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The Effect of success and failure experiences on the expectancy of success and performance

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Title:
The Effect of success and failure experiences on the expectancy of success and performance : of emotionally handicapped fourth and fifth grade boys
Creator:
Ballowe, Tom, 1947- ( Dissertant )
Algozzine, Robert ( Thesis advisor )
Schmid, Rex E. ( Reviewer )
Ware, William B. ( Reviewer )
Mercer, Cecil D. ( Reviewer )
Whorton, James E. ( Reviewer )
Sisler, Harry H. ( Degree grantor )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1978
Language:
English
Physical Description:
viii, 60 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Anagrams ( jstor )
Child psychology ( jstor )
College students ( jstor )
Diaries ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Personality psychology ( jstor )
Preliminary estimates ( jstor )
Psychology ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
T tests ( jstor )
Children with mental disabilities -- Education ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Special Education -- UF
Learning, Psychology of ( lcsh )
Special Education thesis Ph. D
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
In recent years, a considerable number of research studies have investigated the effects of success and failure on the expectancy levels of the EMR child. These studies have yielded results which have led to effective teaching strategies for the mildly retarded. While research has shown that retarded children's expectancies and performances are differentially affected by success and failure experiences, no suc.n systematic efforts have been devoted to this pheonmenon within an EH croup of children. The study was designed to investigate the extent to which EH children's expectancies and performances could be altered by success or failure induced experiences. Forty-eight fourth and fifth grade EH boys were randomly assigned to either a success or failure condition during five trials of a guessing task. Immediately following the initial task, all children were asked to estimate their expectancy of success on a novel learning task. For this second activity, all children received a progressive matrix worksheet with ten problems which required adding and/or subtracting solutions. The worksheet was pretested with 95 fourth and fifth graders with a median score of six. It was hypothesized that those children who were in the success condition would have higher expectancies and actual performance scores than the children in the failure condition. Safeguards were inacted to assure that each condition was accurately perceived by the student as success and failure. It was further hypothesized that the mean expectancy levels for each group would be correlated to respective performance means. Expectancy was shown to have little correlation to subsequent performance in success or failure conditions. Placement in a success or failure condition did not yield significantly different expectancy estimates; however, a significant difference in performance levels was shown. It was concluded that experimentally induced success or failure has a differential effect on performance of EH boys.
Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 57-59.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Tom Ballowe.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
000078343 ( AlephBibNum )
04893183 ( OCLC )
AAJ3642 ( NOTIS )

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THE EFFECT OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE EXPERIENCES
ON THE EXPECTANCY OF SUCCESS AND PERFORMANCE OF
EMOTIONALLY HANDICAPPED FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADE BOYS









By

TOM BALLOWE












A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUI:REMETS FOR THE
DEGREE OF OOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY





UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA






























To my wife, Debbie,

and my daughter, Jessie













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


I wish to express my gratitude to the many individuals who have

cooperated and given support for this study; for without the cooperation

of many principals and teachers in Alachua County this report would not

have been possible.

I am deeply indebted to my advisor and friend, Dr. Bob Algozzine,

for his professional guidance and assistance throughout the doctoral

program and for serving as chairman of my dissertation committee. His

timely suggestions and comments were of unequalled importance to the

completion of this study and to the depth of my total program.

I am also very grateful for the help and advice of Drs. Rex Schmid,

William Ware, Cecil Mercer, Gordon Greenwood, and Jim Whorton who served

on my committee.

I am also deeply grateful to my personal friend and classmate,

Mike Marlowe, for collection of data for the study. Mike was also a

source of continual encouragement throughout my entire academic program.

A sincere appreciation is expressed to the personal friends, staff

members, and family who supported and assisted whenever needed.

Finally, I wish to express a special note of appreciation to my

loving and thoughtful wife, Daobie. She has been the most important

figure behind any endeavor of mine since we were married, and without

ier this study would never have begun.













TABLE OF CO;:;iNT'S
Paoe
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . iii

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

A STRACT . . . . . . . ... . . . .... . . vii

CHAPIFR : INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . 1

Statement of the Problem . . . . . . . . . 2
Questionls Under Investigation . . . . . . . . 3
Rationale .. . . . . . . . ....... 3
Definition of Terms . . . . . . . . ... . 4
Hypotheses . . . . . .. . . . . . . 5
Delimitations . . . . . . . . 5
Limitations . . . . . . . . . . . 6

CHAPTER II REVIEW CF RELATED LITERATURE . ... . . 8

Emotionally Handicapped . . . . . .... ..... 8
Expectancy . . . . . . . . . . . 11

CHAPTER III MiETHODS AND PROCEDURES . . . . . .... 24

Subjects . . . . . . . . . . . . ... 24
Instrumentation . . . . . . . . . . .26
Procedures . . . . . . . . . 28
Analysis and Design .... . . . . . . . 29

CHAPTER IV RESULTS, DISCUSSION, AND LIMITATIONS . . ... 32

Correlation Fesults . . . . . . . . 33
Results (' T-Tests . . . . . . . . 33
Discussion ... ..................... 36

CHAPTER V SUM,"AR AN! CONCLUSIONS . . . 39

Purpose . .. . . . . .. ...... 43
Proredur s . . . . ... .. 43
ConIcl sions1 . . . . . . . . . .. 4. .

ADPE ElI,: ,.X ....... . . .. . . . 50

A. NDIX 3 2................... . .. 5.












APPENDIX C . . . . .. .

APPENDIX . . . . . . .

APPENDIX E . . . . . .

REFERENCES . . . . . . .

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . .


Pdqe_

53

54

56

57

61


__


. . . . . .




. . . . . . .

. I . . . . .

. . . . . . .













LIST OF TABLES

Table Paqe

1 Demographic Data for Subjects . . . . . . 5

2 Design for T-Test Comparison of Expectancy Means
Across Success and Failure Conditions . . . . 30

3 Means, Standard Deviations, and Correlations for
Expectancy and Performance Scores of Success
and Failure Groups . . . . . . .. . .. 4.









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



THE EFFECT OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE EXPERIENCES
ON THE EXPECTANCY OF SUCCESS AND PERFORMANCE OF
EMOTIONALLY HANDICAPPED FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADE BOYS

By

Tom Ballowe

August 1978
Chairman: Bob Algozzine, Ph.D.
Major Department: Special Education

In recent years, a considerable number of research studies have

investigated the effects of success and failure on the expectancy

levels of the EMR child. These studies have yielded results which

have led to effective teaching strategies for the mildly retarded.

While research has shown that retarded children's expectancies and

performances are differentially affected by success and failure exper-

iences, no sucn systematic efforts have been devoted to this pheonmenon

within an EH group of children. The study was designed to investigate

the extent to which EH children's expectancies and performances could

be altered by success or failure induced experiences.

Forty-eight fourth and fifth grade EH boys were randomly assigned

to either a success or failure condition during five trials of a guessing

task. immediately following the initial task, all children were asked

to estimate their expectancy of success on a novel learning task.

For this second activity, all children received a progressive

matrix worksheet with ten problems which required adding and/or sub-

tracting solutions. The worksheet was pretested with 95 fourth and









fifth graders with a median score of six. It was hypothesized that

those children who were in the success condition would have higher

expectancies and actual performance scores than the children in the

failure condition. Safeguards were enacted to assure that each condi-

tion was accurately perceived by the student as success and failure.

It was further hypothesized that the mean expectancy levels for each

group would be correlated to respective performance means.

Expectancy was shown to have little correlation to subsequent

performance in success or failure conditions. Placement in a success

or failure condition did not yield significantly different expectancy

estimates; however, a significant difference in performance levels was

shown. It was concluded that experimentally induced success or failure

has a differential effect on performance of EH boys.













CHAPTER I


INTRODUCTION

It is common for some children to experience difficulties in school.

When such difficulties are thought to be the result of the emotional

problems of the child, that child is often referred to as emotionally

handicapped (EH). The emotionally handicapped child has special needs

which are usually addressed in a special classroom environment (O'Neall &

Sibbison, 1975). One of the primary characteristics of many EH children

is achievement at a level below that which would be expected by intellectual

estimates of their abilities (Kelly, Bullock, & Dykes, 1974); this poor

academic achievement cannot be attributed to intellectual, sensory, or

physical deficits. The EH child experiences failure as a result of his

problem behaviors. In personal as well as academic settings, failure is

one variable which affects one's overall performance as well as expectancy

for success (Jones, 1977).

