respect to different classes of behaviors will be surveyed. Variables that appear to be related to and which may influence perceived choice will also be discussed. Finally, recent research into the determinants of perceived choice will be reviewed.



Review of Relevant Issues

During psychology's brief history the concept of

personal freedom or freedom of choice has been given only superficial consideration. Popular introductory textbooks in the area, for purposes of presenting their subject matter efficiently, conceptualize man's behavior in










mechanistic and deterministic models. The long-range objective of a scientific psychology, we are taught, is the prediction and control of behavior. Consequently man has been presented as a product of genetic givens, reinforcement histories, environmental pressures and physiological states but is rarely held as enjoying that condition which Webster defines as "exemption from necessity in choice and action."

Token references are made to philosophical arguments based upon the notion that whether or not all events are absolutely predictable has some implications for the question of the freedom of human beings to choose among alternative courses of action. This free-will determinism problem opposes the universal human experience of freedom of choice to the scientifically compelling assumption that there is a reason for everything. Paradoxically, we are forced to choose between them. There are those who maintain that what one has in the absence of predictability is not freedom, but chance (Ayers, 1968). Free will versus determinism are erroneously opposed; there is chance versus predictability and there is freedom versus constraint. While similar arguments continue unabated, this notion of classical philosophy has, in decent discussions of the topic, been rendered meaningless.






5



Consequently, in order to avoid such arguments, the "illusion of freedom" and the "illusion of control" is often discussed as constructions of man to make sense of his experiences (Lefcourt, 1973). Thus it is possible for one person to view himself as having freely chosen one alternative out of many while a cynical observer could counter this by referring to the effects of the mass media and social pressure. Likewise, the therapist may judge an individual's feeling of powerlessness as an illusion which hinders psychological well being. In this sense both freedom of choice and control are represented as fantasies concocted by man.

Freud, for example, maintained that no behavior is

uncaused, and that what seems to be a freely chosen course of action is, in reality, determined by unconscious motives. Freud used "free association" in his practice precisely because he considered such associations to be determined by unconscious forces.

No more receptive to the view that man exercises a

margin of freedom of choice are the behaviorists. Conventional and radical behaviorists from Watson through Skinner hold that, while introspective observations regarding one's "intentions," "plans," or "expectations" may be worth investigating, they are more regarded as a form of theorizing which is not necessary or helpful (Skinner,










1969). Even when the more radical behaviorists attempt to describe private events their theorizing is of the form, "I think therefore I am . . . conditioned" (Terrace, 1971) suggesting that even our awareness owes its existence to a public history of conditioning. Within this framework freedom of choice is an illusion (Skinner, 1971), necessary for some, but of little use in the study of human behavior.

In terms of human experience, however, the argument

as to whether one can freely choose or not may be specious, based upon a misconception, or not really relevant. Barker, in his paper "Humanistic Psychology and the Scientific Method" (1972), remarks that we can observe a person as acting freely one moment and as being determined the next. What is important is that the acceptance of one view does not preclude the existence of the other. "These are simply ways of construing, each with its own advantages and disadvantages" (p. 149). The aim of this study is not to concern itself with the free will problem as a philosophical question but to inquire into its psychological meaning. What is relevant, then, is the widely held experience that people believe they can exercise a degree of choice in their affairs and that this belief has an effect on their behaviors in a variety of situations. The experience of perceived freedom, or perceived choice,










may be an illusion, devised by man to make sense of his experience, or it may not be. What is important is that such a perception has relevant antecedents and consequences which are worth considering.

Today, the question of freedom of choice is a live

issue in psychology. The publication of Skinner's (1971) book Beyond Freedom and Dignity has resulted in renewed and widely publicized debates regarding the merits and faults of current deterministic and humanistic points of view. This has, in a way, forced psychology to return to its philosophical roots in order to reexamine some of the questions rejected during its rebellious adolescence. Fortunately psychology is now mature enough as a separate discipline so that we can profit from its inquiry. In her article entitled "Design for a Hopeful Psychology," Leona Tyler (1973) writes:

The important issue for psychologists is
not free will but free choice. Reasonable, scientifically minded men and women are not
constrained to take a deterministic position
if they find it incompatible with the best interests of the constituencies they serve, such as research participants, appliers of
psychological knowledge, and makers of social
policy. What I would like to do is get the issue out in the open for psychologists to
grapple with. I consider it to be fundamental to the design of a hopeful psychology.
(p. 1028)

She also quotes two important sentences written by D. E. Broadbent (1973) regarding research now being conducted at Cambridge University:










. . the impulses to action which arise
internally, from the stored accumulation of
past operations upon experience, are selected
out of an enormous array of possibilities, and
this selection is determined by the organization and indexing of the memory; which is a
property of man and not simply of the objective
vents which have happened to him. (p. 110)

Of course we still have a long way to go before
we have even finished learning the basic and
unalterable principles of behavior, the hardware limitations of the human computer. But
we are already entering on the far more fruitful era, in which psychology will offer, not a glimpse of predictable and inexorable cogwheels revolving in our heads, but rather an array of different possible modes of thought, which it will be in the power of each man to
adopt or to decline depending on his
purposes. (p. 116)



The Meaning and Referents of Freedom

The scientist-philosopher, Michael Polanyi (1958),

has maintained that decisions and creative discoveries

in science are not based entirely on empirical evidence

but to a large extent on personal knowledge. According

to this position, the important decisions about accepting

or rejecting a concept are made with regard to personal

knowledge. Personal knowledge, in turn, derives from

subjective as well as objective experience. The subjectiveobjective distinction actually becomes meaningless unless

we wish to retain the terms and use them (a) in the sense

that subjective experience is uniquely derived by us

from our own body or (b) in the sense that objective










knowledge is more easily communicated by conventional standards. The basic problem of obtaining knowledge from experience is (1) to arrive at universals, i.e., reliable generalizations, from our own experience, and (2) to find ways to communicate these universals to others. In dealing with freedom, the basic universal is the feeling of causal efficacy, of being the origin of change in the environment, that is, of freely choosing to do something. The fact that it cannot be measured reliably and hence communicated scientifically sets the problem rather than placing it out of bounds.

Much of the ambiguity and confusion that dealing with the concept of freedom has for many psychologists grows out of the different meanings the word freedom carries for different people. If it is taken to signify only the absence of external restraints, then one's behavior can be both psychically determined and free, although it may not be useful to others or satisfying to oneself. But if freedom is interpreted to mean that one can actually make choices and take responsibility for their consequences, then espousing freedom means giving up psychic determinism.

Barker (1972) discusses this very problem of meaningfulness of statements. Barker maintains that the prominence and desirability attributed to the use of operational










definitions in psychology has frequently blocked some researchers from dealing with significant variables for which there exists no clearly specified, objective referent. Consequently the more humanistically oriented psychologists are defining terms by the experience it evokes in the listener. It is the phenomenological or experiential referents of freedom that have the most significance for this discussion. Elaborating on this conceptualization, we may posit both a subjective and objective referent of freedom: It may apply to the phenomenological experience of all men as that feeling of freedom to act and choose, or conversely, a feeling that one is powerless to act and choose. In this sense, freedom and control are psychological phenomena that may be called subjective feelings. In the objective sense freedom may refer to the range of possible adaptive responses available to organisms in all situations in which they may find themselves (Barron, 1961).

In the objective sense freedom increases as the response repertoire increases; in a given situation, it is a function, as well, of the constraints imposed by the situation. In effect, the situation as well as the organism defines the organism's freedom at any given moment. In the most general case Barron (1961) finds that " . .It is meaningful to say that a clod is less free










than a butterfly, and a butterfly less free than a man; and even, in fact, to say that some cods are freer than others, for it is not necessary to be alive in order to have certain inherent response tendencies" (p. 398). But to Barron the value of human freedom is it's providing us with the capacity to change ourselves--to enable us to become more flexible and enhance our response variability. This is not too different from what H. S. Terrace, a selfstyled "radical" behaviorist, describes as the basic function of awareness which he sees as enabling us to set up effective contingencies for modifying some aspects of our own behavior (Terrace, 1971). It appears that the worlds of the "soft" humanist and the "hard" behaviorist are not as far apart as they once seemed. Perhaps it only took time for the latter to satisfactorily fit their operational definitions to the experiential referents of the former.

When considering freedom in its other meaning, as a subjective feeling, we are confronted with a different phenomenon. Often, we do not experience ourselves as having consciously chosen those states of being in which we eventually find ourselves. Rather, we respond to situational pressures and, therefore, gradually slide into those modes of behavior that solidify into habit and personal characteristics. In this sense, freedom is not










an objective attribute of life; alternatives without awareness of them are of no importance to us. One of the most paradoxical aspects of neurotic suffering is the persistance by the individual in modes of behaving which continue to bring him unhappiness. I, as an observer, may see a number of alternative behaviors which could improve his condition. But they are of little use to him if he is not aware of them. He is no more free because I see significant alternatives for him.

In conclusion, nothing guarantees freedom since

alternatives may go unnoticed and foreseeable consequences are not foreseen. We may not know what we have been, what we are, or what we are becoming. We have consciousness, but may proceed through life without awareness of that which means the most, the freedom which has to be noticed to be real. Freedom, therefore, is the awareness of alternatives and the awareness of the ability to choose. It is contingent upon consciousness and so may be gained or lost, increased or diminished. It is perhaps in psychotherapy that the subjective and objective referents of freedom can be realized.

While the foregoing discussion presents an intuitive argument for the desirability of a belief in free choice, no empirical evidence supporting this contention was provided. The following section will report on studies










which suggest that the awareness of choice has important consequences for the well-being of organisms.


Some Functions of Perceived Freedom and Control

In the May 1973 issue of The American Psychologist, H. M. Lefcourt marshals considered evidence that "the illusion that one can exercise personal choice" has important positive consequences for the well-being of both human and infrahuman life. This review was limited to studies dealing with the response to aversive stimulation.

In a series of studies by Singer, Glass and others (Glass & Singer, 1972; Glass, Singer, & Friedman, 1969) it was found that subjects who received random presentations of noise distraction while working at various tasks performed poorer than subjects exposed to fixed interval noise. Lefcourt explains the effect in terms of a predictability-implies-control relationship. Those subjects who knew when the noise was due could pace themselves accordingly and work with little apprehension that unexpected noise would occur. A second study by Glass et al. (1969) demonstrates that knowing one can exercise direct control over aversive stimuli can mitigate distraction. In this investigation all subjects received randomly occurring noise, but half had access to a control










button with which they could terminate the noise if it became too unbearable. Under these conditions, the subjects with access to the termination button performed better even though they did not actually use it. Lefcourt suggests that the opportunity for control reduced anxiety or apprehension about conditions possibly getting worse at some later time.

Lefcourt reported another investigation in which the level of intensity of self-administered or passively administered shock was the dependent variable (Staub, Tursky, & Schwartz, 1971). Those subjects who were allowed to choose the intensity of self-administered shock tolerated higher levels and reported less discomfort than subjects given no choice. When the control was taken away from the subjects in the first group their endurance level declined. Similar results were also found in studies using physiological indices of stress (Corah & Boffa, 1970).

The results of these studies suggest that predictable and self-controlled aversive stimuli have a less disturbing effect on the recipient than when the occurrence of those stimuli are externally controlled.

Similar results have been found using subhuman species (Mowrer & Viets, 1948; Richter, 1959; Seligman, Maier, & Solomon, 1969). These investigations typically compared the subsequent behavior of one group of experimental










animals that initially could terminate an electric shock by performing an instrumental response to the later behavior of a second group of animals passively yolked to the first. That is, the animals in-the latter group could not control the termination of the shock. In effect, these animals learned that what happened to them was independent of their behavior.

Using dogs, Overmier and Seligman (1967) found that

subsequent to this experience, when the animals were individually placed in a shuttle box and subjected to shocks that they could learn to escape or avoid, the experience of prior control of shock termination affected how the dogs responded to the new painful stimulus. While dogs with prior control experience learned to successfully avoid the shocks, the dogs that received shocks (or shock termination) independent of their behavior did not learn the avoidance behavior. As Overmier and Seligman (1967) report:

The dog does not cross the barrier and escape
from shock. Rather, it seems to "give up" and
passively "accept" the shock. On succeeding
trials, the dog continues to fail to make escape movements and thus takes 50 seconds
of severe pulsating shock on each trial. If he
makes an escape or avoidance response, this
does not reliably predict an occurrence of future responses as it does for the normal
dog. Pretreated dogs occasionally escape or avoid shock by jumping the barrier and then
revert to taking the shock. (p. 256)










Seligman and Maier (1967) found that the deliterious

effects of inescapable shock experiences could be ameliorated if the dogs were first given experience with

escapable shock. From a clinical standpoint, the research would seem to indicate that the ability to adjust

requires that the person have some experience in controlling

or dealing successfully with aversive circumstances.

While Seligman et al. do not have clinical interests

as their primary concern, their concept of "learned helplessness" leads them to allude repeatedly to clinical

analogues, as in the following examples from Seligman

et al. (1969, p. 258):

The maladaptive failure of dogs to escape
shock resembles some human behavior disorders
in which individuals passively accept aversive events without attempting to resist or excape.
Bettelheim (1960, pp. 151-152) described the
reaction of certain prisoners to the Nazi concentration camps:

Prisoners who came to believe the repeated
statements of the guards--that there was no
hope for them, that they would never leave the
camp except as a corpse--who came to feel
that their environment was one over which they
could exercise no influence whatsoever, these
prisoners were, in a literal sense, walking
corpses. In the camps they were called
'm-oslems' because of what was erroneously
viewed as a fatalistic surrender to the
environment, as Mohammedans are supposed to
blandly accept their fate.

Bleuler (1950, p. 40) described the passive behavior of

some of his patients:










The sense of self preservation is often reduced
to zero. The patients do not bother anymore
about whether they starve or not, whether they
lie on a snow bank, or on a red-hot oven.
During a fire in the hospital, a number of
patients had to be led out of the threatened area; they themselves would never have moved
from their places; they would have allowed
themselves to be burned or suffocated without
showing an affective response.

Seligman et al. found that the effects of inescapable shock could be overcome only after extensive and forceable exposure of the dogs to the appropriate response--reinforcement contingency in the shuttlebox. The dogs needed to learn they were not helpless. Like the patients described by Bleuler above, and for many who seek psychotherapy, they had to learn there is something they could do about their situation.

If perceived personal control has such an important life-sustaining function then the relationship between perceived choice and feelings of internal control has to be carefully examined. Perceived choice has been defined as experiencing control over one's own behavior (Ruch & Zimbardo, 1971). Some evidence that the two concepts are positively related are provided by Harvey and Harris (1974). Unfortunately the amount of empirical evidence relating these two concepts has been meager. In their discussion of subjectively experienced choice, or volition, as components of perceived freedom, Brehm & Cohen (1962) and Kelley (1967) derived the following generalizations: Experienced choice is high (a) when the legitimate










forces producing compliance are low and the individual complies, (b) when the constraints against leaving a situation are low and the individual remains in it, (c) when the alternatives are equal in attractiveness and the person chooses one, (d) when the amount of pressure to make a choice is low yet the individual chooses, (e) when the strength of illegitimate forces is high yet the individual complies, and (f) when the choice is given much conscious consideration and is accompanied by uncertainty and conflict.



Perceived Choice as Personal Causation

One general hypothesis that appears related to the

above conditions and, indeed, to the whole notion of subjective choice is that of personal causation. This notion (expounded by Kelley, 1967) asserts that freedom is experienced as a consequence of attributing the action involved to one's self as opposed to the external environment. The various analyses of psychological causality (Heider, 1958; Piaget, 1932; Werner, 1957) are also relevant and will be discussed in more detail later. Developmentally, psychological causality is a cognitive dimension in which the locus of causality for a personal act progresses from an external to an internal source. Ascribing responsibility for an act only on the basis of intentionality, and










perceiving oneself rather than others as responsible for a personally intended act are reflections of an internal locus of causality. This type of internalization is inherent in feelings of autonomy (Minton, 1967).

Autonomy has been discussed by several theorists,

Rank (1945), Fromm (1941), and Erickson (1950), who emphasize this concept with respect to individuality. Autonomy is viewed by them as a developing characteristic of the individual that can come into contact with environmental restraints. The degree of one's autonomy reflects how successfully one has been able to come to terms with environmental demands while maintaining individuality.

Specifically, Rank's (1945) notion is that an individual can become an initiating power interacting with the environment. He states that " . . . the inner world, taken in from the outside by means of identification, has become in the course of time an independent power, which in its turn by way of projection so influences and seeks to alter the external, that its correspondence to the inner is even more close" (p. 111). Sullivan (1947) underscores a similar idea when he writes of the impulse to obtain and maintain a feeling of ability. Emphasis is placed on the ability to obtain security in interpersonal relations.










These theorists' treatment of autonomy as a tendency toward self-determination, toward mastering oneself and the environment is strongly related to the concepts of competence and efficacy. White (1959) defines competence as the individual's capacity to interact successfully with his environment. The motivating state underlying activities in the service of competence is labeled "effectance," and produces an accompanying experience termed a "feeling of efficacy." Efficacy is described as a feeling of being active, of doing something, of having an influence on something. Piaget (1954) also uses the term efficacy, describing it as a dim sense or awareness that feelings of effort, of longing in one's actions are somehow responsible for external events. Efficacy takes place during the sensorimotor period of development and serves as the basis for the development of feelings of personal causality.

Considering again the six generalizations derived from Brehm & Cohen (1962) and Kelley (1967) will perhaps enable us to more clearly see the important role choice has with respect to the concepts of competency and personal causality. For example, when alternatives are comparable in attractiveness and are of low certainty, the choice must be given much conscious consideration. This gives an individual opportunity to reflect and operate on the










information about the options. By so doing, the individual has to rely to a greater extent upon his own personal resources in selecting one alternative over another. And given the nature of different types of decisions required under various circumstances we could speculate that people seek out those conditions where they would receive more information about their ability, i.e., situations of high perceived choice. This is similar to George Kelley's (1963) notion of choice which he considers as enabling a person to more clearly define or elaborate his understanding of himself and his environment. It could be hypothesized that people desire to be in situations in which they have high perceived choice. Recent studies by Harvey and Harris (1974) and Jellison and Harvey (1973) do indicate that in certain circumstances of high perceived choice individuals report a greater control over their behavior and a greater feeling of competence in making a decision than in situations of low perceived choice. However attractive and appealing this reasoning may appear, it should be noted that others (Fromm, 1941; Kaufmann, 1973) have argued exactly the opposite position. That is, individuals may be threatened by having to make important decisions and, therefore, avoid situations of high perceived choice.










Central to this discussion, however, is not whether

individuals actually seek or avoid high choice experiences, or, in fact, whether the notion has any meaning at all. What is significant is the research and reasoning underscoring the necessity for the belief in the existence of choice for the well-being of organisms. It is through its effects on psychological well-being that perceived choice can be related to such concepts as personal causation, autonomy, and the effectance motive. Furthermore, the consideration of perceived choice as a psychological variable has some implications for psychotherapy. Writers and psychotherapists such as Rogers (1963), Perls (1969), Greenwald (1971), and Berger (1972) view perceived choice and consequent decisions as the active principle in most psychotherapy. In this respect the underlying assumption taken in the present investigation is that objective choice, in the sense of response variability, is at a maximum when a genuine feeling of choice exists. This feeling of choice occurs in the presence of a broadened self-awareness, the goal or by-product of many current psychotherapies.


Perceived Choice and

Psychological Theory

Perceived choice has been an important variable in

research dealing with attitude change and attribution theory.











These studies have focused almost exclusively on the perception of choice as an independent variable.


Perceived choice and the correspondence between attitudes and behavior

One of the more prolific research areas of recent

years is concerned with what happens when a behavior which is inconsistent with a private attitude results in attitude change in the direction of consistency. The question of the correspondence between attitudes and behavior is a complex one and involves a consideration of such factors as the consequences of the behavior and incentive magnitudes.

Dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957), self-perception theory (Bem, 1967), incentive theory (Elms, 1967), and rationalization aimed at enhancing the individual's selfimage (Schlenker, 1973) have all generated much research which has shed some light on this phenomena. A discussion of the various aspects of this controversy is beyond the scope of this report. The reader can refer to review articles by Steiner (1970), or Schlenker (1973) for a more thorough consideration of this area. The point to be made here is that there is considerable evidence (Brock, 1962; Kelley, 1967; Bramel, 1969; Calder, Ross, & Insco, 1973; Schlenker, 1973) which indicate that perceived choice










to engage in the behavior is an important determinant of attitude change following contra-attitudinal behavior.


Perceived freedom of choice and the attribution process

A concern with an individual's intention appears to constitute a fundamental focus in attributing personal responsibility for an event. From his developmental studies, Piaget (1932) concludes that although the child begins by imputing motive and intention to physical objects and events, he gradually becomes more sophisticated and restricts his imputations of intention to personal agents.

Heider (1958) extended the analysis of causality to include personal responsibility, which he conceptualizes as the cognized link between the person and the final outcome. Again, intention is the central factor determining intimacy of the link. Generalizing from his distinction between personal and impersonal causality, Heider maintains that responsibility for the outcome may be attributed to the person, to the environment, or to both. The environment includes all impersonal factors which might be perceived as facilitating or inhibiting production of a given outcome, such as "luck," task difficulty, coercion, social influence and norms, or even fate or a "Supreme Being." Thus responsibility for a given outcome need not be










attributed to a personal origin. This conceptualization is similar to Rotter's (1954) distinction between an internal and external locus of control. In Heider's system, "personal responsibility . varies with the relative contribution of environmental factors to the action outcome; in general, the more they are held to influence the action, the less the person is held responsible" (1958, p. 113). An important implication of this proposition is that it is legitimate in Heider's framework to ask questions about the degree of perceived responsibility.

Research in attribution theory has delineated the

importance of the perception of choice as a crucial variable in attributing responsibility for behaviors, intentions, and attitudes (Davidson & Steiner, 1971; Eisinger & Mills, 1968; Steiner & Field, 1960). What is relevant here is the notion that the degree of freedom one is perceived to possess affects judgments concerning dispositional properties inferred by his behavior.



Some Determinants of Perceived Choice

In view of the central role perceived choice has played as an independent variable in a number of major theoretical approaches, it seems especially important to acquire a better understanding of the determinants of the perception of choice. This section will consider some










variables which may influence an individual's perception of the amount of choice he, or another person, felt that he had in taking a particular action under particular circumstances.

Steiner (1970), in his analysis of a related concept, perceived freedom, asserts that there are two kinds of freedom: (1) outcome freedom, i.e., a person "may feel that he has a high probability of obtaining desired outcomes," or (2) decision freedom, i.e., a person "may believe that he, rather than other people, fate, or the press of circumstances, selects the outcomes he will seek and the means he will employ in seeking them" (p. 189). Each of these types may occur independently of the other. An individual may perceive that he has freely chosen to obtain objectives he has little chance of reaching or he may feel compelled to obtain desirable goals.

The outcome freedom that one possesses is a function of both his own internal resources and external factors that may either facilitate or impede his attainment of the goal. In the Heiderian (1958) system this refers to the "can" and "may" factors. A person perceives he can, or is able, to obtain a goal but further perceives that he may or may not do so according to societal pressures. Lewin (1948) expressed a similar view in his topological representation of an individual's space of free movement.










This space of free movement was bordered by regions inaccessible to the individual because he lacked sufficient ability and because of social prohibitions. In addition to these two extremes of absolute free movement and prohibition there lie regions of varying shades of relative freedom depending upon the ever-changing relationship between the individual and his environment.

Steiner (1970) attempts to translate the views of Heider and Lewin into the language of exchange theory:

A person believes himself to enjoy outcome freedom to the extent that he feels he can
afford to incur the costs involved in obtaining
the payoff he desires. If the costs are more
critical to the individual than the outcome
they promote, or if the individual lacks the
resources with which to incur the required
costs, he cannot be expected to credit himself
with outcome freedom. (p. 189)

Considered in this way perceived outcome freedom is positively related to the gain an individual expects to achieve. An individual will credit himself with high outcome freedom when the valence of the expected outcome is high and the costs low. If the converse is perceived, i.e., high costs for a low outcome valence, then he perceives himself as having little freedom.

Steiner includes the notion of uncertainty in his analysis of choice. As Steiner observes, there are many situations in which one cannot be completely certain of success even though he feels he possesses the necessary










ability and desire to incur the required costs. The question, however, is how to incorporate the element of uncertainty into his model. There have been several analyses of goal-directed behavior as a joint function of the value of a goal and the subjective probability (uncertainty) of success in achieving it. The earliest expression of this, by Lewin, Dembo, Festinger, and Sears (1944), hypothesized "force" as a joint product of subjective probability and valuence. Similar analyses have been presented by Edwards (1954), Atkinson (1957), Heider (1958), Thibaut and Kelley (1959), and Rotter (1954). In these previous analyses, it would seem that subjective probability represents an expectancy of how much influence one is able to exert over his environment (i.e., can vs. may factors). Steiner (1970) postulates that valence and subjective probability combine multiplicatively. Thus, the attractiveness, or expected payoff, of an option was assumed to equal its "expected value" (valence of payoff X subjective probability) minus the valence of any costs that must be incurred in pursuing the action.

The preceding discussion dealt with whether or not one chooses to seek a specific outcome and called this aspect perceived outcome freedom. Steiner (1970) also considers the case where one must choose one outcome rather than










another. His analysis is similar to Brehm and Cohen's (1962) discussion of volition. If the individual clearly prefers one alternative over the other, he is said to possess "low choice." However, if he nearly equally prefers the two alternatives, he is said to have 'high choice."

This expression of perceived decision freedom is

represented by Steiner as the inverse of the difference of the outcome freedoms for the two alternatives. Therefore, if the desirability, or expected gain, of one of the alternatives is high the less easily can an individual decide against pursuing it; the more undesirable (the higher the expected loss) one alternative is the less freely he is able to choose it. Thus highly desirable or undesirable outcomes preclude one's perception of real choice to choose otherwise.

Within this model it is the comparative, rather than the absolute magnitudes of a person's outcome freedoms which determine one's perceived freedom to choose among alternatives. If an individual must choose between two options and the perceived outcome freedom is approximately equal the person may feel he himself is determining which option he will select. But if the outcomes are very different the individual may feel that factors outside himself are more important in influencing his selection.










This view parallels that of Brehm and Cohen (1962) who suggest that people experience more volition when confronted with approximately equal alternatives than when presented with alternatives grossly different from each other. However, Brehm and Coehn did not consider factors such as costs or uncertainty perhaps because in their research these aspects were controlled or thought to be constant.

The specific circumstances that affect one's perception of his freedom to choose have yet to be investigated. All the theory postulates is that perceived choice is a function of the discrepancy between the anticipated gains. Anything that alters the valence, the uncertainty of subjective probability, or costs associated with an alternative may affect an individual's perception of its availability and desirability and his decision as to whether or not he will choose to seek it. The available options and permissible outcomes may be constrained by social rules, limited resources, or the character of the environment. The quality of one's personal assets may allow a person to feel free to pursue a certain outcome but may or may not limit his perception of choice as to which of many outcomes he will pursue. A highly skilled athlete may feel free to pursue a football career but may experience little freedom to choose to be a surgeon instead.










Likewise, possession of generalizable assets such as money, intelligence, education, social status may encourage the perception of both high outcome and decision freedom.

In the preceding section both outcome and decision freedom were discussed. However, the majority of the studies in this area have focused almost exclusively on decision freedom. Therefore, in the discussion that follows, evidence relating to the determinants of perceived choice will be reviewed, and unless otherwise noted, will refer to decision freedom.



Previous Research in Perceived Choice

The bulk of the research into the determinants of

perceived choice have focused on a two-option decision context and have attempted to measure perceived decision freedom. Implicit in the research is that the reasoning expatiated by Brehm and Cohen (1962) and Steiner (1970) regarding perceived choice applies to both the decision maker himself (the actor) and to observers who perceive his situation. Consequently researchers have used both observer and actor paradigms. Although the methodology differs within each paradigm the results have supported the assumption that both actors' and observers' perception of choice are similarly influenced.










The actual decision context and the nature of the

options vary according to the particular determinant, or independent variable, under consideration. A typical decision situation which appears influenced by Steiner's (1970) early formulation of perceived decision freedom inthe language of the probabilistic and exchange theorists has subjects rate the perceived choice of target persons who have been presented with pairs of investment opportunities (Harvey & Johnston, 1973; Steiner et al., 1974). This procedure allowed the investigators to manipulate costs, subjective probability and the value of the options. An example of a choice item in these studies is as follows (from Steiner, 1974):

Student K.W. invested $15 and chose between:

Option A Option B

50% chance of getting $30 50% chance of getting $24 50% chance of getting $10 50% chance of getting $16

In this example the cost associated with choosing

either option was $5. The subjective probability of obtaining either option was 50%. Likewise, the valence of the payoff for both options were equal: for option A, $30 + $10 = $40; for option B, $24 + $16 = $40. Therefore, this is an example of a choice between options offering equal expected payoffs.

Other studies (Harvey, Barnes, Sperry, & Harris,

1974; Harvey & Johnston, 1973; Jellison & Harvey, 1973;










Harvey & Jellison, 1974) manipulated the relevant variables by providing subjects with information about two football teams and had college students pick a winner and rate their choice in making a decision. In these studies subjects were presented with scouting reports, ratings of strengths of both teams, the absence of key players and the probability of bad weather. Other investigations have involved choice between two types of learning experiences with pleasant or unpleasant consequences (Harris & Harvey, 1973); types of visual stimulation (Harvey & Harris, 1974; Harvey et al., 1974); writing essays in support of different topics (Kruglanski & Cohen, 1973); or joining different clubs (Kruglanski & Cohen, 1974). In a few studies (Davidson & Steiner, 1971; Bringle, Lehtinen, & Steiner, 1973) a target person's behavior was manipulated in order to create the impression of high or low freedom while others (Kruglanski & Cohen, 1973; 1974) have varied both the target person's behavior and his decision context. The following sections will present a summary of the findings regarding some of the determinants of perceived choice.



