Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

William M. Kallman


The present study examined the perceptions of assertiveness, limited to the situation of ability to refuse requests, by assertive and nonassertive subjects as they rated assertive and nonassertive encoders. Gender differences were also assessed. Subjects were 40 Caucasion male and female undergraduate General Psychology students at a large urban university. Within each gender group there were 10 high-assertive and 10 low-assertive subjects as determined by their scores on the second part of the Conflict Resolution Inventory. The subjects rated videotaped assertive and unassertive encoders on an attractiveness scale, assertiveness scale, and on the Impact Message Inventory, (an interpersonal assessment instrument).

Results indicated that the assertiveness of the encoders was perceived accurately; however, neither the assertiveness nor gender of the decoders produced significant differences in their ratings. The IMI cluster-scores of Dominance and Submission produced significant differences between the assertive male and female encoders and the unassertive male and female encoders. The cluster Friendly was significantly different between the assertive female and the unassertive male and female. The Hostile cluster was not significantly different. The male assertive encoder was also perceived as significantly more dominant than the female assertive encoder.

The assertive female encoder was rated significantly lower in attractiveness than all other encoders and the high—assertive raters rated the assertive female lower in attractiveness than all other ratings. The unassertive female was rated more attractive.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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