Date of Award
Program or Major
Doctor of Philosophy
The present dissertation examines the well-established research paradigm known as the illusion of control. Until now, researchers have employed one basic paradigm which has addressed the illusion of control as a unidimensional phenomenon. In Study 1, 91 female undergraduates were presented with three induction conditions used by previous researchers. Factor analyses showed that judgments from these tasks did not tap into a single process, but rather fell into two types of illusory judgments--belief- and contingency-based. In Study 2, 182 female undergraduates were exposed to the same three induction conditions used in Study 1 plus two additional contingency tasks. As in Study 1, the results from factor analyses demonstrated a multidimensional factor structure in which contingency judgments were differentiated from performance judgments. In addition, judgments based on time-line contingency tasks loaded separately from contingency judgments from the key and light task. Study 2 identified two groups of behavior. Participants' self-reported likelihood of voting in the 1996 presidential election and frequency of prayer were labeled as control-based behavior. Frequency of reading published horoscopes and giving higher validity rating to them were labeled as belief-based behavior. The results showed that the different illusion factors interacted differentially with desire for control and level of belief in the paranormal when predicting belief-based and control-based behavior. Judgment type also interacted differentially with desire for control and paranormal belief when predicting reports of overall happiness. Finally, methodological implications for future research were discussed.
Presson, Paul Keith, "The multidimensionality of illusory judgments: Reexamination of illusion of control research" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations. 1955.