Relative similarity of the alternatives

When two alternatives offer approximately equal net gains the decision maker reports experiencing more choice than when gains are dissimilar (Harvey & Johnston, 1973;










Harvey et al., 1974; Harvey & Harris, 1974; Jellison & Harvey, 1973; Kruglanski & Cohen, 1974; Steiner et al., 1974). This relationship holds provided the quality (i.e., positive or negative) of the options is controlled. There is evidence that similar negative options elicit less perceived choice than similar positive options (Harvey et al., 1974; Kruglanski & Cohen, 1974). This particular condition will be discussed in a separate section dealing with the quality of the options. What is important here is the effect of similarity of options when valence has been held constant.

Steiner (1974) in a specific test of his model

(Steiner, 1970) used an investment paradigm and found that attributed choice is affected by the similarity of the expected values of the options (Expected Value = Valence x Subjective Probability). This relationship held up regardless of whether they were generated by low valences and high subjective probabilities or high valences and low subjective probabilities.



Relative cost of each alternative

Steiner (1974) found that the effects of relative

expected value is mediated by costs. Harvey and Johnston's (1973) investigation using a methodology similar to Steiner's (1974) found that their subjects did not employ










an expected value strategy in their perceptions and based their ratings on the similarity of the valences of the outcomes. However, Steiner (1974) argues that since costs were not controlled Harvey and Johnston's (1973) subjects may have assumed that various options had attendant, though unspecified, costs which may have confounded the results. Steiner (1970) presents indirect evidence which suggests that when subjective probability is held constant perceived cost is positively related to the valence of the outcome.

When he manipulated the cost factor Steiner (1974) found that net gains (i.e., Expected Value - Costs) accounted for more variance than did either component alone. Also, Steiner found that subjects perceived more choice when net gains were large and similar than when they were small and similar but that no difference in choice was reported when the gains were large and unequal versus gains that were small and unequal. Steiner does not account for this but the relationship between choice and competence discussed earlier may provide some explanation for these different effects. Since high net gains (and high expected values) are more desirable than low ones an individual confronted by two highly desirable and similar options may experience an affective potentiation of his subjective feeling of choice. This enhanced











involvement in the decision making process may increase one's need to feel in control of the decision resulting in a sense of increased felt choice.

Steiner's (1974) results also showed a main effect of costs: equal costs yielded less attributed choice than did unequal costs. Steiner suggests that this finding may be due to an artifact of his methodology but also reasons that the effects of similarity of costs on perceived choice may, in fact, be opposite to that of similarity of net gains. A store that sells only one product provides little variety for those willing to pay higher prices for better goods, or for those needing to pay less in order to save money.

It appears that, although Steiner's model cannot

presently account for all the variance among the various components of perceived choice, it does account for the data more clearly than the study by Harvey and Johnston (1973). The later investigators did not expressly deal with costs, in any form, nor did it predict the relationship between valence and probability. In fact, it was this failure to account for costs that probably prevented the expected value relationship to be demonstrated.










Relative valence of the alternatives

In this discussion valence refers to the quality of the options presented to the decision maker. This may be due to the alternatives offering either net losses or gains, or pleasant or unpleasant consequences to the person. In one study, Harvey and Harris (1974) had subjects select one of two types of visual stimulation that they thought they would be exposed to at a later time. Half of the subjects were presented with two unpleasant options and the other half were presented two pleasant options. Within each group half of the subjects had two options that differed to a small degree while the remaining subjects had options with a large difference in attractiveness. The results indicated that positively valenced options yielded a larger perception of choice than did negative options. Although the similarity of attractiveness manipulation were not significant statistically, the results were in the expected direction. That is, options with small differences in attractiveness yielded higher perceived choice ratings than did options with large attractiveness differences. The findings that positively valenced options produce higher experiences of choice than negative ones were replicated by Harvey et al. (1974). Harvey and Harris (1973) report a strong positive correlation between perceived choice and feelings of











control over one's behavior in future situations and reason that this relationship may help explain the differences in perceived choice under the different valence conditions. They note that Skinner (1971) suggests people experience more personal control under positive reinforcement conditions and that Bramel (1969) hypothesizes greater subjective feelings of freedom when individuals pursue positive options. They reason, therefore, that a greater sense of control under the positive outcome condition may have accounted for the higher ratings of perceived choice.

The results of another study will be reported here since they appear to be at variance with what has been reported so far regarding similarity and valence effects. Using an observer paradigm Kruglanski and Cohen (1974) had subjects rate the perceived freedom of a target person upon making his selection from two clubs that were rated by the target as "very interesting" or "very uninteresting." Contrary to the findings reported above there was no difference in freedom attributions between options of similar and dissimilar attractiveness. Furthermore, options of equal high attractiveness and options of disparate attractiveness received higher freedom ratings than did options of similar low attractiveness. However, this study, unlike previous ones, had provided raters with









information regarding the target persons' personality. The effects of knowing an individual's predecision personality does affect the attributions of freedom to him and will be discussed in more detail in a later section. More significantly, the writers present evidence that what they were in fact measuring was not decision freedom but Steiner's (1970) related concept, "outcome freedom," i.e., the freedom one experiences in pursuing an outcome after the outcome has been selected.


Predecision uncertainty and the number of alternatives

These two determinants are discussed together because research suggests that they interact and are curvilinearly related to perceived choice. Harvey and Johnston (1973) and Jellison and Harvey (1973), using a two-option context, found that perceived choice was a direct function of the uncertainty about making a decision. The greater the uncertainty the greater was the reported choice. In order to further explore this relationship Harvey and Jellison (1974) added three conditions that varied in the number of options: small = 3 options; moderate = 6; large = 12. Their results indicated that perceived choice is directly proportional to the number of options when subjects thought they had taken a shorter than average time (low uncertainty) in making their choice. When subjects were









told they took a longer than average time (high uncertainty) perceived choice was greater for a moderate number of alternatives than for either the small or large number. The writers suggest that high uncertainty coupled with a large number of options, though challenging, may be too complicated for some individuals and, therefore, restrict their perception of choice.



Consequences of a choice

If we extend this discussion to include not only the valence of the presented options but also the quality of the outcomes we have a situation similar to those employed in the traditional dissonance studies. In this case the question becomes what effect does the quality of the consequences have on the retrospective attribution of choice one feels he had in making the original decision. In most of the "dissonance" studies perceived choice had been manipulated prior to the actor's performing the behavior in question and there had been more prominent modes of dissonance reduction available. Harris and Harvey (1973) found that when alternative modes of dissonance reduction were controlled subjects appeared to use self-attributions of choice as a means of dissonance reduction. Specifically, they found that when decisions led to positive outcomes for others, subjects attributed










significantly higher amounts of choice to themselves than when their decisions led to aversive consequences. Similar results had been reported by Brock and Buss (1964). Harris and Harvey (1973) interpreted their results in accordance with Aronson's (1968) notion that dissonance is greatest when the self-concept is threatened. Presumably, subjects in their study experienced a threat to their self-concept upon learning that their decision would lead to unpleasant consequences for another. Schlenker's (1973) theory of self-image enhancement could also apply to these results. What remains in any event is that since the subjects in Harris and Harvey's (1973) study were not paid to participate and no attitude measures were involved, their only available means of dissonance reduction or self-image maintenance was in decreasing their self-attributions of choice.



Behavior and attributed choice

The research discussed thus far has dealt with

perceptual-cognitive and motivational processes in the perception of choice. The perceptual-cognitive determinants have been primarily those associated with external situational characteristics (qualities of options, valences, costs, etc.) while the motivational components were linked with consequences and ego-defensive strategies.










However, there has been other research concerned more directly with determinants of attributed freedom of choice to another. Researchers in dissonance and attribution theory have attempted to directly induce the perception of an individual's restricted freedom by publicly assigning him to a role (Steiner & Field, 1960), by telling subjects that an individual has been instructed to produce a message favorable to a point of view (Jones & Harris, 1967), or by creating conditions under which it appears unlikely that an actor possesses the resources needed to change his behavior (Wiggins, Dill, & Schwartz, 1965). In only a relatively few studies has the individual's own behavior been manipulated to create the impression that he possesses a wide or narrow margin of freedom.

Davidson and Steiner (1971) and Bringle et al. (1973) examined the impact of rewards and punishments on the amount of freedom subjects attributed to the agent who administered them. The presentation schedule of reinforcement ranged from continuous (100%) through several variable ratios (75%, 54%, 40%, and 25%). The amount of reward was adjusted so that all subjects received the same total amount. Little freedom was attributed to agents who were perceived to dispense rewards with regularity (very frequently or very infrequently). Those agents who employed variable ratio schedules of intermediate magnitude were










judged to be more free. One message such behavior may convey is that the agent is relatively immune to normative and other constraints and is seen to possess a wide margin of freedom to do as he pleases. The investigators in these studies contend that predictable behaviors are construed to be less freely performed than those which are unpredictable.

This view of freedom is very similar to the notion of indeterminancy (reminiscent of the counterposition of freedom with determinism by classical philosophy discussed earlier). Thus, an action is experienced as free when it occurs in the absence of identifiable situational constraints. That is, behaving in a way that is contrary to situational demands is unexpected--and experienced as free. So is choosing from between two equally attractive or uncertain alternatives.

This notion of unpredictability can be considered in relation to Kelley's (1967) assertion that freedom as personal causation occurs when the individual feels that he and not the situation is most responsible for his behavior. That is, if a person behaves in a manner contrary to situational expectations then he may experience his behavior as due to his own intentions. Also, when confronted by highly similar or equally uncertain options for which no environmental cues may be readily discerned a person may feel more personally responsible for the choice.










This notion of personal causation sets a limit on

the applicability of the concept of unpredictability. If one's behavior is subjectively construed as unpredictable then personal causality would not be experienced. What would ensue from total unpredictability would be a feeling of external causation or control occurring in varying degrees for people perhaps resulting in a neurosis or psychosis. Therefore, unpredictability is not reflected in the light of all prior knowledge available but only when action appears unpredictable with respect to environmental expectations. Personal causation necessarily requires that behavior be consistent (therefore predictable) with self-knowledge or with knowledge of someone else's personality. Pertinent to this discussion is a study by Kruglanski and Cohen (1973). These investigators provided subjects with "personality" descriptions of target individuals and with descriptions of their behaviors in situations where certain expectations were salient. More freedom was attributed to those individuals who acted in accord with their presumed personality predispositions. When the individual's behavior was inconsistent with his presumed dispositions the attribution of freedom was found to be a function of whether the behavior was consistent or inconsistent with situational pressures. Behaviors perceived as inconsistent with situational expectations were judged as more free.










Kruglanski and Cohen (1974) reason that when outcome freedom is studied personal causation is particularly important. With outcome freedom the chosen alternative is stressed and, therefore, knowledge of the individual's personal characteristics (i.e., preferences, attitudes, etc.) are especially relevant in assigning to him freedom to pursue the goal. When decision freedom is investigated the focus is on whether or not a real alternative exists to the chosen one. This is an important distinction and studies of perceived choice should take care to note which type of freedom is being measured. Kruglanski and Cohen's (1973, 1974) investigations indicate that completely opposite results may occur depending upon whether outcome or decision freedom is being studied.

The above discussion and empirical data implies that one major determinant of freedom is whether or not the cause of behavior can be assigned to the self, i.e., as resulting from personal predispositions. Situational factors become important only when resulting behavior is seen as inconsistent with an individual's presumed characteristics. Then, behaviors that deviate from external demands are judged as more free.

However, this relationship between subjective freedom and out of character behavior should be weak at best-especially for self-attributed freedom. The experience










most of us have had of "not being ourselves today" or of having done something and later reflecting "that is not like me" can attest to this. We do not feel in control under those circumstances and begin to look outside ourselves for "reasons." Few of us will admit to something in ourselves as being responsible. Occasionally this something is viewed as "not-self," alien, and something which must necessarily be avoided or expelled.



Individual differences in perceived choice

To date, the study by Harvey et al. (1974) represents

the only attempt to investigate the relationship of personal orientations to perceived choice. Utilizing Rotter's (1954) concept of locus of control the authors reasoned that a sense of control is related to high perceived choice. Those who view the outcomes of their behavior as a direct consequence of that behavior are said to have an internal locus of control while those who view the outcomes as a consequence of outside forces (chance, luck, etc.) are said to possess an external locus of control. These investigators predicted that internals would perceive greater choice under all circumstances than externals. However, the relationship of locus of control to perceived choice depended upon the decision context, i.e., the kinds of choices that were measured. When decisions involved










options with positive consequences, the internals did perceive more choice than externals, but the opposite effect was found with decisions involving negative options. The authors attributed this to the greater sensitivity to choice cues on the part of the internals and that for options with negative outcomes the internals may have felt less personal benefit accruing from either option and, therefore, less choice. When options do not involve positive or negative outcomes there was a general tendency for internals to perceive greater choice than externals.
















FORMULATION OF THE PROBLEM AND
STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESES



In the preceding chapter data were presented relevant to the perception of choice involving options for the individual that were clearly external. For example, subjects had to choose from various investment opportunities, football teams, or a visual stimuli. It may or may not have been an assumption of the investigators that their results are intended to shed light on perceived choice in all encounters. The present research, however, is restricted to those subjective situations involving choice and movement within one's self-concept system. This emphasis was selected because subjective choice contexts, like the selfconcept system, has previously been ignored in favor of the more objective but less interesting paradigms of the probabilistic reasoning and exchange theorists. Furthermore, there is a need to consider perceived choice as it relates to the psychotherapeutic process. Since it is in therapy that feelings of choice can be maximized. Although this study is not directly concerned with psychotherapy, it is hoped that its findings can be related to this process.










The present investigation focuses on the perception of choice one has when confronted with the suggestion of changing how he has traditionally defined himself. Before proceeding further I will attempt to clarify what is meant by "defining one's self." At the organic level the individual can respond differentially to what he experiences as either helpful, i.e., nutritious, or harmful, i.e., poisonous. Man in addition to responding inthis way has the ability to think which enables him to make further differentiations. From these differentiations emerge inferences and from inferences emerge conceptualizations. These conceptualizations account for an individual's unique representation of his experiences. Also, these conceptualizations represent his best understanding of reality. Conversely, the individual has the ability to respond to his conceptualizations as reality.

This ability to differentiate among experiences is dependent upon the process of polarization. That is, in order for us to know what something is we must be able to comprehend what it is not. Theorists from as widely diverse backgrounds as Piaget, Fritz Perls, and George Kelly, to name only a few, have all expatiated psychological theories based on this phenomenon. Polarization is a dynamic process which begins with cellular differentiation at conception and continues through the new born child's











struggle to distinguish itself from its physical and later, social environment. With the development of language the individual further elaborates upon his awareness of self with increasing differentiation. It is in this phase of psychological differentiation that man begins to conceptualize himself.

According to Kelly (1966) self-conceptualization itself undergoes constant changes toward either a further definition of the existing structure or an extension of it in order to include new, more encompassing possibilities. This occurs through the individual's ability to manipulate concepts as isolated wholes and to relate them to other concepts as different or similar. The discovery of a phenomenological relationship between two concepts is considered by some existential theorists as itself a process leading to newer meanings and relationships (Frankl, 1969; Moustakas, 1966; Perls, 1969). Appreciating the relationship between the two concepts is the beginning of the process towards new meanings. These theorists view the process between two concepts as consisting of the opposing tendencies to remain differentiated from as well as to merge with each other. Gradually, this activity may alter the relationship between two conceptualizations and new processes are begun. The resulting new meaning may itself become an element that enters into a relationship with others through which still other new meanings are discovered.










Conversely, the points may not merge and, instead, become

further differentiated from one another until they are no

longer a part of the relationship. At a further level of

abstraction we may consider all elements as continually

participating in many processes. For the purpose of this

discussion, however, the element of this ongoing process

can be represented as one point in relationship with

another.

The following example from Bannister and Mair's (1968)

discussion of Kelly's (1955, 1963) Theory of Personal

Constructs may make this clearer:

Among the many forms of construct change
which may occur are the following. The
construct may be used to deal with a different set of events from the usual one, resulting in changes in the position of elements.
For instance, the countryman coming to live
in the town continues to use his construct
friendly-aloof, but in the new situation begins
to see some actions he would previously have
called aloof as relatively friendly in the
different social context. The kind of distinction implied by the construct may be
changed somewhat. Thus in Kelly's example,
the countryman in town may gradually come
to regard aloofness as one aspect of a
neighborly respect for privacy rather than
necessarily a wholly unneighborly action.
The construct's relations to other constructs
may be altered as, for example, when aloofness is
seen as implying respect rather than disrespect,
and respect comes to imply empathy and consideration rather than subservience or adulation.
(pp. 19-20)

Ideally the psychological processes within the individual should allow for limitless possibilities of relating










with others, although what frequently happens is that individuals channelize their experiences through those relatively stable conceptions of themselves called their sense of identity.

The concepts an individual has developed in order to give meaning to his existence affects how he experiences his world, other people in it, and his relationship with those people. When discord occurs among these relationships the individual experiences himself as disturbed or is so experienced by those he affects. This may be experienced as a discordant dichotomy between the individual and people in his environment or as a disharmony arising from within the individual himself. In some cases psychological labels may be applied to this disturbing behavior. The individual may then be motivated to seek help and elect to engage in the process of psychotherapy.

What is suggested here is that if resolution is to be achieved, it would most likely be accompanied by a change within the conceptual system of the individual. This study is concerned, therefore, with decisions which initially affect this system of self-concepts.

Assuming we can conceptualize the "self" as an object that can be understood by ourselves and communicated to others we are confronted with a rather limited and not altogether satisfactory representation. In general, the










basic representation is that of a hypothetical psychological hyperspace of an unknown number of dimensions, in which the concept "me" can be represented at particular points. This view of the self-as-an-element results from a series of specific distinctions we make when comparing ourselves with others in various contexts. The question posed, then, is what are the factors that affect one's perception of choice when given the opportunity or suggestion to change the way one conceptualizes himself? Unlike previous research in the area of perceived choice the present investigation will ask the person himself to supply and define for us the parameters of his choice domain.


The Elements of the Self-Concept System To Be Considered

This investigation will explore the relationship of three dimensions of the self-concept system to perceived choice: the perceived-self, the liked-to-be-self, and satisfaction-with-self. The first two elements are considered to be independent of one another and combine to produce the third.

Since the choices to be investigated will involve

comparisons between various individual concepts within one's own concept system an important issue that must be considered is the degree to which one believes he possesses the construct. However, research reviewed in the preceding










chapters (specifically, Harvey & Johnston, 1973, and Jellison & Harvey, 1973) indicates that individuals perceive greater choice when options are similar in attractiveness (i.e., there is a small difference between the options) than when the options are dissimilar (i.e., there is a large difference between the options). In the present study there will be three characteristics of the options that can differ in degree of similarity: (1) the perceivedself, i.e., the degree to which the individual reports he possesses the concept; (2) the preferred- (or liked-tobe) self, i.e., the degree to which the individual reports he would like to be on the concept; and, (3) satisfactionwith-self, the degree to which the individual is discrepant between his reported perceived- and preferred-self on the concept.

Previous research in perceived choice has not dealt with the kinds of choices investigated in this study nor have they been concerned with multiple characteristics of the options. The primary purpose of this investigation is to try to shed some light on how these characteristics combine to produce various degrees of felt choice in situations involving change within one's own self-concept system. The present study is designed to test the following hypotheses:










Hypotheses 1: Perceived choice will be greater when the
perceived-self ratings and liked-to-beself ratings are similar between options
than when they are dissimilar.

This hypothesis is based on research reported in the preceding section which found relationships between the similarity of the options and perceived choice.

It is possible that the perceived-self-liked-to-beself discrepancy of each option may affect perceived choice. In this study the perceived-self-liked-to-be-self discrepancy of an option will be called the satisfaction-withself, or SWS, characteristic of the option. A small perCeived-self-liked-to-be-self discrepancy will indicate a high SWS concept. Because the SWS characteristics of the options may confound the predicted relationship stated in hypothesis 1, a more specific hypothesis is: Hypothesis 2: When the satisfaction-with-self characteristics of the options are held constant
but the ratings for the perceived-self and
liked-to-be-self are different for each
concept, perceived choice will be less than
when the ratings on both characteristics
are similar.

The following additional hypothesis is posed to assess the relative importance of how the characteristics of perceived-self and liked-to-be-self equality singularly affect perceived choice.

Since much of the research in perceived choice involves manipulating the attractiveness (desirability or valence) of the options it is hypothesized that:










Hypothesis 3: When all other characteristics are dissimilar perceived choice will be greater when the liked-to-be-self ratings of the
two options are similar than when the perceived-self ratings of the options
are similar.

The hypothesis is concerned with options that are

similar on either the perceived-self rating, or liked-tobe-self rating, but not on both. It states that options with only the liked-to-be-self ratings similar will result in higher attributions of choice than options with only the perceived-self ratings similar.


Hypotheses Regarding Individual Differences in Perceived Choice

The report in the preceding chapter of factors affecting perceived choice sets the framework for the following discussion on individual differences in perceived choice. The perception of choice cannot be satisfactorally conceptualized as a constant dispositional property of the individual. Unlike personality variables and physical characteristics one's perception of choice must fluctuate as the situation varies and as the nature (i.e., meaningfulness) of the options are presented. Nevertheless, there may be variables which will account for a person perceiving that the relevant characteristics of the choice context do in fact exist. Also, given that the characteristics have been perceived, influence to what extent individuals are










differentially sensitive to these cues in their perception of choice. The problem here is not to explain how an individual has come to be what he is; it is not a question of the learning and development that have contributed to his present psychological structure and patterns of response. Rather, the focus of this section is on identifying those psychological variables that currently influence one's potential for perceiving choice and to understand their operation.

The inadequacy of an explanation of choice based only on psychological variables, however, is evident if one regards some decisions as deriving from social interaction (choices concerning altruistic behavior, for example). The perception of choice in such situations is influenced by and evaluated against social norms, and it depends upon the setting of interaction and the attendant identities of the persons involved. A sociologist might therefore choose to study the relationships between variations in the social structure encompassing interaction and the perceived freedom of individuals as members of the society (Steiner, 1970). From this perspective the focus is upon the person as the nexus of social and psychological factors that influence perceived freedom. Such a perspective would examine how factors as an individual's perceptual and defensive orientations, his own standards, his personal and interpersonal skills and his self-evaluations combine within a










social context providing options and constraints to influence his perception of choice.

This study, however, is limited to the investigation of two characteristics of the individual and how they might operate to influence his perception of choice. From the analysis of the functions and determinants of choice discussed earlier it is suggested that two types of individual orientations are particularly relevant to the perception of choice: (1) how aware the individual is of the potential consequences of his decisions for himself and others, during the decision making process, and (2) how he ascribes responsibility for his acts, whether towards or away from the self. These orientations were first studied by Schwartz (1968) and were found to be related to decisions involving altruistic acts. The position taken here is that they are general orientations that should influence perceived choice in all situation.

Each of the individual orientations is presumed to

have a potential influence on the relationship between the situational and personal characteristics and perceived choice at two stages. First, the orientations may help to determine whether the characteristics will be felt to be relevant by the person in his initial definition of the situation: i.e., in perceiving that a choice exists in the first place. Second, if the situational and personal










characteristics have been perceived initially, a person's choice orientations are postulated to influence the degree to which the characteristics contribute to a perception of choice.

In the previous chapter dealing with determinants of perceived choice situations were always defined as ones in which some choice had to be made. Outside the laboratory in our own worlds rarely are situations so clearly defined. Our range of experience may be construed as where events, courses of action, attitudes, accommodations are seen as elective or as determined by forces outside ourselves. Either may be more or less depending upon how much we want. Kauffman (1973) observes that in small things we always want choice: "People . . far from dreading meticulous distinctions, may actually revel in them. For immersion in microscopic decisions is one good way of avoiding fateful decisions" (p. 79). In deeper matters we want to be held back. We might choose to live or die, but prefer not to choose, believing rather that we have to live.

In between such minor and major issues lies the middle ground of decision and action where some find freedom and choice while others find constraint and necessity. Allen Wheelis in The Desert (1969) provides a pertinent example:

One may sees himself inextricably stuck in a
marriage, a career, in obligations to children,
relatives, colleagues, bound to his way and place of life unable to change. Another in










the same circumstances finds it possible to resign as judge of the circuit court,
divorce a Philadelphia Mainline wife
after twenty-four years of marriage and
three children, move to Italy, live with
an actress, take up painting. If we forego
the moral condemnation we generally visit
upon those of greater scope and daring than
ourselves, we are likely to discover great
envy. (p. 283)

The areas of necessity and of freedom vary in proportion to each other and in absolute measure. They vary from person to person and within the same person from time to time. Together they comprise the total extent of available experience the range of which is a function of our awareness.


Awareness of consequences and the perception of choice

Given that a stimulus situation provides cues that may

be relevant for making a decision, under what conditions will the cues be salient? From the previous discussion of the functions of choice it was suggested that in situations of high perceived choice people get maximal information about their competence (Harvey & Harris, 1974). This is in part because people may continually evaluate and refine their decision-making behavior in terms of their consequences. That is, in the predecision phase the individual deals with the information about the options and, subsequently, in the postdecision phase receives information about his










ability to compare and analyze information. Part of the strategy employed by people who typically possess high felt choice may be a consideration of the possible consequences of selecting one of several options. This requires not only a sensitivity to the cues presented by the immediate situation but also an awareness of more remote influences that nevertheless also bear on the choice. This readiness to extrapolate to potential consequences renders an individual increasingly more and more sensitive to all cues that may be relevant for making a choice.

Milgram's (1965) study of conditions of obedience to authority sheds light on aspects of this issue. We can reasonably assume that in his study, defying the experimenter by refusing to shock a "victim" reflects individual standards that oppose delivering painful shocks. Milgram found that the rate of defiance rose significantly as the victim was rendered more immediate to the subject. When the victim was placed in another room, only 35 percent of the subjects defied the experimenter. Seventy percent defied him when the victim was only one and one-half feet away, and the subject had to force his hand onto the shock-plate. Rates of defiance for intermediate levels of proximity were between 34 and 70 percent.

Milgram proposes several explanations of the effects of increased proximity. A number of these suggest that awareness of consequences has an important impact. It may










be appropriate at this point to recall one of the generalizations derived from Brehm and Cohen's (1962) and Kelley's (1967) notion of subjectively experienced choice discussed earlier: experienced choice is high when the legitimate forces producing compliance are low-and the individual complies. In his study Milgram placed his naive subjects under pressure from either a group or a single authority figure to administer the painful shocks. Objectively the subjects had two options: to shock or not to shock. However, by manipulating the saliency of the shock option through group pressure and vocal encouragements the majority of the subjects were essentially in a circumstance of low perceived choice. The experimenter urged the subjects with remarks such as "it is absolutely essential that you continue" and "you have no other choice; you must go on." As Milgram has pointed out, the experimenter had no real power to enforce his demands and the subjects had nothing to lose by disobeying him, yet they showed a remarkable amount of obedience.

It was only when the "victim" was in close proximity that the majority of subjects did not administer shocks. Proximity allowed the second option to become more conspicuous. The consequences for the victim were audibly and visually apparent. Though there may be other reasons why 34 percent of the subjects initially defied the experimenter we can speculate that some of them were aware of the










consequences for the victim which enabled them to experience some degree of choice in the matter.

Apart from this experimental evidence of the effects of increased awareness of consequences on the relationship between characteristics of a situation and perceived choice, one line of theorizing also suggests the importance of this variable. Hess and Shipman (1969) discuss parental control strategies which they presume transmits to their children those modes of interaction which adults experience with the outside world. These regulatory acts are an important part of the socialization of cognitive abilities and are particularly significant in orienting the child toward cues and figures to which he should attend and respond in his growing perceptual and conceptual world. The regulatory behavior by the parents identifies for the child the information, in the broadest sense, which he should regard as salient. Hess and Shipman distinguish three types of control strategies or appeals: (1) those based on appeal to norms, status, rules, and regulations;

(2) those based on subjective appeal to internal states of the child or others; (3) those based on rational arguments or future consequences of behavior. Thus, the first strategy appeals to rules while the second calls the child's attention to the effects of his behavior on other persons and himself. This is a more complex cognitive process










and one which asks the child to be attentive to incoming cues from the environment, rather than to memorize a rule of behavior.

However, it is the theorizing about the third type

that is of interest here. This type of control calls the child's attention not to norms and feelings but to the eventual outcome or effects of the behavior. It is based on a rationale of cause and effect and on the notion that what the child does at present has a future result. It is thus much more complex than the first two strategies, for it asks the child to project himself into the future, sometimes to another place, and to reflect on the long-range effects of his behavior. This type of control requires the child to reflect upon the consequences of his action in relation to alternative actions in order to make a decision based on logical cause-effect considerations. For example, if a child asks to play with a classmate after school and the mother responds, "Will you have enough time to do your homework?" or a similar comment, the child is asked to weigh the consequences of alternative actions and to regulate his own behavior in accordance with a more complex plan than would be the case if the mother simply denied the request without linking her response to other considerations she had in mind. This type of regulation thus gives the child both a way to internalize control of a cognitive nature and general guidelines which he may himself apply to new situations.










In this discussion awareness of consequences is thus viewed as a perceptual style in a choice situation. Among individuals exposed to the same situational cues and possessing similar personal characteristics, those who have been disciplined with appeals to consequences are more likely to become aware of the potential consequences of their choices for themselves and others, and therefore to react by referring their choices to the appropriate information.

The discussion in this section has been addressed to the question of whether appropriate cues will be salient so as to influence the perception of choice. In order for the characteristics of a set of options to influence a decision they first must be perceived by the person. It is at this point that awareness of consequences first enters the picture. If a person becomes aware of the personal or interpersonal consequences of his potential acts when facing a decision, certain characteristics relevant to decisions can become activated. Without some awareness of consequences, such characteristics are unlikely to become salient forthe person (unless his attention is directed to them by another). In a sense, awareness of consequences is being treated here as a perceptual variable. It affects how a person perceives and hence defines a situation in which choices can be made. The initial










activation of option characteristics is therefore theorized to vary directly with awareness of consequences as an individual difference variable. It is suggested that awareness of consequences may mediate the influence of option characteristics at two stages. First, it helps to determine whether a person will initially define a situation as involving choices and hence whether he will feel that the situational characteristics are relevant. Second, if such characteristics are activated, denial of awareness of consequences may function to deactivate them, and hence weaken or eliminate any impact they might have on perceived choice. On this basis it is hypothesized that: Hypothesis 4: The greater the tendency of people to
become aware of the consequences of their
decisions for themselves or others, the more choice they will perceive within a
decision-making situation.