Expectancy can be described as the level of expected performance one

has for a task. Most researchers have chosen to examine expectancy levels

for persons under two experimental conditions: success and failure (Feather,

1968; Jones, 1977; Marks, 1951). Success generally leads to an increase

in expectancy of success; while failure generally leads to a decrease in

expectancy of success. Equally important are the personal attributions

one places on success or failure; common attributions are (1) ability,

(2) effort, (3) task difficulty, and (4) luck (Frieze & Weiner, 1971;





2



Heider, 1958). Success attributed to luck does not always lead to an

increase in expectancy. When success or failure are seen as the result

of ability, the greatest expectancy changes usually occur.

Expectancies with exceptional children have been shown to fluctuate

with success and failure (Robbins & Harway, 1977; Shuster & Gruen, 1971).

The orientation or striving for success characteristically found in many

normal children, is often replaced in exceptional children by a striving

to avoid failure (Cromwell, 1963; Zigler, 1962). It has been suggested

that inordinate amounts of failure may have a detrimental effect on expec-

tancy of success and thereby lead to this tendency to avoiding failure.

The expectancy research with retarded children has demonstrated

that performance as well as expectancy may be altered by success and

failure experiences (Mercer & Snell, 1977). Emotionally handicapped

children experience failure in school (Shea, 1978); they also exhibit

many behaviors associated with learning disabled and mentally retarded

children (Hallahan & Kauffman, 1977; Neisworth & Greer, 1975). While

expectancy research with retarded children has been extensive (Mercer &

Snell, 1977), little has been completed with EH or learning disabled

youngsters. It would seem appropriate, then, to investigate the effects

of success and failure experiences within these other groups of exceptional

children utilizing methods and procedures similar to those developed for

studies of mentally retarded children.


Statement of the Problem

While research has shown that retarded children's expectancies and

performances are differentially affected by success and failure experiences,









no such systematic efforts have been devoted to this phenomenon within

an EH group of children. This study was designed to investigate the

extent to which EH children's expectancies and performances could be

altered by success or failure induced experiences.


Questions Under Investigation

In order to address this problem, the following questions were of

interest:

1. What are the effects of success and failure on the expectancies

and actual performances within a group of EH fourth and fifth grade boys?

2. What is the relationship between the expectancies and the levels

of performance within a group of EH fourth and fifth grade boys? This

study was designed to answer these questions.


Rationale

Exceptional children are likely to have experienced many failures in

school (O'Neall & Sibbison, 1975; Shea, 1978; Smith & Neisworth, 1976).

The effects of failure experiences have been shown to influence expectancies

as well as subsequent performances in a variety of settings (Jones, 1977;

Mercer & Snell, 1977). Research has demonstrated that mentally retarded

children are more prone to a failure orientation than to one of success

and that this orientation can be altered (Cromwell, 1963; Mercer & Snell,

1977; Zigler, 1962). The expectancies and performance levels of retarded

children have also been affected by experimental procedures (Levy, 1974;

Mercer & Snell, 1977; Robinson & Robinson, 1973; Rosen, Diggory & Werlinsky,

1966). While many of the behavioral characteristics of EH and mentally

retarded children overlap (Hallahan & Kauffman, 1977; Neisworth & Greer,









1975), no research implication exists with regard to the effects of

success and failure experiences. If it can be demonstrated that

expectancies and performance levels can be influenced within a group

of EH children, then it may also be possible to develop teaching

techniques similar to those utilized with retarded children (Mercer &

Snell, 1977), to improve the instruction of emotionally handicapped

children as well.


Definition of Terms

Emotionally Handicapped

The emotionally handicapped student is the student who, after receiv-

ing supportive assistance and counseling services available to all students,

still exhibits persistent and consistent severe behavioral disabilities

which consequently disrupt his/her own learning process. This is a student

whose inability to achieve adequate progress or satisfactory interpersonal

relationships cannot be attributed to physical, sensory, or intellectual

deficits.

Expectancy

Refers to an individual's anticipated level of future performance.

The score that a child estimates he will obtain on a subsequent task.

Failure

Refers to the treatment in which the child is told that he did not

do well at estimating the number of cards that he would guess correctly.

Progressive Matrix Score

Refers to the number of correct and incorrect responses obtained by

the child on the progressive matrix sheet. A score of seven implies that

seven were correct of the ten possible answers.









Success

Refers to the treatment in which the child is told that he did well

at estimating the number of cards that he would guess correctly.


Hypotheses

This study was designed to investigate two questions related to the

effects of failure or success on EH children's expectancy of success

and performance on a novel task. In order to test the relationship

between these variables, the following null hypotheses were included:

Hypothesis 1. There will be no relationship between expectancy

levels obtained from students who received failure feedback on the pre-

liminary guessing task,and their actual performance levels on the prog-

ressive matrix worksheet.

Hypothesis 2. There will be no relationship between expectancy

levels obtained from students who received success feedback on the pre-

liminary guessing task, and their actual performance levels on the

progressive matrix worksheet.

Hypothesis 3. There will be no difference between mean scores of

success and failure groups as measured by their progressive matrix

score.

Hypothesis 4. There will be no difference between the mean scores

of success and failure groups as measured by their verbal reports of

expectancy of success for the progressive matrix worksheet.


Delimitations

The scope of the study was confined to the following factors:

1. Only boys classified and being served in programs for the









emotionally handicapped werp included; by definition, then, no retarded,

learning disabled, or normal children ;ere studied.

2. Only boys attending resource rocm programs in Alachua County,

Florida,were studied. No severely disturbed children (i.e., autistic

or schizophrenic) were included in the sample.

3. Only children attending elementary schools were included; no

boys in middle or high schools participated in the study.


Limitations

In view of the fact that literature pertaining to the effects of

success and failure for EH children was not available, any endeavor to

investigate the concepts of expectancy and performance with regard to

them was based on methods and procedures used with other populations.

The results, however, only show descriptive data concerning the reactions

within this specific population and should not imply conclusions for

others.

The generalizability of the results will be limited for several

reasons:

1. The expectancy estimates may have been biased because students

might favor marking on smiling faces (Appendix B) instead of frowning

faces. The worksheet was sensitive to perceived success and failure

of students.

2. The results may be limited due to the unestablished reliability

of the expectancy measures. The coefficient for the performance

matrix is reported in the results. A validityy check was made for

expectancy estimates.






7



3. The learning task and setting may not be representative of

those encountered in a typical school classroom. Equally, no general-

ization can be made as to how girls of children of other categories of

exceptionality may respond.













CHAPTER II


REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

The literature reviewed in this chapter has been divided into two

major sections. The first section describes the emotionally handicapped

child. The second section discusses expectancy; factors which affect

expectancy levels within various populations have been presented.


Emotionally Handicapped

Exceptional children exhibit a wide variety of characteristics.

Hallahan and Kauffman (1978) have included numerous psychological,

educational, and behavioral characteristics which are not always

present in only one classification of child. In their discussion of

categories of children served by special education, the emotionally

disturbed child is presented as exhibiting varied behaviors.

Emotionally handicapped (EH) is a term chosen by the State of

Florida to replace the more common term emotionally disturbed. Reinert

(1976) discussed various conventional definitions for emotional dis-

turbance; he suggested that the negative aspects of many definitions

in use across the country illustrate the need for a better term. It

is likely that these negative connotations associated with the word

"disturbed" have influenced Florida's adoption of the term "handicapped."

Prevalence figures of emotionally handicapped children have been

estimated by prominent educations from 1% to 22% (Bower, 1960; Kirk, 1972).









The United States Office of Education, Bureau for the Education of the

Handicapped, has estimated that 2% of public school children are

emotionally disturbed. Florida currently provides services to approxi-

mately 2% of its school population as emotionally handicapped.

The type of service delivery for emotionally handicapped children

in the schools is usually chosen according to the severity of the

handicap. O'Neall and Sibbison (1975) report that the most common type

of service for these children is to provide a resource room teacher;

children served in a resource room will remain in the regular classroom

for a majority of the school day. These authors also state that self

contained special classrooms serve 25% and that about 12% of the emo-

tionally handicapped children are served by alternative schools. These

last two models are typically for children considered to be more severe.

The definition of an emotionally handicapped student used for the

present study has been adopted by Florida (see definitions in Chapter I);

it states that a student can be considered as emotionally handicapped if

he has received supportive educational services available to all students

and still exhibits persistent and consistent severe to very severe

behavioral disabilities that interfere in his learning process. A

child is considered for placement and service if his inability to per-

form academically or to establish satisfactory interpersonal relation-

ships cannot be attributed to physical, sensory, or intellectual

deficits. Several inclusion factors state that the school must have

documented evidence of attempted educational programming, length and

severity of the problem, disruption of academic progress, and evidence

to exclude a primary physical, sensory, or intellectual deficit (Florida

Department of Education, 1977).









