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Research Article  |   April 1984
Choice Making in Group and Individual Activity
Author Affiliations
  • Alexis D. Henry, M.S., OTR, is a Service Occupational Therapist, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts, 02178
  • David L. Nelson, Ph.D., OTR, is Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215
  • Linda W. Duncombe, M.S., OTR, is Assistant Clinical Professor of Occupational Therapy, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215
Article Information
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Research Article   |   April 1984
Choice Making in Group and Individual Activity
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1984, Vol. 38, 245-251. doi:10.5014/ajot.38.4.245
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1984, Vol. 38, 245-251. doi:10.5014/ajot.38.4.245
Abstract

A guiding premise of occupational therapy practice is that it is beneficial to allow clients freedom of choice in selecting and participating in activities. This study examined subjects’ affective responses to having or lacking freedom of choice in completing an activity and explored how those responses might differ when subjects did the activity in individual as opposed to group settings. Forty female undergraduate and graduate students participated in an origami activity under four different experimental conditions: a) individual–choice; b) individual–no choice; c) group–choice; and d) group–no choice. Afterward, each subject rated how she felt about herself while participating in the activity by using Osgood’s semantic differential designed to elicit responses in terms of three affective factors: evaluation, power, and activity. Data analysis revealed an interaction between the two independent variables on the power factor such that subjects who were not permitted choice responded significantly differently from those who were permitted choice only in the group setting. Implications of this finding for occupational therapy practice are discussed.