Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Wayne Harrison

Second Advisor

James Thomas

Third Advisor

Doug Cellar


The social loafing effect, that subjects work harder alone than in groups, was contrasted against the use of two motivational techniques. Subjects were 80 undergraduate students at a midwestern university. A 2 x 2 factorial design was employed contrasting the use of group goals with the salience of evaluation apprehension. Subjects, working in groups of four, were asked to generate possible uses for common objects during two timed work periods. Results provided support for an Interaction Hypothesis: that group goal or evaluation apprehension conditions are sufficient to increase performance over a social loafing replication condition. However, the actual presence of evaluation apprehension and social loafing was questioned. The study also supports the contention that goals and evaluation pressure may contain similar motivational elements.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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