Some general characteristics present in the state guidelines

(Florida Department of Education, 1977) are very similar to components

of the definition of emotional disturbance presented by Bower and

Lambert (1971): (a) an inability to learn that cannot be explained by

intellectual, sensory, or health factors; (b) inappropriate types of

behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; (c) a general mood

of unhappiness or depression; (d) a tendency to develop physical symptoms,

pain, or fears associated with personal or school problems; (e) an

inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships

with peers or teacher; and (f) a variety of excessive behavior ranging

from hyperactive and aggressive responses to severe depression and with-

drawal. Similar characteristics are included in discussions of disturbed

children (H-llahan & Kauffman, 1978; Kauffman, 1977; Kirk, 1972; Reinert,

1976).

The state guidelines also list 24 specific characteristics which

assist teachers in identifying the emotionally handicapped child. These

characteristics range from immature behavior to hyperactive behavior.

Numerous behavior rating scales used by teachers include behaviors such

as bizarre speech, defiance, abnormal sexual interest, and disruptive-

ness. The ,ist of specific characteristics that are suggestive of

emotional disturbance include behaviors that others may consider dis-

turbing or bothersome (Algozzine, 1977). This bothersome behavior

often interferes with task relevant stimuli and therefore leads to

failure on academic measures. These same behaviors may also result

in failure to establish relationships; the EH child is likely to

experience rejection, harassment, and hostility from his peers (O'Connor,









1969). Bullock and Brown (1972) discussed related factors which may

effect the incidence statistics for EH students; they found that 73%

of the children being served in ED programs in Florida were boys.

Equally a large majority of the emotionally disturbed children they

studied were academically achieving below grade level.

The EH child exhibits many varied behaviors which can interfere

with his learning process. In view of the fact that the EH child has

no primary intellectual problem, it is fair to assume that learning

can take place if the child is providing effort towards completion of

the work. Because the EH child has experienced considerable failure,

it is also reasonable to assume that success at a task would be more

facilitative to subsequent learning than more failure. Learning

situations which are perceived as successful by EH children may lead

to increased effort and/or increased performance.


Expectancy

Expectancy is defined by Rotter as "the probability held by the

individual that a particular reinforcement will occur as a function

of a specific behavior on his part in a specific situation or situations.

Expectancy is independent of the value or importance of the reinforce-

ment" (1954, p. 107). Expectancy is a term used to describe the degree

to which the individual believes that he is the controlling agent of

change in his own behavior. Rotter suggests that expectancy is modi-

fiable by learning and experience.

Although Rotter coined the term "expectancy," Feather has completed

considerable research on the topic (Feather, 1965; Feather & Saville,









1967; Feather & Simon, 1971; Feather & Simon, 1973). His expectancy

estimates were obtained mainly by a self report data given by subjects

either just prior to a task or after practice trials preceding the

task. Subjects were induced to high or low expectations of success

by providing anagrams of varying difficulty.

When one is attempting a task in which he has experience, his past

success or failure at the task will have a major effect on expectancy

(Feather, 1968, Jones, 1977). For example, Feather (1968) gave college

students 15 anagrams to solve. Half of the students received anagrams

where the first five solutions were easy and the other half received

anagrams where the first five solutions were insoluble. For all stu-

dents the last ten anagrams were of the same difficulty level. Students

were asked to estimate their chances of solving each anagram just prior

to attempting it. For those students who received initial anagrams of

low difficulty, their expectancy of success increased each time until

they reached the last ten anagrams. When confronted with the seemingly

more difficult anagrams, the expectancy of success slowly decreased. For

students who received difficult initial anagrams, their expectancy of

success was initially low but gradually improved as the relatively

easier anagrams appeared.

If a task is novel, the expectancy is primarily determined by an

individual's generalized expectancy (Jones, 1977); this generalized

expectancy is considered to be a relatively stable global assessment

of one's chances of success in everyday situations (Feather, 1965;

McCaughan, 1976; Rotter, 1966). When an individual is confronted with









a novel task, one variable which can effect expectancy level is information

about the performance of various reference groups. For example, if a

student is told that other people like him usually score 70% on a test,

then that student's expectancy would generally approximate the 70%

level. Studies by Chapman and Volkman (1939) and Festinger (1942) showed

that college students rated their expectancy of success as just above

the performance of a homogeneous reference group. Jones (1977) sum-

marizes the effects of experience on expectancy by suggesting that an

individual is responsive to his past experiences with a familiar task

or to information about the performance of others at a novel task.

Rotter (1954) suggested that expectancies operated independently

of reinforcement values. Jessor and Readio (1957) studied the effect

of different levels of reinforcement on expectancy levels of 94 fourth

graders. Students threw darts over a screen at a hidden target. The

subjects were divided into three groups, with each group receiving

one, two, or three M&Ms for hitting the target. Success was manipulated

so that students were successful either three or ten times in 20 tosses.

Just before throwing the 21st dart all students were asked to estimate

their chances of hitting the target. In support of Rotter's earlier

claim, no effect on expectancy resulted from a variation in the value

of the reinforcer; expectancy levels were effected by the objective

probability of success. For example, expectancy levels for those

students who had ten hits were higher than those students who had only

three successful hits. Performance on a task seems to have a direct

effect on subsequent estimates of performance on the same task.








Marks (1951) showed ten sets of 10 cards to 120 fifth and sixth

graders. An equal number of high and low socioeconomic status (SES)

boys and girls were chosen. The subjects were to guess whether each

card was a picture card or not; they were told the objective proba-

bility of picking a face card for each set of cards. Expectancy

estimates were not affected by SES, intelligence, or sex differences,

however, estimates fluctuated uniformly with the objective probability

assigned to the trial. Similar results have been demonstrated by Jessor

and Readio (1957). Weiner (1974) suggested that success attributed

to luck may actually lead to a decrease in expectancy; he also pointed

out that success attributed to ability often increased expectancy and

performance more than success attributed to good luck.

Several studies have shown that college students tend to assume

personal responsibility for success and view it as caused by some

ability factor (Feather & Simon, 1971; Frieze & Weiner, 1971). These

same authors also found that the primary variable which effects whether

one attributes success to ability or luck is the initial level of

expectancy. For those whose initial expectancy is high and success

occurs, there seems to be an attribution to ability and for those with

low initial expectancy estimates the attribution given to success is

luck.

Locke (1967) found that success produced satisfaction and a positive

valence towards the task regardless of whether expected or unexpected.

Griffith (1977) studied the effects of success performance with 44

college students. When students were given success at preliminary ana-

grams they were described as having feelings of control over the outcomes









of following anagrams. This control led to higher expectancies; these

reported feelings of control suggest that success might lead to an

internal locus of control viewpoint, at least for that task.

The occurrence and frequency of success have been shown to initiate

a rise in expectancy and performance for college and elementary-age

students. When success is attributed to one's ability, the magnitude

of the increase is maximal. For those individuals who hold high initial

expectancies and then perceive success, an attribution to personal

ability is linked with the success. If the EH child holds a high initial

expectancy and experiences success, it is likely that he will attribute

the success to his own ability and that it will influence subsequent

expectancies and performances. If the EH child holds a low initial

expectancy and experiences success, it is likely that he will attribute

that success to luck; success attributed to luck may have different

effects than that attributed to ability.


Failure and Expectancy

Failure at a task was mentioned as leading to tendencies for lower

expectancies for success on that task (Feather, 1968; Locke, 1967).

Sears (1940) found that failure for college students at a task led to

variability in their expectancy of success on similar tasks. Feather

and Saville (1967) have investigated the question of how much failure

affected expectations. Subjects were grouped into eight different

success or failure conditions on three practice anagrams. Probability

estimates or expectancy of success decreased after failure; predominant

failure produced more change in expectancies than predominant success.









Failure also led to a dislike for the task. Locke (1967) found that a

valence, like or dislike, towards a task was not affected by deviation

from initial expectancy as much as from success or failure experienced.

Jones (1977) has mentioned that failure does not always lead to

lower expectancies. The four attributions mentioned for success (i.e.,

ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck) will also vary the effects

of failure. Feather and Simon (1971) asked 85 high school boys to rate

the degree for which they considered four factors were responsible for

task outcome. After performing on a ten item anagram task with manipulated

failure, subjects were asked to rank the factors of effort, ability, task

difficulty, or luck as causes of the performance outcomes. For those

subjects who had initially low expectancies of success, attributions

were more to lack of ability. When subjects attributed poor performance

to lack of ability, expectancy and performance tended to decrease. When

boys whose initial expectancy was high received failure there was a

tendency to attribute this to specific factors like bad luck or lack of

effort. These attributions had only minimal effects on subsequent

expectancies and performances.

