Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Wayne Harrison

Second Advisor

James Thomas

Third Advisor

Raymond Millimet


A laboratory experiment was conducted examining the influence of feedback specificity and simultaneous quantity and quality goals on the performance of an assembly task including the effect of feedback specificity on perceptual and behavioral measures of intrinsic motivation. The hypotheses were framed in terms of a traditional goal setting model and a control systems-goal conflict model. Neither model was supported for the quantity performance measure in that varying the specificity of quantity of performance feedback did not result in differential quantity of performance. The traditional goal setting model was supported based on results from the quality performance measure . These results were that quality performance was significantly higher in the presence of specific quality of performance feedback than in the presence of non-specific quality of performance feedback. The prediction based on the control systems-goal conflict model that the simultaneous quantity and quality goals would come into conflict and result in higher performance on one of the goals (as the result of the attention focusing property of specific performance feedback) at the expense of reduced performance on the other goal was not supported. The exploratory research hypotheses, that specific feedback would be viewed as autonomy supportive and would enhance intrinsic motivation, and that non-specific feedback would be viewed as controlling and would diminish intrinsic motivation, were not supported based on the results of the perceptual measures of intrinsic motivation; the exploratory hypotheses were supported based on the results of the behavioral measures of intrinsic motivation.


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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