Journal of Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences - 1994

Volume 8


Leadership in Student Organizations: An Investigation of Leader Behavior and Group Performance

Carolyn A. Lees and Daniel J. Svyantek

University of Akron

The purpose of this study was to reveal whether or not 2 leadership styles contributed differentially to better overall group performance in student organizations. Participants were members of various student organizations. Participants of these organizations were given 3 brief questionnaires: (a) Group Performance Index (GPI), (b) the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ), and (c) a Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) scale to evaluate the leader style of the president of these organizations and to evaluate the overall performance of the group. A regression analysis showed the LBDQ and LMX predicted group performance. Level of involvement of members was also found to affect group performance. The results indicate that leaders need to use both consideration and structuring behaviors with out-group subordinates in order to attain a higher level of group performance.

Three Faces of Affect and Their Relationships with Performance Evaluations, Vocational Role Satisfaction, and Life Satisfaction

Todd Maurer, Mark Giltrow, and Thomas Wicker

Georgia Institute of Technology

Three components of affect were explored: trait (negative affectivity), state (positive or negative mood), and attitude. These affect variables in university students were examined for relationships with satisfaction with their current vocational role and with their life in general, as well with the students’ evaluations of performance by professors. Results illustrated that each component of affect may contribute independently to predicting reported satisfaction with vocational roles and with life in general. State affect and attitudes contributed to predicting evaluations. These individual difference affect variables could account for the (Spillover) relationship between role and life satisfaction. The study highlights the relevance of the distinct individual difference affect variables as potentially important considerations in vocational or career-related satisfaction and evaluations.

Job Involvement and Health

David A. Zatz

Teachers College, Columbia University

The effects of job involvement on workers’ health have not been investigated as thoroughly as its effects on organizations. This paper reviews the literature on job involvement and physical and mental health; involvement in other aspects of life; role conflict; stress; burnout; anxiety; children’s health; road accidents; and sick leave. Based on these data, we can see more clearly what is known, find new relationships, and discover opportunities for future research.

Change in Depression by College Exposure

Amanda M. Kendall and Harve E. Rawson

Hanover College

Depression has become a significant problem on American college campuses. Previous research investigating whether depression varies by increased exposure (years in school) is contradictory. Overall, this research suggests that freshman should show the highest amounts of depression, followed closely by seniors, then juniors and then sophomores because of the different demands placed on each class. The research also suggests that there should be significant positive correaltions between depression and stress, anxiety and illness. The proportional sample used in this study included students (N =  184) who completed the North American Depression Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the life Experiences Survey, and a Health Questionnaire. A 2 x 4 ANOVA of depression scores revealed a significant interaction between gender and year in school. Female students had marked significant differences in depression by year in school while males did not. Sophomore females reported the highest depression of any group, which suggests that effective intervention is most appropriate at this level. Not surprisingly, depression related highly with anxiety, stress, and reported illness. Implications for counseling are discussed.

Client Perceptions of Counselors Using Personal and Self-Involving Disclosures

Pamela W. McManus and Bethany R. Hampton
Texas Woman’s University

William E.Snell, Jr.
Southeast Missouri State University

Counseling dyads (N= 29) from college counseling centers provided information regarding counselors’ use of personal and self-involving self-disclosures in real life therapy sessions. Clients’ perceptions of their counselor’s expertness was positively related to the counselors’ use of personal self-disclosure, whether disclosure was assessed by either clients or counselors. Counselors’ self-involving disclosures were positively related to the counselor being perceived as attractive when the disclosures were assessed by the clients, but were negatively related to counselors being perceived as expert when the disclosures were assessed by the counselors. Discrepancies between the present investigation on actual therapy and previous analogue research are discussed.

The Direct Effect of Client Attribution Type on Physical Restraint Response Time in Crisis Management

Jeffery W. A. Bush

Centenary College

The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between participant type of attribution with respect to an observed abhorrent behavior and the actual time the participants took in deciding to respond with the use of physical restraint. Employees of 5 Northern New Jersey agencies serving individuals with developmental disabilities were led, with the use of mock client files, toward the development of either a situational or dispositional attribution and then asked to view a video of the same client in crisis and to indicate the point at which they would intervene physically. ANOVA demonstrated a significant difference between the situation and disposition groups.

The Effectiveness of Relaxation Training and Coping Statement Treatments in Reducing Competitive Stress

Christopher J. Koch

University of Georgia

Relaxation training has traditionally been used by sport psychologists to reduce the arousal level in athletes thereby allowing them to perform under more “stressful” situations. Consistent with Neiss’ (1990) criticism of the Inverted-U Law, it would seem that relaxation would produce a biological state that is incompatible with competition. Thus, the effectiveness of relaxation versus coping statements was examined. Participants (N = 60) were randomly assigned into 1 of 6 treatment conditions (control, relaxation, motor and efficacy statements, and relaxation with motor and efficacy statements). Performance and anxiety scores were obtained during 3 test conditions (pre and post-treatment and follow-up). Results suggest that motor and efficacy statements and relaxation produce similar effects on performance with relaxation efficacy treatment being the most effective treatment for competitive stress. A model is presented which describes the interactive role of relaxation and coping statements in competitive stress therapy.