Failure has been shown to have a depressing effect on expectancy and

performance levels in most instances. Persons receiving excessive amounts

of failure also tended to avoid and foster a dislike for the task. For

individuals whose initial expectancies are low, failure leads to an

attribution of personal inability. Failure is least apt to lower one's

expectancies if it is perceived as based on luck; this allows the person

to avoid taking the blame or responsibility for the failure. If the EH

child holds a high expectancy for success and experiences failure, he









likely attribute the failure to luck and its effects should be minimized.

If he holds a low initial expectancy and experiences failure, it is

likely that the failure will be attributed to lack of ability.


Success and Failure with Exceptional Children

Success and failure can have varying effects on expectancies of

exceptional children. Subjects of the previously mentioned studies were

students in college or the public schools who could be described as

individuals striving towards success. Exceptional children such as the

educable mentally retarded (EMR) or physically handicapped have been

described as striving to avoid failure. Cromwell (1963) and Zigler (1962)

affirmed that retarded individuals have a higher expectancy for failure

than do normal individuals. This negative orientation led to problem

solving approaches that were directed to avoid failure rather than to

achieve success. Cromwell also suggested that this was a result of

limited cognitive abilities which have caused the child to have a history

of failure experiences. Rosen, Diggory, and Werlinsky (1966) investi-

gated the expectancy levels of 11 institutionalized adolescents. The

subjects were matched on sex (i.e., male), intellectual quotient (IQ),

and chronological age (CA). Performance of the two groups was measured

across two conditions on a nut and bolt assembly task. The institutional-

ized group was more confident of ultimate success when predicting per-

formance. This finding suggests that the institutionalized adolescent

experiences less failure and is therefore more optimistic and success

oriented (Rosen, Diggory, & Werlinsky, 1966).

Cromwell (1963) has reported that the amount of failure one receives

is not as critical a variable as mental age (MA). The individual with









limited intelligence has been described as hedonistic which leads to

approaching tasks which have been associated with pleasurable events

and avoiding tasks associated with unpleasant events. Zigler (1967)

and McMillan (1969) utilized a task interruption paradigm to test the

success striving (SS) versus failure avoiding (FA) motivational dimen-

sion in retarded and normal individuals. The retarded groups in these

studies indicated that regardless of whether a completed task or an

interrupted task was selected for resumption, they overwhelmingly

blamed themselves for the incompletion of the task. This is an example

of the retarded child's internalization of responsibility for failure.

This phenomena was not seen in the normal groups of either study. Sub-

jects who were matched on IQ or MA showed no difference in their attri-

bution for blame.

Additional support for the idea that expectancy of success may be

related to MA instead of the number of years of failure was reported by

Shuster and Gruen (1971). They investigated (a) whether manipulations

of success and failure differentially affect the performance predictions

of retarded and non-retarded children in a constant manner, and (b)

whether experimentally induced success and failure experiences on a task

have any consistent effects on the expectancy of success of children.

Twenty-four mildly retarded and 48 non-retarded children were asked

to define 30 words. Randomly selected members of each group were

given 15 easy words followed by 15 difficult words. This simulated

success followed by failure (S-F). The others received the difficult

words first followed by the easy words. Expectancy estimates of

success were obtained from all students before the 6th, 11th, 16th,









21st, and 26th words. The expectancies of the MA equivalent groups were

not significantly different. It is not justifiable to assume that all

retarded children have had a history of failure without examining their

past histories. The effect of the experimental manipulation over trials

supported the idea that success leads to a raising of expectancy while

failure experiences lead to a lowering of expectancies; however, that

attribution associated with the experience also has relevance (Feather &

Saville, 1967; Feather & Simon, 1971). The (F-S) group was more variable

in their predictions of success than those in the (S-F) group. This was

presumed due to the intensity felt by receiving 15 straight failures but

may have been due to an attribution to luck versus ability in the two

groups.

Cromwell and Moss (1959) chose to investigate whether retarded

individuals paid attention to the reward value of a task in addition to

the success or failure of the task. Their institutionalized retardates

had a mean IQ of 58. Subjects were asked to predict whether cards pre-

sented face down were yellow or black. Each person guessed each card

in a deck of 80 cards three times. No reward was given for the first

time, a 25t reward was possible the second time, and a 5t reward was

possible the last time; these conditions were counterbalanced for order.

No significant differences were found between the two reward groups,

however, both groups made significantly more positive guesses than would

have been expected by chance. Piper (1970) studied the same question and

found that a positive value associated with an event does cause that event

to be predicted more often by male EMR students and the reverse is also

true with the value is negative. These results are contrasted with Jessor









and Readio's (1957) finding that normal children's expectancies are

unchanged by reinforcement value.

The studies which have reviewed success and failure and its results

in expectancy change and performance with mentally retarded children have

revealed some dissenting information. First, Cromwell (1963) and Zigler

(1962) maintained that failure avoidance is the orientation for the

retarded person. This is reportedly a function of their extensive his-

tory of past failure. Rosen, Diggory, and Werlinsky (1966) utilized

this theory and suggested that institutionalized mildly retarded indiv-

iduals received less failure than noninstitutionalized counterparts and

therefore had higher expectancies of success. Shuster and Gruen (1971)

and McMillan (1969) espoused the idea that reaction of the mildly retarded

individuals towards success is a function of mental age and not simply a

resultant of a past history of failure. Shuster and Gruen also demon-

strated that programized success experiences can effect expectancies of

success and performance in the mildly retarded.

A second area of conflicting information relates to the effects

of reinforcement on expectations. Cromwell and Moss (1959) found that

the reward value associated with the task was not instrumental in

changing expectancies of mentally retarded individuals while Piper (1970)

found contradictory results. Levy (1974) used knowledge of results to

assist in performance gains for the mildly retarded; knowledge of success

coupled with reinforcement was instrumental in the performance gains for

the subjects. Unfortunately very few of the investigators have given

knowledge of results along with social reinforcement in their studies.









Shuster and Gruen (1971) did not find a significant relationship

between experimentally induced success and failure in mildly retarded and

normal children in terms of their expectancies of success. This is pos-

sible for two reasons: (1) No check was made to determine if induced

failure and success were actually perceived as such by the subjects, and

(2) no precautions were taken to ensure that expectancy estimates given

were not simply responses of wishful thinking rather than an estimate of

actual predicted performance. The important factor to garner from the

studies of the success and failure strivings of the mildly retarded is

that orientation towards striving for success and higher expectancies

of success are possible by utilizing success experiences, knowledge of

results, and appropriate reinforcement (Mercer & Snell, 1977).

Research on expectancies in the mildly retarded child is present

in abundance, while similar studies with other exceptional populations

are sparse. Harway (1962) studied the goal setting behavior of physically

handicapped children and normal children who were matched on age, IQ, sex,

and grade. She found that the 80 physically handicapped children tended

to be more inconsistent and varied in responses to success and failure,

while the 40 normal children showed expected changes in goal setting as

a result of success and failure. The physically handicapped group would

set unrealistically high goals even after repeated failure. Once again

wishful thinking may have played a part in the levels of aspiration and

suggest a difference from actual expectancy of success. Equally, the

attributions associated with the success and failure are important to

consider.









A similar study with learning disabled children in which goal

setting and levels of aspiration were investigated has been completed

(Robbins & Harway, 1977). Seventy-eight boys from the ages of 8-11

years were used. An equal number of experimental and control children

were chosen after matching on three standardized test variables. The

learning disabled children showed greater variability in their goal

setting than the control group. The control group was also more system-

atic in their reactions to previous performance than the learning dis-

abled children.

Gewirtz (1960) found that "bright" first and second grade high

needs achievers actually had preference for harder problems. This is

quite a contrast from the avoidance behavior noted in retarded children.

It is interesting to note that no "emotionally disturbed or unwilling

students" were among the 100 subjects.

There is a dearth of literature surrounding the expectancies of

emotionally handicapped children. A common practice for teachers of

emotionally handicapped children is to attempt to shield or mask failure

for the child. While this may be a reasonable viewpoint, no systematic

investigation of the effects of failure or success on subsequent per-

formance or expectancy of performance has been completed.

This study was designed to investigate the effects of success and

failure within a group of EH boys. To accomplish this, the procedures

of other expectancy studies were utilized and improved upon to some

extent.

The expectancy levels obtained by most of the previously mentioned

investigators were self report in nature and done after experimentally









induced success or failure. One possible reason for conflicting results

may be that the individuals did not perceive the conditions as intended.

For instance, intended failure might be perceived as success simply

because the child is not attempting to reach a very high level of attain-

ment. Crandall (1963) devised a method for measuring whether knowledge

of results and intended success or failure is comprehended by the individual.

