Effect of experimenter's race, sex and presence of rewards on delay preference of black males

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Martin S. Greenberg
Robert Holmes
Cite this article:  Greenberg, M., & Holmes, R. (1978). Effect of experimenter's race, sex and presence of rewards on delay preference of black males. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 6(2), 155-162.


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This study examined the effect of the experimenter's race and sex and the visual presence or absence of rewards on black children's preference for larger delayed rewards versus smaller immediate rewards. Forty-eight black males with a mean age of 5 years 7 months were randomly assigned to one of eight cells of a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design. Using a paradigm developed by Mischel and Ebbesen, subjects were placed in a situation whereby they could receive a preferred reward if they waited 15 minutes or a less preferred reward if they chose not to wait. The dependent variable was the amount of time waited. Whereas previous research has shown that reward absence facilitates preference for delayed rewards, the significant 3-way interaction found in the present study indicates that when the experimenter was white and female, the absence of rewards inhibited rather than facilitated preference for delayed rewards. Results were viewed as supporting the situational specificity of delay preference.
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