The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

Distractibility as a Function of Locus of Control and Distractibility


Aaron Jolivet


The present study attempted to reevaluate the Yerkes Dodson Law (YDL; Yerkes & Dodson, 1908), the study of which has been hindered by poor methodology and equivocal results, while eliminating the influence of confounding variables and examining the interaction of arousal and locus of control (LOC). Arousal was manipulated via relaxation and exercise. Participants were assigned randomly to a relaxation condition, a moderate exercise condition, or a heavy exercise condition and heart rate was the indicant of arousal. LOC was measured via Rotter's I-E Scale. The influence of positive affect (PA), as measured via the Positive and Negative Affect Schedules (PANAS), was eliminated statistically. The dependent variable was performance on a letter-transformation task with a distracter stimulus present. Results showed not a curvilinear but a positive, linear relationship between arousal and performance, and no significant relationship with LOC. There were no observed changes in PA following exercise.

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