The effects of competence of recipient and source on response to social influence : a reactance theory analysis

Wattie, Barbara Nina (1975) The effects of competence of recipient and source on response to social influence : a reactance theory analysis. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

An experiment was performed to determine the relationship between a person's relative competence and the degree of psychological reactance he experiences in a social influence setting. Forty-two male and thirty-eight female volunteer subjects were paired with a female confederate and given false evaluative feedback following practice at a social judgement task. Four conditions of relative competence were created by crossing two levels (high and low) of subject competence with two levels (high and low) of confederate competence. Two levels of threat (threat and no-threat) were crossed with the four competence conditions to yield a 2x2x2 factorial design. The principle dependent measure was subjects' choice on the influence item. -- Comparisons between the threat and the no-threat groups suggested that reactance was limited to those conditions where the subject and the confederate were of equal competance. When the subjects were led to believe that they were either more or less competent than the confederate, they showed no reactance in their choice on the influence item. -- In addition, comparisons between internal-control and external-control subjects revealed that internals felt less free in making their choices and showed greater reactance on the influence items. Also, subjects with relatively high self-esteem appeared to be the most sensitive to the threatening nature of the confederate's communication. -- Additional analyses were performed on subjects' responses to a final questionnaire to try and explicate the subjects' behavior during the experimental sessions through an examination of their perceptions of their own behavior and of the confederate's behavior. -- Results from these analyses are discussed in terms of the relationship of perceived freedom and perceived threat to the arousal of psychological reactance.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7520
Item ID: 7520
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 71-77.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1975
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Social pressure; Motivation (Psychology)

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