Attribution of responsibility and perceived choice

The linkage between feelings of choice and responsibility occurs throughout the literature of social (Jones & Davis, 1965; Linder, Cooper, & Jones, 1967; Collins & Hoyt, 1972; Hoyt, Henley, & Collins, 1972; Worchel & Brand, 1972; Harris & Harvey, 1974) and humanistic (Barron, 1961; Rogers, 1963; Jourard, 1968) psychology. Given this relationship between choice and responsibility an individual may, under certain conditions, accept or reject responsibility for his










behavior via his feelings of choice in the matter. For Carl Rogers (1963) this linkage was held to be a basic human experience:

. . . responsible personal choice, which is
the most essential element in being a person,
which is the core experience in psychotherapy, which exists prior to any scientific endeavor,
is an equally important fact in our lives.
To deny the experience of responsible choice
is, to me, as restricted a view as to deny the
experience of a behavioral science. (p. 345)

As Heider (1958) and others have noted, the tendency to perceive persons as absolute causal origins of events is a simplifying device in the service of grasping complex realities more easily. Most situations are so complex that there is ample opportunity for the individual to attribute the outcomes of his acts to the workings of forces other than his own will. A person facing a decision with consequences for himself or others may therefore ascribe responsibility for these consequences to himself, or quite often, to other sources of causation. Unless he holds himself in some measure responsible for his actions and their consequences, however, he is unlikely to feel the locus of choice as lying within himself, since choices apply only to willed acts of the self.

The function of ascription of responsibility in the guidance of decisions is reflected in Hess and Shipman's (1969) theorizing about the effectiveness of parental induction techniques. Not only does induction increase









awareness of consequences but, equally important, it communicates to the child that he is the cause of these consequences. Perhaps the crucial process in these control stretegies is the parents' holding the child responsible for his acts and enabling him to graps his responsibility through explanation.

The Milgram experiements are of relevance to this

discussion also. Defiance of the experimenter was found to increase the more separated the subject was from the experimenter. It may be that with the experimenter in the same room, the subjects could more easily ascribe the responsibility for delivering shocks to him, thus suspending the application of choice.

In discussing the relationship between option characteristics and perceived choice, it was suggested that activation of the characteristics is necessary before they can be perceived and acted upon. Ascription of responsibility is one determinant of such activation. If a person accepts some responsibility for his actions, it is reasonable to him that situational cues and consequences relevant to these actions should be applied to him. In anticipation of decisions for which he accepts responsibility, he may weigh various alternatives against these expectations and be influenced by them. If, on the other hand, a person ascribes responsibility away from himself, he may feel that consequences for his decisions cannot be directed










legitimately toward him. Consequently, he may remain uninfluenced by them.

There are two methods by which ascription of responsibility influences the activation of situational characteristics. First, the initial activation depends on some degree of accepting responsibility and thus accepting the relevance of situational cues to one's choice. Second, if the responsibility is initially ascribed away from the self, and the applicability of cues for making the decision thereby denied, the encounter is not defined as one of choice. That is, the second stage, a person can deny the legitimacy of the cues and consequences being directed to his decision by rejecting his own responsibility for his actions. It is suggested that both the initial activation of cues and anticipated consequences and the subsequent maintenance of their capacity to direct decisions are in part functions of whether a person ascribes responsibility for his acts towards or away from himself. Therefore, it is hypothesized that:

Hypothesis 5: The greater the tendency of people to
ascribe responsibility for their acts
toward rather than away from themselves, the more choice they will perceive in a
context involving the selection of options.










Satisfaction-with-self and
perceived choice

The effect of one other characteristic of the selfconcept system will be explored. This is the degree to which an individual is discrepant with respect to where he sees himself and would like to be on the individual concepts of his self-concept system. Such terms as selfregard, self-acceptance, and satisfaction-with-self comprise a series of theoretical constructs that have been used interchangeably to denote the degree of satisfaction in self-evaluation (Crowne & Stephens, 1961). The voluminous literature on self-esteem has been heavily focused in the areas of personal and social adjustment. The present study will also consider the implication of personal satisfaction for the process of perceiving and formulating choices. It is suggested that people need to reconcile aspects of their actual and preferred self-concepts before they are able to perceive and make satisfactory choices. It is therefore consistent with this formulation to hypothesize that:

Hypothesis 6: The degree of perceived choice is
positively related to satisfactionwith-self.
















METHOD


Subjects

The subjects were 80 male college students who participated in order to fulfill a requirement of the introductory psychology courses at the University of Florida.

Data were collected during group sessions of 6-10

students. Subjects attended two 90-minute sessions exactly one week apart. The mean age of the subjects was 19.8 (modal age = 19).

At the beginning of the first session subjects were

informed that the study was concerned with how people make decisions and how their perception of choice is affected by the kinds of decisions with which they are faced. They were told that attendance would be required at two sessions during which they would be asked to fill out forms and respond to questionnaires. Though given the choice to participate or not to, no subject declined to continue.



Instruments

The independent variables

The elicitation of personally relevant constructs:

Modified Repertory Test (MRT): The MRT is a semi-structured










assessment technique that allows the subject to use his own system of personal constructs to rate self and preferred-self (liked-to-be) concepts. The self-concept instrument combines the first part of the Kelly Role Construct Repertory Test (Rep Test) (Bannister & Mair, 1968) with a Likert-type rating scale.

The Rep Test was used to elicit the dimensions the subject uses to differentiate people. Eighteen role titles describing figures in various spheres of a person's life, including the family, social, vocational, and educational areas were presented. In each case the subject's name was the nineteenth figure. The subject responded to each role title by supplying the name of the particular person in his life who best fulfilled the specified role. The 19 role titles were then distributed into 22 triads. In order to elicit personally relevant constructs the person's own name was included as one of the three elements in half of the triads. For each triad the subject was asked to describe in a word or phrase how two of the people are similar and different from the third. This word or phrase together with the word or phrase the subject considers to have the opposite meaning is referred to as construct dimension. Twenty-two construct dimensions were elicited from the 22 triads of role titles. An example of the MRT with full instructions is presented in Appendix A.










The choice of specific role titles and their distribution into triads was governed by Kelly's (1955) suggestions

for eliciting a representative sample of the dimensions

a person customarily uses to evaluate himself and other

people. Loosely, these construct dimensions may be considered the context of his choices; that is, they reveal

the pathways along which the individual is free to move.

Bannister & Mair (1968) in their discussion of Kelly's

grid method reason that:

Kelly, of course, sees these pathways as
defined by the personal construct dimensions
that the person uses to organize his life experience. Since constructs are bipolar dimensions, the contrast or implicit pole
of any construct (in terms of which the person
sees himself as an element at the emergent pole)
may serve to specify one alternative in that
person's repertory of choices, if he is forced to abandom his present view of himself. Thus,
a person who uses the dimension broadmindednarrowminded, and sees himself as broadminded, has made available for himself the possibility
(or the danger) of shifting to a narrowminded
position, if the alternative hypothesis is
invalidated. A good test should reveal such
pathways of possible movement; it should
reveal the available choices in the subject's
terms. (p. 39)

Kelly and others have demonstrated that these dimensions

differ from person to person and that they are reasonably

stable in different situations (Bannister & Mair, 1968).

The subjects were requested to write the construct and

its opposite for each triad on a specially prepared form.

This form consists of a 22-item blank representing each










construct dimension. A single construct dimension appeared as follows:

A B............... B

In space "A" the subject wrote the construct describing how two members of the triad are alike and in space "B" he wrote its opposite. There were two identical blanks with a sheet of carbon paper in between.

After all 22 construct dimensions were obtained the

subjects were asked to separate the two identical construct dimension sheets and to turn one sheet face down on their desk. On the first sheet the subject was asked to use his construct dimension to rate the title "I am" by placing an "S" at that point along the dimension that best represents where he sees himself with respect to the two constructs. For example, a construct dimension for one subject might be as follows:

serious : : : :S: : : : : : : : : : carefree with the "S" representing where he sees himself along that dimension. After all 22 dimensions were filled out in this manner the subjects were asked to turn this sheet in to the experimenter.

Using the second sheet,which was identical to the

first, but without the perceived-self ratings, the subjects were asked to rate the title "I would like to be" by placing an "L" at that point along the dimension that represents where he would like to be with respect to the two constructs.










For example, our hypothetical subject may rate this title on the above dimension as follows:

serious : : : : : : : : : : :L: : : : carefree Thus, for each subject there was one sheet containing his ratings of the title "I am" on 22 construct dimensions, and a second sheet containing his ratings of the title "I would like to be" on all dimensions. See Appendix B for the complete instructions for this task.

Satisfaction-with-self (SWS): For each construct

dimension a satisfaction-with-self (SWS) score was obtained by taking the absolute value of the difference between "S" and "L" ratings for that dimension. Thus, for each subject there was 22 SWS scores.

Analysis of perceived-self and preferred-self ratings:

Earlier it was noted that the subject's own name was included as part of the triadic comparisons for half of the 22 construct dimensions. In these comparisons the subject was required to directly compare himself with two other people. It is possible that in those comparisons where the subject was not a part of the triad less meaningful constructs would be given by the subject. This may be reflected by the subject rating himself less extremely on that dimension. On the basis of pretests with 30 subjects it was found that the perceived-self and preferred-self placements did not significantly differ between constructs










elicited with the subject as part of the triad versus those constructs elicited from triads containing the names of three other people. Based upon this preliminary finding subsequent construct dimensions were chosen independent of the particular type of triadic comparison. However, it might be informative to see if this finding holds up with the larger sample size used in this study.

For each subject a mean perceived-self and preferredself rating was determined for the 11 constructs elicited with the subject's name and for the remaining 11 that were not (ratings were determined as the distance from the extreme poles of the construct dimension). The relevant means for each type of comparison, including the mean satisfaction with self score, is presented in Appendix C.

A t-test for related measures was used to determine

whether there were any significant differences between the pertinent means for each type of triad comparison. In accord with the pretest analysis there were no significant differences between type of comparison (t for perceivedself difference = .75; for preferred-self differences, t = .10; for SWS, t = .82, df = 79).

However, it was noted that preferred-self ratings

tended to be more extreme (i.e., were closer to either pole of the construct dimension) than perceived-self ratings. Therefore, for each subject the proportion of constructs










having extreme "L" and "S" ratings as well as those having "S" and "L" ratings equally distant from the poles was determined. For all subjects 57.6 percent of the constructs had "L" ratings more extreme than "S" ratings; 16.6 percent had "S" ratings more extreme and the remaining 25.8 percent of the constructs had both ratings equally extreme. This finding indicates that while subjects tended to more clearly prefer one pole of the dimension over the other they tended to perceive themselves as being less clearly associated with either extreme.

Awareness of consequences: Awareness of consequences

(AC) was tapped by a semi-projective test in which subjects were asked to describe the thoughts and feelings that might run through the minds of protagonists in stories who faced decisions having personal or interpersonal consequences. Four stories were selected from the Kogan-Wallach (1964) Choice Dilemmas Questionnaire and presented to the subjects with the following instructions:

This is a measure of your understanding of the way people go about making the choices
they do. On the following pages are a number
of incidents involving people. In each incident the description ends at a point
where the person is faced with a decision.
Your task is to describe how he goes
about making his decision: the kinds of
thoughts and feelings he has as he debates with
himself about what he should so. Imagine
what it would be like to be in the position
of the main character. Then write out the internal conversation he might have in his mind. What would he think about in coming
to a decision?
Read each incident and consider all of










the elements in it. Then write out what ideas might be going through the character's mind as
he tries to make a decision about what to do.
Don't tell me what he does: tell me what the
process of thinking is like. Try to give a
full answer to each question.

Each story appeared on a separate page and the subjects were asked to write their responses directly under the situation. The stories were presented to each subject in a different random order that was selected prior to each session from a table of random numbers. A fifth story, always presented first, served as a "practice" item and was not coded in the final analysis. The four items can be found in Appendix D.

The stories were coded according to the extent to

which the actor was aware of the potential consequences of his behavior for himself or others. Each response was assigned a score on a five-point scale. The scale ranges from zero, for the absence of awareness of consequences, through levels of increasingly specific and detailed awareness, including the degree to which each option was considered, to four for detailed elaboration on both options. The complete coding guide can be found in Appendix E.

Every story was independently scored by two raters who did not assist in the initial data gathering. Each rater practiced on stories from the pretest subjects and reached










a level of agreement of within one point on 94 percent of the stories. Exact agreement was attained on 85 percent of the stories. For each subject the mean of both raters' scores for each story was assigned as the score for that story.

Internal characteristics of the measure of AC: In

assembling the items for the AC measure an attempt was made to obtain a diversified set of stories involving experiences from a variety of situations (school, occupation, relationships, leisure). However, it was intended that each item reflect the single characteristic, or orientation, of awareness of consequences. If this is, in fact, the case, we would expect scores on the individual items to be positively intercorrelated and they should be positively loaded on a single primary factor. An intercorrelation analysis revealed, as expected, a positive correlation among all four stories. The values for these correlations can be found in Appendix F.

To determine whether there is a single primary factor on which all the stories load positively a principle component factor analysis was carried out. One factor emerged on which all stories were positively loaded and this factor accounted for 63 percent of the variance. The stories with their factor loadings appear in Appendix G. These results are consistent with the interpretation that the general










dimension used in the coding was being assessed. For the analyses that follow, a subject's AC score was the sum of his ratings on each story.

Ascription of responsibility: Ascription of responsibility to the self (AR) was measured by an instrument developed by Schwartz (1970). It contains 24 selfdescriptive items each of which refers to actions with interpersonal or personal consequences and provides a rationale for ascribing responsibility for these actions away from the actor. Acceptance or rejection of the rationals is interpreted as a sign of a tendency to ascribe responsibility away from or to the self, respectively. The major rationals built into the scale which also emerged in factor analyses are extreme provocation, role requirements, conformity, lack of intentionality, and just deserts for a victim. Internal reliability correlations for several samples have ranged between .67 and .78, and a testretest reliability of .63 has been reported by the author. AR scores were not related to the Marlow-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (r = -.01).

Validity studies using this scale indicate that AR is related to moral decision making (Schwartz, 1970) and is positively related to socioeconomic class (Schwartz, 1970) where supposedly working class members may be more limited and coerced by their environments than middle class










individuals. In addition, Schwartz (1970) reports that AR scores predict participation in voluntary social service activities among college undergraduates.

Sample items together with the response receiving a point for ascription of responsibility to the self are presented below:

Disagree You can't blame basically good people who are forced by their environment to be inconsiderate of others.

Agree Being very upset of preoccupied
does not excuse a person for doing anything he would ordinarily avoid. The complete questionnaire can be found in Appendix G.

Selection of construct dimensions: The modified Rep Test (MRT) measure was obtained during the subjects' first session and the measure of perceived choice obtained during the second session, one week later.

Prior to the second session, pairs of construct dimensions were selected from among the 22 supplied by each subject that met the following criteria:

1. Eight pairs of construct dimensions
were selected that had perceived-self
ratings differing by two or fewer steps.
These were the similar perceived-self
construct dimensions.

2. Eight pairs of construct dimensions were
selected that had perceived-self ratings differing by four or more steps. These
were the dissimilar perceived-self
construct dimensions.

3. Half of the construct dimensions from
1 and 2 above had liked-to-be-self









ratings differing by two or fewer
steps. These were the similar likedto-be-self construct dimensions.

4. Half of the construct dimensions in 1 and
2 above had liked-to-be-self ratings
differing by four or more steps. These
were the dissimilar liked-to-be-self
construct dimensions.

The construct dimension pairs so selected each represented one of the quadrants depicted in the matrix presented in Table 1.

The position of the elements (i.e., the S and L

placements) may be at any point along the space of the dimension and in any order. What is important is that the relationship that is defined by the above quadrants be maintained between the elements of each construct dimension.

There are, then, four construct dimension pairs in

each group. These construct dimension pairs were used to obtain a measure of the dependent variable, perceived choice. This measure is described in the next section.



The dependent variable

The measure of perceived choice: During the second session the measure of perceived choice was obtained. This method was based on a modification of Hinkle's (1965) procedure. Each pair of construct dimensions that was previously selected was written in a booklet with the perceived and liked-to-be ratings marked. The booklets












TABLE 1


MATRIX DEPICTING CONSTRUCT PAIR* RELATIONSHIPS SELECTED FOR THE
MEASURE OF PERCEIVED
CHOICE




Perceived-Self Similarity (S1-S2):


Similar Preferred-Self Similarity (L1-L2):






Dissimilar


Similar


Dissimilar


-Tle subscript is for convenience or designating the construct dimension or the pair.


I II

S1L S1 .... L S1.. L S ... L vs or vs vs or vs S2L2 S2 *.. L2 S2L2 L2 *... S2



III IV
SLV
S1L1 S ... L S1L S1*... L vs or vs vs or vs S2 *- L2 L2 . 2 S2L2 S2'... L2










with instructions were presented to the subjects. The complete set of instructions for this task can be found in Appendix I. Briefly, the instructions were as follows:

Look at these two constructs. The "S" indicates the position you said you presently
see yourself on and the "L" indicates where
you said you would like to be on. Now let us assume for the moment that you had to change from the side you presently see yourself on (that is, your "S" rating) to the other side
on one of these construct dimensions, while
remaining the same on the other dimension.
What we are trying to find out here is if you
had to change, which of these two changes would
be the less difficult as you see it. Before you
indicate which change you would make, I would
like you to indicate how much real choice you have in making the change. That is, how free
do you yourself feel in making the change.

Responses were indicated by having the subjects check a nine-step scale with the end points labeled "very much real choice" and "very little real choice." After these ratings were obtained the subjects were then asked to indicate which construct dimension they chose to change.

For example, a subject may have been presented with a construct dimension pair as follows: A. Serious :S: :L: : : : : : : : : : : : Carefree SWSI=2


B. Talkative : : : : :S: :L: : : : : : : : Quiet SWS 2=2 For this pair the SWS score for each dimension is 2 (i.e., S and L are 2 steps apart). SWS1 - SWS2 = 0. The perceivedself discrepancy, however, is 4 (S - S2 = 4) and the likedto-be-self discrepancy is also 4 (L1 - L2 = 4). Therefore, this pair represents the dissimilar perceived-self










and liked-to-be-self quadrant (IV) of the above matrix. The subject was asked to indicate which one of the two construct dimensions he would change. That is, would he change from the serious to carefree pole on dimension 1; or would he choose to change from the talkative to quiet pole on dimension 2? However, before he indicated which one, he was asked to indicate "how much real choice" he feels he had in making the decision.

In addition, eight construct pairs were included in the beginning of the booklet to serve as practice items and were not included in the analyses.

Provided construct dimension pairs: While the foregoing method attempted to deal with more meaningful choices by having each subject provide a sample of his own construct system there was the possibility that not all the cells in the preceding matrix would have sufficient representation to adequately test all the hypotheses. Therefore, another set of construct dimensions pairs with choices representing each quadrant of the matrix was provided each subject as well. Although it cannot necessarily be assumed that for the variables under considerationthe hypothesized relationships would hold for an actor as well as for an observer, a study by Harvey & Johnston (1973) did show the equivalence of an actor and observer paradigm for other realms of perceived choice.










Ten bipolar concepts representing six factors found in factor analytic studies (Osgood, 1971) of the concept "ME" and eight bipolar constructs provided by subjects in the pretest were randomly selected for inclusion in this instrument. These construct dimensions included dependableundependable, moral-immoral, excitable-calm, changeablestable, emotional-unemotional, straight-flexible, hardsoft, and strong-willed-weak-willed, from Osgood's concepts; and cautious-daring, involved-indifferent, close-remote, responsible-carefree, spontaneous-controlled, ruggeddelicate, subtle-obvious, and mature-youthful from the pretest constructs.

From Osgood's concepts and the pretest constructs, 24 construct dimension paris were randomly selected and, six pairs were randomly assigned to each quadrant depicted in Table 1. Each pair was randomly assigned a construct relationship defined by its quadrant. This procedure was repeated three times in order to construct three forms of the instrument that differed in construct pairings and quadrant assignment. For each form of the instrument a "mirror image" form was constructed. This "mirror image" form had the same construct pairs within the same quadrants but had S and L ratings on the opposite poles of the pairs. There were, then, six forms of the instrument. Also, two construct pairs were randomly selected from each quadrant.









These eight pairs were placed at the beginning of the

instrument and represented practice items which were not

included in theanalyses. Each form of the instrument was

randomly assigned to each subject.

Subjects were told that'in addition to their own

constructs they would be shown, separately, construct pairs

selected from those of other students. They were asked to

rate, in a similar way, how much choice they felt the

other students had indicated in making the particular

decision. The complete instructions appear in Appendix J.

Briefly, the instructions were as follows:

The purpose of this part is to investigate how people make predictions about the perception of choice of other people. In order
to do this, you will be given pairs of construct dimensions that were given to other
students in a previous study and which were
based upon their own concepts. Like you they
were also asked to imagine a change in where
they saw themself on one dimension while
remaining the same on the other (i.e., their
"S" rating). They each indicated how much
choice they felt they had in making the
decision and then indicated which dimension they would change. After each pair you are asked to make your prediction by circling a number on the same type of scale used by the student to indicate how much choice he felt
he had in making the decision. After you
indicate the degree of choice he felt please
indicate which dimension he chose to change by
circling the letter of the option chosen.

Since the procedure for eliciting construct dimensions

was quite lengthy, the first session was devoted entirely

to obtaining this measure together with the subjects'










rating of their perceived- and liked-to-be-self ratings. The measures of perceived choice, awareness of consequences and ascription of responsibility were obtained during the second session. A summary outline of the data-gathering procedure and instruments is presented in Table 2.

Design: The matrix described in Table 1 represents

the basic design that was used to test the hypotheses. For each construct pair there were two levels of similarity of perceived-self: S1 =- 2 and Si X S2; and two levels of similarity of liked-to-be-self: L1 L2 and L1 L2. Each subject was measured under each level of perceived-self and liked-to-be-self similarity at least four times. A mean perceived choice score based on the four observations on each subject for each cell was computed. In addition the variables SWS, AC, and AR were measured on each subject.

The effect of perceived-self similarity and liked-tobe-self similarity on perceived choice was assessed by a within subjects analysis of variance. The effect of variables SWS, AR, and AC was introduced into the model by partitioning the subjects into subgroups either above or below the median. The median for AR was 19, for SWS was 22.3, and for AC was 9. A nested randomized blocks design was used. Each subject served as a blcok. The blocks were nested within the variable AR in one analysis,












TABLE 2


OUTLINE OF THE DATA GATHERING PROCEDURE AND INSTRUMENTS


Location in
Session Name of Instrument Measure Appendix

1. Modified Kelly Role Construct Elicitation of Construct dimen- A
Repertory Test (MRT) sion: method of triad comparisons.

First 2. Rating of "perceived-self" Placement of "S" along 14 step B bipolar construct dimensions.

3. Rating of "liked-to-be-self" Placemcnt of "L" along 14 step B bipolar construct dimensions.


*Steps 2 and 3 were counterbalance for order of presentation.

Between the first and second session appropriate construct dimension pairs were selected for each subject according to the criteria outlined in Table 1.




Full Text

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PERCEIVED CHOICE AND SELF-CONCEPT CHANGE AS A FUNCTION OF OPTION SIMILARITY AND SELECTED PERSONALITY VARIABLES By CHARLES T. RUBIO A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1975

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many people have contributed to the preparation of this dissertation. I am especially grateful to Dr. Franz Epting for his valuable suggestions and for the many hours he has spent in helping me clarify the complexities of this area. Thanks are extended to my committee members, Dr. Wiley Rasbury, Dr. Audrey Schumacher, Dr. Lawrence Severy, aid Dr. Betty Siegel, for their suggestions and assistance which have facilitated the completion of this endeavor . In analyzing the data I was aided by Dr. Rose Ray, whose dedication and perseverance are much appreciated. I am indebted to Cathy Miller, Don Posner, Linda Jernigan, and Jan Morris, who have contributed their time during the various stages of gathering and processing the data. A word of thanks to Nancy McDavid for typing this manuscript, and to all the students who participated in this study . Finally, warmest appreciation is extended to my parents, Carlos and Mignon, through whom I have learned to value my own decisions. 11

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 11 LIST OF TABLES V1 ABSTRACT • V111 INTRODUCTION ^ General Overview Review of Relevant Issues The Meaning and Referents of Freedom 8 Some Functions of Perceived Freedom and Control. 13 Perceived Choice as Personal Causation Perceived Choice and Psychological Theory. . . . 22 Perceived choice and the correspondence between attitudes and behavior • 23 Perceived freedom of choice and the attribution process Some Determinants of Perceived Choice 25 Previous Research in Perceived Choice 31 Relative similarity of the alternatives. . . 33 Relative cost of each alternative 34 Relative valence of the alternatives .... 37 Predecision uncertainty and the number of alternatives Consequences of a choice 40 Behavior and attributed choice ....... 41 Individual differences in perceived choice . 46 FORMULATION OF THE PROBLEM AND STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESES 48 The Elements of the Self-Concept System To Be Considered • Hypotheses Regarding Individual Differences in Perceived Choice ^6 Awareness of consequences and the perception of choice • • 88 Attribution of responsibility and perceived choice Satisf act ion-withself and perceived choice. 70 iii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) Page METHOD 71 Subjects 71 Instruments 71 The independent variables 71 The dependent variable 82 RESULTS 92 Perceived Choice and Option Characteristics from Elicited Construct Pairs 92 Similarity of options 92 Individual Differences in Perceived Choice withElicited Construct Pairs 99 Awareness of consequences 101 Ascription of responsibility 104 Sat isf act ion-with-self 106 Perceived Choice and Option Characteristics from Provided Construct Pairs 106 Similarity of options 107 Analysis of perceived choice as a function of the SWS characteristic of the options . . 109 Individual Differences in Perceived Choice with Provided Construct Pairs Ill Comparison of Choice Ratings for Provided and Elicited Constructs 113 Analysis of Options Chosen from Elicited Constructs 113 Similar options 115 Dissimilar options 116 Options of partial similarity 117 Analysis of Chosen Options from Provided Constructs 117 Similar options 119 Dissimilar options 119 Options of partial similarity 121 DISCUSSION 125 Individual Differences in Perceived Choice . . . 129 Problems for Future Research 135 APPENDICES A INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODIFIED REPERTORY TEST (MRT ) . 138 B INSTRUCTIONS FOR RATING OF PERCEIVED SELF. . . . 142 IV

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TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) APPENDICES Paqe (continued ) C MEANS OF PERCEIVED-SELF , PREFERRED-SELF AND SATISFACTION-WITHSELF (SWS) RATINGS FOR TRIADIC COMPARISONS IN WHICH THE SELF IS INCLUDED VERSUS EXCLUDED AS AN ELEMENT 144 D AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES 145 E CODING GUIDE FOR AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES STORIES 147 F INTERCORRELATION MATRIX OF AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES STORIES 148 G PRINCIPAL COMPONENT FACTOR ANALYSIS OF AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES STORIES 14 9 H ASCRIPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY 150 I INSTRUCTIONS FOR PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS WITH ELICITED CONSTRUCTS 153 J INSTRUCTIONS FOR PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS WITH PROVIDED CONSTRUCTS 156 K ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR MEASURE OF PERCEIVED CHOICE WITH ELICITED CONSTRUCTS 159 REFERENCES 160 VITA 167 v

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LIST OF TABLES Page MATRIX DEPICTING CONSTRUCT PAIR RELATIONSHIPS SELECTED FOR THE MEASURE OF PERCEIVED CHOICE. . 83 OUTLINE OF THE DATA GATHERING PROCEDURE AND INSTRUMENTS 89 MEAN RATINGS OF PERCEIVED CHOICE FOR ELICITED CONSTRUCT PAIRS 94 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS FOR SIMILAR AND DISSIMILAR OPTIONS AT TWO LEVELS OF SATISFACTIONWITH-SELF INTERCORRELATION MATRIX OF THE THREE INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCE MEASURES 100 MEANS OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCE MEASURES FOR SUBJECTS ABOVE AND BELOW THE MEDIAN ON EACH MEASURE 102 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING FOR SUBJECTS ABOVE AND BELOW THE MEDIAN OF AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES AT TWO LEVELS OF PERCEIVED -SELF SIMILARITY. . . 103 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING FOR SUBJECTS ABOVE AND BELOW THE MEDIAN ON ASCRIPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY AT TWO LEVELS OF PERCEIVEDSELF SIMILARITY 105 MEAN RATINGS OF PERCEIVED CHOICE FOR FOUR CONDITIONS OF OPTION SIMILARITY FOR PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS 108 MEAN RATING OF PERCEIVED CHOICE FOR SIMILAR AND DISSIMILAR PAIRS AT TWO LEVELS OF SATISFACTIONWITH-SELF (SWS) HO MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING FOR PAIRS EQUAL ON ONLY ONE CHARACTERISTIC AT TWO LEVELS OF SATISFACTION WITH SELF (SWS) SIMILARITY . . . .112 vx

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LIST OF TABLES (continued) TABLE Page 12 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS FOR PROVIDED AND ELICITED CONSTRUCT PAIRS AT TWO LEVELS OF OPTION EQUALITY 114 13 PROPORTION OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FROM PAIRS OF PARTIAL SIMILARITY COMPARED WITH PROPORTIONS OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FROM PAIRS SIMILAR ON BOTH CHARACTERISTICS 118 14 PROPORTION OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FOR DISSIMILAR PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS 120 15 PROPORTIONS OF OPTIONS SELECTED FROM PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS OF PARTIAL SIMILARITY COMPOSED OF EQUAL AND UNEQUAL SATISFACTION-WITH-SELF CONSTRUCT PAIRS 122 16 PROPORTION OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FROM PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS OF PARTIAL SIMILARITY COMPOSED OF UNEQUAL SATISFACTION-WITH-SELF CONSTRUCTS . . 124 Vll

