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THE EFFECTS OF UPWARD SOCIAL COMPARISONS ON AFFECT AND SUBSEQUENT TASK PERSISTENCE AND PERFORMANCE IN COOPERATIVE AND COMPETITIVE CONTEXTS

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abstract
The thesis investigation examined the effects of interpersonal context (cooperative or competitive) and upward performance comparison information (moderately superior, very superior, or no coactor feedback control) on affect, motivation, and performance following receipt of upward comparison information on a previous, ostensibly related task. Undergraduates completed the experiment, which was presented to them as being part of a grant-funding project. It was predicted that whether participants cooperated or competed with a coactor would moderate motivation- and performance-related reactions to upward comparisons. Results indicated that participants persisted longer on a second task when they were cooperating rather than competing with a very superior coactor, although cooperative context did not impact performance on the task. No support was found for the hypotheses that differences in frustration and negative affect would explain context-based effects on persistence and performance. However, receiving very superior coactor feedback in a competitive context led to decrements in positive affect and persistence, relative to similar feedback on a cooperative task, suggesting that decreases in positive affect following upward comparisons can reduce subsequent motivation in a manner similar to negative affect and frustration.
subject
comparison
contrast
emotion
feedback
motivation
performance
contributor
Hoogland, Charles Eric (author)
Seta, Catherine E (committee chair)
Katula, Jeffrey (committee member)
Petrocelli, John (committee member)
Solano, Cecilia (committee member)
date
2011-09-08T08:35:59Z (accessioned)
2011 (issued)
degree
Psychology (discipline)
10000-01-01 (liftdate)
embargo
10000-01-01 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/36154 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
THE EFFECTS OF UPWARD SOCIAL COMPARISONS ON AFFECT AND SUBSEQUENT TASK PERSISTENCE AND PERFORMANCE IN COOPERATIVE AND COMPETITIVE CONTEXTS
type
Thesis

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