The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

The Effect of Perceived Difficulty and Locus of Control on Task Performance


Previous research has shown that predictable differences in behaviour occur among those who perceive reinforcement as contingent on their behaviour (internal control), in comparison with those believe that reinforcement is determined by factors such as luck or chance (external control). The current study hypothesized that those internal for locus of control would perform better than those external, on a task that was perceived to be difficult. To test this, 32 university students were given an anagram task of moderate difficulty, however half the subjects were influenced to believe it was a difficult task, while the other half were made to believe it was easy. Locus of control was measured after the anagram task was completed. Contrary to the prediction, results did not show a significant interaction between internal-external control and perceptions of ease vs. difficulty. Limitations of this study are discussed.

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