The body of literature surrounding the study of motivation is often criticized for the plethora of research that has emerged from varying theoretical perspectives. The purpose of this dissertation was to test part of an integrative theory of the role of values in motivation based on perceptual control theory. Specifically, the values construct was reviewed using the process-content framework. The review concluded that values have been treated in two ways in motivation theory: a) as desired end-states (i.e., goals) and b) as a level of attractiveness or satisfaction. An empirical examination of the values as goals hypothesis based on perceptual control theory was conducted. It was expected that participants would learn to associate a task for which they received praise with the value of being well-respected (i.e., instrumentality). Additionally, receiving praise for performance on a task should influence the anticipated value (i.e., valence) of completing a second task for which participants previously learned they would receive praise and that receiving praise for performance on a task would influence participant's future task choice. Finally, the study explored whether receiving praise on a task prior to learning influenced the strength of a learned association. Though findings demonstrate support for a learned association between a task and value system (Hypothesis 1), I failed to find support for the remaining hypotheses. Thus, I found no evidence to support the proposition that values function as higher-level goals. Both methodological and theoretical considerations that may have contributed to this lack of findings are discussed.
|Commitee:||Gonzalez-Vallejo, Claudia, Griffeth, Rodger, Popovich, Paula, Tucker, Mary, Vancouver, Jeffrey|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Motivation, Perceptual control theory, Values|
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