Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Grush, Joseph E.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Sex role; Intimacy (Psychology); Interpersonal relations


Two interrelated studies were conducted to determine whether females and males with traditional or nontraditional role orientations would differ in their similarity judgments, reported use, and other responses to 13 power strategies associated with intimate relationships. Study 1 compared the multidimensional scaling solutions for the four types of judges in terms of the resulting number of dimensions and the psychological meaning of these dimensions. Study 2 compared the various subject types in terms of power preferences, personal satisfaction, reports of their own use, preferences for their partners' use, and their partners' actual use of the 13 power strategies. In Study 1, criteria of interpretability and parsimony suggested that two-dimensional solutions were appropriate to represent the similarity judgments of all four groups of judges. Coefficients of congruence indicated that the arrays of power strategies along the first dimensions were essentially the same for the various judges. Since evaluation, potency, and activity markers were highly correlated with these arrays, it was concluded that the first dimensions were general positivity-negativity dimensions. Coefficients of congruence indicated that the second dimensions were essentially the same for traditional subjects and somewhat similar for nontraditional subjects. While traditional subjects viewed the power strategies in stereotypic terms (feminine-masculine and risky-safe), nontraditional subjects viewed the strategies in less role-bound ways (spontaneous-contrived). In Study 2, the sexes clearly differed in their preferences for power in intimate relationships. Specifically, females placed less importance on having more influence, showed a greater preference for having equal power, reported more balanced power relationships, and placed greater value on autonomy than did males. Females also considered some masculine strategies (e.g., telling) to be more good, reported using these strategies more often, and tended to express a stronger preference for their partners' use of these strategies than did males. Although not as strong statistically, males showed similar evidence of gender reversals in their endorsement of some feminine strategies (e.g., hinting). The possible effects of semantic differences in Study 1 and social desirability in Study 2 were discussed. Suggestions for dealing with these issues were offered, together with some possibilities for extending the study design. It was concluded that the findings obtained here reflect society's transition away from bipolar assignment of roles between the sexes to an androgynous mixture of roles within both sexes.


Bibliography : pages 75-79.


iv, 113 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type