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Psicologia USP

On-line version ISSN 1678-5177


CAPOVILLA, Fernando C. et al. Ego-involvement manipulation via experimental para-instructions: effects on mood states and problem solving performance. Psicol. USP [online]. 1996, vol.7, n.1-2, pp. 143-182. ISSN 1678-5177.

The present study focuses on some relationships holding among causal attribution, mood states, ego involvement, and cognitive performance, in the context of research artifacts. Experimental para-instructions were presented immediately before a problem-solving computerized task (Nomos), in order to produce high ego-involvement in one group, and low ego-involvement in another. The former attributed Nomos performance to the stable-internal attribute "intelligence"; whereas the latter attributed it to the unstable-external attribute "software quality". Cognitive performance effects were assessed via Nomos. Mood effects were assessed via List of Present Mood States (LPMS) applied both before and after para-instructions, as well as after Nomos. Re-assessment of problem-solving abilities, as an independent control, was obtained via Raven Progressive Matrices Test (RPMT) in the end. Para-instructions affected both LPMS ego-involvement and problem-solving performance in Nomos. Mood effects were restricted to Nomos, and did not affect RPMT performance. High ego-involvement para-instructions decreased task-disengagement mood; low ego-involvement ones decreased task-engagement mood. Task-engagement mood was significantly greater than task-disengagement mood as a consequence of high ego-involvement para-instruction. Problem-solving performance in Nomos under high ego-involvement was better than it was under low ego-involvement. Under high ego-involvement there was a positive correlation between Nomos and RPMT performances, but not under low ego-involvement.

Keywords : Self-perception; Internal external locus of control; Problem solving; Expectations; Emotional states.

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