Description: The present study was concerned with the relationship between level of aspiration and anxiety. Level of aspiration is a term used for goal setting behavior. In other words, if a person sets his goals high it is said that he has a high level of aspiration. Anxiety, for the purpose of the present study is assumed to possess drive properties. Theoretically, at least, a highly anxious person has a high drive level. This assumption may be warranted in terms of physiological unrest--causing an effort toward equilibrium or homeostasis; or it can be defended psychologically as the need to achieve or the need to prove one's abilities to himself. However, the present paper was not concerned directly with the current controversy of anxiety as a drive mechanism. Rather it was the general purpose of the study to determine whether or not highly anxious college students set their goals higher, in response to previous experimental success or failure experiences than low anxious students. To be more specific the purpose was to determine whether or not highly anxious subjects differ significantly from low anxious subjects with respect to responses on a level of aspiration task. The particular response measures or scores investigated on the level of aspiration task were those shown between performance on one trial and the stated hoped-for- score, expected score, and the minimal-acceptable-score on the succeeding trial.
Date: August 1964
Creator: Cotten, Larry L.