Crandall found that 26 of 30 students in the success condition reflected

success while 29 of 30 students in the failure condition reflected failure.

Crandall's method seemed useful as a manipulation check within the context

of this study.

Many of the previous studies have asked subjects to state expec-

tancies for various tasks and may have obtained what the child hoped to

get right. This may have been different from what was expected to be

right; this wishful thinking factor has been a much criticized element

of expectancy research (Jones, 1977; Marks, 1951). With controls on

wishful thinking and validation of success and failure perceptions,

this study was expected to begin to answer the question of how success

and failure effect expectancies and performances of elementary-aged

EH boys.












CHAPTER III


METHODS AND PROCEDURES


Chapter III presents the methods and procedures of the study. This

includes a description of the subjects, instrumentation, procedures for

collection of data, and the design for the study.


Subjects

A sample of EH boys was selected from children enrolled in the

Alachua County school system. A list of students from the fourth and

fifth grades was obtained. The names of all male subjects who were

receiving resource room exceptional services for emotionally handi-

capped children were identified. Fifty of these boys were randomly

chosen and subsequently assigned to either a success or a failure con-

dition. One subject in the success condition was unable to supply

parental permission to participate in the study; one student in the

failure condition failed to perceive his performance as failure. These

two children were not included in subsequent analysis. The demographic

data for the 48 children who participated in the study are posted in

Table 1. It should be noted that initial expectancies for the boys were

high; that is, 74% of the children thought they would do approximately

8 of 10 correctly prior to performing any tasks.

While math achievement scores and initial expectancy estimates for

the two groups did not differ, the means for perceived success (x=8.8) or

failure (x=3.2) were significantly (t=14.66, 9 <.05) different. This

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suggests that the experimental manipulation was effective in influencing

perceived level of success. The success group perceived themselves as

rating a high performance on the first task, while the failure group

perceived a much lower rating (i.e., approximately 3) as appropriate.

Chi-square analyses of the race and demographic variables were performed

to determine if they were evenly distributed across treatment groups.

An analysis of the results suggested that the success and failure groups

were composed of similar children with regard to those variables mentioned.


Instrumentation

The students were asked to complete two tasks. The first involved

the use of playing cards. The aces and deuces were taken from two decks

of standard size, plastic coated, playing cards. These 16 cards were

shuffled in the presence of the child and the top ten cards were placed

face down in a line in front of him. The child was then asked to guess

whether each card was an ace or a deuce (see answer sheet in Appendix A).

After the child's ten responses, the examiner gave feedback according

to a predetermined schedule. Five similar trials were administered,

with the cards being shuffled before each trial.

A worksheet was developed to record the students' expectancy

estimates and to provide knowledge of results (see Appendix B). This

worksheet was patterned after one used by Crandall (1963); it was

deisgned to assess whether children perceived success or failure after -

being placed into those experimental conditions. Children marked on

the form indicating how well they thought they would do prior to begin-

ning and also indicated how well they thought they actually did after five









trials on the first task. This was matched with the actual treatment to

see if the child perceived his performance according to the condition in

which he was placed. This form also allowed the examiner to graphically

show the knowledge of results on the two tasks.

A pilot study with ten fourth and fifth grade EH children was com-

pleted to determine if the methodology for presentation of success and

failure was perceived appropriately. Five students who received experi-

mentally induced failure reflected failure on the response sheet; the

five students who received experimentally induced success all reflected

success on the response sheet.

For the second task, each child was asked to complete a progressive

matrix worksheet (see Appendix C) which contained ten items; he used a

number two pencil to complete it. The worksheet was pretested with 95

fourth and fifth grade boys (47 fourth graders and 48 fifth graders)

and the median score was six correct. The pilot children were in regular

classrooms and all were doing work which would merit passing to the next

grade in fall. An internal consistency estimate (i.e., coefficient

alpha) of .88 for the reliability of the matrix worksheet was obtained.

The individual chosen to administer the tasks to the children was

a male graduate student who had five years of experience working with

emotionally handicapped students. He was not told the rationale for the

study; however, he was told that every child reacts differently and that

no trend in results was predicted. The examiner was cautioned to refrain

from talking with the child during the data collection and to say only

what was suggested in the directions (see Appendix A); observation of the

examiner on five different occasions suggested that he had followed these

directions.










Grade equivalents in math achievement were available as a part of

the end of year assessment procedure. The Peabody Individual Achievement

Test (PIAT) was the instrument used to obtain the grade equivalents.

The test-retest coefficients for raw scores for fifth graders on the math

subtest was .73 (Dunn & Markwardt, 1970). Scores reported in Table 1 are

grade equivalents.


Procedures

The study was conducted during the last two weeks of May and the

first two weeks of June, 1978. The graduate student received two hours

of training and practice prior to administering the tasks. He notified

teachers of the selected students that the evaluation would take 20-30

minutes. Parental permission forms were signed for all but one child.

A request for a date and time was negotiated. Teachers and students

were told that participation would involve two brief activities that

would take about half an hour. Students were also told that a treat

would be given for completion of the two tasks.

The graduate student took each boy to a quiet room and attempted

to establish rapport with him; after a couple of minutes, the intro-

ductory paragraph was read to him. The directions and introductory

paragraph were the same for all participants (see Appendix A).

Before the student saw any of the testing materials, the expectancy

worksheet was shown to him and he was read the introductory paragraph.

He was then asked to mark an expectancy estimate for the upcoming task

(see Appendix B). After the cards were shown to him, he was asked to

estimate how many of the cards he would guess correctly. The student









then told the examiner his "Less for each card. The examiner recorded

the responses and gave the student feedbac!, on the worksheet at a pre-

determined level. Scores given to the students varied according to the

criterion described on the failure or success response sheet (see Appen-

dix C). A child who was in the success group was told that his guess was

close or exactly right. Individuals in the failure group were told that

their guesses were wrong or not close. Each student was given five trials

at guessing the cards; each time, he was asked to guess how many he would

get right before the guessing began. Similar feedback (i.e., either

success or failure) was given after each trial. After the fifth trial

was completed and feedback given, the child was then asked to mark on ,

separate worksheet indicating how well he thought he had actually done.

His previous expectancy estimate was not visible at that time.

The student was given the directions and introduction to the second

task before the new materials were presented. Students were asked to

guess how many of the ten new items they would get right. All students

received feedback which reflected success. This was to insure that those

who had failed on the first section would receive some success and to

insure that the experience of participating was not a negative one.

Students were given a small bag of peanuts to eat while the examiner

scored the second task. Performance scores and subjective probability of

success estimates were recorded for later analysis.


Analysis and Design

The design for the study included two treatment conditions; with 25

students randomly assigned to success and failure respectively. One









student assigned to the succ-ess group did not return a completed permis-

sion slip. One student in the failure grozp Jid not accurately perceive

the experimentally induced failure and was dropped from analysis. The

number of students in each condition was 24; all subsequent analyses

were completed with this group of boy;. The dependent measures within

each experimental group were the expectancy and performance levels

related to the progressive matrix worksheet. A representation of this

design is presented in Table 2.

To test the significance of the relationship between expectancy

levels and performance levels for the success group, a correlation

coefficient was calculated. It has provided a check for Hypothesis 1

(see page 5).

To test the significance of the relationship between expectancy

levels and performance levels for the failure group, a correlation

coefficient was calculated. It has provided a check for Hypothesis 2

(see page 5).

To test the significance of the difference between expectancy levels

for the experimental groups, a t-test was performed. It has compared the

reported mean expectancy level for success and failure groups and has

conducted a test for Hypothesis 3 (see page 5).

To test the significance of the difference between performance levels

for the experimental grcpp, a t-test was performed. it has compared the

mean performance level for success and failure groups and has constituted

a test for Hypothesis 4 (see page 5).









Table 2 represents the design used for comparison of the expectancy

means of the two groups by use of a t-test. The same design is used to

compare performance means For the to groups.



Table 2


Design for T-Test Comparison of Expectancy Means
Across Success and Failure Conditions


Expectancy


SUCCESS


Y122
Y123
Y124


FAILURE


Ss25
Ss26
Ss27



Ss46
Ss47
Ss48


*This design was used in identical fashion to examine per-
formance means across success and failure conditions.













CHAPTER IV


RESULTS, DISCUSSION, AND LIMITATIONS


In this chapter, results of the statistical analyses of the data

obtained in the investigation are presented. A discussion of those

results and the limitations of the study are also included.

