Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


This thesis describes an empirical investigation of the rejection of the deviant and operates under the hypothesis that a powerful leader will be more tolerant of those who disagree with him or her than would a low power leader. Before presenting the results of the study, this chapter will provide an overview of previous work on this topic. In the next few pages I will present a review of the available research concerning group reactions to deviancy, namely that groups reject deviants. Then, I will review available research concerning the psychological effects of power. By the end, this thesis will seek to answer the following question: Will a high power leader include an attitudinal deviant into his/her advisory group more frequently than would a low power leader?

This study tested the effects of power on a leader's acceptance or rejection of a competent attitudinal deviant. Results indicate a strong rejection of the attitudinal deviant. Participants in both the high power and low power condition reported feeling powerful. Therefore, power had no significant effect on the acceptance or rejection of the deviant.