Living in an uncertain world: Manipulating secondary control

Parkhurst, Rosie (2011). Living in an uncertain world: Manipulating secondary control Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Parkhurst, Rosie
Thesis Title Living in an uncertain world: Manipulating secondary control
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Stephanie Tobin
Total pages 57
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Secondary controlCausal uncertainty beliefs are continual doubts about a person’s ability to detect the causes of events in the social world. For some people, these beliefs are persistently accessible. Due to the association between causal uncertainty and negative psychological outcomes, the present study was concerned with testing strategies for uncertainty management. Secondary control can moderate the relationship between causal uncertainty and negative affect by increasing adjustment and acceptance to uncontrollable events. The present study aimed to manipulate secondary control, and used a scrambled sentence priming task to do this. Seventy three participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions, designed to prime high or low secondary control. Participants’ state affect and endorsement of secondary control beliefs were used as dependent measures. It was predicted that participants would have higher secondary control beliefs after the high secondary control primes, compared to after the low secondary control primes. It was also predicted that the primes would moderate the relationship between causal uncertainty and negative affect, such that for participants who received the high secondary control primes, higher causal uncertainty would not be associated with greater negative affect. For participants who received the low secondary control primes, higher causal uncertainty would be associated with greater negative affect. No effect of condition was found on secondary control beliefs or affect. Main effects of causal uncertainty were found for secondary control beliefs and affect, such that such that higher levels of causal uncertainty were associated with lower positive affect, secondary control beliefs and higher negative affect. A relationship between perceived control and causal uncertainty was found, such that at lower levels of causal uncertainty and perceived control, people endorsed secondary control beliefs less. The results were discussed in terms of theoretical implications and directions for future research.
Keyword Casual uncertainty
Negative psychological outcomes
Secondary control

 
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Created: Mon, 25 Jun 2012, 15:17:44 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology