1 February 2011
Psych 178 – Lecture 9
The Person as a Decision Maker
Do not do the social learning theory assignment
Atkinson’s Theory – Experiment
• Most people will choose C where they can win 50% of the time and there will be a bell curve around this
• You then put this into a mathematical formula to explain why most people will make this selection.
o Atkinson was influenced by Lewin and T is person, G is properties of the goal object/incentive, e is
distance and together these make up the magnitude of force/how hard you are going to work and
which one you are going to choose.
o Person: M smotive for success, instead of temporary state like hunger/thirst, this is a trait and an
individual difference measure).
Ps– likelihood of winning, subjective probability instead of psychological distance
s – incentive of success
Then multiply all three of these values.
o Behaviour is a function of who you are, how likely you are going to get it, and what are you going to
get out of it.
o The incentive of success is not something physical but more the pride you will feel when you
succeed in your achievement. It is how good you feel when you succeed. How good you feel is
equal to 1-Ps. It is dependent on how difficult the task is. How good you feel can be manipulated by
changing the odds.
M s P s Is M s P xsI s