Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Engelmann, Hugo

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


Stress (Physiology); Power (Social sciences)


This study was intended to test a specific hypothesis concerning power dominatedness and tension manifestation. The hypothesis was derived from systemic dynamic social theory and its offshoot, interaction frequency theory. In this theory, power exercise is defined as an interaction in which the interactive behavior patterns are produced by a behavior limiting process, Tension is delineated as a sudden reduction in the complexity of behavior, concomitant with a corresponding increase in the intensity of behavior. Both power dominatedness and tension are related to the more basic variable of interaction frequency. A questionnaire was constructed to measure the concepts mentioned. I obtained results that indicated a homogeneous population, I also obtained a low correlation between power and tension. Further examination of the data led us to separate interaction frequency scores into several levels. Using mean power dominatedness and tension manifestation scores for each level, I obtained actual curves in line with the hypothetical curves. The results also indicated that two different types of aggression, activist and tension-generated, had not been properly differentiated. I did not expect my subjects to function at interaction frequency levels at which the distinction in question would become important. Accordingly, the questions asked did not differentiate between the two types of aggression. Analysis of the questionnaire showed that an ex post facto separation of answers, in the appropriate manner was not feasible.


Includes bibliographical references.


vi, 61 pages




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