Master's Theses

Department

Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether differences in self- presentation styles lead to differences in tactics used to influence others. Specifically, do consistent and flexible impression managers differ in their use of attributive and/or repudiative tactics in self-report questionnaires? The subjects in this study were 199 undergraduate students, recruited from introductory psychology and sociology courses at Wichita State University. Subjects first completed the Iowa personality Inventory and the Impression Management Checklist (IMC; Olson, 1991), which was used to classify subjects as “consistent” or “flexible”. After completion of the IMC, subjects were given either standard instructions, or instructions which informed subjects that attempts at distortion would be detected. Subjects then completed the Self Presentation Scale (SPS; Roth, Snyder, and Pace, 1986). Before receiving either standard or detectability instructions, 75 of the subjects completed the IMC a second time. A 2 x 2 analysis of variance was used to analyze the data. Self-presentation style (consistent vs. flexible) and instructions (standard vs. detectable) were the independent variables. The dependent variables were subjects' use of attributive and repudiative tactics on the SPS. A differential effect for detectability was expected, such that flexible would use fewer denial tactics under this condition. Only one hypothesis was supported: that consistents would rate themselves more favorably, overall, than flexibles. The IMC was found to have high internal reliability, but modest test- retest reliability. Of the 75 subjects who completed the IMC twice, 61.33 % remained in the same subject classification (consistents vs. flexibles). Most of the subjects (98.l %), however, reported being "very honest" in their responses. Results of this study may have implications regarding validity of self-report measures of personality.

Advisor

Kenneth Olson

Date of Award

Fall 1992

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Rights

© 1992 Deborah J. Tigue

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