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Title:Negotiable Fate: The Belief, Potential Antecedents and Possible Consequences
Author(s):Au, Evelyn Wing Mun
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Chiu, Chi-Yue
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Cognitive
Abstract:Past research has suggested that by acknowledging uncontrollability, one relinquishes control. In this dissertation, a re-conceptualization of the relationship between personal agency and uncontrollability is proposed. Rather than pitting control against helplessness, it is argued that individuals can acknowledge uncontrollability and still initiate personal actions to protect their interests. This idea is reflected in the belief in negotiable fate---the belief that personal actions and fate work together to determine personal outcomes. The goals of the research presented in this dissertation are fourfold. First, the results of Study 1 highlighted the unique contributions of negotiable fate by establishing that negotiable fate is a fate belief that is qualitatively different from both conquerable fate (the belief that personal actions have ultimate authority over outcomes) and insurmountable fate (the belief that the paths set by fate cannot be changed by personal actions). Second, Studies 2a and 2b explored the societal-level factors that are conducive to the development of the belief in negotiable fate. Results suggest that the belief in negotiable fate is most prevalent when individuals are encouraged to attain desired personal goals, but rigid constraints are placed on the pursuit of these goals. Third, Study 3 examined whether the interpretation of the concept of negotiable fate differs across individuals as a function of the societal-level factors examined in Studies 2a and 2b. The results of Study 3 suggest that the more constraints an individual faces, the more he/she focuses on the agentic aspect of negotiable fate. Lastly, Study 4 investigated the consequences of the belief in negotiable fate, and the findings suggest that when the belief in negotiable fate is primed, feeling lucky or unlucky can inform decision-making in systematic ways. Implications and future directions were discussed.
Issue Date:2008
Description:57 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3314726
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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