The study was designed to investigate expectancy and performance

scores of EH boys within success and failure conditions. Data obtained

were from individual meetings with the boys during their regular resource

room period. Measures obtained from the subjects included initial expec-

tancy, specific expectancy for five trials on a chance task, perceived

success or failure level, expectancy for a second task, and actual per-

formance on the second task; each score obtained had a possible range

of 1 to 10. The measures were self report forms and were recorded by

the student by marking his response on a prepared sheet; this form was

also used to give knowledge of results for the five trials of the chance

task. Mean expectancy estimates for the second task and actual perform-

ance on that task were dependent variables compared for success and

failure students.

A Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was obtained between

expectancy and performance scores for success and failure groups separ-

ately and combined. This was done to estimate the relationship between

the variables within success and failure conditions.








Correlation Resl.'-

The Pearson product-nomnenL correlan.on between the dependent

variables was obtained using the Stati-,.ic;l Package for the Social

Sciences (Nie, hull, Jenkins, Steinbrenner & Bent, 1970) correlation

procedure. The coefficients for each group and the total sample between

expectancy and performance scores were low (a. >.05). The hypothesis of

no relationship between expectancy and performance scores for subjects

in either the success or the failure group was retained.

In order to compare expectancy estimates within both conditions,

a t-test was utilized; in a similar fashion, an independent t-test was

used to compare performance levels of the groups. Separate t-tests

were selected rather than a multi-variate procedure because an analysis

of the correlation coefficients between dependent variables indicated

very little relationship in either condition. The high experiment-wise

error rate commonly associated with univariate analysis of multi-variate

data is minimized when intercorrelation of dependent variables approaches

zero (Hummel & Sligo, 1971). If the variables are unrelated, the advan-

tage of considering the means simultaneously is substantial.

Although no correlation is indicated by the results, another factor

may need to be considered. Assumptions of random, normal distribution

among scores on expectancy and performance measure may have been skewed

in opposite directions.


Results of T-Tests

Means and standard deviations for expectancy and performance levels

on the matrix worksheet were computed; these values are contained in









Table 3. No difference was indicated bLc.:-en success or failure subjects

on expectancy for the matrix task (t (46)=0.83,p> .05). The hypothesis

of no differences in expectancy levels bet,.een subjects assigned to success

and failure groups was retained.

Performance means for the two groups ;,ere also compared; a signifi-

cant difference (t (23) = 2.28, p < .05) was indicated. The performance

for the students receiving success vas higher than for those who had

received failure. The hypothesis of no difference in the performance

sample means was rejected at the .05 level of confidence. Placement in a

success or failure condition seemed to differentially effect performance

on a subsequent level.


















Table 3


Means, Standard Deviations, and Correlations for
Expectancy and Performance Scores of Success and Failure Groups



Expectancy Performance


"=7.46 x=4.29
SUCCESS
s=2.13 s=3.14

r=0.10


x=6.96 K=2.25
FAILURE
s=2.03 s=3.06

r-0.13









Discussion

This study investigated the effects of success and failure on

expectancy and performance of emotionally handicapped boys, and the

relationship between that expectancy and subsequent performance.

Demographic characteristics of the two groups were similar; that is,

initial expectancy and math achievement did not differ. The racial

(black/white) ard grade (4th/5th) composition of the success and failure

groups also were equivalent. The success group had a slightly larger

percentage of fourth graders than tne failure group, while the failure

group had a slightly larger percentage of blacks than the success group.

These differences were found to be nonsignificant when considered using

a Chi-square procedure. Comparison of the perceived success or failure

means of the two groups suggested that the feedback given on the first

task was appropriately perceived. The fact that the expectancy esti-

mates for the second task were somewhat lower than the initial expectancy

estimates for groups suggests that a partial control on wishful

thinking may h occurred during the latter estimate. The performance

mean for the combined groups indicated that approximately three problems

were correctly completed. This is lower than the score of six which was

obtained by subjects used to test the matrix worksheet; however, no EH

children were included in the pilot study.

When considering the question of whether success or failure can affect

expectancy estimates on the progressive matrix, one cannot say that suc-

cess would lead to significantly higher expectancies than failure (Jones,

1977). 'hen considering the same question with regard to the effect of

success and failure on performance nn the progressive matrix, it seems

that success leads to higher performance scores than failure (Griffth, 1977).









One possible explanation of why success and failure in the current

study resulted in significant differre-es, in performances and not in

expectancy for a second task ir:y be relateea o the manner in which

attribution and perceived condition acted together. For those boys who

had high initial expectancies in the success condition, the perceived

successful performance on the first task may have been attributed to

ability (Weiner, 1974). Attribution of success to ability would suggest

that ability, which is relatively stable, may transfer to subsequent

tasks; hence, a high performance on the second task (Freize & Wleiier,

1971). For those boys who had low initial expectancies in the success

condition, success was probably attributed to luck and the small number

of successes was probably not enough to raise expectancy for a new and

unknown task. Although there was possible conservatism on the subsequent

estimate, the thought of recent success may have encouraged concentration

and work for another success. For those boys whose initial expectancies

were high and then received failure, attribution to bad luck for the task

would revive one's expectancies on a second task. When confronted with

a difficult problem on the matrix worksheet, this boy might have chosen to

see his performance on the second task as being affected by luck and

consequently looked for a pattern to answering instead of spending time

working the problems. For those students whose initial expectancy was

low and received failure, they probably attributed failure to lack of ability

(Feather & Simon, 1971). Since the first task was a chance task and all

students were told that the second task was different from the first,

expectancies were not affected differentially because all subjects felt

that a new chance for success was apparent. IWhen actually confronted with










a seemingly difficult progressive matrix (performance mean of 3.26), the

failure group probably exerted less effort because of the pervasive

feeling of another possible failure. It should also be noted that most

of the boys in this study held a high initial expectancy of success.

Another possible explanation for the lower performance scores for

failure subjects is that the presence of a difficult task after a failure

would lead to a helpless feeling and what Seligman (1975) called a passive

approach to learning. It was observed by the examiner that several of

the failure subjects wanted to quit but after being reminded that a treat

would be given for completion they continued. The resultant effort was

seemingly directed towards completing the worksheet and not at correctly

answering the items.

The results obtained are limited in their generalizability. Since

only EH boys were used, decisions about how girls or children in other

categories of exceptionality may have responded can not be made.

Equally, the results are limited to settings and tasks similar to

those used in the study. Because of the nature of the instrument used

to obtain expectancy estimates, the results are also limited.














CHAPTER V


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The emotionally handicapped (EH) child usually has a poor achieve-

ment record despite having near normal intellectual abilities (Kelly,

Bullock, & Dykes, 1974; Shea, 1978). The emotional problems associated

with poor academic performance may also affect the child's ability to

establish and maintain satisfactory relationships with peers and adults.

The poor academic performance and/or inability to establish meaningful

relationships with others generally leads the EH child to experience

failure ((:'Connor, 1969; Shea, 1978). In order to provide additional

assistance and support, most EH children receive some instructional time

in a resource room setting where the teacher-pupil ratio is low and more

personal attention is possible (O'Neall & Sibbison, 1975). Florida

currently provides services to approximately 2% of its school population

within programs for the emotionally handicapped.

One factor which effects the performance of an individual is his

expectancy of success for a task (Rotter, 1954). Expectancy can be des-

cribed as the probability level one has for performance. When one is

attempting a task in which he has experience, past success or failure at

the task will have a major effect on expectancy and performance (Feather,

1966; Marks, 1951). If a task is novel, the expectancy is primarily

determined by an individual's generalized expectancy (Jones, 1977); this

generaliz-d expectancy is considered to be a relatively stable global









assessment of one's chances of success in everyday situations (Feather,

1965; McCaughan, 1976). Rotter (1966) suggested that expectancy is modi-

fiable by learning and experience. Most investigators have attempted to

vary the success or failure rate on a task to manipulate expectancy levels.

Success generally leads to an increase in expectancy of success; while

failure generally leads to a decrease in expectancy of success.

Feather (1968) gave college students 15 anagrams to solve. The first

five anagrams were easy for half of the students and insoluble for the

others. For all students the last ten anagrams were of the same difficulty.

Students were asked to estimate their chances of solving each anagram just

prior to attempting it. Expectancy estimates for those subjects who

received initial anagrams of low difficulty increased until the last ten

anagrams were incurred; expectancy estimates for those who received

insoluble initial anagrams decreased continually until the last ten

anagrams were attempted. Feather concluded that expectancy of success

at a task is directly proportional to the objective probability of

success for that task. Additionally, Marks (1951) and Jessor and Readio

(1958) have shown that for most children a greater percentage of success

experiences raises one's expectancy for success. Jones (1977) suggested

that an individual is responsive to his past experiences with i task or

to information about the performance of others at a novel task. Feather

and Saville (1967) found that expectancy of success decreased after failure,

and that predominant failure produced more change in expectancies than

predominant success; failure also led to a dislike for the task.

