ATTRACTION TO DISLIKED ACTIVITY AS A FUNCTION OF PRIOR ATTACK.
CALIFORNIA UNIV LOS ANGELES DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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Seventy-seven male undergraduate subjects met individually with the experimenter who gave them each two tasks to do--a reverse writing task, which was meant to be relatively innocuous, and a taste adaptation task, meant to be unpleasant in that it involved tasting a number of ill-tasting liquids. Data are reported for all but thirteen subjects who did not see the taste task as more unpleasant. Following this, half the subjects were severely criticized for being stupid and not following instructions half were not criticized, but merely told to continue. The subjects were then to allot the remaining 30 minutes to either the taste task or the innocuous writing task, spending any proportion they wiched on one and the rest on the other. It was expected that the criticized subjects would spend relatively more time on the unpleasant task in an effort to arouse guilt in the experimenter. The hypothesis was not supported, there being no significant difference in time spent on each task. Criticized subjects did indicate greater anger toward the experimenter. Thus it appeared that there was not support for the initial prediction. It is suggested that failure to find significant results might have occurred because it was not clear that the experimenter was aware of the relative unpleasantness of the tasks, and might not attribute to himself responsibility for the subjects discomfort. Other analyses indicated that the greater the preponderance of male siblings over female siblings, the more like criticized subjects would deny that they were mistreated, that is, the less they were likely to be upset by personal criticism. Author