THE GENERALITY OF EXPECTANCY LEVEL AS A FUNCTION OF SET.
STANFORD UNIV CALIF DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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A study was designed to investigate differences in the generality of expectancy level on two tasks as a function of differential instructions concerning the nature of the tasks. Two groups of college students were given the same two tasks and asked to try and predict their scores prior to each trial. The number of trials, the units in which the scores were reported, and the shape of the performance curves were identical for both tasks. All subjects received the same set of predetermined scores and the two groups were treated differently in only one respect. Group I was told that both tasks were intelligence tests, while Group II was told that Task I was an intelligence test but that Task II was a perceptual-motor speed test. The prediction was that the degree of generality would be significantly higher for Group I than it was for Group II. Product moment correlations based on individual mean expectancy level, trials 2-8, were .883 for Group I and .594 for Group II. The difference between these correlations was found to be significant at les than the .002 level. Differences based only on expectancy level prior to performance on the tasks were also found to support the hypothesis. Author