Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Psychology


Britt, Thomas W

Committee Member

Taylor , Mary

Committee Member

Switzer , Fred


This study examined the effects of budget constraints on task performance, and the moderating effect of autonomous motivation on the constraint-performance relationship in a simulated work situation. Level of budget constraints (none, low, high) and motivation (external versus identified) were manipulated to examine their effects on performance, frustration, and self efficacy. Study participants were randomly assigned to either one of six experimental groups (no constraint X identified motivation, low constraint X identified motivation, high constraint X identified motivation, no constraint X external motivation, low constraint X external motivation, high constraint X external motivation) and instructed to complete an assigned budgeting task. After completing the task, they were asked to rate their levels of perceived constraints, frustration, and self efficacy, as well as subjective task importance. Finally, using slightly modified versions of Ryan and Connell's (1989) Self-Regulation Scale, participants were asked to rate their levels of the five distinct motivation types toward the task. Results from the experimental groups revealed significant main effects for constraints on performance and frustration; however motivation did not moderate either relationship. A discussion of the results as well as limitations and directions for future research are also presented.

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