Female Adolescent Decision of Whose Advice to Follow: Effects of Expectations and Self-Esteem

Keith R. Happaney
University of California, Santa Barbara

Vincent Prohaska
Lehman College, City University of New York

Issues concerning adolescent decision-making are addressed. First, are there differences in the advice that an adolescent expects to receive from parents and peers? Second, does an adolescent’s decision about whose advice should be followed reflect these expectations? Third, does an adolescent’s self-esteem affect her advice expectations and her decision about whose advice to follow? Female high school students from an all-girl parochial high school read decision situations faced by a female character and chose the advice they thought the character would most likely receive from parents and peers. They also indicated whose advice they thought the character should follow. Significant differences were found in expectations of parental and peer advice. Subjects expected parental advice better than peer advice and demonstrated a tendency toward parent compliance. A positive correlation was found between expectations of parental and peer advice and self-esteem.

Gender Stereotypes and Physical Spousal Abuse: Investigating Perceptual Biases in Mock Juror Evaluations

Joanne Swystun and Jefferey E. Pfeifer

University of Regina

Although the issue of wife battering has received much attention recently, a review of the literature on physical spousal abuse suggests that abuse of males by females, or husband battering may be on the increase. Research also indicates that individuals maintain cognitive biases or stereotypes regarding gender issues involving violence between men and women. In order to examine the possible effects of these cognitions on the judicial process, mock jurors evaluated 1 of 2 versions of spousal abuse trial, which manipulated the gender of the defendant and the victim. After reading the trial summary, participants were asked to rate the guilt of the defendant as well as indicate the confidence they had in their decision. Participants also completed questionnaires regarding their perceptions of the existence of spousal abuse as well as their attitudes toward women. Results indicate that male defendants are rated significantly guiltier than female defendants are, and that all participants tend to hold traditional attitudes toward women.

Deductive Reasoning, Cultural Tolerance and Sex Role Orientation Flexibility

Joseph J. Horton and Anita M. Meehan

Kutztown University

This study examined Nielsen’s (1987) hypotheses that flexibility of sex role orientation and tolerance for cultural gender roles would be related to Piagentian stage. The participants were N = 85 Kutztown University students (n = 54 females, n = 31 males). Participants were assigned to high and low logical reasoning groups. Participants were categorized as flexible or inflexible in sex role orientation. Cultural tolerance was assessed by responses to questions following four passages. A repeated measures ANOVA was employed to analyze data to assess the hypothesis that deductive reasoning would be related to cultural tolerance. No significant main effects were revealed. ANOVA did reveal a significant interaction factor between gender and flexibility of sex role orientation. Also significant was the interaction between gender and passage. A broader measure of cognitive level might prove more fruitful in future research.

The Influence of Conflicting Decision Frames on Decision-Making under Uncertainty

Jennifer L. McLucas and Daniel J. Svyantek

University of Akron

The present study was designed to investigate the effects of complementary and conflicting decision frames on decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. Decision problems (6) were framed in terms of gains and losses for the individual making the decision (Personal Risk Information) and the people who would be impacted by the decision (Others’ risk Information). It was hypothesized that the conflicting decision frames would interact when influencing participant’s choices. Results did not indicate support for the prediction of an interaction effect between the Personal Risk frame and Others’ Risk frames. Results show that the framing effect occurs for only 1 source of information per decision. Plausible explanations and implications for research were discussed.

The Effect of Second Language Learning Environment on Perception of Sandhi-Variation

Noriko Nagatsuka and William P. Needham

Division of Natural Sciences
Purchase College, State University of New York

For second language learners, knowledge of grammar and vocabulary is often not enough to comprehend all speech. Normal speech contains phonological variations such as contractions, reduction, and assimilation, referred to as “sandhi-variation” (SV). Henrichsen (1984) experimentally demonstrated that the presence of SV reduces the speech comprehension of ESL learners. In the present day study, we tested a further hypothesis that SV would reduce comprehension more for language learners who had received mainly classroom education in English than for learners who had been exposed to a natural environment of spoken English. Japanese living in Westchester served as participants (n = 33) adolescents who had no English education in Japan but schooling here in an English environment, and n = 38 adults who had English language education in Japan but minimal contact with English here. A listening test of English sentences with and without SV was administered. From each group of participants, we took subgroups, which matched in listening performance in the absence of SV. The results support our hypothesis and suggests that language learners’ exposure to SV may play an important role in improving their ability to understand natural speech.