James S. Grot

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lotsof, Erwin||Martin, Randall B.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Anxiety; Mentally handicapped


The purpose of this experiment was to a) investigate the validity of employing the Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (CMAS) in an adult retarded population, and b) to extend the knowledge of eyelid conditioning in an adult retarded sample. The CMAS is a more easily understood version of the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale. The Taylor Scale has been shown to have discriminative properties when used with college populations. Several investigators have used the CMAS, since its introduction in 1956, with retarded populations of various chronological and mental ages; but, no validating-type study has been done using the scale to predict conditioning performance as was carried out with the populations used by Taylor. This study hypothesized that adult retarded Ss who scored high on the CMAS would have a significantly greater conditioned response (CR) acquisition rate than would those Ss who scored low on the Scale. Eighty-three male and female adult retarded Ss from the Dixon and Lincoln State Schools were individually administered the CMAS anxiety and lie scales. All Ss had full scale IQ scores between 60 and 90, and none were presently on medication. Three months after the first CMAS presentation the Ss were readministered the scales. After the second test administration, each S was given 80 paired CS (tone)-UCS (air puff) acquisition trials and 20 CS (tone only) extinction trials with a standard eyelid conditioning apparatus. Analyses were performed on the CMAS scales as well as the voluntary and conditioned responses from the conditioning records. The CMAS results indicated that the present group responded in a fashion similar to other retarded groups. Females had a higher mean anxiety score than males. Negative correlations were obtained between IQ and CMAS scores. Also, test-retest reliability was very high over the three month period. A sex by anxiety analysis of variance was performed on both conditioned responses and voluntary responses for acquisition and extinction. The CMAS scores were divided into a low, medium, and high group for these analyses. Results did not support the anxiety hypothesis. While males gave significantly more CRs than females, there were no differences in acquisition among the anxiety levels. The analysis on the voluntary response measure indicated that there was a significant difference among the anxiety levels, but not in a direction meaningful to the hypothesis. Most of the variance in voluntary responding appeared to be due to the performance of the female anxiety groups. No specific conclusions could be made concerning this finding due to a significant age difference among these groups which may have confounded the results. Discussion of the results suggested that the CMAS does not appear to be related to conditioning performance as the Taylor Scale is with college populations. However, since no previous conditioning studies with retardates have used manifest anxiety as an independent variable, and the voluntary response as a dependent variable, it was not possible to compare present results and make definitive conclusions.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


81 pages




Northern Illinois University

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