Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Martin, Randall B.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology




The focus of this research project is to determine how personality relates to condition ability. Specifically the personality variables introversion-extraversion and anxiety will be investigated as to their effect on conditioning using aversive and non-aversive (appetitive) procedures. The theoretical formulations and empirical evidence relating to the extroversion theory of Eysenck and the drive theory of Spence were reviewed with an aim toward understanding the unification of these two theories attainted by Lovibond. The present research project attempted to test the predictions that emanate from Lovibond's reconciliation of the theories of Spence and Eysenck. Four groups of subjects were used; high anxious extraverts, low anxious extraverts, high anxious introverts and low anxious introverts. Several personality questionnaires were used as criterion measures for the groups. The hypotheses posited by Lovibond and tested in this study were the following: (1) under aversive conditioning procedures the order of conditionability would be high anxious introvert, lows anxious introverts, high anxious extraverts; (2) under appetitive conditioning procedures the order would be low anxious extraverts and then high anxious extraverts. Thirty delayed QSR conditioning trials with a partial reinforcement schedule and give extinction trials were administered with shock and money as the unconditioned stimuli and a tone as the conditioned stimulus. The subjects were run under both appetitive and aversive procedures. Amplitude of anticipatory responses, test trial responses and extinction trial responses were used as the conditionability measures. The data was treated to a complex analysis of variance with six main factors; Anxiety, Extraversion, Sex, Order, Reinforcement and Trials. A second set of analyses were performed which eliminated the Order factor due a possible methodological confounding. The results provided no support for the theory of Lovibond. In none of the six analyses were there any significant between group difference that were predicted by the theory. No strong positive support was found for either the drive theory of Spence or the extraversion theory of Eysenck. There ware some indications of an Anxiety x Sex interaction and an Extroversion x Reinforcement interaction. The results mate discussed in the light of the possibility that personality questionnaires are not a valid measure of the variables under study here. The suggestion of using behavior rating scales and stimulus defined measures of extraversion and anxiety was made. Other suggestion for further research in this area were made.


Includes bibliographical references.


81 pages




Northern Illinois University

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