Relations between origin-pawn disposition, situational elements of freedom and constraint, origin-pawn feelings, and perceptions of success and satisfaction



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The purpose of this study was to investigate causal relationships among origin-pawn disposition, situational elements of freedom and constraint, O-P feelings and perceptions of success and satisfaction. Success was operationally defined as the product and satisfaction as the process of goal attainment. Relationships among the variables were hypothesized in the form of a causal model to be tested. Seventy-seven college students performed a task of building a model from tinkertoys under one of three conditions — freedom, moderate freedom, or high constraint. Prior to the experiment, the subjects were administered the Plimpton Origin Syndrome as a measure of Origin-Pawn disposition. During task performance subjects were administered a semantic differential type of instrument developed for this research as a situational measure of O-P feelings. On completion of the models the subjects rated the tasks on a 10-item instrument to determine perceptions of success and satisfaction. Hypothesized relations among the variables were tested through multiple regression and path analytic techniques. The testing of the causal model confirmed, that the variables are related, as follows. Both disposition and condition of freedom vs. constraint had direct effects on O-P feeling during task performance with condition having a greater effect on O-P feeling than disposition. Condition and O-P feeling had direct effects on perceptions of success and satisfaction. An analysis of variance revealed significant differences in satisfaction under freedom and constraint with greater satisfaction experienced in the condition of freedom. The differences in success under the two conditions were not significant. A content analysis of reasons why subjects rated quality of the model as they did revealed that success was rated differently under freedom and constraint. Personal responsibility and task involvement were important under freedom while the outcome of the product was the primary criterion under constraint. From the factor analysis of the semantic differential of O-P feelings five factors were obtained — a sense of efficacy, internal-external locus of control, personal responsibility, self-confidence and intentionality, and instrumental activity. Personal responsibility had the strongest relationship to other variables in the analysis. Conclusions O-P feelings are more than objective indications of enhancement and reduction of freedom in that O-P feelings are effected by how the individual perceives the condition as well as the condition itself. Condition has greater effect on satisfaction than on success. Under the condition of freedom success and satisfaction tend to merge, while under the condition of constraint perceptions of success and satisfaction were differentiated.