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 Department: Department of Psychology
 Degree Discipline: Experimental Psychology
An Examination of a Framework for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Correlates: Exploring the Roles of Narrative Centrality and Negative Affectivity

An Examination of a Framework for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Correlates: Exploring the Roles of Narrative Centrality and Negative Affectivity

Date: August 2016
Creator: Southard-Dobbs, Shana
Description: Recent estimates suggest that a large percentage of the population experiences some type of traumatic event over the course of the lifetime, but a relatively small proportion of individuals develop severe, long-lasting problems (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD). One major goal for trauma researchers is to understand what factors contribute to these differential outcomes, and much of this research has examined correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. An important next step in this line of research is the development of conceptual frameworks to foster a deeper understanding of the relationships among these diverse predictors of PTSD and their predictive power in relation to each other. A framework proposed by Rubin, Boals, and Hoyle centers on the influence of narrative centrality (construal of a traumatic experience as central to one's identity and to the life story) and negative affectivity (the tendency to experience negative emotion and to interpret situations and experiences in a negative light), suggesting many variables may correlate with PTSD symptoms via shared variance with these two factors. With a sample of 477 participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, this dissertation project extended the work of Rubin and colleagues by a) utilizing structural equation modeling techniques to ...
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Mock Juror Effects of Blame and Conviction in Rape Cases: Do Attitudes, Beliefs, and Contact with Homosexuals Matter?

Mock Juror Effects of Blame and Conviction in Rape Cases: Do Attitudes, Beliefs, and Contact with Homosexuals Matter?

Date: May 2016
Creator: Hurst-McCaleb, Dawn
Description: The current case involves a female rape victim. Research has shown the level of victim blaming can be elevated if the victim is a lesbian woman compared to a heterosexual woman. Mock jurors’ responses to personality trait questionnaires (e.g., Belief in a Just World, Attitudes Toward Women, Attitudes Toward Lesbians) and amount of contact they have with homosexual people were employed as predictors of how they would decide victim blaming and perpetrator guilt. Personality trait findings were not good predictors; however, greater contact with homosexuals did decrease negative attitudes toward lesbian victims. Limitations and implications for future research are addressed.
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Learned Helplessness: The Result of the Uncontrollability of Reinforcement or the Result of the Uncontrollability of Aversive Stimuli?

Learned Helplessness: The Result of the Uncontrollability of Reinforcement or the Result of the Uncontrollability of Aversive Stimuli?

Date: August 1975
Creator: Benson, James S.
Description: This research demonstrates that experience with uncontrollable reinforcement, here defined as continuous non-contingent positive feedback to solution attempts of insoluble problems, fails to produce the proactive interference phenomenon, learned helplessness, while uncontrollable aversive events, here defined as negative feedback to solution attempts of insoluble problems, produces that phenomenon. These results partially support the "learned helplessness" hypothesis of Seligman (1975) which predicts that experience with uncontrollable reinforcement, the offset of negative events or the onset of positive ones, results in learning that responding is independent of reinforcement and that learning transfers to subsequent situations. This research further demonstrates that experience with controllability, here defined as solubility, results in enhanced competence.
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The Effect of Monetary Reward and Knowledge of Results on Complex-Choice Reaction Times

The Effect of Monetary Reward and Knowledge of Results on Complex-Choice Reaction Times

Date: May 1975
Creator: Davies, Terry Barnett
Description: This investigation was designed to determine relative effects of monetary reward and knowledge of results on complex-choice reaction time tasks. Subjects were twenty-five male and thirty-two female undergraduate students. Apparatus consisted of nine stimulus lights and eight response keys. Subjects were required to add the number of lights presented, subtract the sum from a constant, and press the correctly numbered response key. Reward subjects received twenty-five cents for responses faster than a predetermined criterion, and twenty-five cents was deducted for slower responses. Knowledge of results subjects were told their reaction times after each trial. Results indicated (1) no significant differences between any conditions, (2) a significant overall practice effect (.01 level), and (3) that males were significantly faster than females (.01 level).
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The Influence of Transcendental Meditation on Anxiety

The Influence of Transcendental Meditation on Anxiety

Date: December 1974
Creator: Floyd, William T., III
Description: This study was concerned with the degree to which the practice of transcendental meditation (TM) aids in the long-term reduction of anxiety. The Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (TMAS), short form, was given to 16 Ss about to learn the technique of TM and to 16 control Ss. Eighteen weeks later, the TMAS was again administered to both groups. A significant difference was found in TMAS score reduction between the two groups, with the meditation group showing the greater reduction. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that TM aids in the long-term reduction of anxiety. It is recommended that further research in this area be undertaken to further validate the results of this study.
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Provocative Versus Neutral Role-Playing Prompts and Assertive Behavior

