Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Corey Miller (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Implicit theories have been extensively studied in educational psychology (e.g. Dweck, 1999; Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Implicit theories have been related to goal orientation, response to failure, attributional style and perception of effort. With a few exceptions (e.g. Heslin, Latham, & VandeWalle, 2005; Martocchio, 1994) the potential applicability of this research to industrial/organizational psychology has been largely ignored. The current study proposed a measure specifically designed to measure implicit theories about work, assessed its relationship to other implicit theory measures, and explored potential relationships with work domain antecedents. Scales assessing conception of ability at work, goal focus, perception of effort, attribution of failure, and utility of training were all created specifically for the study. Correlational analyses demonstrated significant relationships between conception of ability at work and perceptions of effort at work, as well as competence demonstration goal focus. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that conception of ability at work as an implicit theory distinct from other measures of implicit theory.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded