LEADERSHIP STATUS AS A MODULATOR OF THE DETERMINATION OF SOCIAL INTERACTION BY PRIOR REINFORCEMENT.
BEAVER COLL GLENSIDE PA
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An experiment was designed to test the influence of prior experience of campus leadership as a modulating factor in the effect of prior reinforcement of judgmental responses on behavior in a social interaction in judgment. Twenty female college students were run ten were leaders and ten were non-leaders. Judgments were made of the rate of alternation of a flickering light. Half of each group were told they were right 17 out of 21 trials half of each group were told they were wrong on an equivalent number of trials. Ss were then run in apparent communication with each other, actually receiving false information that Ps judgments were 25 per cent higher. Among the leaders the reinforcement schedule determined tendency to shift judgments towards P Ss told they were wrong shifted and those told they were right maintained. Among the non-leaders there was no demonstrable effect from the reinforcement schedule. However, the degree to which the experiment was perceived as a test of individual skills or as a social situation did determine degree of shift in judgment. Interaction effects on analysis of variance were significant for leader vs. non-leaders, positive vs. negative reinforcement. Thus, leaders are found to respond to cues in the outside world, non-leaders to internal mediating systems. Author