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy PERCEIVED CHOICE AND SELF-CONCEPT CHANGE AS A FUNCTION OF OPTION SIMILARITY AND SELECTED PERSONALITY VARIABLES By Charles T. Rubio December, 1975 Chairman: Dr. Franz Epting Major Department: Psychology The purpose of this study was to examine some of the determinants of the perception of choice one has when given the opportunity to change his self-concept. Three characteristics of the self-concept were considered: 1) the perceivedself; 2) the liked-to-be-self ; and 3) satisf action-with-self (SWS) , i.e., the discrepancy between the first two characteristics. In addition, the effects of two personality variables were examined: 1) awareness of consequences (AC), i.e., how aware the individual is of the consequences of his choices for himself and others, and 2) ascription of responsibility (AR) , i.e., whether or not the individual accepts responsibility for his decisions. The following hypotheses were tested: 1) perceived choice will be greater when the perceived-self and liked-to-be-self ratings are similar between options than when they are dissimilar; 2) when the satisf action-with-self of the options are held constant but the ratings for the perceived-self and likedto-be-self are different for each concept, perceived choice vm

PAGE 9

will be less than when both characteristics are similar; 3) when all other characteristics are dissimilar perceived choice will be greater when the likedto-be-self ratings of the options are similar than when the perceivedself ratings are similar; 4) perceived choice will be greater for individuals who are high on AC compared with individuals low on this variable; 5) perceived choice will be greater for individuals high on AR compared with individuals low on this variable; and 6) perceived choice will be positively related to satisf action-with-self . Eighty university males participated in the study. Two methodologies were used: 1) an actor paradigm, in which 22 construct dimensions were elicited from each subject who then indicated his perceivedand liked-to-be-self placements, and 2) an observer paradigm, in which the construct dimensions with the perceived-self and liked-to-be-self placements were provided each subject. The construct dimensions were presented in pairs and subjects had to rate their perception of choice when given the opportunity to change themselves along one dimension while remaining the same on the other. Options varied in the degree of similarity of the perceived-self, liked-to-be-self, and SWS characteristics between options. AC was measured by coding responses subjects gave to four stories involving individuals faced with decisions. AR was measured by having subjects express agreement or disagreement to statements carrying a rationale IX

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for accepting or rejecting responsibility for various behaviors . Hypotheses 1 and 2 were supported by both methodologies. It was found that perceived choice was greater for similar options than for dissimilar ones. The results did not support hypothesis 3. Perceived choice was not found to be greater for options with similar liked-to-be-self ratings compared with options having similar perceived-self ratings. There was, however, evidence which indicated that the reverse occurred under certain conditions. In support of hypothesis 4 it was found that high AC subjects perceived more choice than low AC subjects under the actor paradigm but not under the observer paradigm. Hypothesis 5, that choice would be greater for high AR subjects, was not supported with either paradigm. There was a significant interaction effect, however, which indicated that high AR subjects perceived more choice than low AR subjects when options were grouped according to perceived-self similarity. This result was obtained only under the actor paradigm. Hypothesis 6 which stated that high SWS subjects would perceive more choice than low SWS subjects was not supported. A trend in support of hypothesis 6 was evident under the actor but not the observer paradigm. The results were discussed with respect to the instruction set given the subjects and the method of assessing x

PAGE 11

the individual difference variables. The different results obtained under the two paradigms were discussed in terms of the meaningfulness of the elicited versus provided constructs. A heightened involvement in the task was also proposed to account for the individual difference effects that emerged with the subjects' own constructs but not with those that were provided to them. XI

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INTRODUCTION The focus of this study is freedom of choice, an experience that individuals have in varying degrees and circumstances. Freedom of choice has long been of interest to philosophers and psychotherapists and has recently become a research topic of social psychologists (e.g., Harvey & Johnston, 1973; Steiner, 1970). This is, in part, due to the pivitol role free choice has played in important social psychological theories such as attribution of responsibility and cognitive dissonance. Traditionally researchers in these areas have generally treated choice as an independent variable manipulated to produce varying degrees of dissonance and attribution. More recently, the emphasis has been on perceived choice as a dependent variable and studies are now reporting on the determinants of the perception of choice (Harvey & Harris, 1974; Kruglanski & Cohen, 1974; Steiner, Rotermond , & Talabar, 1974) . This is a comparatively new line of research that extends the study of the decision-making process from the traditional concerns of the probabilistic reasoning and 1

PAGE 13

2 exchange theorists (Thurstone, 1959; Luce, 1959; Tversky, 1972) to the phenomenon of the individual's own initial perception of choice. Perceived choice has been related to such concepts as competence and personal control (Harvey & Harris, 1974) and is considered by some writers (Berger, 1972; Greenwald, 1971; Schnee, 1972; Rogers, 1963) to be a major goal of psychotherapy. The present study is aimed at increasing our understanding of the experience of choice. This is an attempt to examine the effect of certain cues presumed latent in the choice context as well as some of the more stable characteristics of individuals that account for variations in the perception of choice. Specifically, this is an investigation of factors that affect one's perception of choice when given the opportunity or suggestion to change how one has traditionally conceptualized himself. It is concerned with those subjective situations involving choice and movement within one's own self-concept system. Consequently, unlike previous research in perceived choice, the present investigation will have the person himself define and supply the parameters of his choice domaine. By so doing, it is hoped to explore more personal and meaningful realms of choice .

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3 General Overview In order to provide an appropriate context for the study that will be reported the greater part of this introduction will be devoted to a discussion of the role perceived freedom has had within psychology. It wi 1 1 begin with a consideration of the various meanings of perceived freedom of choice and, later, attempt to show that perceived choice has important consequences for organismic functioning. In this latter context perceived choice will be related to such theoretical concepts as personal causation, autonomy, and competence. Following this general discussion, the position perceived choice has held within several theoretical approaches as an independent variable and with respect to different classes of behaviors will be surveyed. Variables that appear to be related to and which may influence perceived choice will also be discussed. Finally, recent research into the determinants of perceived choice will be reviewed. Review of Relevant Issues During psychology's brief history the concept of personal freedom or freedom of choice has been given only superficial consideration. Popular introductory textbooks in the area, for purposes of presenting their subject matter efficiently, conceptualize man's behavior in

PAGE 15

4 mechanistic and deterministic models. The long-range objective of a scientific psychology, we are taught, is the prediction and control of behavior. Consequently man has been presented as a product of genetic givens, reinforcement histories, environmental pressures and physiological states but is rarely held as enjoying that condition which Webster defines as "exemption from necessity in choice and action." Token references are made to philosophical arguments based upon the notion that whether or not all events are absolutely predictable has some implications for the question of the freedom of human beings to choose among alternative courses of action. This free-will determinism problem opposes the universal human experience of freedom of choice to the scientifically compelling assumption that there is a reason for everything. Paradoxically, we are forced to choose between them. There are those who maintain that what one has in the absence of predictability is not freedom, but chance (Ayers, 1968). Free will versus determinism are erroneously opposed; there is chance versus predictability and there is freedom versus constraint. While similar arguments continue unabated, this notion of classical philosophy has, in decent discussions of the topic, been rendered meaningless.

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5 Consequently, in order to avoid such arguments, the "illusion of freedom" and the "illusion of control" is often discussed as constructions of man to make sense of his experiences (Lefcourt, 1973). Thus it is possible for one person to view himself as having freely chosen one alternative out of many while a cynical observer could counter this by referring to the effects of the mass media and social pressure. Likewise, the therapist may judge an individual's feeling of powerlessness as an illusion which hinders psychological well being. In this sense both freedom of choice and control are represented as fantasies concocted by man. Freud, for example, maintained that no behavior is uncaused, and that what seems to be a freely chosen course of action is, in reality, determined by unconscious motives. Freud used "free association" in his practice precisely because he considered such associations to be determined by unconscious forces. No more receptive to the view that man exercises a margin of freedom of choice are the behaviorists . Conventional and radical behaviorists from Watson through Skinner hold that, while introspective observations regarding one's "intentions," "plans," or "expectations" may be worth investigating, they are more regarded as a form of theorizing which is not necessary or helpful (Skinner,

PAGE 17

6 1969). Even when the more radical behaviorists attempt to describe private events their theorizing is of the form, "I think therefore I am . . . conditioned" (Terrace, 1971) suggesting that even our awareness owes its existence to a public history of conditioning. Within this framework freedom of choice is an illusion (Skinner, 1971), necessary for some, but of little use in the study of human behavior. In terms of human experience, however, the argument as to whether one can freely choose or not may be specious, based upon a misconception, or not really relevant. Barker, in his paper "Humanistic Psychology and the Scientific Method" (1972 ) , remarks that we can observe a person as acting freely one moment and as being determined the next. What is important is that the acceptance of one view does not preclude the existence of the other. "These are simply ways of construing, each with its own advantages and disadvantages" (p. 149). The aim of this study is not to concern itself with the free will problem as a philosophical question but to inquire into its psychological meaning. What is relevant, then, is the widely held experience that people believe they can exercise a degree of choice in their affairs and that this belief has an effect on their behaviors in a variety of situations. The experience of perceived freedom, or perceived c hoice ,

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7 may be an illusion, devised by man to make sense of his experience, or it may not be. What is important is that such a perception has relevant antecedents and consequences which are worth considering. Today, the question of freedom of choice is a live issue in psychology. The publication of Skinner's (1971) book B eyond Freedom and Dignity has resulted in renewed and widely publicized debates regarding the merits and faults of current deterministic and humanistic points of view. This has, in a way, forced psychology to return to its philosophical roots in order to reexamine some of the questions rejected during its rebellious adolescence. Fortunately psychology is now mature enough as a separate discipline so that we can profit from its inquiry. In her article entitled "Design for a Hopeful Psychology, " Leona Tyler (1973) writes: The important issue for psychologists is not free will but free choice . Reasonable, scientifically minded men and women are not constrained to take a deterministic position if they find it incompatible with the best interests of the constituencies they serve, such as research participants, appliers of psychological knowledge, and makers of social policy. What I would like to do is get the issue out in the open for psychologists to grapple with. I consider it to be fundamental to the design of a hopeful psychology. (p. 1028) She also quotes two important sentences written by D. E. Broadbent (1973) regarding research now being conducted at Cambridge University:

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8 . . . the impulses to action which arise internally, from the stored accumulation of past operations upon experience, are selected out of an enormous array of possibilities, and this selection is determined by the organization and indexing of the memory; which is a property of man and not simply of the objective vents which have happened to him. (p. 110) Of course we still have a long way to go before we have even finished learning the basic and unalterable principles of behavior, the hardware limitations of the human computer. But we are already entering on the far more fruitful era, in which psychology will offer, not a glimpse of predictable and inexorable cogwheels revolving in our heads, but rather an array of different possible modes of thought, which it will be in the power of each man to adopt or to decline depending on his purposes. (p. 116) The Meaning and Referents of Freedom The scientist-philosopher, Michael Polanyi (1958), has maintained that decisions and creative discoveries in science are not based entirely on empirical evidence but to a large extent on personal knowledge. According to this position, the important decisions about accepting or rejecting a concept are made with regard to personal knowledge. Personal knowledge, in turn, derives from subjective as well as objective experience. The subjectiveobjective distinction actually becomes meaningless unless we wish to retain the terms and use them (a) in the sense that subjective experience is uniquely derived by us from our own body or (b) in the sense that objective

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knowledge is more easily communicated by conventional standards. The basic problem of obtaining knowledge 9 from experience is (1) to arrive at universals, i.e., reliable generalizations, from our own experience, and (2) to find ways to communicate these universals to others. In dealing with freedom, the basic universal is the feeling of causal efficacy, of being the origin of change in the environment, that is, of freely choosing to do something. The fact that it cannot be measured reliably and hence communicated scientifically sets the problem rather than placing it out of bounds. Much of the ambiguity and confusion that dealing with the concept of freedom has for many psychologists grows out of the different meanings the word freedom carries for different people. If it is taken to signify only the absence of external restraints, then one's behavior can be both psychically determined and free, although it may not be useful to others or satisfying to oneself. But if freedom is interpreted to mean that one can actually make choices and take responsibility for their consequences, then espousing freedom means giving up psychic determinism. Barker (1972) discusses this very problem of meaningfulness of statements. Barker maintains that the prominence and desirability attributed to the use of operational

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10 definitions in psychology has frequently blocked some researchers from dealing with significant variables for which there exists no clearly specified, objective referent. Consequently the more humanistically oriented psychologists are defining terms by the experience it evokes in the listener. It is the phenomenological or experiential referents of freedom that have the most significance for this discussion. Elaborating on this conceptualization, we may posit both a subjective and objective referent of freedom: It may apply to the phenomenological experience of all men as that feeling of freedom to act and choose, or conversely, a feeling that one is powerless to act and choose. In this sense, freedom and control are psychological phenomena that may be called subjective feelings. In the objective sense freedom may refer to the range of possible adaptive responses available to organisms in all situations in which they may find themselves (Barron, 1961). In the objective sense freedom increases as the response repertoire increases; in a given situation, it is a function, as well, of the constraints imposed by the situation. In effect, the situation as well as the organism defines the organism's freedom at any given moment. In the most general case Barron (1961) finds that ". . . It is meaningful to say that a clod is less free

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11 than a butterfly, and a butterfly less free than a man; and even, in fact, to say that some cods are freer than others, for it is not necessary to be alive in order to have certain inherent response tendencies" (p. 398). But to Barron the value of human freedom is it's providing us with the capacity to change ourselves— to enable us to become more flexible and enhance our response variability. This is not too different from what H. S. Terrace, a selfstyled "radical" behaviorist, describes as the basic function of awareness which he sees as enabling us to set up effective contingencies for modifying some aspects of our own behavior (Terrace, 1971). It appears that the worlds of the "soft" humanist and the "hard" behaviorist are not as far apart as they once seemed. Perhaps it only took time for the latter to satisfactorily fit their operational definitions to the experiential referents of the former . When considering freedom in its other meaning, as a subjective feeling, we are confronted with a different phenomenon. Often, we do not experience ourselves as having consciously chosen those states of being in which we eventually find ourselves. Rather, we respond to situational pressures and, therefore, gradually slide into those modes of behavior that solidify into habit and personal characteristics. In this sense, freedom is not

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12 an objective attribute of life; alternatives without awareness of them are of no importance to us. One of the most paradoxical aspects of neurotic suffering is the persistance by the individual in modes of behaving which continue to bring him unhappiness. I, as an observer, may see a number of alternative behaviors which could improve his condition. But they are of little use to him if he is not aware of them. He is no more free because I. see significant alternatives for him. In conclusion, nothing guarantees freedom since alternatives may go unnoticed and foreseeable consequences are not foreseen. We may not know what we have been, what we are, or what we are becoming. We have consciousness, but may proceed through life without awareness of that which means the most, the freedom which has to be noticed to be real. Freedom, therefore, is the awareness of alternatives and the awareness of the ability to choose. It is contingent upon consciousness and so may be gained or lost, increased or diminished. It is perhaps in psychotherapy that the subjective and objective referents of freedom can be realized. While the foregoing discussion presents an intuitive argument for the desirability of a belief in free choice, no empirical evidence supporting this contention was provided. The following section will report on studies

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13 which suggest that the awareness of choice has important consequences for the well-being of organisms. Some Functions of Perceived Freedom and Control In the May 1973 issue of The American Psychologist , H. M. Lefcourt marshals considered evidence that "the illusion that one can exercise personal choice" has important positive consequences for the well-being of both human and infrahuman life. This review was limited to studies dealing with the response to aversive stimulation. In a series of studies by Singer, Glass and others (Glass & Singer, 1972; Glass, Singer, & Friedman, 1969) it was found that subjects who received random presentations of noise distraction while working at various tasks performed poorer than subjects exposed to fixed interval noise. Lefcourt explains the effect in terms of a predictability-implies-control relationship. Those subjects who knew when the noise was due could pace themselves accordingly and work with little apprehension that unexpected noise would occur. A second study by Glass et al . (1969) demonstrates that knowing one can exercise direct control over aversive stimuli can mitigate distraction. In this investigation all subjects received randomly occurring noise, but half had access to a control

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14 button with which they could terminate the noise if it became too unbearable. Under these conditions, the subjects with access to the termination button performed better even though they did not actually use it. Lef court suggests that the opportunity for control reduced anxiety or apprehension about conditions possibly getting worse at some later time. Lefcourt reported another investigation in which the level of intensity of self-administered or passively administered shock was the dependent variable (Staub, Tursky, & Schwartz, 1971). Those subjects who were allowed to choose the intensity of self-administered shock tolerated higher levels and reported less discomfort than subjects given no choice. When the control was taken away from the subjects in the first group their endurance level declined. Similar results were also found in studies using physiological indices of stress (Corah & Boffa, 1970). The results of these studies suggest that predictable and self-controlled aversive stimuli have a less disturbing effect on the recipient than when the occurrence of those stimuli are externally controlled. Similar results have been found using subhuman species (Mowrer & Viets, 1948; Richter, 1959; Seligman, Maier, & Solomon, 1969). These investigations typically compared the subsequent behavior of one group of experimental

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15 animals that initially could terminate an electric shock by performing an instrumental response to the later behavior of a second group of animals passively yolked to the first. That is, the animals in the latter group could not control the termination of the shock. In effect, these animals learned that what happened to them was independent of their behavior. Using dogs, Overmier and Seligman (1967) found that subsequent to this experience, when the animals were individually placed in a shuttle box and subjected to shocks that they could learn to escape or avoid, the experience of prior control of shock termination affected how the dogs responded to the new painful stimulus. While dogs with prior control experience learned to successfully avoid the shocks, the dogs that received shocks (or shock termination) independent of their behavior did not learn the avoidance behavior. As Overmier and Seligman (1967) report : The dog does not cross the barrier and escape from shock. Rather, it seems to "give up" and passively "accept" the shock. On succeeding trials, the dog continues to fail to make escape movements and thus takes 50 seconds of severe pulsating shock on each trial. If he makes an escape or avoidance response, this does not reliably predict an occurrence of future responses as it does for the normal dog. Pretreated dogs occasionally escape or avoid shock by jumping the barrier and then revert to taking the shock. (p. 256)

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16 Seligman and Maier (1967) found that the deliterious effects of inescapable shock experiences could be ameliorated if the dogs were first given experience with escapable shock. From a clinical standpoint, the research would seem to indicate that the ability to adjust requires that the person have some experience in controlling or dealing successfully with aversive circumstances. While Seligman et al . do not have clinical interests as their primary concern, their concept of "learned helplessness" leads them to allude repeatedly to clinical analogues, as in the following examples from Seligman et al . (1969, p. 258) : The maladaptive failure of dogs to escape shock resembles some human behavior disorders in which individuals passively accept aversive events without attempting to resist or excape. Bettelheim (1960, pp. 151-152) described the reaction of certain prisoners to the Nazi concentration camps: Prisoners who came to believe the repeated statements of the guards--that there was no hope for them, that they would never leave the camp except as a corpse — who came to feel that their environment was one over which they could exercise no influence whatsoever, these prisoners were, in a literal sense, walking corpses. In the camps they were called 'moslems ' because of what was erroneously viewed as a fatalistic surrender to the environment, as Mohammedans are supposed to blandly accept their fate. Bleuler (1950, p. 40) described the passive behavior of some of his patients:

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17 The sense of self preservation is often reduced to zero. The patients do not bother anymore about whether they starve or not, whether they lie on a snow bank, or on a red-hot oven. During a fire in the hospital, a number of patients had to be led out of the threatened area; they themselves would never have moved from their places; they would have allowed themselves to be burned or suffocated without showing an affective response. Seligman et al . found that the effects of inescapable shock could be overcome only after extensive and forceable exposure of the dogs to the appropriate response— reinforcement contingency in the shuttlebox. The dogs needed to learn they were not helpless. Like the patients described by Bleuler above, and for many who seek psychotherapy, they had to learn there is something they could do about their situation. If perceived personal control has such an important life-sustaining function then the relationship between perceived choice and feelings of internal control has to be carefully examined. Perceived choice has been defined as experiencing control over one's own behavior (Ruch & Zimbardo, 1971). Some evidence that the two concepts are positively related are provided by Harvey and Harris (1974). Unfortunately the amount of empirical evidence relating these two concepts has been meager. In their discussion of subjectively experienced choice, or volition, as components of perceived freedom, Brehm & Cohen (1962) and Kelley (1967) derived the following generalizations: Experienced choice is high (a) when the legitimate

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18 forces producing compliance are low and the individual complies, (b) when the constraints against leaving a situation are low and the individual remains in it, (c) when the alternatives are equal in attractiveness and the person chooses one, (d) when the amount of pressure to make a choice is low yet the individual chooses, (e) when the strength of illegitimate forces is high yet the individual complies, and (f) when the choice is given much conscious consideration and is accompanied by uncertainty and conflict. Perceived Choice as Personal Causation One general hypothesis that appears related to the above conditions and, indeed, to the whole notion of subjective choice is that of personal causation. This notion (expounded by Kelley, 1967) asserts that freedom is experienced as a consequence of attributing the action involved to one's self as opposed to the external environment. The various analyses of psychological causality (Heider, 1958; Piaget, 1932; Werner, 1957) are also relevant and will be discussed in more detail later. Developmentally , psychological causality is a cognitive dimension in which the locus of causality for a personal act progresses from an external to an internal source. Ascribing responsibility for an act only on the basis of intentionality , and

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19 perceiving oneself rather than others as responsible for a personally intended act are reflections of an internal locus of causality. This type of internalization is inherent in feelings of autonomy (Minton, 1967). Autonomy has been discussed by several theorists, Rank (1945), Fromm (1941), and Erickson (1950), who emphasize this concept with respect to individuality. Autonomy is viewed by them as a developing characteristic of the individual that can come into contact with environmental restraints. The degree of one's autonomy reflects how successfully one has been able to come to terms with environmental demands while maintaining individuality. Specifically, Rank's (1945) notion is that an individual can become an initiating power interacting with the environment. He states that "... the inner world, taken in from the outside by means of identification, has become in the course of time an independent power, which in its turn by way of projection so influences and seeks to alter the external, that its correspondence to the inner is even more close" (p. 111). Sullivan (1947) underscores a similar idea when he writes of the impulse to obtain and maintain a feeling of ability. Emphasis is placed on the ability to obtain security in interpersonal relations .

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20 These theorists' treatment of autonomy as a tendency toward self-determination, toward mastering oneself and the environment is strongly related to the concepts of competence and efficacy. White (1959) defines competence as the individual's capacity to interact successfully with his environment. The motivating state underlying activities in the service of competence is labeled "ef f ectance , " and produces an accompanying experience termed a "feeling of efficacy." Efficacy is described as a feeling of being active, of doing something, of having an influence on something. Piaget (1954) also uses the term efficacy, describing it as a dim sense or awareness that feelings of effort, of longing in one's actions are somehow responsible for external events. Efficacy takes place during the sensorimotor period of development and serves as the basis for the development of feelings of personal causality. Considering again the six generalizations derived from Brehm & Cohen (1962) and Kelley (1967) will perhaps enable us to more clearly see the important role choice has with respect to the concepts of competency and personal causality. For example, when alternatives are comparable in attractiveness and are of low certainty, the choice must be given much conscious consideration. This gives an individual opportunity to reflect and operate on the

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21 information about the options. By so doing, the individual has to rely to a greater extent upon his own personal resources in selecting one alternative over another. And given the nature of different types of decisions required under various circumstances we could speculate that people seek out those conditions where they would receive more information about their ability, i.e., situations of high perceived choice. This is similar to George Kelley's (1963) notion of choice which he considers as enabling a person to more clearly define or elaborate his understanding of himself and his environment. It could be hypothesized that people desire to be in situations in which they have high perceived choice. Recent studies by Harvey and Harris (1974) and Jellison and Harvey (1973) do indicate that in certain circumstances of high perceived choice individuals report a greater control over their behavior and a greater feeling of competence in making a decision than in situations of low perceived choice. However attractive and appealing this reasoning may appear, it should be noted that others (Fromm, 1941; Kaufmann, 1973) have argued exactly the opposite position. That is, individuals may be threatened by having to make important decisions and, therefore, avoid situations of high perceived choice.

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22 Central to this discussion, however, is not whether individuals actually seek or avoid high choice experiences, or, in fact, whether the notion has any meaning at all. What is significant is the research and reasoning underscoring the necessity for the belief in the existence of choice for the well-being of organisms. It is through its effects on psychological well-being that perceived choice can be related to such concepts as personal causation, autonomy, and the effectance motive. Furthermore, the consideration of perceived choice as a psychological variable has some implications for psychotherapy. Writers and psychotherapists such as Rogers (1963), Peris (1969), Greenwald (1971), and Berger (1972) view perceived choice and consequent decisions as the active principle in most psychotherapy. In this respect the underlying assumption taken in the present investigation is that objective choice, in the sense of response variability, is at a maximum when a genuine feeling of choice exists. This feeling of choice occurs in the presence of a broadened self-awareness, the goal or by-product of many current psychotherapies . Perceived Choice and Psychological Theory Perceived choice has been an important variable in research dealing with attitude change and attribution theory.

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23 These studies have focused almost exclusively on the perception of choice as an independent variable. Perceived choice and the correspondence between attitudes and behavior One of the more prolific research areas of recent years is concerned with what happens when a behavior which is inconsistent with a private attitude results in attitude change in the direction of consistency. The question of the correspondence between attitudes and behavior is a complex one and involves a consideration of such factors as the consequences of the behavior and incentive magnitudes . Dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957 ), self-perception theory (Bern, 1967), incentive theory (Elms, 1967), and rationalization aimed at enhancing the individual's selfimage (Schlenker, 1973) have all generated much research which has shed some light on this phenomena. A discussion of the various aspects of this controversy is beyond the scope of this report. The reader can refer to review articles by Steiner (1970) , or Schlenker (1973) for a more thorough consideration of this area. The point to be made here is that there is considerable evidence (Brock, 1962; Kelley, 1967; Bramel, 1969; Calder, Ross, & Insco, 1973; Schlenker, 1973) which indicate that perceived choice

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24 to engage in the behavior is an important determinant of attitude change following contra-attitudinal behavior. P erceived freedom of choice and the attribution process A concern with an individual's intention appears to constitute a fundamental focus in attributing personal responsibility for an event. From his developmental studies, Piaget (1932) concludes that although the child begins by imputing motive and intention to physical objects and events, he gradually becomes more sophisticated and restricts his imputations of intention to personal agents . Heider (1958) extended the analysis of causality to include personal responsibility , which he conceptualizes as the cognized link between the person and the final outcome. Again, intention is the central factor determining intimacy of the link. Generalizing from his distinction between personal and impersonal causality, Heider maintains that responsibility for the outcome may be attributed to the person, to the environment, or to both. The environment includes all impersonal factors which might be perceived as facilitating or inhibiting production of a given outcome, such as "luck," task difficulty, coercion, social influence and norms, or even fate or a "Supreme Being." Thus responsibility for a given outcome need not be

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25 attributed to a personal origin. This conceptualization is similar to Rotter's (1954) distinction between an internal and external locus of control. In Heider's system, "personal responsibility . . . varies with the relative contribution of environmental factors to the action outcome; in general, the more they are held to influence the action, the less the person is held responsible" (1958, p. 113). An important implication of this proposition is that it is legitimate in Heider's framework to ask questions about the degree of perceived responsibility. Research in attribution theory has delineated the importance of the perception of choice as a crucial variable in attributing responsibility for behaviors, intentions, and attitudes (Davidson & Steiner, 1971; Eisinger & Mills, 1968; Steiner & Field, 1960). What is relevant here is the notion that the degree of freedom one is perceived to possess affects judgments concerning dispositional properties inferred by his behavior. Some Determinants of Perceived Choice In view of the central role perceived choice has played as an independent variable in a number of major theoretical approaches, it seems especially important to acquire a better understanding of the determinants of the perception of choice. This section will consider some

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26 variables which nay influence an individual's perception of the amount of choice he, or another person, felt that he had in taking a particular action under particular circumstances . Steiner (1970) , in his analysis of a related concept, perceived freedom, asserts that there are two kinds of freedom: (1) outcome freedom, i.e., a person "may feel that he has a high probability of obtaining desired outcomes," or (2) decision freedom, i.e., a person "may believe that he, rather than other people, fate, or the press of circumstances, selects the outcomes he will seek and the means he will employ in seeking them" (p. 189) . Each of these types may occur independently of the other. An individual may perceive that he has freely chosen to obtain objectives he has little chance of reaching or he may feel compelled to obtain desirable goals. The outcome freedom that one possesses is a function of both his own internal resources and external factors that may either facilitate or impede his attainment of the goal. In the Heiderian (1958) system this refers to the "can" and "may" factors. A person perceives he can, or is able, to obtain a goal but further perceives that he may or may not do so according to societal pressures. Lewin (1948) expressed a similar view in his topological representation of an individual ' s space of free movement .

