Self-consciousness, outcome expectancy, and persistence

Michael F. Scheier, Charles S. Carver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


A study investigated persistence as a function of two variables: the disposition to be self-attentive (called private self-consciousness) and outcome feedback on a prior task that was described as closely related to the target task. More specifically, subjects first completed a concealed-figures test and were told that their performances were either very good or very poor. The second test, which ostensibly measured the same abilities, was an insolvable design problem that is commonly used to measure persistence. Feedback concerning prior outcomes had a direct influence on expectancies for the second task, but persistence on that task was a joint function of feedback and self-consciousness. That is, favorable feedback led to greater persistence than did unfavorable feedback, but only among subjects high in self-consciousness. This finding replicates and extends the results of several previous studies. Discussion centers on the relationship between the present research and an earlier experiment which yielded apparently different results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-418
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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