Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1971

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Ronald G. Smith


30 male and female Ss from undergraduate psychology classes were assigned, 10 each, to 1 of 3 experimental groups. One group was shown 4 “irrational” followed by 4 ”rational” triads (IR); one group was shown 4 “irrational” followed by 4 “neutral” triads (IN); and, one group was shown 4 “neutral” followed by 4 “irrational” triads (NI). During presentation of triads, skin resistance and heart rate were recorded. The triads were presented in an attempt to induce and subsequently reduce emotional arousal as measured by the automatic indices. The purpose of the experiment was to investigate Albert Ellis’ Rational-Emotive theory of psychotherapy. It was populated that those Ss who initially received irrational triads would be significantly more aroused than those who initially received neutral triads. Also, it was postulated that the IR group would show less arousal after presentation of the rational triads than would the IN group after presentation of the neutral triads. The results failed to confirm the hypotheses.


Copyright 1971 Francis K. Begnoche


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