Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Roseann Hannon

First Committee Member

Martin T. Gipson

Second Committee Member

Esther A. Cohen


This study investigated the relationship between global/specific and stable/unstable dimensions of attributions and the generalization of helplessness across tasks and situations. Four groups of subjects were given instructions suggesting that their performance on a Venn diagram task could be attributed to (a) global or specific and (b) staple or unstable factors. Then, during performance of this task, these subjects were given noncontingent correctness feedback on their responses. A control group given the same task received no attribution instructions or feedback on their performance. Generalization of helplessness was assessed by examining the magnitude of performance deficits displayed on an anagram task presented as a separate experiment. Contrary to expectations, no reliable differences in performance were found between any of the five groups. Factors which may have interfered with the manipulations are discussed. Suggestions for future research are provided.



Included in

Psychology Commons



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