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27 This space of free movement was bordered by regions inaccessible to the individual because he lacked sufficient ability and because of social prohibitions. In addition to these two extremes of absolute free movement and prohibition there lie regions of varying shades of relative freedom depending upon the ever-changing relationship between the individual and his environment. Steiner (1970) attempts to translate the views of Heider and Lewin into the language of exchange theory: A person believes himself to enjoy outcome freedom to the extent that he feels he can afford to incur the costs involved in obtaining the payoff he desires. If the costs are more critical to the individual than the outcome they promote, or if the individual lacks the resources with which to incur the required costs, he cannot be expected to credit himself with outcome freedom. (p. 189) Considered in this way perceived outcome freedom is positively related to the gain an individual expects to achieve. An individual will credit himself with high outcome freedom when the valence of the expected outcome is high and the costs low. If the converse is perceived, i.e., high costs for a low outcome valence, then he perceives himself as having little freedom. Steiner includes the notion of uncertainty in his analysis of choice. As Steiner observes, there are many situations in which one cannot be completely certain of success even though he feels he possesses the necessary

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28 ability and desire to incur the required costs. The question, however, is how to incorporate the element of uncertainty into his model. There have been several analyses of goal-directed behavior as a joint function of the value of a goal and the subjective probability (uncertainty) of success in achieving it. The earliest expression of this, by Lewin, Dembo, Festinger, and Sears (1944), hypothesized "force" as a joint product of subjective probability and valuence. Similar analyses have been presented by Edwards (1954), Atkinson (1957), Heider (1958), Thibaut and Kelley (1959), and Rotter (1954). In these previous analyses, it would seem that subjective probability represents an expectancy of how much influence one is able to exert over his environment (i.e., can vs. may factors). Steiner (1970) postulates that valence and subjective probability combine multiplicatively. Thus, the attractiveness, or expected payoff, of an option was assumed to equal its "expected value" (valence of payoff X subjective probability) minus the valence of any costs that must be incurred in pursuing the action. The preceding discussion dealt with whether or not one chooses to seek a specific outcome and called this aspect perceived outcome freedom. Steiner (1970) also considers the case where one must choose one outcome rather than

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29 another. His analysis is similar to Brehm and Cohen's (1962) discussion of volition. If the individual clearly prefers one alternative over the other, he is said to possess "low choice." However, if he nearly equally prefers the two alternatives, he is said to have "high choice . " This expression of perceived decision freedom is represented by Steiner as the inverse of the difference of the outcome freedoms for the two alternatives. Therefore, if the desirability, or expected gain, of one of the alternatives is high the less easily can an individual decide against pursuing it; the more undesirable (the higher the expected loss) one alternative is the less freely he is able to choose it. Thus highly desirable or undesirable outcomes preclude one's perception of real choice to choose otherwise. Within this model it is the comparative, rather than the absolute magnitudes of a person's outcome freedoms which determine one's perceived freedom to choose among alternatives. If an individual must choose between two options and the perceived outcome freedom is approximately equal the person may feel he himself is determining which option he will select. But if the outcomes are very different the individual may feel that factors outside himself are more important in influencing his selection.

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30 This view parallels that of Brehm and Cohen (1962) who suggest that people experience more volition when confronted with approximately equal alternatives than when presented with alternatives grossly different from each other. However, Brehm and Coehn did not consider factors such as costs or uncertainty perhaps because in their research these aspects were controlled or thought to be constant . The specific circumstances that affect one's perception of his freedom to choose have yet to be investigated. All the theory postulates is that perceived choice is a function of the discrepancy between the anticipated gains. Anything that alters the valence, the uncertainty of subjective probability, or costs associated with an alternative may affect an individual's perception of its availability and desirability and his decision as to whether or not he will choose to seek it. The available options and permissible outcomes may be constrained by social rules, limited resources, or the character of the environment. The quality of one's personal assets may allow a person to feel free to pursue a certain outcome but may or may not limit his perception of choice as to which of many outcomes he will pursue. A highly skilled athlete may feel free to pursue a football career but may experience little freedom to choose to be a surgeon instead.

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31 Likewise, possession of generalizable assets such as money, intelligence, education, social status may encourage the perception of both high outcome and decision freedom. In the preceding section both outcome and decision freedom were discussed. However, the majority of the studies in this area have focused almost exclusively on decision freedom. Therefore, in the discussion that follows, evidence relating to the determinants of perceived choice will be reviewed, and unless otherwise noted, will refer to decision freedom. Previous Research in Perceived Choice The bulk of the research into the determinants of perceived choice have focused on a two-option decision context and have attempted to measure perceived decision freedom. Implicit in the research is that the reasoning expatiated by Brehm and Cohen (1962) and Steiner (1970) regarding perceived choice applies to both the decision maker himself (the actor) and to observers who perceive his situation. Consequently researchers have used both observer and actor paradigms. Although the methodology differs within each paradigm the results have supported the assumption that both actors' and observers' perception of choice are similarly influenced.

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32 The actual decision context and the nature of the options vary according to the particular determinant, or independent variable, under consideration. A typical decision situation which appears influenced by Steiner's (1970) early formulation of perceived decision freedom inthe language of the probabilistic and exchange theorists has subjects rate the perceived choice of target persons who have been presented with pairs of investment opportunities (Harvey & Johnston, 1973; Steiner et al . , 1974). This procedure allowed the investigators to manipulate costs, subjective probability and the value of the options. An example of a choice item in these studies is as follows (from Steiner, 1974): Student K.W. invested $15 and chose between: Option A Option B 50% chance of getting $30 50% chance of getting $24 50% chance of getting $10 50% chance of getting $16 In this example the cost associated with choosing either option was $5. The subjective probability of obtaining either option was 50%. Likewise, the valence of the payoff for both options were equal: for option A, $30 + $10 = $40; for option B, $24 + $16 = $40. Therefore, this is an example of a choice between options offering equal expected payoffs. Other studies (Harvey, Barnes, Sperry, & Harris, 1974; Harvey & Johnston, 1973; Jellison & Harvey, 1973;

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Harvey & Jellison, 1974) manipulated the relevant variables by providing subjects with information about two football teams and had college students pick a winner and rate their choice in making a decision. In these studies subjects were presented with scouting reports, ratings of strengths of both teams, the absence of key players and the probability of bad weather. Other investigations have involved choice between two types of learning experiences with pleasant or unpleasant consequences (Harris & Harvey, 1973); types of visual stimulation (Harvey & Harris, 1974; Harvey et al . , 1974); writing essays in support of different topics (Kruglanski & Cohen, 1973) ; or joining different clubs (Kruglanski & Cohen, 1974). In a few studies (Davidson & Steiner, 1971; Bringle, Lehtinen, & Steiner, 1973) a target person's behavior was manipulated in order to create the impression of high or low freedom while others (Kruglanski & Cohen, 1973; 1974) have varied both the target person's behavior and his decision context. The following sections will present a summary of the findings regarding some of the determinants of perceived choice. Relative similarity of the alternatives When two alternatives offer approximately equal net gains the decision maker reports experiencing more choice than when gains are dissimilar (Harvey & Johnston, 1973;

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34 Harvey et al . , 1974; Harvey & Harris, 1974; Jellison & Harvey, 1973; Kruglanski & Cohen, 1974; Steiner et al., 1974). This relationship holds provided the quality (i.e., positive or negative) of the options is controlled. There is evidence that similar negative options elicit less perceived choice than similar positive options (Harvey et al . , 1974; Kruglanski & Cohen, 1974). This particular condition will be discussed in a separate section dealing with the quality of the options. What is important here is the effect of similarity of options when valence has been held constant. Steiner (1974) in a specific test of his model (Steiner, 1970) used an investment paradigm and found that attributed choice is affected by the similarity of the expected values of the options (Expected Value = Valence x Subjective Probability) . This relationship held up regardless of v/hether they were generated by low valences and high subjective probabilities or high valences and low subjective probabilities. Relative cost of each alternative Steiner (1974) found that the effects of relative expected value is mediated by costs. Harvey and Johnston's (1973) investigation using a methodology similar to Steiner's (1974) found that their subjects did not employ

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35 an expected value strategy in their perceptions and based their ratings on the similarity of the valences of the outcomes. However, Steiner (1974) argues that since costs were not controlled Harvey and Johnston's (1973) subjects may have assumed that various options had attendant, though unspecified, costs which may have confounded the results. Steiner (1970) presents indirect evidence which suggests that when subjective probability is held constant perceived cost is positively related to the valence of the outcome. When he manipulated the cost factor Steiner (1974) found that net gains (i.e.. Expected Value Costs) accounted for more variance than did either component alone. Also, Steiner found that subjects perceived more choice when net gains were large and similar than when they were small and similar but that no difference in choice was reported when the gains were large and unequal versus gains that were small and unequal . Steiner does not account for this but the relationship between choice and competence discussed earlier may provide some explanation for these different effects. Since high net gains (and high expected values) are more desirable than low ones an individual confronted by two highly desirable and similar options may experience an affective potentiation of his subjective feeling of choice. This enhanced

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36 involvement in the decision making process may increase one's need to feel in control of the decision resulting in a sense of increased felt choice. Steiner's (1974) results also showed a main effect of costs: equal costs yielded less attributed choice than did unequal costs. Steiner suggests that this finding may be due to an artifact of his methodology but also reasons that the effects of similarity of costs on perceived choice may, in fact, be opposite to that of simil ar ity of net gains. A store that sells only one product provides little variety for those willing to pay higher prices for better goods, or for those needing to pay less in order to save money. It appears that, although Steiner's model cannot presently account for all the variance among the various components of perceived choice, it does account for the data more clearly than the study by Harvey and Johnston (1973). The later investigators did not expressly deal with costs, in any form, nor did it predict the relationship between valence and probability. In fact, it was this failure to account for costs that probably prevented the expected value relationship to be demonstrated.

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37 Relative valence of the alternatives In this discussion valence refers to the quality of the options presented to the decision maker. This may be due to the alternatives offering either net losses or gains, or pleasant or unpleasant consequences to the person. In one study, Harvey and Harris (1974) had subjects select one of two types of visual stimulation that they thought they would be exposed to at a later time. Half of the subjects were presented with two unpleasant options and the other half were presented two pleasant options. Within each group half of the subjects had two options that differed to a small degree while the remaining subjects had options with a large difference in attractiveness. The results indicated that positively valenced options yielded a larger perception of choice than did negative options. Although the similarity of attractiveness manipulation were not significant statistically, the results were in the expected direction. That is, options with small differences in attractiveness yielded higher perceived choice ratings than did options with large attractiveness differences. The findings that positively valenced options produce higher experiences of choice than negative ones were replicated by Harvey et al . (1974). Harvey and Harris (1973) report a strong positive correlation between perceived choice and feelings of

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38 control over one's behavior in future situations and reason that this relationship may help explain the differences in perceived choice under the different valence conditions. They note that Skinner (1971) suggests people experience more personal control under positive reinforcement conditions and that Bramel (1969) hypothesizes greater subjective feelings of freedom when individuals pursue positive options. They reason, therefore, that a greater sense of control under the positive outcome condition may have accounted for the higher ratings of perceived choice. The results of another study will be reported here since they appear to be at variance with what has been reported so far regarding similarity and valence effects. Using an observer paradigm Kruglanski and Cohen (1974) had subjects rate the perceived freedom of a target person upon making his selection from two clubs that were rated by the target as "very interesting" or "very uninteresting." Contrary to the findings reported above there was no difference in freedom attributions between options of similar and dissimilar attractiveness. Furthermore, options of equal high attractiveness and options of disparate attractiveness received higher freedom ratings than did options of similar low attractiveness. However, this study, unlike previous ones, had provided raters with

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39 information regarding the target persons' personality. The effects of knowing an individual's predecision personality does affect the attributions of freedom to him and will be discussed in more detail in a later section. More significantly, the writers present evidence that what they were in fact measuring was not decision freedom but Steiner's (1970) related concept, "outcome freedom," i.e., the freedom one experiences in pursuing an outcome after the outcome has been selected. Predecision uncertainty and the number of alternatives These two determinants are discussed together because research suggests that they interact and are curvilinearly related to perceived choice. Harvey and Johnston (1973) and Jellison and Harvey (1973), using a two-option context, found that perceived choice was a direct function of the uncertainty about making a decision. The greater the uncertainty the greater was the reported choice. In order to further explore this relationship Harvey and Jellison (1974) added three conditions that varied in the number of options: small = 3 options; moderate = 6; large = 12. Their results indicated that perceived choice is directly proportional to the number of options when subjects thought they had taken a shorter than average time (low uncertainty) in making their choice. When subjects were

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40 told they took a longer than average time (high uncertainty) perceived choice was greater for a moderate number of alternatives than for either the small or large number. The writers suggest that high uncertainty coupled with a large number of options, though challenging, may be too complicated for some individuals and, therefore, restrict their perception of choice. Consequences of a choice If we extend this discussion to include not only the valence of the presented options but also the quality of the outcomes we have a situation similar to those employed in the traditional dissonance studies. In this case the question becomes what effect does the quality of the consequences have on the retrospective attribution of choice one feels he had in making the original decision. In most of the "dissonance" studies perceived choice had been manipulated prior to the actor's performing the behavior in question and there had been more prominent modes of dissonance reduction available. Harris and Harvey (1973) found that when alternative modes of dissonance reduction were controlled subjects appeared to use self-attributions of choice as a means of dissonance reduction. Specifically, they found that when decisions led to positive outcomes for others, subjects attributed

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41 significantly higher amounts of choice to themselves than when their decisions led to aversive consequences. Similar results had been reported by Brock and Buss (1964). Harris and Harvey (1973) interpreted their results in accordance with Aronson's (1968) notion that dissonance is greatest when the self-concept is threatened. Presumably, subjects in their study experienced a threat to their self-concept upon learning that their decision would lead to unpleasant consequences for another. Schlenker's (1973) theory of self-image enhancement could also apply to these results. What remains in any event is that since the subjects in Harris and Harvey's (1973) study were not paid to participate and no attitude measures were involved, their only available means of dissonance reduction or self-image maintenance was in decreasing their self-attributions of choice . Behavior and attributed choice The research discussed thus far has dealt with perceptual-cognitive and motivational processes in the perception of choice. The perceptual-cognitive determinants have been primarily those associated with external situational characteristics (qualities of options, valences, costs, etc.) while the motivational components were linked with consequences and ego-defensive strategies.

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42 However, there has been other research concerned more directly with determinants of attributed freedom of choice to another. Researchers in dissonance and attribution theory have attempted to directly induce the perception of an individual's restricted freedom by publicly assigning him to a role (Steiner & Field, 1960) , by telling subjects that an individual has been instructed to produce a message favorable to a point of view (Jones & Harris, 1967), or by creating conditions under which it appears unlikely that an actor possesses the resources needed to change his behavior (Wiggins, Dill, & Schwartz, 1965). In only a relatively few studies has the individual's own behavior been manipulated to create the impression that he possesses a wide or narrow margin of freedom. Davidson and Steiner (1971) and Bringle et al . (1973) examined the impact of rewards and punishments on the amount of freedom subjects attributed to the agent who administered them. The presentation schedule of reinforcement ranged from continuous (100%) through several variable ratios (75%, 54%, 40%, and 25%). The amount of reward was adjusted so that all subjects received the same total amount. Little freedom was attributed to agents who were perceived to dispense rewards with regularity (very frequently or very infrequently) . Those agents who employed variable ratio schedules of intermediate magnitude were

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43 judged to be more free. One message such behavior may convey is that the agent is relatively immune to normative and other constraints and is seen to possess a wide margin of freedom to do as he pleases. The investigators in these studies contend that predictable behaviors are construed to be less freely performed than those which are unpredictable . This view of freedom is very similar to the notion of indeterminancy (reminiscent of the counterposition of freedom with determinism by classical philosophy discussed earlier). Thus, an action is experienced as free when it occurs in the absence of identifiable situational constraints. That is, behaving in a way that is contrary to situational demands is unexpected--and experienced as free. So is choosing from between two equally attractive or uncertain alternatives. This notion of unpredictability can be considered in relation to Kelley's (1967) assertion that freedom as personal causation occurs when the individual feels that he and not the situation is most responsible for his behavior. That is, if a person behaves in a manner contrary to situational expectations then he may experience his behavior as due to his own intentions. Also, when confronted by highly similar or equally uncertain options for which no environmental cues may be readily discerned a person may feel more personally responsible for the choice.

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44 This notion of personal causation sets a limit on the applicability of the concept of unpredictability. If one's behavior is subjectively construed as unpredictable then personal causality would not be experienced. What would ensue from total unpredictability would be a feeling of external causation or control occurring in varying degrees for people perhaps resulting in a neurosis or psychosis. Therefore, unpredictability is not reflected in the light of all prior knowledge available but only when action appears unpredictable with respect to environmental expectations. Personal causation necessarily requires that behavior be consistent (therefore predictable) with self-knowledge or with knowledge of someone else's personality. Pertinent to this discussion is a study by Kruglanski and Cohen (1973). These investigators provided subjects with "personality" descriptions of target individuals and with descriptions of their behaviors in situations where certain expectations were salient. More freedom was attributed to those individuals who acted in accord with their presumed personality predispositions. When the individual's behavior was inconsistent with his presumed dispositions the attribution of freedom was found to be a function of whether the behavior was consistent or inconsistent with situational pressures. Behaviors perceived as inconsistent with situational expectations were judged as more free.

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45 Kruglanski and Cohen (1974) reason that when outcome freedom is studied personal causation is particularly important. With outcome freedom the chosen alternative is stressed and, therefore, knowledge of the individual's personal characteristics (i.e., preferences, attitudes, etc.) are especially relevant in assigning to him freedom to pursue the goal. When decision freedom is investigated the focus is on whether or not a real alternative exists to the chosen one. This is an important distinction and studies of perceived choice should take care to note which type of freedom is being measured. Kruglanski and Cohen's (1973, 1974) investigations indicate that completely opposite results may occur depending upon whether outcome or decision freedom is being studied. The above discussion and empirical data implies that one major determinant of freedom is whether or not the cause of behavior can be assigned to the self, i.e., as resulting from personal predispositions. Situational factors become important only when resulting behavior is seen as inconsistent with an individual's presumed characteristics. Then, behaviors that deviate from external demands are judged as more free. However, this relationship between subjective freedom and out of character behavior should be weak at best-especially for self-attributed freedom. The experience

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46 most of us have had of "not being ourselves today" or of having done something and later reflecting "that is not like me" can attest to this. We do not feel in control under those circumstances and begin to look outside ourselves for "reasons." Few of us will admit to something in ourselves as being responsible. Occasionally this something is viewed as "not-self," alien, and something which must necessarily be avoided or expelled. Individual differences in perceived choice To date, the study by Harvey et al . (1974) represents the only attempt to investigate the relationship of personal orientations to perceived choice. Utilizing Rotter's (1954) concept of locus of control the authors reasoned that a sense of control is related to high perceived choice. Those who view the outcomes of their behavior as a direct consequence of that behavior are said to have an internal locus of control while those who view the outcomes as a consequence of outside forces (chance, luck, etc.) are said to possess an external locus of control. These investigators predicted that internals would perceive greater choice under all circumstances than externals. However , the relationship of locus of control to perceived choice depended upon the decision context, i.e., the kinds of choices that were measured. When decisions involved

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47 options with positive consequences, the internals did perceive more choice than externals, but the opposite effect was found with decisions involving negative options. The authors attributed this to the greater sensitivity to choice cues on the part of the internals and that for options with negative outcomes the internals may have felt less personal benefit accruing froeither option and, therefore, less choice. When options do not involve positive or negative outcomes there was a general tendency for internals to perceive greater choice than externals.

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FORMULATION OF THE PROBLEM AND STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESES In the preceding chapter data were presented relevant to the perception of choice involving options for the individual that were clearly external. For example, subjects had to choose from various investment opportunities, football teams, or a visual stimuli. It may or may not have been an assumption of the investigators that their results are intended to shed light on perceived choice in all encounters. The present research, however, is restricted to those subjective situations involving choice and movement within one's self-concept system. This emphasis was selected because subjective choice contexts, like the selfconcept system, has previously been ignored in favor of the more objective but less interesting paradigms of the probabilistic reasoning and exchange theorists. Furthermore, there is a need to consider perceived choice as it relates to the psychotherapeutic process. Since it is in therapy that feelings of choice can be maximized. Although this study is not directly concerned with psychotherapy, it is hoped that its findings can be related to this process. 43

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49 The present investigation focuses on the perception of choice one has when confronted with the suggestion of changing how he has traditionally defined himself. Before proceeding further I will attempt to clarify what is meant by "defining one's self." At the organic level the individual can respond differentially to what he experiences as either helpful, i.e., nutritious, or harmful, i.e., poisonous. Man in addition to responding in this way has the ability to think which enables him to make further differentiations . From these differentiations emerge inferences and from inferences emerge conceptualizations. These conceptualizations account for an individual's unique representation of his experiences. Also, these conceptualizations represent his best understanding of reality. Conversely, the individual has the ability to respond to his conceptualizations as reality. This ability to differentiate among experiences is dependent upon the process of polarization. That is, in order for us to know what something is we must be able to comprehend what it is not. Theorists from as widely diverse backgrounds as Piaget, Fritz Peris, and George Kelly, to name only a few, have all expatiated psychological theories based on this phenomenon. Polarization is a dynamic process which begins with cellular differentiation at conception and continues through the new born child's

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50 struggle to distinguish itself from its physical and later, social environment. With the development of language the individual further elaborates upon his awareness of self with increasing differentiation. It is in this phase of psychological differentiation that man begins to conceptualize himself. According to Kelly (1966) self-conceptualization itself undergoes constant changes toward either a further definition of the existing structure or an extension of it in order to include new, more encompassing possibilities. This occurs through the individual's ability to manipulate concepts as isolated wholes and to relate them to other concepts as different or similar. The discovery of a phenomenological relationship between two concepts is considered by some existential theorists as itself a process leading to newer meanings and relationships (Frankl, 1969; Moustakas, 1966; Peris, 1969). Appreciating the relationship between the two concepts is the beginning of the process towards new meanings. These theorists view the process between two concepts as consisting of the opposing tendencies to remain differentiated from as well as to merge with each other. Gradually, this activity may alter the relationship between two conceptualizations and new processes are begun. The resulting new meaning may itself become an element that enters into a relationship with others through which still other new meanings are discovered.

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51 Conversely, the points may not merge and, instead, become further differentiated from one another until they are no longer a part of the relationship. At a further level of abstraction we may consider all elements as continually participating in many processes. For the purpose of this discussion, however, the element of this ongoing process can be represented as one point in relationship with another . The following example from Bannister and flair's (1968) discussion of Kelly's (1955, 1963) Theory of Personal Constructs may make this clearer: Among the many forms of construct change which may occur are the following. The construct may be used to deal with a different set of events from the usual one, resulting in changes in the position of elements. For instance, the countryman coming to live in the town continues to use his construct friendly-aloof , but in the new situation begins to see some actions he would previously have called aloof as relatively friendly in the different social context. The kind of distinction implied by the construct may be changed somewhat. Thus in Kelly's example, the countryman in town may gradually come to regard aloofness as one aspect of a neighborly respect for privacy rather than necessarily a wholly unneighborly action. The construct's relations to other constructs may be altered as, for example, when aloofness is seen as implying respect rather than disrespect, and respect comes to imply empathy and consideration rather than subservience or adulation. (pp. 19-20) Ideally the psychological processes within the individual should allow for limitless possibilities of relating

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52 with others, although what frequently happens is that individuals channelize their experiences through those relatively stable conceptions of themselves called their sense of identity . The concepts an individual has developed in order to meaning to his existence affects how he experiences his world, other people in it, and his relationship with those people. When discord occurs among these relationships the individual experiences himself as disturbed or is so experienced by those he affects. This may be experienced as a discordant dichotomy between the individual and people in his environment or as a disharmony arising from within the individual himself. In some cases psychological labels may be applied to this disturbing behavior. The individual may then be motivated to seek help and elect to engage in the process of psychotherapy. What is suggested here is that if resolution is to be achieved, it would most likely be accompanied by a change within the conceptual system of the individual. This study is concerned, therefore, with decisions which initially affect this system of self-concepts. Assuming we can conceptualize the "self" as an object that can be understood by ourselves and communicated to others we are confronted with a rather limited and not altogether satisfactory representation. In general, the

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53 basic representation is that of a hypothetical psychological hyperspace of an unknown number of dimensions, in which the concept "me" can be represented at particular points. This view of the self-as-an-element results from a series of specific distinctions we make when comparing ourselves with others in various contexts. The question posed, then, is what are the factors that affect one's perception of choice when given the opportunity or suggestion to change the way one conceptualizes himself? Unlike previous research in the area of perceived choice the present investigation will ask the person himself to supply and define for us the parameters of his choice domain. The Elements of the Self-Concept System To Be Considered This investigation will explore the relationship of three dimensions of the self-concept system to perceived choice: the perceived-self , the liked-to-be-self , and satisf action-with-self . The first two elements are considered to be independent of one another and combine to produce the third. Since the choices to be investigated will involve comparisons between various individual concepts within one 1 s own concept system an important issue that must be considered is the degree to which one believes he possesses the construct. However, research reviewed in the preceding

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chapters (specifically, Harvey & Johnston, 1973, and Jellison & Harvey, 1973) indicates that individuals perceive greater choice when options are similar in attractiveness (i.e., there is a small difference between the options) than when the options are dissimilar (i.e., there is a large difference between the options) . In the present study there will be three characteristics of the options that can differ in degree of similarity: (1) the perceivedself, i.e., the degree to which the individual reports he possesses the concept; (2) the preferred(or liked-tobe) self, i.e., the degree to which the individual reports he would like to be on the concept; and, (3) satisf actionwith-self, the degree to which the individual is discrepant between his reported perceivedand preferred-self on the concept . Previous research in perceived choice has not dealt with the kinds of choices investigated in this study nor have they been concerned with multiple characteristics of the options. The primary purpose of this investigation is to try to shed some light on how these characteristics combine to produce various degrees of felt choice in situations involving change within one's own self-concept system. The present study is designed to test the following hypotheses:

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55 Hypotheses 1: Perceived choice will be greater when the perceived-self ratings and liked-to-beself ratings are similar between options than when they are dissimilar. This hypothesis is based on research reported in the preceding section which found relationships between the similarity of the options and perceived choice. It is possible that the perceived-self-liked-to-beself discrepancy of each option may affect perceived choice. In this study the perceived-self-liked-to-be-self discrepancy of an option will be called the satisf action-withself, or SWS, characteristic of the option. A small perceived-self-liked-to-be-self discrepancy will indicate a high SWS concept. Because the SWS characteristics of the options may confound the predicted relationship stated in hypothesis 1, a more specific hypothesis is: Hypothesis 2: When the satisf action-with-self characteristics of the options are held constant but the ratings for the perceived-self and liked-to-be-self are different for each concept, perceived choice will be less than when the ratings on both characteristics are similar. The following additional hypothesis is posed to assess the relative importance of how the characteristics of perceived-self and liked-to-be-self equality singularly affect perceived choice. Since much of the research in perceived choice involves manipulating the attractiveness (desirability or valence) of the options it is hypothesized that:

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56 Hypothesis 3: When all other characteristics, are dissimilar perceived choice will be greater when the liked-to-be-self ratings of the two options are similar than when the perceived -self ratings of the options are similar. The hypothesis is concerned with options that are similar on either the perceived-self rating, or liked-tobe-self rating, but not on both. It states that options with only the liked-to-be-self ratings similar will result in higher attributions of choice than options with only the perceived-self ratings similar. Hypotheses Regarding Individual Differences in Perceived Choice The report in the preceding chapter of factors affecting perceived choice sets the framework for the following discussion on individual differences in perceived choice. The perception of choice cannot be satisf actorally conceptualized as a constant dispositional property of the individual. Unlike personality variables and physical characteristics one's perception of choice must fluctuate as the situation varies and as the nature (i.e., meaningfulness) of the options are presented. Nevertheless, there may be variables which will account for a person perceiving that the relevant characteristics of the choice context do in fact exist. Also, given that the characteristics have been perceived, influence to what extent individuals are

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57 differentially sensitive to these cues in their perception of choice. The problem here is not to explain how an individual has come to be what he is; it is not a question of the learning and development that have contributed to his present psychological structure and patterns of response. Rather, the focus of this section is on identifying those psychological variables that currently influence one's potential for perceiving choice and to understand their operation. The inadequacy of an explanation of choice based only on psychological variables, however, is evident if one regards some decisions as deriving from social interaction (choices concerning altruistic behavior, for example). The perception of choice in such situations is influenced by and evaluated against social norms, and it depends upon the setting of interaction and the attendant identities of the persons involved. A sociologist might therefore choose to study the relationships between variations in the social structure encompassing interaction and the perceived freedom of individuals as members of the society (Steiner, 1970) . From this perspective the focus is upon the person as the nexus of social and psychological factors that influence perceived freedom. Such a perspective would examine how factors as an individual ' s perceptual and defensive orientations, his own standards, his personal and interpersonal skills and his self-evaluations combine within a

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58 social context providing options and constraints to influence his perception of choice. This study, however, is limited to the investigation of two characteristics of the individual and how they might operate to influence his perception of choice. From the analysis of the functions and determinants of choice discussed earlier it is suggested that two types of individual orientations are particularly relevant to the perception of choice: (1) how aware the individual is of the potential consequences of his decisions for himself and others, during the decision making process, and (2) how he ascribes responsibility for his acts, whether towards or away from the self. These orientations were first studied by Schwartz (1968) and were found to be related to decisions involving altruistic acts. The position taken here is that they are general orientations that should influence perceived choice in all situation. Each of the individual orientations is presumed to have a potential influence on the relationship between the situational and personal characteristics and perceived choice at two stages. First, the orientations may help to determine whether the characteristics will be felt to be relevant by the person in his initial definition of the situation: i.e., in perceiving that a choice exists in the first place. Second, if the situational and personal

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59 characteristics have been perceived initially, a person's choice orientations are postulated to influence the degree to which the characteristics contribute to a perception of choice . In the previous chapter dealing with determinants of perceived choice situations were always defined as ones in which some choice had to be made. Outside the laboratory in our own worlds rarely are situations so clearly defined. Our range of experience may be construed as where events, courses of action, attitudes, accommodations are seen as elective or as determined by forces outside ourselves. Either may be more or less depending upon how much we want. Kauffman (1973) observes that in small things we always want choice: "People . . . far from dreading meticulous distinctions, may actually revel in them. For immersion in microscopic decisions is one good way of avoiding fateful decisions" (p. 79). In deeper matters we want to be held back. We might choose to live or die, but prefer not to choose, believing rather that v/e have to live. In between such minor and major issues lies the middle ground of decision and action where some find freedom and choice while others find constraint and necessity. Allen Wheel is in The Desert (1969) provides a pertinent example: One may sees himself inextricably stuck in a marriage, a career, in obligations to children, relatives, colleagues, bound to his way and place of life unable to change. Another in

