Task construction and persistence as means for self-assessment of abilities

Yaacov Trope, Ella Ben-Yair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Exp I, 80 18-22 yr old Israelis performed 2 tasks and received feedback designed to manipulate independently the uncertainty regarding their standing on 2 abilities. Ss were then allowed to construct new tasks by determining the number of items from these ability domains. As predicted, the number of items chosen from each ability domain was directly related to Ss' uncertainty in that ability, so that the self-constructed tasks were predominantly composed of problems assessing the ability of which Ss were least certain. In Exp II, 80 17-28 yr olds worked as much as they wished on a task varying in diagnostic value and received either success or failure trial-by-trial feedback. It was expected that persistence would decrease with task diagnosticity. Results support this prediction and demonstrate that Ss were equally persistent when succeeding and failing. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-645
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1982


  • ability feedback &
  • persistence, 17-22 yr olds
  • task construction, new task construction &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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