Date Approved

5-5-2009

Embargo Period

3-17-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Mental Health Counseling and Applied Psychology

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Gaer, Eleanor

Subject(s)

Eyewitness identification; Sex differences (Psychology)

Disciplines

Counseling Psychology

Abstract

This study examined differences in levels of suggestibility with regard to gender and three personality characteristics (self-esteem, self-monitoring, and social desirability) and how these differences apply to matters of eyewitness testimony. A total of 70 undergraduates (37 male, 33 female) completed a memory task followed by three personality inventories (the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Self-Monitoring Scale, and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale) and then a questionnaire relating to the memory task. The dependent variable was number wrong for factual vs. leading questions. More leading questions were answered incorrectly than factual which was a significant difference. A repeated measures ANOVA revealed no overall gender differences in levels of suggestibility, but there were significant differences found independent of gender. There was a significant difference in the number wrong when compared to different levels of self-esteem. Those highest in self-esteem answered the most factual questions correctly and the most leading incorrectly. Data also show gender differences found with regard to the personality variables tested. Females high in self-monitoring got fewer wrong than males, and males medium and high on social desirability got many more wrong than females medium and high in social desirability.

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