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60 the same circumstances finds it possible to resign as judge of the circuit court, divorce a Philadelphia Mainline wife after twenty-four years of marriage and three children, move to Italy, live with an actress, take up painting. If we forego the moral condemnation we generally visit upon those of greater scope and daring than ourselves, we are likely to discover great envy. (p. 283) The areas of necessity and of freedom vary in proportion to each other and in absolute measure. They vary from person to person and within the same person from time to time. Together they comprise the total extent of available experience the range of which is a function of our awareness. A wareness of consequences and the perception of choice Given that a stimulus situation provides cues that may be relevant for making a decision, under what conditions will the cues be salient? From the previous discussion of the functions of choice it was suggested that in situations of high perceived choice people get maximal information about their competence (Harvey & Harris, 1974) . This is in part because people may continually evaluate and refine their decision-making behavior in terms of their consequences. That is, in the predecision phase the individual deals with the information about the options and, subsequently, in the postdecision phase receives information about his

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61 ability to compare and analyze information. Part of the strategy employed by people who typically possess high felt choice may be a consideration of the possible consequences of selecting one of several options. This requires not only a sensitivity to the cues presented by the immediate situation but also an awareness of more remote influences that nevertheless also bear on the choice. This readiness to extrapolate to potential consequences renders an individual increasingly more and more sensitive to all cues that may be relevant for making a choice. Milgram's (1965) study of conditions of obedience to authority sheds light on aspects of this issue. We can reasonably assume that in his study, defying the experimenter by refusing to shock a "victim" reflects individual standards that oppose delivering painful shocks. Milgram found that the rate of defiance rose significantly as the victim was rendered more immediate to the subject. When the victim was placed in another room, only 35 percent of the subjects defied the experimenter. Seventy percent defied him when the victim was only one and one-half feet away, and the subject had to force his hand onto the shock-plate. Rates of defiance for intermediate levels of proximity were between 34 and 70 percent. Milgram proposes several explanations of the effects of increased proximity. A number of these suggest that awareness of consequences has an important impact. It may

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62 be appropriate at this point to recall one of the generalizations derived from Brehm and Cohen's (1962) and Kelley's (1967) notion of subjectively experienced choice discussed earlier: experienced choice is high when the legitimate forces producing compliance are low and the individual complies. In his study Milgram placed his naive subjects under pressure from either a group or a single authority figure to administer the painful shocks. Objectively the subjects had two options: to shock or not to shock. However, by manipulating the saliency of the shock option through group pressure and vocal encouragements the majority of the subjects were essentially in a circumstance of low perceived choice. The experimenter urged the subjects with remarks such as "it is absolutely essential that you continue" and "you have no other choice; you must go on." As Milgram has pointed out, the experimenter had no real power to enforce his demands and the subjects had nothing to lose by disobeying him, yet they showed a remarkable amount of obedience. It was only when the "victim" was in close proximity that the majority of subjects did not administer shocks. Proximity allowed the second option to become more conspicuous. The consequences for the victim were audibly and visually apparent. Though there may be other reasons why 34 percent of the subjects initially defied the experimenter we can speculate that some of them were aware of the

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63 consequences for the victim which enabled them to experience some degree of choice in the matter. Apart from this experimental evidence of the effects of increased awareness of consequences on the relationship between characteristics of a situation and perceived choice, one line of theorizing also suggests the importance of this variable. Hess and Shipman (1969) discuss parental control strategies which they presume transmits to their children those modes of interaction which adults experience with the outside world. These regulatory acts are an important part of the socialization of cognitive abilities and are particularly significant in orienting the child toward cues and figures to which he should attend and respond in his growing perceptual and conceptual world. The regulatory behavior by the parents identifies for the child the information, in the broadest sense, which he should regard as salient. Hess and Shipman distinguish three types of control strategies or appeals: (1) those based on appeal to norms, status, rules, and regulations; (2) those based on subjective appeal to internal states of the child or others; (3) those based on rational arguments or future consequences of behavior. Thus, the first strategy appeals to rules while the second calls the child's attention to the effects of his behavior on other persons and himself. This is a more complex cognitive process

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64 and one which asks the child to be attentive to incoming cues from the environment, rather than to memorize a rule of behavior. However, it is the theorizing about the third type that is of interest here. This type of control calls the child's attention not to norms and feelings but to the eventual outcome or effects of the behavior. It is based on a rationale of cause and effect and on the notion that what the child does at present has a future result. It is thus much more complex than the first two strategies, for it asks the child to project himself into the future, sometimes to another place, and to reflect on the long-range effects of his behavior. This type of control requires the child to reflect upon the consequences of his action in relation to alternative actions in order to make a decision based on logical cause-effect considerations. For example, if a child asks to play with a classmate after school and the mother responds, "Will you have enough time to do your homework?" or a similar comment, the child is asked to weigh the consequences of alternative actions and to regulate his own behavior in accordance with a more complex plan than would be the case if the mother simply denied the request without linking her response to other considerations she had in mind. This type of regulation thus gives the child both a way to internalize control of a cognitive nature and general guidelines which he may himself apply to new situations.

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65 In this discussion awareness of consequences is thus viewed as a perceptual style in a choice situation. Among individuals exposed to the same situational cues and possessing similar personal characteristics, those who have been disciplined with appeals to consequences are more likely to become aware of the potential consequences of their choices for themselves and others, and therefore to react by referring their choices to the appropriate information . The discussion in this section has been addressed to the question of whether appropriate cues will be salient so as to influence the perception of choice. In order for the characteristics of a set of options to influence a decision they first must be perceived by the person. It is at this point that awareness of consequences first enters the picture. If a person becomes aware of the personal or interpersonal consequences of his potential acts when facing a decision, certain characteristics relevant to decisions can become activated. Without some awareness of consequences, such characteristics are unlikely to become salient forthe person (unless his attention is directed to them by another) . In a sense, awareness of consequences is being treated here as a perceptual variable. It affects how a person perceives and hence defines a situation in which choices can be made. The initial

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66 activation of option characteristics is therefore theorized to vary directly with awareness of consequences as an individual difference variable. It is suggested that awareness of consequences may mediate the influence of option characteristics at two stages. First, it helps to determine whether a person will initially define a situation as involving choices and hence whether he will feel that the situational characteristics are relevant. Second, if such characteristics are activated, denial of awareness of consequences may function to deactivate them, and hence weaken or eliminate any impact they might have on perceived choice. On this basis it is hypothesized that: Hypothesis 4 : The greater the tendency of people to become aware of the consequences of their decisions for themselves or others, the more choice they will perceive within a decision-making situation. Attribution of responsibility and perceived choice The linkage between feelings of choice and responsibility occurs throughout the literature of social (Jones & Davis, 1965; Linder, Cooper, & Jones, 1967; Collins & Hoyt, 1972; Hoyt, Henley, & Collins, 1972; Worchel & Brand, 1972; Harris & Harvey, 1974) and humanistic (Barron, 1961; Rogers, 1963; Jourard, 1968) psychology. Given this relationship between choice and responsibility an individual may, under certain conditions, accept or reject responsibility for his

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67 behavior via his feelings of choice in the matter. For Carl Rogers (1963) this linkage was held to be a basic human experience: . . . responsible personal choice, which is the most essential element in being a person, which is the core experience in psychotherapy, which exists prior to any scientific endeavor, is an equally important fact in our lives. To deny the experience of responsible choice is, to me, as restricted a view as to deny the experience of a behavioral science. (p. 345) As Heider (1958) and others have noted, the tendency to perceive persons as absolute causal origins of events is a simplifying device in the service of grasping complex realities more easily. Most situations are so complex that there is ample opportunity for the individual to attribute the outcomes of his acts to the workings of forces other than his own will. A person facing a decision with consequences for himself or others may therefore ascribe responsibility for these consequences to himself, or quite often, to other sources of causation. Unless he holds himself in some measure responsible for his actions and their consequences, however, he is unlikely to feel the locus of choice as lying within himself, since choices apply only to willed acts of the self. The function of ascription of responsibility in the guidance of decisions is reflected in Hess and Shipman's (1969) theorizing about the effectiveness of parental induction techniques. Not only does induction increase

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68 awareness of consequences but, equally important, it communicates to the child that he is the cause of these consequences. Perhaps the crucial process in these control stretegies is the parents' holding the child responsible for his acts and enabling him to graps his responsibility through explanation. The Milgram experiements are of relevance to this discussion also. Defiance of the experimenter was found to increase the more separated the subject was from the experimenter. It may be that with the experimenter in the same room, the subjects could more easily ascribe the responsibility for delivering shocks to him, thus suspending the application of choice. In discussing the relationship between option characteristics and perceived choice, it was suggested that activation of the characteristics is necessary before they can be perceived and acted upon. Ascription of responsibility is one determinant of such activation. If a person accepts some responsibility for his actions, it is reasonable to him that situational cues and consequences relevant to these actions should be applied to him. In anticipation of decisions for which he accepts responsibility, he may weigh various alternatives against these expectations and be influenced by them. If, on the other hand, a person ascribes responsibility away from himself, he may feel that consequences for his decisions cannot be directed

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69 legitimately toward him. Consequently, he may remain uninfluenced by them. There are two methods by which ascription of responsibility influences the activation of situational characteristics. First, the initial activation depends on some degree of accepting responsibility and thus accepting the relevance of situational cues to one's choice. Second, if the responsibility is initially ascribed away from the self, and the applicability of cues for making the decision thereby denied, the encounter is not defined as one of choice. That is, the second stage, a person can deny the legitimacy of the cues and consequences being directed to his decision by rejecting his own responsibility for his actions. It is suggested that both the initial activation of cues and anticipated consequences and the subsequent maintenance of their capacity to direct decisions are in part functions of whether a person ascribes responsibility for his acts towards or away from himself. Therefore, it is hypothesized that: Hypothesis 5: The greater the tendency of people to ascribe responsibility for their acts toward rather than away from themselves, the more choice they will perceive in a context involving the selection of options.

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70 Satisf action-with-self and perceived choice The effect of one other characteristic of the selfconcept system will be explored. This is the degree to which an individual is discrepant with respect to where he sees himself and would like to be on the individual concepts of his self-concept system. Such terms as selfregard, self-acceptance , and satisfaction-with-self comprise a series of theoretical constructs that have been used interchangeably to denote the degree of satisfaction in self-evaluation (Crowne & Stephens, 1961). The voluminous literature on self-esteem has been heavily focused in the areas of personal and social adjustment. The present study will also consider the implication of personal satisfaction for the process of perceiving and formulating choices. It is suggested that people need to reconcile aspects of their actual and preferred self-concepts before they are able to perceive and make satisfactory choices. It is therefore consistent with this formulation to hypothesize that: Hypothesis 6: The degree of perceived choice is positively related to satisfactionwith-self.

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METHOD Subjects The subjects were 80 male college students who participated in order to fulfill a requirement of the introductory psychology courses at the University of Florida. Data were collected during group sessions of 6-10 students. Subjects attended two 90-minute sessions exactly one week apart. The mean age of the subjects was 19.8 (modal age = 19) . At the beginning of the first session subjects were informed that the study was concerned with how people make decisions and how their perception of choice is affected by the kinds of decisions with which they are faced. They were told that attendance would be required at two sessions during which they would be asked to fill out forms and respond to questionnaires. Though given the choice to participate or not to, no subject declined to continue. Instruments The independent variables The elicitation of personally relevant constructs: Modified Repertory Test (MRT) : The MRT is a semi-structured 71

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72 assessment technique that allows the subject to use his own system of personal constructs to rate self and preferred-self (liked-to-be) concepts. The self-concept instrument combines the first part of the Kelly Role Construct Repertory Test (Rep Test) (Bannister & Mair , 1968) with a Likert-type rating scale. The Rep Test was used to elicit the dimensions the subject uses to differentiate people. Eighteen role titles describing figures in various spheres of a person's life, including the family, social, vocational, and educational areas were presented. In each case the subject's name was the nineteenth figure. The subject responded to each role title by supplying the name of the particular person in his life who best fulfilled the specified role. The 19 role titles were then distributed into 22 triads. In order to elicit personally relevant constructs the person's own name was included as one of the three elements in half of the triads. For each triad the subject was asked to describe in a word or phrase how two of the people are similar and different from the third. This word or phrase together with the v/ord or phrase the subject considers to have the opposite meaning is referred to as construct dimension. Twenty-two construct dimensions were elicited from the 22 triads of role titles. An example of the MRT with full instructions is presented in Appendix A.

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73 The choice of specific role titles and their distribution into triads was governed by Kelly's (1955) suggestions for eliciting a representative sample of the dimensions a person customarily uses to evaluate himself and other people. Loosely, these construct dimensions may be considered the context of his choices; that is, they reveal the pathways along which the individual is free to move. Bannister & Mair (1968) in their discussion of Kelly's grid method reason that: Kelly, of course, sees these pathways as defined by the personal construct dimensions that the person uses to organize his life experience. Since constructs are bipolar dimensions, the contrast or implicit pole of any construct (in terms of which the person sees himself as an element at the emergent pole) may serve to specify one alternative in that" person's repertory of choices, if he is forced to abandom his present view of himself. Thus, a person who uses the dimension broadmindednarrowminded , and sees himself as broadminded , has made available for himself the possibility (or the danger) of shifting to a narrowminded position, if the alternative hypothesis is invalidated. A good test should reveal such pathways of possible movement; it should reveal the available choices in the subject's terms . (p. 39) Kelly and others have demonstrated that these dimensions differ from person to person and that they are reasonably stable in different situations (Bannister & Mair, 1968). The subjects were requested to write the construct and its opposite for each triad on a specially prepared form. This form consists of a 22-item blank representing each

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74 construct dimension. A single construct dimension appeared as follows: A B In space "A" the subject wrote the construct describing how two members of the triad are alike and in space "B" he wrote its opposite. There were two identical blanks with a sheet of carbon paper in between. After all 22 construct dimensions were obtained the subjects were asked to separate the two identical construct dimension sheets and to turn one sheet face down on their desk. On the first sheet the subject was asked to use his construct dimension to rate the title "I am" by placing an "S" at that point along the dimension that best represents where he sees himself with respect to the two constructs. For example, a construct dimension for one subject might be as follows: serious :::: S :::::::::: : carefree with the "S" representing where he sees himself along that dimension. After all 22 dimensions were filled out in this manner the subjects were asked to turn this sheet in to the experimenter. Using the second sheet, which was identical to the first, but without the perceived-self ratings, the subjects were asked to rate the title "I would like to be" by placing an "L" at that point along the dimension that represents where he would like to be with respect to the two constructs.

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75 For example, our hypothetical subject may rate this title on the above dimension as follows: serious ::::::::::: L : : : : carefree Thus, for each subject there was one sheet containing his ratings of the title "I am" on 22 construct dimensions, and a second sheet containing his ratings of the title "I would like to be" on all dimensions. See Appendix B for the complete instructions for this task. Satisfaction-with-self (SWS) : For each construct dimension a satisfaction-with-self (SWS) score was obtained by taking the absolute value of the difference between "S" and "L" ratings for that dimension. Thus, for each subject there was 22 SWS scores. Analysis of perceived-self and preferred-self ratings : Earlier it was noted that the subject's own name was included as part of the triadic comparisons for half of the 22 construct dimensions. In these comparisons the subject was required to directly compare himself with two other people. It is possible that in those comparisons where the subject was not a part of the triad less meaningful constructs would be given by the subject. This may be reflected by the subject rating himself less extremely on that dimension. On the basis of pretests with 30 subjects it was found that the perceived-self and preferred-self placements did not significantly differ between constructs

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76 elicited with the subject as part of the triad versus those constructs elicited from triads containing the names of three other people. Based upon this preliminary finding subsequent construct dimensions were chosen independent of the particular type of triadic comparison. However, it might be informative to see if this finding holds up with the larger sample size used in this study. For each subject a mean perceived-self and preferredself rating was determined for the 11 constructs elicited with the subject's name and for the remaining 11 that were not (ratings were determined as the distance from the extreme poles of the construct dimension) . The relevant means for each type of comparison, including the mean satisfaction with self score, is presented in Appendix C. A t-test for related measures was used to determine whether there were any significant differences between the pertinent means for each type of triad comparison. In accord with the pretest analysis there were no significant differences between type of comparison (t for perceivedself difference = .75; for preferred-self differences, t = .10; for SWS, t = .82, df = 79). However, it was noted that preferred-self ratings tended to be more extreme (i.e., were closer to either pole of the construct dimension) than perceived-self ratings. Therefore, for each subject the proportion of constructs

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77 having extreme "L" and "S" ratings as well as those having "S" and "L" ratings equally distant from the poles was determined. For all subjects 57.6 percent of the constructs had "L" ratings more extreme than "S" ratings; 16.6 percent had "S" ratings more extreme and the remaining 25.8 percent of the constructs had both ratings equally extreme. This finding indicates that while subjects tended to more clearly prefer one pole of the dimension over the other they tended to perceive themselves as being less clearly associated with either extreme. Awareness of consequences : Awareness of consequences (AC) was tapped by a semi-projective test in which subjects were asked to describe the thoughts and feelings that might run through the minds of protagonists in stories who faced decisions having personal or interpersonal consequences. Four stories were selected from the Kogan-Wallach (1964) Choice Dilemmas Questionnaire and presented to the subjects with the following instructions: This is a measure of your understanding of the way people go about making the choices they do. On the following pages are a number of incidents involving people. In each incident the description ends at a point where the person is faced with a decision. Your task is to describe how he goes about making his decision: the kinds of thoughts and feelings he has as he debates with himself about what he should so. Imagine what it would be like to be in the position of the main character. Then write out the internal conversation he might have in his mind. What would he think about in coming to a decision? Read each incident and consider all of

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78 the elements in it. Then write out what ideas might be going through the character's mind as he tries to make a decision about what to do. Don't tell me what he does: tell me what the process of thinking is like. Try to give a full answer to each question. Each story appeared on a separate page and the subjects were asked to write their responses directly under the situation. The stories were presented to each subject in a different random order that was selected prior to each session from a table of random numbers. A fifth story, always presented first, served as a "practice" item and was not coded in the final analysis. The four items can be found in Appendix D. The stories were coded according to the extent to which the actor was aware of the potential consequences of his behavior for himself or others. Each response was assigned a score on a five-point scale. The scale ranges from zero, for the absence of awareness of consequences, through levels of increasingly specific and detailed awareness, including the degree to which each option was considered, to four for detailed elaboration on both options. The complete coding guide can be found in Appendix E. Every story was independently scored by two raters who did not assist in the initial data gathering. Each rater practiced on stories from the pretest subjects and reached

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79 a level of agreement of within one point on 94 percent of the stories. Exact agreement was attained on 85 percent of the stories. For each subject the mean of both raters' scores for each story was assigned as the score for that story . Internal characteristics of the measure of AC : In assembling the items for the AC measure an attempt was made to obtain a diversified set of stories involving experiences from a variety of situations (school, occupation, relationships, leisure) . However, it was intended that each item reflect the single characteristic, or orientation, of awareness of consequences. If this is, in fact, the case, we would expect scores on the individual items to be positively intercorrelated and they should be positively loaded on a single primary factor. An intercorrelation analysis revealed, as expected, a positive correlation among all four stories. The values for these correlations can be found in Appendix F. To determine whether there is a single primary factor on which all the stories load positively a principle component factor analysis was carried out. One factor emerged on which all stories were positively loaded and this factor accounted for 63 percent of the variance. The stories with their factor loadings appear in Appendix G. These results are consistent with the interpretation that the general

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80 dimension used in the coding was being assessed. For the analyses that follow, a subject's AC score was the sum of his ratings on each story. Ascription of responsibility : Ascription of responsibility to the self (AR) was measured by an instrument developed by Schwartz (1970). It contains 24 selfdescriptive items each of which refers to actions with interpersonal or personal consequences and provides a rationale for ascribing responsibility for these actions away from the actor. Acceptance or rejection of the rationals is interpreted as a sign of a tendency to ascribe responsibility away from or to the self, respectively. The major rationals built into the scale which also emerged in factor analyses are extreme provocation, role requirements, conformity, lack of intentionality , and just deserts for a victim. Internal reliability correlations for several samples have ranged between .67 and .78, and a testretest reliability of .63 has been reported by the author. AR scores were not related to the Marlow-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (r = -.01). Validity studies using this scale indicate that AR is related to moral decision making (Schwartz, 1970) and is positively related to socioeconomic class (Schwartz, 1970) where supposedly working class members may be more limited and coerced by their environments than middle class

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81 individuals. In addition, Schwartz (1970) reports that AR scores predict participation in voluntary social service activities among college undergraduates. Sample items together with the response receiving a point for ascription of responsibility to the self are presented below: Disagree You can't blame basically good people who are forced by their environment to be inconsiderate of others . Agree Being very upset of preoccupied does not excuse a person for doing anything he would ordinarily avoid. The complete questionnaire can be found in Appendix G. Selection of construct dimensions : The modified Rep Test (MRT ) measure was obtained during the subjects' first session and the measure of perceived choice obtained during the second session, one week later. Prior to the second session, pairs of construct dimensions were selected from among the 22 supplied by each subject that met the following criteria: 1. Eight pairs of construct dimensions were selected that had perceived-self ratings differing by two or fewer steps. These were the similar perceived-self construct dimensions . 2. Eight pairs of construct dimensions were selected that had perceived-self ratings differing by four or more steps. These were the dissimilar perceived-self construct dimensions . 3. Half of the construct dimensions from 1 and 2 above had liked-to-be-self

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82 ratings differing by two or fewer steps. These were the similar likedto-be-self construct dimensions . 4. Half of the construct dimensions in 1 and 2 above had liked-to-be-self ratings differing by four or more steps. These were the dissimilar liked-to-be-self construct dimensions . The construct dimension pairs so selected each represented one of the quadrants depicted in the matrix presented in Table 1. The position of the elements (i.e., the S and L placements) may be at any point along the space of the dimension and in any order. What is important is that the relationship that is defined by the above quadrants be maintained between the elements of each construct dimension. There are, then, four construct dimension pairs in each group. These construct dimension pairs were used to obtain a measure of the dependent variable, perceived choice. This measure is described in the next section. The dependent variable T he measure of perceived choice : During the second session the measure of perceived choice was obtained. This method was based on a modification of Hinkle's (1965) procedure. Each pair of construct dimensions that was previously selected was written in a booklet with the perceived and liked-to-be ratings marked. The booklets

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ATRIX DEPICTING CONSTRUCT PAIR* RELATIONSHIPS SELECTED FOR THE 83 53 CN CO I CO P (0 I — I •H E •H W in •H ft -P rH p 03 i — I -H E H CO Q 0 W CO > i H 03 W 0 u > ft •H P w W 0) 03 ft U o rH H P •H O O E O ft u CO ft ft D CO < w 53 p 03 P i — 1 03 i — 1 E •H •rH E cn •H • • cn CO •H CM Q ft ft 1 — 1 1 0) 1 — CO 1 ft 1 03 0) H P -p P •H QJ p ftl 03 0) rH P •H ft E H CO The subscript is for convenience of designating the construct dimension of the pair.

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84 with instructions were presented to the subjects. The complete set of instructions for this task can be found in Appendix I. Briefly, the instructions were as follows: Look at these two constructs. The "S" indicates the position you said you presently see yourself on and the "L" indicates where you said you would like to be on. Now let us assume for the moment that you had to change from the side you presently see yourself on (that is, your "S" rating) to the other side on one of these construct dimensions, while remaining the same on the other dimension. What we are trying to find out here is if you had to change, which of these two changes would be the less difficult as you see it. Before you indicate which change you would make, I would like you to indicate how much real choice you have in making the change. That is, how free do you yourself feel in making the change. Responses were indicated by having the subjects check a nine-step scale with the end points labeled "very much real choice" and "very little real choice." After these ratings were obtained the subjects were then asked to indicate which construct dimension they chose to change. For example, a subject may have been presented with a construct dimension pair as follows: A. Serious :S: :L: Carefree SWS^=2 B. Talkative :::: :S: :L: :::::: : Quiet SWS 2 =2 For this pair the SWS score for each dimension is 2 (i.e., S and L are 2 steps apart) . SWS-^ SWS 2 = 0. The perceivedself discrepancy, however, is 4 (S-^ S = 4) and the likedto-be-self discrepancy is also 4 (L-^ L 2 = 4). Therefore, this pair represents the dissimilar perceived-self

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85 and liked -to-beself quadrant (IV) of the above matrix. The subject was asked to indicate which one of the two construct dimensions he would change. That is, would he change from the serious to carefree pole on dimension 1; or would he choose to change from the talkative to quiet pole on dimension 2? However, before he indicated which one, he was asked to indicate "how much real choice" he feels he had in making the decision. In addition, eight construct pairs were included in the beginning of the booklet to serve as practice items and were not included in the analyses. Provided construct dimension pairs : While the foregoing method attempted to deal with more meaningful choices by having each subject provide a sample of his own construct system there was the possibility that not all the cells in the preceding matrix would have sufficient representation to adequately test all the hypotheses. Therefore, another set of construct dimensions pairs with choices representing each quadrant of the matrix was provided each subject as well. Although it cannot necessarily be assumed that for the variables under considerat ionthe hypothesized relationships would hold for an actor as well as for an observer, a study by Harvey & Johnston (1973) did show the equivalence of an actor and observer paradigm for other realms of perceived choice.

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86 Ten bipolar concepts representing six factors found in factor analytic studies (Osgood, 1971) of the concept "ME" and eight bipolar constructs provided by subjects in the pretest were randomly selected for inclusion in this instrument. These construct dimensions included dependableundependable, moral-immoral, excitable-calm, changeablestable, emot ional -unemotional , straight-flexible, hardsoft, and strong-willed-weak-willed , from Osgood's concepts; and cautious-daring, involved-indifferent, close-remote, responsible-carefree, spontaneous-controlled , ruggeddelicate, subtle-obvious, and mature-youthful from the pretest constructs. From Osgood's concepts and the pretest constructs, 24 construct dimension paris were randomly selected and six pairs were randomly assigned to each quadrant depicted in Table 1. Each pair was randomly assigned a construct relationship defined by its quadrant. This procedure was repeated three times in order to construct three forms of the instrument that differed in construct pairings and quadrant assignment. For each form of the instrument a "mirror image" form was constructed. This "mirror image" form had the same construct pairs within the same quadrants but had S and L ratings on the opposite poles of the pairs. There were, then, six forms of the instrument. Also, two construct pairs were randomly selected from each quadrant.

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87 These eight pairs were placed at the beginning of the instrument and represented practice items which were not included in the analyses. Each form of the instrument was randomly assigned to each subject. Subjects were told that ‘ in addition to their own constructs they would be shown, separately, construct pairs selected from those of other students. They were asked to rate, in a similar way, how much choice they felt the other students had indicated in making the particular decision. The complete instructions appear in Appendix J. Briefly, the instructions were as follows: The purpose of this part is to investigate how people make predictions about the perception of choice of other people. In order to do this, you will be given pairs of construct dimensions that were given to other students in a previous study and which were based upon their own concepts. Like you they were also asked to imagine a change in where they saw themself on one dimension while remaining the same on the other (i.e., their "S" rating) . They each indicated how much choice they felt they had in making the decision and then indicated which dimension they would change. After each pair you are asked to make your prediction by circling a number on the same type of scale used by the student to indicate how much choice he felt he had in making the decision. After you indicate the degree of choice he felt please indicate which dimension he chose to change by circling the letter of the option chosen. Since the procedure for eliciting construct dimensions was quite lengthy, the first session was devoted entirely to obtaining this measure together with the subjects'

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88 rating of their perceivedand liked-to-be-self ratings. The measures of perceived choice, awareness of consequences and ascription of responsibility were obtained during the second session. A summary outline of the 'data-gathering procedure and instruments is presented in Table 2. Design : The matrix described in Table 1 represents the basic design that was used to test the hypotheses. For each construct pair there were two levels of similarity of perceived-self : and S-^ ^ S 2 ; and two levels of similarity of liked-to-be-self: and ^ L^. Each subject was measured under each level of perceived-self and liked-to-be-self similarity at least four times. A mean perceived choice score based on the four observations on each subject for each cell was computed. In addition the variables SWS, AC, and AR were measured on each subject. The effect of perceived-self similarity and liked-tobe-self similarity on perceived choice was assessed by a within subjects analysis of variance. The effect of variables SWS, AR, and AC was introduced into the model by partitioning the subjects into subgroups either above or below the median. The median for AR was 19, for SWS was 22.3, and for AC was 9. A nested randomized blocks design was used. Each subject served as a blcok. The blocks were nested within the variable AR in one analysis,

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89 < W a C D a Q Q EH w W u w (N a o 2 Eh a a w & a a a Eh a o CD a < a a Eh w H H 2 a H w Q a a a Eh eh < D < O u G 13 •G CD X 44 C -G U 0 a CD •H G rH -P CD < a a d) to a. CO o a o < d) a G CD i | s C -H G G CO CD G tu • 0) • G g G 44 to 44 tO •G g a to c to c G a B 0 0 G o a *G a -G 4-> U r— 1 CO rH to . G u C G G O G T! Co 0) Co <3 O •G CD G G G g G g -G CO G -P -H 0 •H O -G 44 C G U) G rH 43 rH 43 G CD • to C -P G G 44 g a G 0 -p 44 G -G a) O 4-4 z o = o d) 03 CD 2 0 a G a G to i — l 44 G = G CD -P 43 0 03 44 -P G O G 0 to 4-4 tO G G Eh g a c c 0 c G 0 -P 0 0 44 -P G •H CD 44 0 44 u 0 to a -P B C c C G CD G tu G G O 03 -P g G g G CD O CD H * • • tu i 1 d) » — 1 as G U G to o 0 O O G CD -G G 0 c G G G G 0 44 a i — 1 -G 0 i — i •H i — 1 -H G -P a to to a 43 a 43 G •G G 0 G O 44 G 4-1 O G o z d> G a G 44 o G G G — i — 1 c G CD a 44 d) G G -P to i — 1 to rH a G d) 1 n3 G G 0 to d> 43 O CJ U 1 43 G -G 43 1 d) CO CD CD Eh d) O 44 to 43 -P rG a > 44 C CD 44 c o s •G 1 G to i -p G G G rG tO d> •G d> 0 CO 4-1 rG d) G a G 0 G to a) EH z Co Co a) G O 4-1 G C G c G a) •G (1) •H -G G 4J g G3 C4 -P 44 to a G 0 CD fd G a G U a 2 a & a •G d> * 4c to a t-> • G 43 rH CM a CD CD G -P 43 tO a 44 4c 43 G C O 0 CD G •H -P CD CD CO (/) to u a g 0> •H CD 0 a P-l a a

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TABLE 2 (continued) 90 x C -P o 43 •H c -P 01 ro a o a o < pi QJ cn aj cn CD •£ QJ i • E QJ i — 1 QJ 43 i — i cd -P 1 0) p QJ •p 43 a • cn 44 03 £ -P 13 •H o 43 • O 43 •p 0 cn cn c 0 u £ u •p QJ 43 43 •P P 0) d QJ 5 0 -p •rH £ (D fd 0 -P Cn QJ QJ 0 44 u cx 0 P •rH •rH • 4J a rH 43 O d 43 43 43 0 • cn •p Qi 44 44 r“H 13 fd -p o 0 Op o P cd -P •H • 0 P QJ QJ 44 cn X d cd •H > cn P Cn 43 0 •p QJ QJ p X 13 £ £ i — 1 cn = +J o 0 0 44 43 44 d o g •H •rH (D 0 (D cn PI 0) cn P p d QJ cn cd 44 cn QJ 44 QJ cd CO > CO a) o to d 0 0. a QJ > c 43 U Cn43 U 0) £ 0 a) UH co cn *P 0 -p £ •H 0 O QJ d OJ p 43 0 u u p 43 0) u 44 43 QJ QJ O •i—i •p cn •r— i Cn 0 Dp Oa Qa £ 0 p P o d 0 44 0 O 0 43 rH p 43 cd •p if) to •H cn = 0) p 44 0) •H cd P 44 44 P 0) 0 3 cn 43 (D CO 4H fd £ fd P CO -P aj 0 cn d s rp QJ 0 cn QJ •H cn •p u • rH 0 CD 0 Q-i •H ZL cd a. 0 0 a CX d 44 p 43 S •H 4-1 cn 0 44 d 43 p cn a aj cd (3 fn 44 u -P £ CD •H 0 o 44 44 z 44 0 cn •• 43 > p -P £ rH (D fd 0 43 0 •H Cd u P 0 •H 0 44 d 44 0 *rH W •P C 0 O O O P d) C CX S o 4-1 O cn 4-1 O a> E cd £2 ai -p p o P 0) cn -n cd si QJ 2 £ cn QJ o •H • O cn X! P U -H cd 43 & Q) > -P •P CJ 0) P O P P -P qj cn d o >1 44 •H cn 1 — 1 QJ •H U 43 d •p 0) cn p d cn 0 QJ a cn cn d QJ 0 03 u 44 44 0 o 4-1 u o cn 43 cn •p QJ QJ QJ 44 P 43 c cx P -P QJ •p cn > P p cd 0 cd 0 QJ P cn £ CX < < 4c 4C 4c CN m N* * 43 d O u QJ CO Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 were counterbalanced

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91 within SWS in a second, and within AC in the third. Therefore, for each individual difference variable, the data were analyzed in a 2x2x2 factoral design. The two levels of perceived -self and liked-to-be-self similarity were within-subjects variables, while the two levels of the individual difference variables (above vs. below the median) was a between-subjects variable.

