Publication Date

1989

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Frable, Deborrah Emily Smith, 1957-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of Psychology

LCSH

Cognitive styles||Marginality, Social

Abstract

This research project examined differences in representations of social groups between marginal individuals and non-marginal individuals. Both marginal and non-marginal individuals were expected to have more complex representations of their own group than other groups. However, because they are particularly likely to pay attention to social information, marginal individuals should also describe other marginals more complexly than do nonmarginal individuals. Subjects were black, obese, or "normal.” They repeatedly sorted 33 adjectives into personally meaningful categories. Their objective was to completely describe three target groups: black, obese, and articulate. Cognitive complexity scores were calculated from subjects' sorts, one for each group described. Results revealed that subjects described blacks more complexly than obese and obese more complexly than articulate. However no subject group was particularly likely to generate complex descriptions of all targets. Though the means were in the expected direction, the expected interaction between subject's group and the target group described was non-significant. Additional analyses were performed on two components that make up the cognitive complexity score. The expected interaction was significant when the number of categories used by the subject to describe the target group served as the dependent variable but not when the number of unique item groupings calculated from the subject's descriptions was the dependent variable. Questions arising from the lack of significance of subject's group by group described interaction are discussed.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages 30-32)

Extent

v, 60 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

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

Text

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