Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This study examined the relationship between the adaptive-innovative cognitive style, experienced control, and anxiety in work situations. A questionnaire packet was distributed to the faculty and administrators at a middle-sized midwestern state university. The questionnaires included the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory to measure cognitive problem solving style, the Experience Control Work Situations Scale, to measure the individuals experienced control in different work situations, and the Spielberger State/Trait Anxiety Inventory measuring the level of state and trait anxiety the individual feels in their life. The results of this study indicated that adaptors and innovators do report experienced control differently in work situations. It was found that adaptor feel controlled from the environment (external forces) in most situations. Innovators indicated that they felt control over themselves (internal drives and pressures) and the environment in most situations and control from themselves in many situations. The results of this study indicate that adaptors and innovators feel stress differently in different situations. Adaptors also appeared to exhibit high levels of coping (as measured by the ECWSS) in fewer work situations than did innovators. Finally, it was found that adaptors and innovators are evenly distributed throughout a university setting. These results are discussed as they apply to the hiring, team building, and counseling practices in organizations.


Phyllis G. Tiffany

Date of Award

Summer 1988

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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