Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An evaluation of self-control
Author: Vaughan, C. Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0001 3543 371X
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 1975
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
A comprehensive review of the published work arising from Skinner's (1953) chapter on self-control was undertaken. This was thought to be necessary because many of the papers were of poor quality, and the existing reviews were found to be inadequate. It was concluded that the effects of motivation on self-control had received little attention from the majority of operant workers. In particular, the role of delayed rewards had been neglected. Therefore, the experimental part of the thesis was devoted to the investigation of the effects of a delayed reward on the use of an unpleasant controlling response. It was decided that this could be done most economic¬ally by using an experimental analogue of a self-control situation. A theoretical model of self-control was described and an analogue was devised. Three experiments were performed, during the course of which the analogue was refined and several hypotheses derived from the model were tested. It was found that although the analogue was partially successful, it did not provide adequate experimental control over relevant independent variables. It also resulted in considerable subject wastage. The results of the final experiment indicated that both the subjective value of the reward and the expectancy of obtaining it, influenced the use of an unpleasant controlling response. In fact, value and expectancy appeared to have complementary effects. The theoretical and practical significance of these findings were discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Self-control ; Executive function ; Operant conditioning ; Motivation