Alexis D. Henry, David L. Nelson, Linda W. Duncombe; Choice Making in Group and Individual Activity. Am J Occup Ther 1984;38(4):245–251. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.38.4.245
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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.
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