Date of Award

12-1996

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Malcolm Robertson

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Spates

Third Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Keller

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

The research was designed to distinguish between high and low anger subjects ( determined by Spielberger, Jacobs, Russell, and Crane's [ 1983] State-Trait Anger Scale) based upon their likelihood to respond differentially to accusatory statements and assertive statements. Statements were presented by audiotape, and implied either distress or anger. Subjects rated these statements [ using an auditory version of Kubany et al. 's ( 1992b) Statement Rating Scale (SRS)] according to their likelihood to respond by feeling animosity or compassion, and by behaving in an antagonistic or conciliatory manner. Scores obtained from the SRS were compared for high and low anger subjects using a 2 X 8 Balanced Split-Plot design.

High and low anger subjects did not differ significantly in their statement ratings for feelings of animosity, compassion, or conciliatory behaviors. The groups differed significantly, however, in their likelihood to react in an antagonistic manner. The results support previous findings that accusatory statements are more aversive than assertive statements, and statements with an anger word are more aversive than statements with a distress word. Clinical implications are discussed regarding the high anger group's significantly greater likelihood to engage in antagonistic behaviors.

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