Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


To date, no research has focused on the type A individual’s ability to discriminate between assertion and aggression. Lange and Jakubowski (1976) concluded that before individuals can be assertive they must first be able to discriminate between assertion, aggression and passivity. The purpose of the present research was to determine if type A individuals lack assertiveness and lack the ability to discriminate between assertion, aggression, and passivity. The subjects listened to and rated a tape containing 36 randomly ordered interactions (12 assertive, 12 passive, & 12 aggressive). Fifteen type A individuals and 15 type B individuals were used. To determine if the subjects were type A or B the Jenkins Activity Survey was used. In addition, the subjects’ level of assertiveness was assessed using the Adult Self-Expression Scale, Personal Assertion Analysis, and a self-rated question on assertion. The results indicated that type A individuals made more errors at discriminating assertiveness, aggressiveness and passivity. Type A and B subjects were not found to differ on assertiveness as measured by the ASES. However, on the PAA the two groups differed significantly on both assertiveness and passivity. Results did not indicate a significant difference on aggression between the type A & B individuals on a self-rating questionnaire. Type A individuals perceived themselves to be more assertive than type B individuals. In addition, both groups had an equal understanding of the word assertion. The results are discussed as being characteristic of the business managerial sample used in this study. In addition, the tools used to measure assertiveness, aggressiveness and passivity may not be sensitive enough to accurately measure these constructs. In summary, type A and B individuals do appear to differ with respect to their ability to discriminate between aggression and assertion. Further research needs to be conducted in the area of assertion and type A and B personalities.


David Kleim

Date of Award

Summer 1986

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1986 Lori Ann Aman


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