Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. William E. Walker

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth A. Blick


Previous research on the frustration-aggression hypo­ thesis and safety-signal hypothesis provides the basis for a situational explanation of behavior. Of particular importance are several studies by Hokanson (1961, 1962, 1963, 1966) regarding vascular stress . Several personality variables locus of control, A-Trait and sex; are reviewed in their relevance to the explanation of behavior . This research explores the confluence of both the situational and dispositional perspectives on the prediction of behavior. Two studies are actually presented a one involves the validation of an evaluation instruments and the other investigates individual differences occurring with the use of the form.

In validation of a verbal measure of aggression, 32 Introductory Psychology students were frustrated during a timed mental task. Measures of systolic blood pressure indicated a significant elevation following the frustration manipulation. Sixteen subjects who completed a question- naire evaluating the experimenter, were able to cope with the frustration and return their vascular level to base­ line readings, Sixteen control subjects completed a self­ evaluation questionnaire instead of the evaluation of the experimenter, Vascular measurements following this task indicated significantly higher systolic blood pressures,

Further investigation of the efficacy of the eval­ uation measure was done on 80 Introductory Psychology students previously measured on the Rotter I-E Scale (20 male internals; 20 male externals; 20 female internals; 20 female externals). One-half of the subjects:were placed in a frustration condition similar to that of the validation study and the remaining subjects served as a non-frustration control group. All subjects were given the Experimenter Evaluation Form following the baseline systolic reading, the frustrating/non-frustrating task, and the post-frustration systolic reading. A post­ evaluation reading was taken following the completion of the evaluative-aggressive response. Results indicate vascular differences as well as evaluation/aggression score differences across groups (frustration/control). No significant differences were found across the variables of sex and locus of control. The results are discussed in their relevance to the interactionist perspective on behavior and motivation

Included in

Psychology Commons