Perceived contingency of skill and chance events: A developmental analysis


Journal Article

60 kindergartners, 4th graders, and 8th graders and 32 college students took part in a game of chance and a game of skill. After each game, Ss predicted the winnings of other players who differed in certain attributes (e.g., IQ) and behavior (e.g., effort) that would influence only skill outcomes. On both chance and skill tasks, older Ss expected the variations in attributes and behavior to have less impact on task outcomes than did younger Ss. Older Ss were more adept at making predictions that reflected the contingency of skill and the noncontingency of chance. Kindergartners showed no ability to make the skill-chance distinction. Fourth graders were aware of the distinction at a gross qualitative level, but they were unaware of some of the most important logical implications of that distinction. Eighth graders and college students were aware of the skill-chance distinction and most of its logical implications, yet their predictions revealed a lingering belief that chance outcomes could be influenced slightly by variations in people's attributes and behavior. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1982 American Psychological Association.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Weisz, JR; Yeates, KO; Robertson, D; Beckham, JC

Published Date

  • November 1, 1982

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 898 - 905

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0012-1649.18.6.898

Citation Source

  • Scopus