Locus of control and self-disclosure under conditions of stress and non-stress
Master of Arts
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This study examined the possibility that the apparent adjustment of internal locus of control individuals is due to denial and defensiveness rather than actual adjustment. One hundred and seventeen subjects(thirty-one internals, fifty-one internal-externals, and thirty-five externals) were identified using Rotter's I-E Scale. The dependent measures of state anxiety and self-disclosure were taken under each of two experimental conditions. A pre-test(non-stress) condition allowed for baseline levels of state anxiety and self-disclosure to be obtained. Following a one week interval, all subjects were exposed to a post-test(stress) condition which involved an ego-threatening stress manipulation. The stress manipulation consisted of GATB and PMT tasks which were impossible to complete due to the restricted time limit given. The dependent measures were then taken again. It was hypothesized that all groups would show significantly less self-disclosure after the stress manipulation but that only the internal-external and external groups would report significant anxiety reactivity. Results were in partial agreement with the proposed hypotheses, in that internal male subjects did not show significant anxiety reactivity(F(1,15)=.29,p>.50) while showing a trend towards less disclosure (not significant). This was not true for internal females who reported significant anxiety reactivity(F(1,14)=9.75,p<.01) and showed a trend, though not significant, towards more disclosure. The I-E and E groups both reported significant anxiety reactivity and showed a trend, though not significant, towards more disclosure. Unexpected findings were a low level of self- disclosure for female internal subjects and a positive relationship between anxiety and self-disclosure, such that self-disclosure increased with increasing anxiety. Implications for future research are outlined.