The relationship between children's locus of control orientation and response to blank trials in two verbal feedback combinations
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between choice repetition following blank in a right-blank (R-B) and wrong-blank (W-B) verbal feedback combination, and locus of control (LOC) orientation of male and female third grade students. The Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale was administered to 157 students. Twenty male and 20 female students receiving the highest scores in their respective groups were designated as external in their LOC orientation, whereas 20 male and 20 female students receiving the lowest scores in their respective groups were designated as internal in their LOC orientation. Half of the internal and external male and half of the internal and external female students were administered a two-choice discrimination task involving an R-B verbal feedback combination (feedback for correct but not incorrect responses). The remaining students were administered the same two-choice discrimination task involving a W-B verbal feedback combination (feedback for incorrect but not correct responses).Based on the assumption that internals are more alert and efficient information processors of non-explicit information, it was hypothesized that regardless of sex, internals would more readily discover the appropriate meaning of blank in a R-B combination than externals. A performance difference between internal and external subjects (regardless of sex) was not expected in a W-B combination, since externals would tend not to explore the alternative to blank and internals would quickly have an alternate view disconfirmed (wrong).A 2 X 2 X 2 analysis of variance with a planned comparisons approach was used to test the hypotheses. Analysis of the data indicated that internal females more readily determined the appropriate meaning of blank in a R-B combination than did external females. The difference in performance between internal and external males in a R-B combination was not in the expected direction. The data also indicated that there was no significant difference between internal and external subjects, regardless of sex, in a W-B combination.The data for female subjects was interpreted as supporting the contention that internals more effectively evaluate non-explicit information than do externals. This contention was not supported for male subjects.