Provocative Versus Neutral Role-Playing Prompts and Assertive Behavior

Date: December 1979
Creator: General, Dale A.
Description: The behavior role-playing task (BRPT) has become a popular method of assessing assertive behavior. However, current research suggests that situational factors can affect the outcome of such assessments, independently of the subject's level of assertiveness. The present study investigated the effects of one such factor: the type of prompt delivered during the BRPT. It was hypothesized that subjects would respond more assertively to provocatively prompted scenes than to neutral scenes. Twenty nursing students were exposed to BRPTs involving both provocative and neutral role-player prompts. The results revealed that while provocative BRPTs generated significantly greater amounts of self-reported anger and anxiety than did the neutral BRPTs, there were no significant differences in response latency, duration, or assertive content between the two conditions.
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Passive and Active Avoidance Learning in Depressives

Passive and Active Avoidance Learning in Depressives

Date: December 1979
Creator: Weeks, Randall E.
Description: In order to aid in the understanding of the personality components that contribute to the symptoms of depression, the learning process of persons labeled as depressed was examined. Twenty female subjects who were either receiving or being evaluated for psychotherapy participated in this study. Based on MMPI and DACL scores, 10 depressed and 10 nondepressed subjects were placed in avoidance learning situations. An active avoidance situation required making the correct button press to avoid a sounding buzzer; the absence of the button-pressing response constituted a passive avoidance situation, There was no significant difference between the two groups in learning across avoidance conditions, Depressives were found 'to be less persistent in responding than were nondepressives. Results were explained as supporting a learned helplessness model of depression.
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Patient Behaviors: Development of a Rating System

Patient Behaviors: Development of a Rating System

Date: May 1980
Creator: Martin-Cannici, Cynthia Elaine
Description: The patient's failure to cooperate effectively in the patient/physician (patient and physician) interaction has been shown to be a problem of significant magnitude. In the present study, an attempt was made to identify specific, patient behaviors which might be related to physician judgment of a good patient and progress of treatment. A checklist of 37 behaviors was compiled. A series of 100 patients was observed during their interaction with physicians and occurrences of behaviors from the checklist were noted by an experimenter. Physicians also indicated whether the patient was considered to be a good patient and whether treatment was progressing as expected. For every third patient, physicians noted the occurrence of behaviors from the checklist. An association was found between some behaviors from the checklist and the physicians' judgment. There was also shown to be a difference in the ability of the experimenter and the physicians involved to detect these behaviors.
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Peer Counselor Effectiveness in a Study Skills Course

Peer Counselor Effectiveness in a Study Skills Course

Date: May 1980
Creator: Till, Steven Michael
Description: Research has demonstrated the efficacy of attitudinal-motivational counseling in conjunction with study skills training. However, it has not been clear whether group or individual counseling was most beneficial. This research attempted to evaluate the usefulness of peer counselors in group and individual counseling sessions. Using students voluntarily enrolled in a study skills program, it was demonstrated that all students improved in study habit scores. However, only individual-peer counseling was effective in changing academic attitudes (p < . 05), as compared to group-peer counseling, no-counseling, and no-treatment conditions. Grade-point-average change scores were not differentially effected by the treatment conditions.
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Hedonic Versus Predictive Inhibition of Avoidance Responding in Rats

Hedonic Versus Predictive Inhibition of Avoidance Responding in Rats

Date: December 1976
Creator: Lipscomb, Robert Scrivener
Description: Traditional two-process theory predicts that a conditioned stimulus (CS) paired with shock offset on Pavlovian trials will inhibit operant avoidance responding. Two explanations of the inhibitory mechanism involved were compared: contemporaneous pairing of CS with a hedonic relief reaction versus the predictive, discriminative relationship of CS to the non-shock interval. The pattern of avoidance inhibition associated with cessation CSs paired with electric shocks of constant duration was expected to be different from the pattern accompanying cessation CSs paired with shocks of variable duration. Mean rates of responding by the two groups were compared by analysis of covariance using baseline as the covariate. Neither CS displayed any reliably observable effects on avoidance rates. Possible procedural flaws and compatible improvements are discussed.
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Skills Acquisition and Cognitive Restructuring Operations in Training Assertive Behaviors

Skills Acquisition and Cognitive Restructuring Operations in Training Assertive Behaviors

Date: May 1979
Creator: Lefebvre, R. Craig
Description: Behavioral and cognitive skills training for increasing assertive behavior in college students were compared to an equally credible expectancy-control. One significant multivariate function successfully discriminated between the behavioral and control groups, and between the cognitive and control groups. This function was interpreted as showing enhanced behavioral/cognitive construction competencies in the behavioral and cognitive groups. A second function, though not significant, suggested that the cognitive training resulted in more aggressive behavior.
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The Effect of Hypothalamic Stimulation on the Phagocytic Activity of the Reticuloendothelial System

The Effect of Hypothalamic Stimulation on the Phagocytic Activity of the Reticuloendothelial System

