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Title:Self-Theory and Effective Functioning
Author(s):Gilles-Thomas, David Lewis
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dweck, Carol S.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Psychology, Personality
Abstract:A person who conceptualizes self-attributes as relatively fixed (an "entity theorist") has been shown to exhibit maladaptive responses to failure. In contrast, a person who conceptualizes self-attributes as malleable (an "incremental theorist") has been shown to demonstrate adaptive response patterns to failure. This study investigated whether entity theorists develop strategies to maintain effective functioning even when confronted with failure. Because they tend to interpret negative feedback as self-defining, it was hypothesized that entity theorists who limited their attention to failure would perform better than those who did not limit their attention. Using a computer-based signal detection task, subjects monitored their performance outcomes under conditions of success and failure. Dependent variables included sensitivity (A$\sp\prime$), response bias (logBeta), and reaction time. Findings indicate that the entity theorists who limited their outcome-monitoring were able to limit their performance impairment, whereas entity theorists who continued to monitor continued to deteriorate. Incremental theorists were able to limit impairment regardless of their degree of monitoring. These findings suggest that entity theorists are able to function best when they limit their attention to negative outcomes, and, more generally, that the impact on performance of allocating attention to outcomes is mediated by a person's implicit self-theory.
Issue Date:1993
Description:79 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9411634
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1993

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