Causes and affects under manipulated arousal and achievement-related outcomes

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Abstract

A revised version of earlier models by Stephan and Gollwitzer, and Weiner, has been proposed to study the relations between cognitions and emotions in the achievement-related contexts. Accordingly, factors classified along the arousal—relaxation dimension should modify the intensity of initial emotional response to the outcome, and the degree of egotism/positive evaluation in the pattern of causal attributions. Then, specific affective modalities are seen as joint products of the former cognitive—emotional interaction.

A 5 (arousal conditions) × 2 (outcomes) experiment was designed to test the model. 160 male undergraduates from University of Jos in Nigeria served as subjects.

Results have showed that the highly aroused subjects suppressed their negative emotions after failure, while the relaxed ones reported lower intensity of success-related affects. The hypothesis of attributional egotism did not get support from the causal ascription data. The causal dimension of Evaluation was found to be a better predictor for affects than Locus was.

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