Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Scott Allison


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of assigning leadership roles implying varying degrees of social responsibility along with examining lay peoples' perceptions of these roles. Using 105 subjects, a 3 (leadership role) x 2 (resource type) design was used to examine how leaders make decisions about sharing resources in groups. First, 41 subjects rated the perceived degree of social responsibility for each of the 32 roles. In the next phase, another 64 subjects were assigned one of three leadership roles (supervisor, guide, or leader) and were asked to take that type of leader's deserved amount of resource (non-partitioned/sand/ or partitioned/wooden blocks). The results found that the supervisor took significantly more of their resource and also took significantly more time in deciding than did the guide or the leader. Acting more socially responsible, the guide felt more strongly about the necessity to divide equally among all members. Thus, it was concluded from this study that a person behaves significantly different merely from having a certain leadership title. Finally, results from a subsequent cluster analysis of leadership roles described and implications for further study were examined and discussed.

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Psychology Commons