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RESULTS Although the data for the effects of the option characteristics (within subjects effects) and the individual difference variables (between subjects effects) were analyzed together, they will, for the sake of clarity, be discussed separately. The first section will consider the results obtained with the elicited construct pairs while the results from the provided construct pairs will be discussed in the second section. Perceived Choice and Option Characteristics from Elicited Construct Pairs Similarity of options The central question of this research was concerned with how the similarity of the perceived-self and liked-tobe-self ratings of the construct dimension pairs affect perceived choice in selecting which dimension to change. On the basis of previous research hypothesis 1 stated that perceived choice would be greater when perceived-self and liked-to-be-self ratings were similar between the two options than when they were different. From this hypothesis it was expected that perceived choice would be higher for 92

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93 options in Cell I of the matrix when the option characteristics were similar in ratings than within the cells that had options differing on at least one characteristic. Means for the four conditions are presented in Table 3. Statistical analysis performed on these data yielded the following findings: a) there was a main effect for perceived-self similarity (F = 39.4, df 1/290; p < .0001); and b) there was a main effect for liked-to-be-self similarity (F = 45.5, df = 1/290; p < .0001). Inspection of Table 3 reveals that these effects were accounted for almost entirely by the higher ratings produced when both perceived-self and liked-to-be-self placements were similar. This is supported by the significant interaction effect (F = 13.6, df = 1/290, p < .0003) between the two variables. A Scheffe Test was run on the individual cell means and it was found that significantly greater choice was perceived when ratings on both option characteristics were similar than when at least one characteristic was different (p < .05, df = 3/156). None of the other conditions differed significantly from one another. That is, perceived choice ratings for options differing on both characteristics were not different from ratings of options that differed on only one characteristic. Furthermore, when comparing perceived choice ratings between options differing on only one characteristic, it did not

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94 TABLE 3 MEAN RATINGS OF PERCEIVED CHOICE FOR ELICITED CONSTRUCT PAIRS PerceivedLiked-To-BeSelf Rating on both options Perceived-Self Rating on Both Options Similar Dissimilar Similar 6.4 4.5 (1.57) (1.45) Dissimilar 4.6 4.1 (1.47) (1.51) Note: Standard deviations appear in parentheses.

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95 matter on which characteristic they were similar. Options having only the perceived-self placements similar did not differ significantly in perceived choice from options with only the liked-to-be-self ratings similar. Therefore, hypothesis 3 which stated that perceived choice would be greater for pairs having only the liked-to-be-self ratings similar compaired to pairs with only perceived-self ratings similar was not supported. The summary table of the analysis of variance of the measure of perceived choice for the experimental conditions is presented in Appendix K. These results support hypothesis 1 that perceived choice is greater when the perceived-self and liked-to-beself ratings of the two options are similar than when they are dissimilar. However, the options that were similar on both characteristics as well as the options that were dissimilar on both characteristics consisted of construct dimensions that differed in the degree of discrepancy of perceived-self and liked-to-be-self ratings. That is, within each construct dimension the "S" and "L" placements could still differ from other similar pairs because the SWS (satisf action-with-self ) for one pair may be small while for another it may be large. The same reasoning holds for option pairs that are dissimilar on both characteristics. It may be that individuals would perceive less choice when confronted with options having low SWS constructs. Conversely, individuals may perceive more choice

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96 with high SWS constructs since, theoretically, these options would represent more integrated or accepted aspects of their self-concept. Therefore, those pairs that were either similar or dissimilar on both characteristics of perceivedself and likedto-be-self ratings were further divided according to whether both options were either high or low in satisf action-with-self . For the purpose of this analysis, high SWS options were those for which the "S" and "L" ratings differed by two or fewer steps. Low SWS options were those having "S" and "L" ratings differing by four or more steps. The data were analyzed as a 2x2 within subjects design. There were two levels of option similarity and two levels of SWS. The mean perceived choice ratings for this analysis are presented in Table 4. The only significant effect was option similarity (F = 46.5, df = 1/218, p < .001) supporting the preceding analysis that more choice was attribured to similar options than to dissimilar ones. Options with low SWS pairs did not differ significantly in their choice ratings from options having high SWS pairs. With option pairs having only one similar characteristic there could be three possible SWS combinations within each pair: (1) the SWS rating of both constructs could be equal and small ; (2) the SWS of both options could be equal and large ; or (3) the SWS of one option could be small and the other large, i.e., this would be a mixed SWS

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TABLE 4 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS FOR SIMILAR AND DISSIMILAR OPTIONS AT TWO LEVELS OF SATISFACTIONWITH-SELF Option Similarity Satisf action-with-Self High Low Combined Similar 6.5 (1.41) 6.0 6.2 (1.82) Dissimilar 4.1 (1.75) 4.1 4.1 (1.90) Combined 5.4 4.7 Note: Standard deviations appear in parentheses.

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98 pair. In the present study there were so few elicited construct pairs that could be assembled to represent the first two types for a sufficient number of cases that they were not included in the analyses. Therefore, all construct pairs with only one similar characteristic were of the mixed SWS type. However, a one-way analysis of variance comparing the mean perceived choice rating for all option pairs with equal low SWS options, equal high SWS options, and mixed SWS options independent of their "S" and "L" similarities revealed no significant effect (F = .65, df = 2/216, p > .05) due to the SWS factor. This indirect evidence suggests that the SWS characteristics of the individual option pairs do not appreciably affect the perceived choice rating of the pair. A more direct test of SWS effects for option pairs with one similar "S" or "L" characteristic was possible with the provided construct pairs and will be discussed in a later section. To summarize, hypothesis 1 was supported in that more choice was perceived for options with similar perceivedself and likedto-be-self ratings than when these characteristics were dissimilar. Hypothesis 2 was a more specific test of hypothesis 1 and attempted to take into account the effects of option pairs consisting of construct dimensions having either equally high or equally low satisf action-withself characteristics. It was found that it did not matter

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99 whether options were composed of low or high SWS constructs. Again, it was the similarity of the option characteristics that affected perceived choice. Hypothesis 3, which stated that options with similar liked-to-be-self placements and dissimilar perceived-self placements would yield higher choice ratings than options with similar perceived— self ratings but different liked-to-be-self ratings was not supported. These option pairs yielded choice ratings that did not significantly differ from option pairs differing on both characteristics. It appears that, for this study, an important determinant of choice was whether or not the options were similar on both characteristics. Options differing on only one characteristic did not produce choice ratings significantly different from those of options differing on both characteristics. Individual Differences in Perceived Choice with Elicited Construct Pairs There were three individual difference variables that were considered in this analysis: Awareness of Consequences (AC) , Attribution of Responsibility (AR) , and Satisf actionwith-Self (SWS) . Before analyzing the data with respect to these variables it was first determined whether there was any relationship among them. Table 5 displays the intercorrelations of the three measures. The low nonsignificant correlations indicate that these are independent measures.

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100 TABLE 5 INTERCORRELATION MATRIX. OF THE THREE INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCE MEASURES Measure AR SWS AC . 02 -.12 AR . 06 Note: AC = Awareness of Consequences; AR = Attribution of Responsibility; SWS = Satisf action-with-Self . N=80

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101 An Eta Square analysis revealed no curvilinear relationship among the measures. Each measure was dichotomized at the median. The means for subjects above and below the median on each measure are presented in Table 6. The following analyses compared subjects above and below the median on each measure for each type of option pair discussed in the preceding section. Awareness of consequences Hypothesis 4 states that the high AC subjects would perceive more choice than low AC subjects. An analysis of variance performed on the measures of perceived choice comparing subjects above and below the median on AC revealed a significant effect of the AC variable (F = 10.2; df = 1/216; p < .002). This difference was in the hypothesized direction with subjects above the median having a mean perceived choice rating of 5.3 (s.d. = 1.52) and subjects below the median showing a mean rating of 4.2 (s.d. = 1.33). This analysis also revealed a significant interaction between level of AC and perceived-self similarity (F = 6.03; df = 1/216; p < .01). The means for this interaction are presented in Table 7. A Scheffe Test, run on the individual cell means, revealed the following significant results: a) more choice was perceived for options with similar perceived self ratings than for options with dissimilar

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102 TABLE 6 MEANS OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCE MEASURES FOR SUBJECTS ABOVE AND BELOW THE MEDIAN ON EACH MEASURE Group Measure AC AR SWS* Above Median 9.8 23.3 3.10 N = 40 (1.62) (5.21) (1.01) Below Median 5.9 15.2 1.57 N = 40 (.99) (4.99) (.98) Note: AC = Awareness of Consequences; AR = Ascription of Responsibility SWS = Satisf action-with-Self . *The larger the score the less the Satisf action-with-Self .

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103 TABLE 7 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING FOR SUBJECTS ABOVE AND BELOW THE MEDIAN OF AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES AT TWO LEVELS OF PERCEIVEDSELF SIMILARITY Awareness of PerceivedSelf Similarity Consequences Similar Dissimilar Above Median 6.1 4.2 (1.11) (1.25) Below Median 5.0 4.2 (.98) (1.13) Note: Standard deviations appear in parentheses.

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perceived self ratings by subjects above and below the median on AC (p < .05; df = 3/298); 104 b) subjects above the median on AC perceived more choice than did subjects below the median on AC (p < .05; df = 3/298) for options with similar perceived self ratings. However, subjects above the median did not differ significantly from subjects below the median when options presented dissimilar perceived-self ratings. Ascription of responsibility It was stated in hypothesis 5 that subjects high on ascription of responsibility (AR) would perceive more choice than subjects low on this variable. An analysis of variance comparing subjects above the median on AR with subjects below the median did not approach significance (F = 1.13; df = 12/16; p > .05). However, a significant interaction was found between level of AR and perceived-self similarity (F = 4.5; df = 1/216; p < .05). The relevant cell means are presented in Table 8. A Scheffe Test revealed that for subjects below the median of AR, perceived choice is significantly higher for option pairs with similar perceived self ratings than for those with dissimilar perceived-self ratings (p < .05; chf = 3/301) . This relationship also holds for subjects above the median in AR. However, the effect of perceived-self similarity is more pronounced for

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105 TABLE 8 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING FOR SUBJECTS ABOVE AND BELOW THE MEDIAN ON ASCRIPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY AT TWO LEVELS OF PERCEIVED -SELF SIMILARITY Ascription of Responsibility PerceivedSelf Similarity Similar Dissimilar Above Median 5.8 3.9 (1.21) (1.19) Below Median 5.3 4.5 (1.15) (1.19) Note: Standard deviations appear in parentheses.

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106 subjects above the median on AR (p = .0350). Thus, while the hypothesis that more choice would be perceived by subjects above the median on AR was not supported, the effect of perceived-self similarity was more pronounced for these subjects than for subjects below the median. Satisf act ion-withself Hypothesis 6 stated that more choice would be perceived by subjects below the median on SWS (that is, having a small perceived-self liked-to-be-self discrepancy) than subjects above the median. An analysis of variance revealed that the effect of SWS only approached significance (F = 2.85; ~ 1/216; p — .09) and that the effect on perceived choice was in the predicted direction (for low SWS subjects, x = 4.6; for high SWS subjects, x = 5.1). None of the interactions of SWS with option pair similarity were significant . Perceived Choice and Option Characteristics from Provided Construct Pairs The same analysis of variance was run on ratings of perceived choice obtained from subjects responding to the instrument composed of provided construct pairs with provided "S" and "L" placements. As with the previous analysis the results from the option similarity manipulations will be presented first.

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107 Similarity of options The means for the four conditions of option similarity are presented in Table 9. An analyses of variance yielded results similar to those found with elicited construct pairs: a) there was a significant main effect for perceivedself similarity (F = 193.7; df_ = 1/237; p < .0001) with options having similar perceived-self ratings producing higher perceived choice ratings than options with dissimilar perceived-self ratings; b) there was a significant main effect for liked-tobe-self similarity (F = 186.2; df = 1/237; p < .0001) with higher choice being attributed to options with similar likedto-beself ratings; c) there was a significant interaction between perceivedself and liked-to-be-self similarity (F = 40.3; df = 1/237; £ < . 0001 ) . A Scheffe Test was run between the cell means in order to explore the nature of the interaction. When both perceived-self and liked-to-be self ratings are similar, significantly more choice (p < .01 ) was attributed than when only one or neither or the two characteristics were similar. When only one characteristic of the two options was similar significantly more choice was attributed (p < .01) than when neither characteristic was similar. It did not matter which characteristic was similar. That is, with respect to

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108 TABLE 9 MEAN RATINGS OF PERCEIVED CHOICE FOR FOUR CONDITIONS OF OPTION SIMILARITY FOR PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS PerceivedLiked-To-BeSelf Ratings Perceived-Self Rating on Both Options Similar Dissimilar Similar 7.2 4.5 (1.00) (1.83) Dissimilar 4.5 3.2 (1.82) (1.07) Note: Standard deviations appear in parentheses.

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109 option pairs with only one similar characteristic there was no significant difference in perceived choice between option pairs with similar perceived-self ratings compared to option pairs with similar liked-to-be-self ratings. Analysis of perceived choice as a function of the SWS characteristic of the options An analysis of variance was conducted on option pairs that were either both equal or both unequal in their "S" or "L" ratings at two levels of S-L discrepancy. The S-L discrepancies for each option within a pair were equal, but half of them differed from other pairs in the degree of discrepancy. For half the equal and unequal construct pairs both options had small S-L discrepancies and were designated as high SWS option pairs. The remaining pairs had large S-L discrepancies and were designated as low SWS option pairs. The means and standard deviations for the choice rating for these options are presented in Table 10. There was a significant effect of option similarity (F = 74.8; df = 1/237; p < .0001) with options similar on both "S" and "L" ratings producing higher choice scores than dissimilar options. The effect of SWS discrepancy was not significant (F = .61; df = 1/237; p = .44). The preceding analysis revealed that, for equal SWS constructs, the degree of SWS discrepancy had no effect on perceived choice.

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110 TABLE 10 MEAN RATING OF PERCEIVED CHOICE FOR SIMILAR AND DISSIMILAR PAIRS AT TWO LEVELS OF SATISFACTIONWITHSELF (SWS) Sat isf action-with-Self of Both Options Similarity of Options Ecrual (N=160) Unequal (N=160) Combined High 7.3 3.0 5.2 (N=l 6 0 ) (1.16) (1.18) Low 6.6 3.6 5.1 (N=160) (1.11) (1.25) Combined 6.9 3.3 Note: Standard deviations appear in parentheses.

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Ill It may be that unequal SWS pairs would yield different choice ratings from those of equal SWS pairs. Within option pairs that were similar on only one of the "S" and "L" ratings the constructs had either equal or unequal SWS discrepancies. Unequal SWS discrepancies refers to the pairing of a low SWS construct with a high SWS construct. An analysis of variance of the choice ratings for these pairs at the two levels of SWS equality revealed no significant effect due to SWS pairings (F = 10; df = 1/287; £ = .75). Therefore, it appears that for these particular construct pairs SWS discrepancy or equality has no effect on perceived choice. The means for this analysis are presented in Table 11. Individual Differences in Perceived Choice with Provided Construct Pairs An analysis of variance was run on the AC, AR, and SWS measures split at the median for each of the comparisons discussed in the preceding section. None of the effects of the individual difference measures was significant (for AC, F = 1.53; for AR, F = 1.60; and for SWS, F = .24). A further analysis was performed comparing subjects at the top third with subjects from the bottom third of the distribution on each measure. No significant effect due to these measures was found. Thus it appears that individual difference effects are not revealed with constructs that are provided to the subjects.

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112 TABLE 11 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING FOR PAIRS EQUAL ON ONLY ONE CHARACTERISTIC AT TWO LEVELS OF S AT I SF ACT I ONWITHSELF (SWS) SIMILARITY Equal Characteristic SWS Similarity Equal (N=160) Unequal (N=160 ) Combined S 1 = S 2 4.5 4.4 4.5 (N=160 ) (1.81) (1.70) L 1 = L 2 4.6 4.5 4.5 (N=l 6 0 ) (1.75) (1.92) Combined 4 . 5 4.4 Note: Standard deviations appear in parentheses.

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113 Comparison of Choice Ratings for Provided and Elicited Constructs An issue that needs to be considered at this point is the similarity of the choice ratings that were assessed under the different methodologies. The overall means of the choice ratings for provided and elicited construct pairs were approixmately the same (x for elicited pairs = 4.9; x for provided pairs = 4.8). The range of the ratings for choice attributions, however, were greater for provided constructs. Table 12 presents the mean choice ratings for equal and unequal option pairs for both provided and elicited constructs. When options were equal on the "S" and "L" ratings the provided constructs produced higher choice attributions than did the elicited construct pairs. Provided constructs also produced lower choice ratings when the options were unequal. A Sheffe Test compairing cell means between elicited and provided constructs revealed that these differences were not statistically significant. Analysis of Options Chosen from Elicited Constructs It may be recalled that after subjects had made their rating of perceived choice for each option pair they were requested to indicate the option that they had chosen. The following discussion presents the results from an analysis made of the actual options chosen by each subject for

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114 TABLE 12 MEAN PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS FOR PROVIDED AND ELICITED CONSTRUCT PAIRS AT TWO LEVELS OF OPTION EQUALITY Perceivedand Liked-To-Be-Self Ratings Type of Construct Pair Provided Elicited Difference Equal 7.2 6.4 .8 Unequal 3.2 4.1 .9

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115 each type of option pair. As with the analysis of variance for option similarity the option pairs discussed in the following sections will reflect the matrix depicted in Table 1. Similar options For these option pairs S 1 = S 2 and . Since there were no other objective characteristics on which these options could differ and since these elicited the highest choice ratings it may be assumed that either option would, on the average, be chosen equally often. This is in fact what happened. For all equal option pairs, option A was chosen 46 percent of the time, option B was chosen 40 percent of the time, and the "undecided" option was chosen for the remaining 14 percent. A Chi-square analysis was performed on these frequencies with the assumption that the 46 percent 40 percent split between chosen construct pairs "A" or "B" reflected a chance departure from a theoretical 43 percent 43 percent split. The resulting Chisquare was .62, suggesting that when both S and L placements were equal between construct pairs there was no systematic bias towards selecting either option "A" or "B" more frequently. These results were similar for option pairs composed of either high or low SWS constructs.

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116 Dissimilar options These pairs consisted of constructs with unequal ratings on both "S" and "L" characteristics. For these comparisons, no a priori hypothesis was made regarding which option would be chosen more frequently. However, since these pairs yielded low choice ratings it could be assumed that one option was chosen more frequently than the other. For relevant pairs it was found that the construct dimension having "S" and "L" ratings closer to the opposite pole was chosen 70 percent of the time. The construct dimension more distant from the opposite pole was chosen in 25 percent of the cases while the "undecided" option was chosen 5 percent of the time. When these frequencies were compared with the selection frequencies derived from the equal option pairs above, a significant Chi-square of 32.8 (p < .005, df_ = 2) was obtained. The data strongly suggest that when subjects were confronted with the choice of changing either of two unequal construct dimensions, a majority would select the option on which they see themselves as closer to the direction of change. Another way of looking at this is that subjects choose to change the more neutral (or less extremely rated) of the two options.

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117 Options of partial similarity These pairs consist of construct dimensions that are equal on only one characteristic. Also, it may be recalled that each pair had an option of low SWS coupled with one having a high SWS rating. Regardless of whether the similar characteristic was the perceived-self or liked-to-be-self rating, the subjects more frequently chose the lower SWS option (i.e., having a large S-L discrepancy). The proportion of each option chosen for pairs with only one similar characteristic is presented in Table 13. Also presented for comparison are the selection proportions observed for options similar on both characteristics. A Chi-square analysis comparing selection frequencies for partially similar options with the selection frequencies for option pairs equal on both "S" and "L" ratings yielded significant Chi-square values (for pairs with similar "S" ratings, Chisquare = 7.64, df = 2, £< .025; for pairs with similar "L" ratings, Chi-square = 50.32, df = 2 , £ < .005). Analysis of Chosen Options from Provided Constructs A similar analysis of the frequencies of options chosen was conducted with the provided construct pairs. With these options the "undecided" alternative was not included. A pretesting of 30 subjects revealed that when this alternative was included it was selected in approximately

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118 TABLE 13 PROPORTION OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FROM PAIRS OF PARTIAL SIMILARITY COMPARED WITH PROPORTIONS OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FROM PAIRS SIMILAR ON BOTH CHARACTERISTICS Similarity of Ratings Between Options Option Chosen Partial Complete "S" Ratings "L" Ratings Both "S" and "L" Ratings Similar Low SWS .61 .71 .43* High SWS .36 . 25 .43 Undecided .03 . 04 . 14 *Options from pairs having similar "S" and "L" ratings were chosen with equal relative frequency. That is, construct dimensions labeled "A" or "B" were each chosen with a proportional frequency of .43.

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119 one-third of the choices. It is possible that the subjects felt they could not be as certain about the selections when having to make judgments about the choices of others. Because the procedure for this task forced subjects to select either one or the other construct dimension the resulting frequencies may be unduly inflated. Similar options Options from pairs having similar "S" and "L" ratings would be expected to have been selected with equal frequency. However, the option labeled "A" was selected in 55 percent of the pairs while the option labeled "B" was indicated in the remaining 45 percent of the cases. Although this proportion did not significantly deviate from an expected proportion of .5 (z = 1.78) it may be that subjects experienced more uncertainty with provided constructs and arbitrarily indicated the first alternative more frequently. Dissimilar options The selection frequencies for option pairs dissimilar on both " S" and "L" placements are presented in Table 14. These pairs had construct dimensions with SWS discrepancies that were equally small (high SWS) or equally large (low SWS). The proportions for both types of SWS pairings are

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120 TABLE 14 PROPORTION OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FOR DISSIMILAR PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS Option Chosen Satisfaction-with-Self on Both Construct Dimensions Low (N=160 ) High (N=l 6 0 ) Combined Closer Opposite to Pole .60 . 60 .64 Farther Opposite from Pole .40 .31 .36

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121 also presented. As was the case with elicited constructs the construct dimension closer to the pole towards which the subject was to move was selected more frequently. A z equal to .5 (p < .01) resulted when comparing these proportions with a theoretical equal selection proportion of .5. It appears that with dissimilar construct pairs the subjects took an average of the "S" and "L" ratings for each dimension and selected the option with the mean rating closer to the target pole. Options of partial similarity With provided constructs, pairings were made with options similar on either the "S" or "L" rating and with either equal or different SWS construct pairs. The options of each pair were classified according to the relative distance of their "S" and "L" placements from the pole of the construct towards which subjects were to change. The proportion of each option selected is presented in Table 15. Again, there was a tendency for subjects to select with greater frequency the option closer to the pole towards which they were to move. A test for the significance of the difference between two proportions indicated that these proportions were significantly different from equality (.5) only for the pairs with similar SWS constructs: for constructs with equal "S" ratings z_ = 3.50, _p< .01; for

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122 In o CO pq a H w H CO O Eh 2 pq H O In pq u < Q Ph W H i-q Eh S w U H CO pq co 1 ffi w Eh co < H H S in co EH 1 i — i S z o < o w H a. H q Eh Eh pq PL, u < o o < Eh Pm p4 co CO o pq H H Eh c o PL, o a pq pq a,

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123 constructs with equal " L M ratings, z_ = 2.56, p < .01. As with the constructs that were dissimilar on both "S" and "L" ratings it appears that subjects made their selection based on the average of the "S" and "L" rating for each construct. Those constructs with a mean S-L rating closer to the pole of change were selected more often. This did not appear to be the case with pairs that had dissimilar SWS constructs. The proportions from option pairs with dissimilar SWS constructs were not significantly different from equality (z_ = 1.00, p > .05) when the options were considered with respect to their S-L distances from the poles of the construct dimension. When options were classified according to their relative SWS discrepancy, however, a consistent pattern 4 emerged. The selection frequencies for low and high SWS options are presented in Table 16. A low SWS option means that the S-L discrepancy for that construct dimension was large; while a high SWS option refers to a small S-L discrepancy. Table 16 shows that subjects chose the low SWS option (high S-L discrepancy) more frequently as the construct dimension to change than the high SWS option. These proportions were significantly different from an equal selection frequency of .50 {z_ for equal "S" ratings = 2.25, p < .05; p for equal "L" ratings = 2.75, p < .05).

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124 TABLE 16 PROPORTION OF OPTIONS CHOSEN FROM PROVIDED CONSTRUCT PAIRS OF PARTIAL SIMILARITY COMPOSED OF UNEQUAL' SATISFACTIONWITH-SELF CONSTRUCTS Option Chosen Similarity of Rating "S" Rating Equal (N = 160) "L" Rating Equal (N = 160 Low SWS .59 . 61 High SWS .41 .39 Note: Low SWS refers to a high S-L discrepancy; high SWS refers to a low S-L discrepancy.