Researchers investigating the effects of success and failure on

expectancies of exceptional children take opposing viewpoints. Cromwell









(1963) and Zigler (1962) suggested that retarded individuals have an

orientation to avoid failure, and that a history of failure would lead

to this orientation. Initial expectancy estimates for the retarded popu-

lations are usually lower than for normals. Shuster and Gruen (1971) and

McMillan (1969) report that a history of failure is not as critical to

expectancy as mental age (MA). Levy (1974) used knowledge of results to

assist in expectancy and performance gains for the mildly retarded.

Results of the numerous studies of expectancy levels in retarded individuals

have shown that experimentally induced success coupled with knowledge of

results can effect changes in expectancies of mildly retarded youth.

Similar studies with other exceptional children are few in number; how-

ever, reactions to success and failure by these subjects have always

shown greater variability than in normal subjects. For instance, Harway

(1962) found that physically handicapped children would set unrealistic

goals despite repeated failure. Robbins and Harway (1977) found that

learning disabled children showed greater variability in goal setting

than a control group. No studies have been reported in which expectancy

levels of emotionally handicapped children were investigated.

While success and failure generally result in increases and decreases

in subsequent expectancy and performance estimates, it is also important

to consider the attributions one associates with the success or failure.

The attributions commonly mentioned are (1) ability, (2) effort, (3) task

difficulty, and (4) luck (Frieze & Weiner, 1971; Heider, 1958). If one

attributes success or failure to luck, little or no rise in expectancy

and performance is observed; however, success or failure attributed to

ability has resulted in greater outcome variation. Numerous authors








have also reported that the primary variable which determines whether one

attributes success or failure to ability or luck is their initial level

of expectancy (Feather & Simon, 1971; Frieze & Weiner, 1971). When sub-

jects attributed poor performance to lack of ability, later expectancy

estimates tended to decrease. The opposite effect was seen when one

attributed success to ability. McMillan (1969) found that retarded

groups tended to attribute lack of ability to uncompleted tasks; this

was not seen in the normal group. Griffith (1977) has shown that success

coupled with an attribution of ability leads to a feeling of control over

the outcome of a task.

The same variables which have been shown to effect expectancies

have also been shown to effect performance. For example, Feather and

Simon (1971) and Frieze and Weiner (1971) found that those individuals

whose initial expectancies were high tended to have higher performance

scores. Griffith (1977) and Feather (1968) found that those subjects

who were given success on preliminary anagrams had higher performance

scores on subsequent anagrams than those who had been given failure.

Success at one task has been shown to affect the level of aspiration

and performance on subsequent tasks (Frank, 1935).

It seems, then, that the effects of success and failure may be

predictable within certain groups dependent upon the personal attribu-

tion assigned to that success and/or failure and the nature of the

task (i.e., novel or previously attempted) (Feather, 1968, Feather &

Simon, 1971; Jones, 1977). Effective teaching practices have been

developed by utilizing this knowledge in working with mildly retarded

children (Mercer & Snell, 1977); however, little research of this nature

has been completed with other categories of exceptional children.









Purpose

The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of success

and failure on the expectancies and performances of elementary EH

children. Research efforts investigating expectancies of EH children

have not been found. With the use of knowledge of results and a validity

check for perceived treatment, the present study has attempted to improve

upon the methodology previously used to study the effects of success and

failure in exceptional children.


Procedures

Subjects

The subjects included in the study were 48 Alachua County fourth

and fifth grade EH boys randomly chosen from those receiving resource

room assistance. The boys were randomly assigned to either a success

or a failure condition. The black/white ratio of all students was

58%:42%, and the ratio of 4th/5th graders was 60%:40%. Math achievement

scores were obtained for all subjects and the means for the two conditions

were statistically similar (t=.01, >.05). The race and grade compo-

sition of the two groups was also equivalent (x2=.08, 2 >.05 andx 2=.34,

p >.05 respectively).


Method

Boys selected to participate were asked to complete two tasks. The

first was a chance task and the second was a progressive matrix work-

sheet (see Appendix C). The examiner obtained data during the last

four weeks of school, and each child was seen individually. All children

were told that they would receive a small treat for completion of the









two tasks. The student began by marking on a response sheet how well

he expected to do on the upcoming two tasks. The students put an "x"

on the face of the response sheet devised to record his expectancy

(see Appendix B). Eight aces and eight deuces from two standard decks

of cards were shown to the boys, and used for the first task. The

examiner shuffled the cards and put ten face down in front of the boy.

He then asked the child to guess what each card was (ace or deuce) and

to guess how many of the ten he would guess correctly. Each boy was

told that he should try to make his best guess. In other words, if he

guessed two and actually identified eight correctly, he had missed by

six and did not do well. An expectancy estimate was obtained just

prior to each of the five trials on the first task. Feedback was

given after each trial verbally and graphically (see Appendix B).

Following the fifth trial and feedback, the boy was asked to mark how

well he thought he actually did on the first task. For scores above

five the boy was considered to have perceived success; while a score

of five or lower meant that the boy perceived failure. Twenty-four

randomly selected boys (n=48) were given feedback which would suggest

success and the remainder received feedback which would suggest failure.

A manipulation check was performed and greater than 95% of the boys

accurately perceived the condition to which they had been assigned.

Following the first task the boys were told that they would now

attempt a different task (see Appendix A for correct wording) which

was not like the first one. Each boy was asked to estimate how many of

the ten items on the second task he thought he would get right. All

children were given success feedback for the second task, and a treat









for completing the tasks. The examiner was not aware of the rationale

or hypotheses for the study, but was told that the information obtained

would be helpful in telling how EH children react to success and failure.

The experimental procedure yielded expectancy and performance

scores for the matrix task for boys who had received success or failure

on a previous task. It was hypothesized that (1) there would be no

relationship between expectancy levels obtained from students who

received failure feedback on the preliminary guessing task, and their

actual performance levels on the progressive matrix worksheet; (2) there

would be no relationship between expectancy levels obtained from students

who received success feedback on the preliminary guessing task, and their

actual performance levels on the progressive matrix; (3) there would be no

difference between mean scores of success and failure groups as measured

by their progressive matrix scores; and (4) there would be no difference

between the mean scores of success and failure groups as measured by

their verbal reports of expectancy of success for the progressive matrix

worksheet.


Results

With respect to the relationship between expectancy estimates and

performance scores within the two conditions, little correlation was

shown in either. For students in the success group, expectancy scores

did not correlate with performance scores (x=.10, > .05). A similar

non-significant correlation (r=.13, p >.05) was obtained when comparing

expectancy estimates with performance scores within the failure group.

With respect to the comparison of expectancy and performance means

across the success and failure conditions, there were different results.









The t-test analysis showed that expectancy nmans across conditions did

not differ significantly (t (46)=0.83, D .05). When an independent

t-test was performed comparing performance ;means, a significant differ-

ence was noticed (t (46)=2.28, R <.05). The success group had similar

expectancy means and a higher performance mean than the failure group.


Discussion

The relationship between expectancy and performance variables within

treatment conditions was shown to be very low. Expectancy estimates did

not seem to be correlated highly with subsequent performance for success

and/or failure subjects. Since the dependent measures were seemingly

unrelated, independent univariate t-tests were used to compare the

expectancy and performance means across success and failure conditions.

Although the expectancy mean for success subjects was higher than the

expectancy mean for failure subjects, statistical significance was not

present (see Table 3). Placement in the success condition did not lead

to significantly higher expectancies. The performance mean for success

subjects was significantly higher than the performance mean for failure

subjects (see Table 3). Subjects who had received previous success

performed better on the subsequent task than subjects who had previously

received failure.

One possible explanation for why sucesss effected higher performance

scores and not higher expectancy estimates is that the nature of the

first task, coupled with attributions for the condition acted together

in the, following manner: Subjects in the success condition with high

initial expectancies saw their success as attributed to ability. Since









ability is usually stable, the boy probably would expect to do well on

the second item and the experience of preliminary success would follow

through to encourage the best performance possible even if the second

task was difficult. For subjects with a low initial expectancy followed

by success, the success was probably attributed to luck and subsequent

expectancy estimates would remain high. When faced with the difficult

matrix (x=3.24) task, the previous success would encourage the subject

to try his best to obtain another success. For subjects with high

initial expectancies and failure on the first task, failure was

probably attributed to luck. The attribution to luck would only mini-

mally affect expectancy; however, when faced with the difficult matrix,

the thought of another possible failure may have caused the boy to

treat the task as another chance task and look for a quick answer or

to quit if no quick answer was evident. For subjects with low initial

expectancy estimates and failure on the first task, the failure was

probably attributed to lack of ability. Even though failure was per-

ceived, the student was told that the second task was not like the

first and, therefore, he might have felt that he had another chance.

