Rewards, locus of control and ideational fluency in preschool children

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between rewards, locus of control and ideational fluency. Forty-three preschool children were initially administered the Revised Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and the Preschool and Primary Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Scale. Based on a median split of the locus of control measure, the children were assigned to either a reward or non-reward condition for the second session. In session two the children were administered two ideational fluency tasks, unusual uses and pattern meanings, under the assigned condition. Four separate 2 (external, internal) x 2 (reward, nonreward) analysis of variance were conducted for four ideational fluency scores (popular, original, total fluency and flexibility scores). No significant effects were found in any of the analyses. However, mean differences suggest that rewards limit ideational fluency while internal locus of-control was related to originality.