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DISCUSSION The pattern of data reviewed in the preceding chapter lends support to hypotheses 1 and 2 regarding option similarity and perceived choice. Similar results were obtained using both elicited and provided constructs. These hypotheses dealt with decision freedom and therefore docused on the extent to which a real alternative was perceived to exist to the actual alternative selected. Specifically, hypothesis 1 which stated that perceived choice will be greater when both perceived-self and likedto-be-self ratings were similar between options than when they were dissimilar was supported with both methodologies. That is, regardless of whether construct pairs were provided or elicited, the subjects perceived more choice when alternatives could not be readily chosen, or eliminated, on the basis of salient characteristics of the options. Hypothesis 2 attempted to control for satisf action-withself ( SWS ) differences between options with dissimilar constructs. This hypothesis, which stated that the predicted effects would hold between similar and dissimilar options when the satisf action-with-self discrepancies were equal between constructs of each option pair, was 125

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126 also supported. No prediction was made for pairs having dissimilar satisf action-with-self constructs but it was anticipated that choice attributions might differ from those with pairs having equal satisf action-with-self constructs. Subsequent analyses of provided construct pairs yielded evidence that it was the equality of the perceived-self and liked-to-be-self ratings, and not the SWS equality between the options, that affected attributions of choice in this study. Additional ananlyses revealed that for provided constructs, option pairs having one rating equal (either "S" or "L" ) yielded significantly higher attributions of choice than pairs unequal on both ratings. This effect was not found with elicited constructs. With elicited constructs it made no difference whether pairs had one or both ratings dissimilar. Pairs similar on only one rating did not differ in choice attributions from pairs with both ratings different. However, with both provided and elicited constructs, pairs having only one, or neither, rating equal resulted in lower attributions of choice than when both perceivedand liked-to-be-self ratings were equal. These findings support the view that perceived choice exists to the degree that a real alternative exists to the chosen one. These results were therefore consistent with the findings of other researches (Harvey & Johnston,

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127 1973; Harvey et al . , 1974; Harvey & Harris, 1974; Jellison & Harvey, 1973; Steiner et al . , 1974) who also found that perceived choice was greater when options were similar than when they were dissimilar. In the present study similarity was defined as the relative equality of the "S" and "L" rating of the two options. These characteristics were made salient by the instructions which specifically called the subjects' attention to them. Obviously the actual concepts themselves were different and could vary in terms of meaningfulness, affective or moral tone, social desirability and in other ways that were not specifically accounted for by the present methodology. What is important, however, is that when the subject's attention was focused on the specific characteristics that were manipulated in this study perceptions of choice appeared to be a function of their similarity. It may be recalled from the preceding chapter that the range of choice ratings was greater for provided constructs as compared with elicited constructs. Provided constructs produced higher choice attributions for equal options and lower ratings for unequal options. It may be that with provided constructs the subjects, having no other knowledge about the target person, attended solely to the relative equality of the S" and "L" ratings. With their own constructs, however, these same subjects may have used other

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128 less salient (but no less important) cues in rating their perceptions of choice. With the more meaningful elicited constructs the subjects may have been attending to other personal cues in addition to the explicit ones and, by so doing, experienced more choice. Since they were making the choice from their own elicited constructs, they may have perceived themselves as having more choice when selecting from unequal options compared with unequal options from provided constructs. When selecting from equal construct pairs these same latent cues may also have limited the subjects' perceptions of choice. Presumably, these latent cues were not applicable with constructs from other subjects and therefore resulted in the higher choice attributions with provided equal pairs. This constriction of attributed choice for equal options and elevation of choice for unequal options with elicited constructs may explain the finding of no difference in choice attributions between options with one versus no equal characteristic with elicited pairs. The third hypothesis that perceived choice would be greater when the liked-to-be-self rating of the options was the only similar characteristic than when the perceived-self rating was the only similar characteristic was not supported. For both elicited and provided constructs these types of pairs yielded equal choice ratings. This

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129 hypothesis attempted to ascertain whether a "valence" effect, as measured by the subject's " liked-to-be" rating would emerge. This did not appear to be the case in this study. However, it may be that similarity of valence ratings may have been important but its effects were masked by the set given to subjects in the instructions. Recall that subjects were asked to change where they perceived themselves to be and, therefore, their attention was directed more to their "S" ratings. So, while the relative valence could have been important its effects may have been offset by the instruction set to attend more to their "S" placements. Individual Differences in Perceived Choice With elicited constructs two of the individual difference variables, Awareness of Consequences (AC) and Ascription of Responsibility (AR) , yielded significant effects while the third, Satisf action-with-Self (SWS) , showed a tendency in the predicted direction. Individual difference effects were not revealed with provided constructs. With elicited constructs subjects above the median on AC perceived more choice than subjects below the median. This supports hypothesis 4 that more choice would be perceived by subjects above the median on Awareness of Consequences than subjects below the median. With pairs having

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130 only the perceived-self ratings equal, subjects above the median on AC exhibited more choice than subjects below the median. However, subjects above the median on AC did not differ in their choice ratings from subjects below the median when the perceived-self ratings were not equal. A similar effect was found with the AR variable. That is, the effects of perceived-self similarity was more pronounced for subjects above the median on AR than for subjects below the median. Hypothesis 5 which stated that subjects above the median on AR would perceive more choice than subjects below the median was not supported. Hypothesis 6 which stated that subjects above the median on SWS would perceive more choice than subjects below the median also was not supported. The finding that subjects high on AC exhibited higher overall choice ratings while high AR and SWS subjects did not may partially be due to the method of measuring these variables. Recall that Awareness of Consequences was assessed by having subjects describe how they go about making decisions. The method of coding the responses relied on the degree to which subjects elaborated upon the options with respect to the consequences of selecting one or the other alternative. Subjects who gave extensive and detailed responses, therefore, had a greater likelihood of receiving a high score. This high score in turn reflected

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131 both Awareness of Consequences and a general tendency to be conscientious and meticulous in making decisions. Individuals who approach decisions with this style have likely developed a sense of high perceived choice resulting from a careful consideration of all the options. The measures of AR and SWS were not as specific and relied on self-report and self-ratings. Also, the measures of AR and SWS were not specifically derived from a decision context and therefore may reflect more general orientations than AC. The findings for subjects above the median on AR and AC with respect to perceived-self similarity deserve comment. Subjects above the median on AC perceived more choice than subjects below the median when options presented similar perceived-self ratings but no greater choice with options having dissimilar perceived self-ratings. For subjects above the median on AR options with similar perceived-self -ratings yielded a higher choice rating compared with dissimilar perceived-self pairs. This effect was not as strong for subjects below the median on AR. That both these findings occurred when options were grouped according to perceived-self similarity and not according to liked-to-be-self similarity may reflect the instruction set given to the subjects. Subjects were instructed to change their perceived-self ratings while their liked-to-be-self ratings were to remain the same. For this task, then,

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132 the perceived-self , or "S," rating was the more salient characteristic of the options. It may be that these results indicate that subjects above the median on AC and AR were more sensitive to the salient cues regarding which construct dimension to change. Conceivably, if the instructions had asked subjects to change their liked-to-beself ratings the same results might have occurred for options grouped according to liked-to-be-self similarity. There was a tendency for high satisf action-with-self subjects to perceive more choice than low satisf action-withself subjects. Because the effect due to this variable only approached significance it may be that this variable has relatively little impact on perceived choice. Another possibility is that high SWS subjects do experience more choice in most decisions but the specific requirement of this task counteracted this. By definition high satisf action-with-self subjects have small discrepancies between where they perceive themselves to be and would like to be along a given construct dimension. Asking such subjects to change where they perceive themselves to be would, in effect, be asking them to change from a position of high satisfaction to one of low satisfaction on their construct dimension. This change in SWS would be more pronounced for high SWS subjects than for low SWS subjects. Any tendency by the high SWS subjects, therefore, to

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133 perceive more choice would be counteracted by the greater undesirability of the change they are asked to make compared to the change for the low SWS subjects. An intriguing finding was that the effects of the individual difference variables were revealed with the elicited but not the provided constructs. It may be that a subject's choice orientations are activated only when he is confronted by decisions of personal significance, as when changing his self-concept. With decisions having little personal consequence a subject may rely more on the objective features of the choice context and lesson his own individual characteristics or tendencies. Another possibility is that the above reasoning may apply for some subjects and not to others. That is, there may have been subjects who were sensitive to the contextual choice cues present within both provided and elicited construct pairs while other subjects were sensitive to only one construct type. For example, subjects high on the Awareness of Consequences variable may have been more consistent in their perceptions of choice with both types of constructs. Presumably, because they were more elaborated and inclusive in their decision process the high AC subjects may have perceived more choice for others as well as themselves. The low AC subjects, on the other hand, experience less choice in personal decisions. With decisions involving

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134 other people, the restriction of choice by low AC subjects may not have been activated. They may have attended solely to the contextual cues when the decisions did n ot involve choices of personal consequence. Some support for this contention was found after examining the correlations of perceived choice ratings between elicited and provided construct pairs for subjects above and below the median on AC. For subjects above the median the mean within cell correlation was .27, p < .10. The mean within cell correlation for subjects below the median on AC was -.02, £ > .10. Therefore, there is some evidence for the argument that high AC subjects were more consistent in their choice attributions across construct type than were low AC subjects. However, a Fisher's £ test (Steele & Torrie, 1960) indicated that these correlations were not significantly different from one another {z_ = 1.22, p > .05). The results from the analysis of the actual options chosen suggests that the subjects had used tow criteria for selecting which construct to change. First, when the SWs discrepancy was equal between options, subjects chose the construct dimension that had the mean of the "S" and "L" ratings closer to the pole towards which they were to change. When the "S" and "L" ratings were identical between constructs, the choice could not as readily be made. This may have caused the subjects to deliberate longer on equally rated options forcing them to search for more subjective

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135 criteria for their decision. This increased deliberation may have been subjectively experienced as "more choice" than when their choices involved unequal options. Second, when the SWS discrepancy was not equal between options, the subjects more frequently chose to change the option with the larger S-L discrepancy. This finding appears reasonable since one would expect that individuals would choose to change personal characteristics with which they are less satisfied . Problems for Future Research The present study attempted to identify factors that influence the degree of perceived choice in a situation involving change within one's self-concept system. Some of the factors were a part of the decision context, such as the similarity of the options, while others were assumed to be characteristics of the individual. The personal characteristics of AC and AR were assumed to mediate the impact of situational cues on perceived choice. A question that must be considered is that is the relative importance of situational cues regarding the options versus individual difference variables on perceived choice? Inthis study, as with previous research in perceived choice, the situation was clearly defined as one in which a choice existed. Because of this we would expect that situational

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136 cues would be given more importance. This appears to be the case in the present study since the effects due to the manipulation of the option characteristics were more pronounced than those due to the AC, AR, or SWS variables. It may be, however, that in more ambiguous situations, where choices are not as obvious, -the influence of the individual difference variables would be more important. Furthermore, research aimed specifically at varying situational cues about consequences and responsibility may enhance or limit the effects of these variables. For example, strong situational pressures to take note of consequences of to accept responsibility should virtually eliminate differences due to these variables. Conversely choice situations where cues regarding consequences or responsibility are not as salient may reveal more clearly differences due to the variables of AC and AR. The present study focused on the self-concept system and suggested behavioral and attitudinal change. The pressure, therefore, to assume responsibility for changing one's self and considering the consequences of the change may have mitigated the impact of the variables of AC and AR on perceived choice.

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APPENDICES

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APPENDIX A INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODIFIED REPERTORY TEST (MRT ) This is an exercise in describing the characteristic actions of people. Since it may seem a bit personal, there is a separate name sheet which you may keep. If you have a question at any time, feel free to ask it. Most questions will be answered privately in order not to distract others. This inventory is designed to help you understand some of the people who have played a part in your life. Please read the following instructions carefully. 1) Note the descriptions under the heading "Role Titles." Beginning with your own name write the first names of the persons described in the blanks under the heading "Names." If you cannot remember a person's, name, write something about him which will clearly bring to your mind the person's identity. DO NOT USE ANY NAME MORE THAN ONCE. Do not go on to the next paragraph until you have given all 19 names. 2) Now look at column number 1 that is to the right of the "Name" column. Note that the three spaces to the right of names 17, 18, and 19 have circles in them. Think about these three people. Are two of them alike in some way that distinguishes them from the third person ? Keep thinking about them until you remember the important way in which two of them are alike and which sets them off from the third person. Since we are interested only in how these people act , do not consider what they are (like men vs. women or republicans vs"! democrats) . Likewise the situation in which they happen to be (living in the city vs. living in the country or dead vs. alive) may not tell much about how they act. Just answer the question: "Which two of these people act more alike in some outstanding way that sets them apart from the third?" When you have decided who they are and how they contrast with the other person, mark X's in the circles beside those who are more alike. Make no mark beside the third person. 3) Now on form "B" write in space number 1 under heading "A" the word or phrase that tells how these two people are alike. Now, under heading "B" write what you consider to be the opposite of that 138

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139 APPENDIX A (continued) characteristic. For example you may note that two of the three are alike because they are more "easy going," so you will write "easy going" under column A. You may feel that the opposite of easy going is difficult so you will write "difficult" in the space under column B. Thus, one description pair on the form will appear as: easy going difficult Now do the same for each group of three people under columns 2 through 22. 4) After all 22 descriptions are completed you may continue with Part II. ROLE TITLES 1. Write your own name in the first blank here. 2. Write your mother's first name. If you grew up with a stepmother, write her name. 3. Your father's first name. If you grew up with a stepfather, write his name. 4. The name of your brother nearest your age (or male friend like a brother if you had none) . 5. The name of your sister nearest your age (or female friend like a sister if you had none) . 6. Your wife (or husband) or, if you are not married, your closest girl (boy) friend. 7. Your closest girl (boy) friend immediately preceding the person mentioned above (ex-flame) . 8. Your closest present friend of the same sex as yourself. 9. A person whom you once thought was a close friend but in whom you were later disappointed. 10. A person with whom you have been associated who, for some unexplained reason, appeared to dislike you. 11. A person whom you would most like to help or for whom you feel sorry. 12. A person with whom you usually feel most uncomfortable. 13. A person whom you have recently met whom you would like to know better. 14. The teacher who influenced you most when you were in your teens . 15. The teacher whose point of view you have found most objectionable. 16. An employer, supervisor, of officer under whom you served during a period of great stress.

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TRIAD COMPARISONS 140 APPENDIX A (continued) CN O O o CN 21 o O o 20 O o o CT> rH o O o 18 o o o 17 o o o 16 o o O 15 O O O rH o O O 13 o O o 12 o o o IT o O o 10 o o o o o o 00 O o o o o o KD o o o LO O o o o o o co o o o CM o o o i — l o o o cn w 2 < Z rH CN ro IT) 00 a> o rH CN ro in kO 00 rH i — 1 i — 1 rH 1 — 1 rH rH rH rH rH

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141 APPENDIX A (continued) BLANK FOR RATING PERCEIVED SELF AND LIKED-TO-BE SELF WITH ELICITED CONSTRUCTS Column A Column B 9 . 10 . 11 . 12 . 13 . 14 . 15 . 16 . 17 . 18 . 19 . 20 . 21 . 22 .

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APPENDIX B INSTRUCTIONS FOR RATING OF PERCEIVED SELF* 1. After all 22 spaces have been filled out, remove the carbon paper and separate the two sheets. Turn one sheet face down on your desk. 2. The purpose of this part is to have you rate where you presently see yourself with respect to each of the 22 description pairs that you have produced. Therefore, you are to rate the title "I am" by placing the letter "S" in one of the 14 spaces for each of the 22 description pairs. If you felt that you are very closely associated with one end of the scale you might place the "S" as follows: Easy :S: :::::::::::: i Difficult or Easy : : ::::::::: :S: Difficult If you felt that you are quite closely related to one side, you might place the "S" as follows: Easy: : : :S: ::::::::: :Difficult or Easy : ::::::::: :S: : : : Difficult If you see yourself as only slightly related to one side, you might place the "S" as follows: Easy : : : : : : :S: :::::: :Difficult or Easy : :::::: :S: : : : : : d ifficult IMPORTANT: 1) Place your "S" in the middle of spaces , not on the boundaries. 2) Be sure you mark all 22 descriptions. Do not omit any. 3) Never put more than one "S" for a single description . *Similar instructions were given for liked-to-be self ratings . 142

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143 APPENDIX B (continued) Do not worry or puzzle over individual descriptions. It is your first impressions, the immediate "feelings" about the descriptions that we want. On the other hand, please do not be careless because we want your true impressions . After all 22 descriptions are completed please raise your hand and the description sheet will be picked up. You will receive one more set of instructions for the final part of the session.

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APPENDIX C MEANS OF PERCEIVED-SELF , PREFERREDSELF AND SATISFACTIONWITHSELF (SWS) RATINGS FOR TRIADIC COMPARISONS IN WHICH THE SELF IS INCLUDED VERSUS EXCLUDED AS AN ELEMENT Triad Type of Rating Compar i. son PerceivedSelf Prefer red -Self SWS Self Present 3.60 2.45 1.15 Self Absent 3.36 2.48 1.12 Difference .24 .03 . 03 i 144

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APPENDIX D AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES Code Number Choice Situations Instructions This is a measure of your understanding of the way people go about making the choices they do. On the following pages are a number of incidents involving people. In each incident the description ends at a point where the person is faced with a decision. Your task is to describe how he goes about making his decision; the kinds of thoughts and feelings he has debates with himself about what he should do. Imagine what it would be like to be in the position of the main character. Then write out the internal conversation he might have in his mind. What would he think about in coming to a decision? Read each incident and consider all of the elements in it. Then write out what ideas might be going through the character's mind as he tries to make a decision about what to do. Don't tell me what he does; tell me what the process of thinking is like. Try to give a full answer to each question. Then indicate which choice you would have made. 1. Mr. F. is currently a college senior who is very eager to pursue graduate study in chemistry leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. He has been accepted by both University X and University Y. University X has a world-wide reputation for excellence in chemistry. While a degree from University X would signify outstanding training in this field, the standards are so very rigorous that only a fraction of the degree candidates actually receive the degree. University Y, on the other hand, has much less of a reputation in chemistry, but almost everyone admitted is awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degree, though the degree has much less prestige than the corresponding degree from University X. 145

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146 APPENDIX D (continued) 2. A man about to fly overseas on his vacation is troubled by a severe abdominal pain. Now at the airport he must decide between boarding the plane and going to the hospital, which would ruin his vacation plans . 3. Mr. A, an electrical engineer, who is married and has one child, has been working for a large electronics corporation since graduating from college five years ago. He is assured of a life-time job with a modest, though adequate, salary, and liberal pension benefits upon retirement. On the other hand, it is very unlikely that his salary will increase much before he retires. While attending a convention, Mr. A is offered a job with a small, newly founded company which has a highly uncertain future. The new job would pay more to start and would offer the possibility of a share in the ownership if the company survived the competition of the larger firms. 4. Mr. M. is contemplating marriage to Miss T, a girl whom he has known for a little more than a year. Recently, however, a number of arguments have occurred between them, suggesting some sharp differences of opinion in the way each views certain matters. Indeed, they decide to seek professional advice from a marriage counselor as to whether it would be wise for them to marry. On the basis of these meetings with a marriage counselor, they realize that a happy marriage, while possible, would not be assured.

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APPENDIX E CODING GUIDE FOR AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES STORIES Dimension coded: Extent to which the actor is aware of the potential consequences of his choosing both alternatives for others and for himself as part of his decision making process. General instructions: Assign the highest code category reflected in the response (e.g., if one remark fits level 1 and another level 4, code 4). Rationalization and actual actions decided upon should be ignored. 0-a) Restatement of alternatives — no elaboration. b) Statement of the choice. c) States issue as one of following a general norm or obligation (i.e., duty, being a good husband, being cautious) . States choice with vague or general consequence for only one alternative. Mentions any action taken to alleviate or argument consequences for others or self without specifying consequences themselves. 2a) States choice with vague or general consequence for both alternatives. b) Mentions, implies or wonders about general effects on others or self with consideration of specific details . 3a) Mentions, implies, or wonders about specific consequences on others or self for only one alternative. 4a) Mentions specific effects on others or self in detail for both alternatives. b) Mentions long-range consequences for others or self. c) Adopts perspective of those affected, reflects upon what it actually is like in their position. Indicates clear attempt to empathize (e.g., describes how he would feel). 1-a) b) 147

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APPENDIX F INTERCORRELATION MATRIX OF AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES STORIES (N=80 ) Story 2 3 4 1 .50 . 56 .53 2 .49 . 57 3 . 69 The number assigned to each story indicates its ordinal position in Appendix. Note :

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APPENDIX G PRINCIPAL COMPONENT FACTOR ANALYSIS OF AWARENESS OF CONSEQUENCES STORIES (N = 80) Story Factor I 1 .72 2 .77 3 .84 4 . 86 149

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APPENDIX H ASCRIPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY Each of the items below is a statement of an attitude or opinion which some people have. Please read each statement and then decide whether you agree with it or disagree with it. There are no right or wrong responses to these statements . If you Strongly Agree , place a SA in the space provided. If you Agree , place an A in the space provided. If you Disagree , place a D in the space provided. If you Strongly Disagree , place a SD in the space provided If you are not certain, answer A or D according to which comes closer to your opinion. " Do hot leave any items blank. Take as much time as you need. (D) *1. When a soldier kills his enemy in war he should not feel guilty. (D) 2. You can't blame basically good people who are forced by their environment to be inconsiderate of others. (D) 3. When you consider how hard it is for an honest businessman to get ahead, it is easier to forgive shrewdness in business. (A) 4. Even when I realize a cause is hopeless in the long run, I still feel it is my responsibility to work for it. (D) 5. When things go wrong for me it is often not my own fault. (D) 6. When a person is pushed hard enough, there comes a point beyond which anything he does is justifiable. (A) 7. If I were a judge, I would probably become personally involved in the decisions I would have to make. (D) 8. You can't expect a person to act much differently from everyone else. (D) 9. With the pressure for grades and the widespread cheating in school nowadays, the individual who cheats occasionally is not really as much at fault. Responses coded for AR 150

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151 APPENDIX H (continued) (D) 10. Occasionally in life a person finds himself in a situation in which he has absolutely no control over what he does to others. i — 1 i — 1 6 If I hurt someone unintentionally, I would feel almost as guilty as I would if I had done the same thing intentionally. (D) 12. When a man is completely involved in valuable work, you can't blame him if he is insensitive to those around him. (D) 13. It is unfair to judge a person by the way he acts when he is put in with a bad crowd. (A) 14. Failing to return the money when you are given too much change is the same as stealing from a store. (D) 15. It doesn't make much sense to be concerned about how we act when we are sick and feeling miserable. (A) 16. Extenuating circumstances never completely remove a person's responsibility for his actions. (A) 17. If I damaged someone's car in an accident that was legally his fault, I would still feel somewhat guilty . (A) 18. If I were a lawyer who won a case for a client I believed to be guilty, I would probably feel somewhat guilty myself. (A) 19. The older I get, the more I hold myself to accounts for what happens to those around me. (A) 20. Being very upset or preoccupied does not excuse a person for doing anything he would ordinarily avoid . (A) 21. Writing in a book a friend lends you is not at all worse than writing in a library book. (D) 22. Gossiping is so common in our society that a person who gossips once in a while can't really be blamed so much.

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152 APPENDIX (D) 23. (A) 24. H (continued) If a person is nasty to me , I feel very little responsibility to treat him well. No matter what a person has done to us, there is no excuse for taking advantage of him.

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APPENDIX I INSTRUCTIONS FOR PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS WITH ELICITED CONSTRUCTS Please Read Carefully The following pages contain pairs of concept dimensions selected from those you gave during the last session. The "S" indicates the position you said you presently see yourself on and the "L" indicates where you said you would like to be on each dimension. Now let us assume for the moment that you have to change from the side you presently see yourself on to the other (opposite) side on one of your dimensions, but would remain the same on the other one. Where you said you would like to see yourself would remain unchanged . The following example will make this clearer: Suppose you were presented with the following pair of dimensions which were taken from those you gave during the first session: A. easy going :S: L _: difficult B. care free : : : : :S:L: ::::::: :serious Remember, the "S" shows where you said you saw yourself as being on the dimension and the "L" shows where you would like to be on the dimension. You are asked to imagine that you had to change from the side you presently see yourself on to the opposite side on one dimension while remaining the same on the other. Thus, you are asked to choose whether you would change your behavior on dimension A or B. That is, if you had to, would you choose to change your behavior on dimension A, from "easy going" to "difficult"; or would you choose to change your behavior on dimension B, from "care free" to "serious"? In other words, which would you choose to change? Note that your "L" ratings, indicating where you said you would like to be would not be changed on either dimension. However, before indicating which dimension you would change, you are asked to rate how much choice you feel you have in selecting which of the two dimensions to change: 153

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154 APPENDIX I (continued) 1* Circle numbers 1 or 2 if you feel you have very little choice about which dimension you would change . 2. Circle numbers 8 or 9 if you feel you have very much real choice. 3. Circle numbers 3 through 7 for intermediate degrees of choice. Next, circle the letter of the dimension that you chose to change i.e., either A or B. We would prefer you make a choice whenever possible but if you cannot decide then circle "U" for undecided. Now consider each of your own dimension pairs in the same way and circle the numbers indicating the degree of choice and circle the letter indicating the dimension chosen .

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155 APPENDIX I (continued) PERCEIVED CHOICE MEASURE FOR ELICITED CONSTRUCTS Option A: : :::::::::::::: Option B: : : Amount of choice (circle number) : Very little real choice--l--2 — 3 — 4 — 5 — 6 — 7 — 8--9--Very much real choice Option chosen: A or B or U (undecided) Option A: : :::::::::::::: Option B: : :::::::::::::: Very little real choice — 1 — 2 — 3 — 4 — 5--6 — 7 — 8 — 9 — Very much real choice Option chosen: A or B or U (undecided) Option A: : :::::::::::::: Option B: : j ::::::::::::: Very little real choice — 1 — 2 — 3 — 4 — 5 — 6--7 — 8 — 9 — Very much real choice Option chosen: A or B or U (undecided) Option A: ::::::::::: Option B: : :::::::::::::: Very little real choice — 1 — 2 — 3--4 — 5 — 6 — 7--8 — 9--Very much real choice Option chosen: A or B or U (undecided)

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APPENDIX J INSTRUCTIONS FOR PERCEIVED CHOICE RATINGS WITH PROVIDED CONSTRUCTS Please Read Carefully The purpose of this part is to investigate how people make predictions about the perceptions of choice of other people. In order to do this you will be given pairs of concept dimensions that were given to other students in a previous study and which were based upon their own concepts. Example: consider the following pair of concept dimensions: A. easy going : S:L:_:_:_:_:_:_:_:_:_:_:_: : dif f icult B. care free : : : : :S:L: ::::::: :serious The " S" shows where the person saw himself as being on the dimension and the "L" shows where he would like to be on the dimension. Each person was asked to imagine that he had to change from the side he sees himself on to the opposite side on one of these dimensions, but to remain the same on t he other. Thus, in the above example a person was to choose whether he would change his behavior on either dimension A or B. That is, if he had to, would he choose to change his behavior on dimension A, from "easy going" to "difficult"; or would he choose to change his behavior on dimension B, from "care free" to "serious"? In other words, which would he choose to change? Note: his "L" ratings, indicating where he said he would like to be would not be changed on either dimension. However, before indicating which dimension he would change, he was asked to rate how much choice he felt he had in selecting which dimension to change on a 9 point scale. Next, he was asked to indicate which dimension he chose to change . 156

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157 APPENDIX J (continued) I. For each dimension pair you are asked to circle the number representing the degree of choice in selecting between dimensions A or B you think each student circled: A. Circle numbers 1 or 2 if you feel he had very little choice about selecting which dimension he would change . B. Circle numbers 8 or 9 if you think he had very much real choice. C. Circle numbers _3 through 1 _ for intermediate degrees of choice. II. You are then asked to circle the letter of the dimension that you think the person chose to change. Please note that each pair is from a different student even though some of the concept dimensions are the same or similar. Therefore, in making your judgements please consider each option pair independently from the others . The important elements to consider are not so much the actual concept dimensions themselves, but rather where the person presently sees himself and would like to see himself on each dimension (i.e., his "S" and "L" rating).

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158 APPENDIX J (continued) PERCEIVED CHOICE RATING WITH PROVIDED CONSTRUCTS Option A: Rugged ;S:L: : Delicate Option B: Controlled : s : L : ::::::::::: : Impulsive Amount of choice (circle number): Very little real choice--l — 2--3 — 4 — 5--6 — 7 — 8--9 — Very much real choice Option chosen: A or B Option A: Aggressive : S:_:_:_:L Defensive Option B: Relaxed : : :_:L: : : : : :Tense Very little real choice--l--2--3 — 4--5--6--7 — 8--9--Very much real choice Option chosen: A or B Option A: Mature :SgL: ::::::::::: :Youthful Option B: Subtle : Sg L: _: _: :_: : : Obvious Very little real choice--l — 2--3 — 4--5--6--7--8--9--Very much real choice Option chosen: A or B Option A: Caring : : S :L :::::::::: : : Care free Option B: Funloving : : S : : : : ;L :::::: : : Rigid Very little real choice--l--2--3 — 4--5 — 6 — 7--8--9--Very much real choice Option chosen: A or B

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APPENDIX K ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR MEASURE OF PERCEIVED CHOICE WITH ELICITED CONSTRUCTS Source df MS F Perceived-self similarity (A) 1 83.3 28.8* Liked-to-be self similarity (B) 1 113.6 39.3* A x B 1 30.0 10.4* error 216 2.9 *p < .001 159

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REFERENCES Aronson, E. Dissonance theory: Progress and problems. In R.P. Abelson, E. Aronson, W.J. Mcguire, T.M. Newcomb, M.J. Rosenberg, and P.J. Tannenbaum (Eds.), Theories of cognitive consistency: A sourcebook . Chicago : Rand McNally and Company, 1968. Atkinson, J.W. Motivational determinants of risk-taking behavior. Psychological Review , 1957, 6_4 , 359-372 . Ayers, M.R. The refutation of determinism . London: Methuen, 1968. Bannister, D., & Mair, J. The evaluation of personal constructs . New York! Academic Press, 1968 . Barker, E.N. Humanistic psychology and the scientific method. Interpersonal Development , 1972, 2, 137-172. Barron, F. Freedom as feeling. Journal of Humanistic Psychology , 1961, Fall, 91-100 . Bern, D.J. Self-perception: An alternative interpretation of cognitive dissonance phenomena. Psychological Review , 1967, 7£, 183-200. Berger, M. The relationship of increasing options to choice The human prerogative. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis , 1972, 22(2) , 203-205 . Bleuler, E. Dementia praecox or the group of schizophrenias New York: International Universities Press, 1950. Bradey, J.V., Porter, R.W. , Conrad, D.G., & Mason, J.W. Avoidance behavior and the development of gastroduodenal ulcers. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior , 1958 , 1_, 69-72 . Bramel, D. Interpersonal attraction, hostility, and perception. In J. Mills (Ed.), Experimental social psychology . London: Macmillan, 1969. Brehm, J.W. , & Cohen, A. Explorations in cognitive disso nance . New York: Wiley, 1962. 160

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VITA Charles T. Rubio was born on September 28, 1947, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a product of New Orleans Catholic elementary schools and attended high school in Evansville, Indiana. He attended the University of Notre Dame, Tulane University, and received his B.S. in psychology in 1968 from the University of New Orleans. Master's work in experimental psychology was completed at Tulane University and the University of Southern Mississippi. Post-master's experience included employment as a psychometrist for the Hew Orleans public school system, a research associate at Tulane University, and an instructor in psychology at Loyola University in Hew Orleans. The writer enrolled at the University of Florida as a graduate student in clinical psychology in 1972. After receiving his Ph.D., he will take a position with the student mental health section of the Department of Student Services at Auburn University. 167

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Wiley Rasb\iry Assistant Professor Psychology of Clinical I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. ' Audrey Scjnumacher Professor of Clinical Psychology I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. This dissertation vas submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Clinical Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. December, 1975 Bet Professor of Education Dean, Graduate School