When faced with the difficult matrix worksheet, the subject probably

felt as if another failure was imminent and put forth little effort

in completion of the second task. It is interesting to note that

there were only three boys with initial expectancies below five.

One other possible explanation for a significant difference in

performance means for the two groups is that those students who had

received failure on the first task may have felt somewhat hopeless

in performing accurately after viewing the matrix worksheet, and








exhibited what Seligman (1975) calls passive approach to learning.

This means that the child who receives enough failure will eventually

foster a feeling of "what's the use in trying." This passive approach

suggests that one is powerless to avoid failure and therefore leads

the person to quit trying. It was observed that several of the sub-

jects in the failure condition attempted a few problems on the matrix

and wanted to quit. The examiner reminded these boys that a treat was

given to those who completed the two tasks, and they did complete the

worksheet. This effort was seen as directed at finishing and not

necessarily towards solving the problems correctly.


Conclusions
Within the context of the present study, several conclusions seemed

appropriate. First, elementary EH boys have high expectancies when con-

fronted with novel tasks. This was consistent in this study for expec-

tancies obtained for each of the two tasks.

Second, expectancy was not highly related to performance. This

seems to be the result of the novel nature of the second task as well

as the actual performance required. Since the matrix task was difficult

for children participating in the study, performance on this matrix seems

to be better predicted by prior success or failure than by generalized

expectancy. The EH boys in the study tended to have high expectancies.

These expectancies were not seen as good predictors of the actual perform-

ance; that is, thinking or feeling one would do well was not sufficient

for actually doing well. Differences in performance were likely a

function of a variable other than expectancy.

Finally, experimentally induced success and failure seem to effect

the performance of elementary EH boys. The children seemed to take a








different approach to the difficult learning task depending on prior

success or failure; those boys who had previously received success seemed

to approach the matrix worksheet with a desire to succeed again. Those

students who previously received failure seemed to approach the task with

high initial expectancies followed by a lack of effort when shown the

difficult matrix worksheet. Findings derived from these data may have

practical implications for others involved in either applied research

or practice in this area.


Implications for Research

Analysis of the present results would suggest that further research

is needed to clarify the role that attributions of success and failure

play with EH children. Research is also needed which uses tasks which

are typically found in resource rooms to check the effects of success

and failure on performance. The effects of success and failure at

academic tasks on performance would be valuable information for teachers

of exceptional children.













APPENDIX A


Introductory Statement and Directions


After the examiner has established at least a partial rapport with

the student, the following paragraph was read to him: "We are going to

try two tasks today. After you have completed both tasks you will receive

a treat." The examiner then stated the introduction for the first task

as follows: "I am giving these tasks to a lot of boys your age. Some

of them are very good at this sort of thing, some are not particularly

good. Here is a paper with a line of boys on it. As you see, here is

the boy who does the very best on these tasks here at the top of the

page. He is smiling. Here is the boy who does it the worst at the

bottom. He is frowning. And these are all the boys in between (motioning).

Now, before we start the tasks, put an X on the boy you think you will

turn out to be when you get through."

The examiner then stated the directions for the first task as

follows: "Here are 16 cards. There are eight aces and eight deuces.

I will shuffle them and put ten of them face down on the table. I want

you to tell me what you think each card is and, finally, to guess how

many will be right. You have done well if your guess is close to the

number correct. You will not have done well if you miss by over two.

For example, if you guess five and you actually got five then you have

done well. If you guess two and actually get eight then your guess was

not close and you have not done well."








The examiner made sure that the directions were repeated until the

subject knew what he was to do. When the boy was ready, his expectancy

of success was obtained for the first trial. The subject was given

written and verbal feedback after each trial and was asked to guess the

number of correct choices for the next trial.

After the five trials, the examiner asked the student for his

perceptions of his performance as follows: "Now that you have had a

chance to actually try the task, please mark how well you think you

actually did. Put an X on the boy that shows how you did."

The examiner will introduce the second task as follows: "Now I

would like you to try another task. This task is not like the first

one and cards are not used. This task is new to you and you have never

had to do it before. This task has ten parts. How many do you think

you will get right?" The response was recorded and the progressive

matrix scales was given to the student and no verbal directions were

given except the following: "Put in the number which is missing. Here

is an example. The number that is missing in the example is six. Now,

you do the rest of these. Take your time; you have ten minutes to com-

plete the problems."

After the student finished, he was given the treat. The examiner

then scored the worksheet and gave success feedback to the student.











APPENDIX B


/AA















v v


1 I 0 /)1


10



9



A A



7 o



6 A



5 i o


10


( A A
9



8A A



7

/' AA




Si o
6 ( A A







4



3



2 V


v V
1











APPENDIX C


Example

1 2 3 4 5 7




36 38 40 42 44 48


5 14 23 32 41 59


47 45 43 41 39 35


54 47 40 33 26 12


87 76 65 54 43 21


26 38 50 62 74 98


26 33 40 47 54 68


13 26 39 52 65 91


48 42 36 30 24 12


93 89 85 31 77 69
93 85 817 _ _I____













APPENDIX D


Failure-Success Resoonse Sheet


Those students who are randomly placed into the success group will

be given feedback according to the following scale:


If Subject Feedback
Responds for
Trial 1


Feedback
for
Trial 2


2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

9


Feedback
for
Trial 3


2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

9


Feedback
for
Trial 4


1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8


10
10


Feedback
for
Trial 5


1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10


For the first three trials the examiner will say the following:

"You did well on that one. You guessed and you got __. You only

missed by one." For the last two trials the examiner will say the

following: "You did very well on that one. You guessed and you

got _. You were exactly right."









Those students who are randomly placed into the failure group will

be given feedback according to the following scale:


If Subject Feedback
Responds for
Trial 1


Feedback
for
Trial 2


5

6

7

8

1

2

3

4

5

6


Feedback
for
Trial 3


5

6

7

8

1

2

3

4

5

6


Feedback
for
Trial 4


6

7

8

9

1

1

2

3

4

5


Feedback
for
Trial 5


6

7

8

9

1

1

2

3

4

5


For all trials the examiner will

do well on that one. You guessed __


say the

and you


following: "You did not

got __ You missed by








APPENDIX L


DATA FOR SUBJECTS


INITIAL PERCEIVED
EXPECTANCY S OR F


ACHIEVEMENT
MATRIX MATRIX GRADE
EXPECTANCY PERFORMANCE EQUIVALENT


4.7
6.0
9.2
3.7
4.0
8.6
3.5
4.9
4.0
3.8
3.9
3.7
4.4
2.9
5.2
3,8
4.1
3.4
1.9
3-0
5-5
3-6
4.9
4-4
4-2
2-2
5.3
3.9
4.0
4.4
3.9
6.0
4.9
8.2
5.2
5.0
3.4
5.0
3.6
4.2
5.1
2.5
3.7
3.7
7.0
3-1
4.2
4.3


--


--












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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH


Tom Ballowe was born in 1947 in Paducah, Kentucky. He attended

the Paducah public schools and graduated in 1965 from Paducah Tilghman

High School.

Mr. Ballowe received a bachelor of science degree in Physical

Education and Psychology from Western Kentucky University in 1970.

A major area of interest for Mr. Ballowe was college athletics; he

participated in football, track, and gymnastics. Mr. Ballowe was

awarded a Master's in Educational Psychology at the University of

Florida in 1972. In 1977, he received an Educational Specialist's

Degree in School Psychology.

Mr. Ballowe has worked in a variety of settings with exceptional

children, adolescents, and adults. He has taught in the public schools,

worked in a mental health center, served as a school psychologist, and

directed an alternative school and counseling center.

In 1976, Mr. Ballowe was wed to the former Debra Diann Turley in

Cocoa Beach, Florida. The Ballowe's recently celebrated the birth of

a lovely daughter named Jessie Kyle Ballowe.

Mr. Ballowe has recently accepted a position as an assistant pro-

fessor of special education at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South

Carolina.













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.




Robert Algozzine, Ch9irman
Assistant Professor of Speeial Education






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.




Re/ E'. Schmid
Assistant Professor of Special Education






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.




William B. Ware
Professor of Foundations of Education












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.




Cecil D. Mercer
Associate Professor of Special Education






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.




Ames E. Whorton .
Associate Professor of Special Education






This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Special Education in the College of Education and to the
Graduate Council, and was accepted as parital fulfillment of the require-
ments for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

August 1978


Dean, Graduate Shool





































































UNIVERSITY OF FLORIOA


3 1262 08552 9443