Thesis Title

The Immediate Effects Of Extrinsic And Intrinsic Goals On Mood And Immune Response

Author

Kara Marsden

Date of Graduation

Spring 2002

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

James Davis

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of the present study is to evaluate whether or not setting intrinsic and extrinsic goals has an immediate effect on mood and/or the immune system. Subjects met in a group setting with an experimenter who presented them with information, obtained informed consent, and presented them with a questionnaire. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the Intrinsic Goals First Group (IGFG) or the Extrinsic Goals First Group (ECFG). All subjects first gave a sample of their saliva, completed the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist-Revised, a revised likert form of the MAACL-R, an optimism measure, and then the Beck Depression Inventory. For the members of the IGFG, the subjects first answered questions about what academic and career goals they have and how such goals might relate to their autonomy, their personal growth, and to the betterment of others. Upon completion of the questionnaire, the subjects provided another sample of saliva, completed a revised likert form of the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist-Revised, and completed an optimism measure. Next the IGFG participants completed a questionnaire on how their goals might relate to their level of attractiveness, their future financial success, and to their social reputation. Finally, the participants provided another sample of saliva, completed a revised likert form of the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist-Revised, and completed an optimism measure. Members of the ECFG completed an identical procedure with the extrinsic goals questionnaire administered first. The experimenter asked each participant if he or she would like to be involved in a follow-up informational discussion group on goals. Those indicating interest were contacted and provided with additional information about the research and its relevance to the participants. The results demonstrated that the participants who had lower moods benefited (i.e., they exhibited an increase in sIgA, and an improvement on the mood measures) more from writing about both intrinsic and extrinsic goals than did the participants with better mood scores. In addition, those who were lower in mood showed more benefit from writing about extrinsic goals than intrinsic goals.

Copyright

© Kara Marsden

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