Date: December 1979
Creator: Lambert, Paul Louis
Description: Although research has linked the central nervous system with changes in immunoresponsivity, research on the possible role of the central nervous system in altering reticuloendothelial activity is lacking. This study investigated the possible relationship between hypothalamic structures and changes in responsivity of the reticuloendothelial system. Eight male albino rats received bilateral electrode implants in the ventromedial area of the hypothalamus and, following brain stimulation, reticuloendothelial activity was assessed 3, 6, 12, 24, and 96 hours after stimulation. Brain stimulation decreased phagocytic activity of the reticuloendothelial system. These findings may increase our understanding of a possible neural mechanism underlying relationships between stress and resistance to disease states.
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Structural Aspects of Loevinger's Model of Ego Development

Structural Aspects of Loevinger's Model of Ego Development

Date: August 1985
Creator: Harrison, James Ray
Description: The study reviews the structural and psychometric underpinnings of Loevinger's theory of ego development. It is noted that the current literature investigating the validity of Loevinger's model has not adequately addressed the structural assumptions of the theory. "Process" variables are hypothesized to vary depending on the process of structural change. Two such variables, cognitive complexity and the organization of cognitive constructs, were measured in 73 college students, staff, and faculty members in three North Texas institutions. Level of ego development, measured by the Washington University Sentence Completion Test, was assessed in each subject and the pattern of cognitive complexity and construct organization was evaluated across ego levels. Results offer only limited support for the stage model's structural assumptions. Discussion highlights several inadequacies in Loevinger's instrument and offers a direction for possible revision. Implications of the results are examined in terms of current theoretical issues.
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Learned Helplessness: Effect on Working Memory and Fluid Intelligence

Learned Helplessness: Effect on Working Memory and Fluid Intelligence

Date: August 1984
Creator: Fernandez, Peter, 1961-
Description: To determine if learned helplessness treatment debilitates human working memory and fluid intelligence, 60 university students, classified as high or low self-monitors, were assigned to one of three treatments: intermittent (50%) controllable positive feedback, uncontrollable (yoked) negative feedback, and no treatment. Test tasks included backward digit and backward spatial span (representing working memory), matrices (representing fluid intelligence), vocabulary (representing crystallized intelligence), and forward digit and forward spatial span (representing immediate span of apprehension). Results generally were not significant and were discussed as possibly due to ineffective treatment procedure. Further research on this topic is needed.
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Highway Abuse and Violence: Motorists' Experiences as Victims

Highway Abuse and Violence: Motorists' Experiences as Victims

Date: May 1984
Creator: McAlhany, Deborah A.
Description: Only circumscribed aspects of highway aggression have been investigated. The upsurge of abuse and violence transpiring between motorists necessitated a more definitive depiction of the actual events, participants, and relevant contextual features. A questionnaire administered to 120 motorists, aged 18 to 68, solicited a recountal of incidents occurring within 12 months and a description of their most recent encounter. Based on severity of experience, subjects were relegated to distal threat, direct threat, and nonvictim groups. Although most events involved unreported distal threats lasting less than three minutes, men and non-college graduates were more often directly threatened, while non-victims were predominantly women and college graduates. Perpetrators were primarily unknown Caucasian males who generally aggressed in populated areas during afternoon hours.
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Postoperative Neuropsychological Outcomes in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Surgery

Postoperative Neuropsychological Outcomes in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Surgery

Date: December 2013
Creator: Bailey, Laurie J.
Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the neuropsychological outcomes of pediatric subjects undergoing temporal lobe surgery, and then compare the outcomes between subjects in the iMRI and the standard operating suites. This study involved 77 children ages one to 21 years (M = 11.98) at time of surgery for intractable epilepsy. Forty-seven returned for repeat neuropsychological assessment. At baseline, subjects with early onset of epilepsy (≤ 7 years) scored worse on a measure of attention (p = .02), FSIQ (p < .01), perceptual reasoning (p < .01), and processing speed (p = .06). At one-year follow-up, interactions were observed for the response style domain of the attention measure (p = .03), FSIQ (p = .06) and working memory (p = .08). Follow-up at one year, for the group as a whole, revealed decline in verbal memory (p = .04) and reading comprehension (p = .02); and improvement for word reading (p = .05). No significant differences were observed between the iMRI and standard operating suite. Though, hemisphere, duration of epilepsy, preoperative seizure frequency, lesional disease, seizure type, presence of epileptogenic focus, and number of lobes involved accounted for variance in neuropsychological outcomes. These results provide further support for ...
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An Osmoreceptive Zone Around the Nucleus Circularis

An Osmoreceptive Zone Around the Nucleus Circularis

Date: August 1985
Creator: Wallace, Forrest Layne
Description: The nucleus circularis has been linked to a role in regulating osmotic thirst but evidence has also shown that full bilateral destruction of the nucleus circularis was not necessary to achieve a deficit in drinking behavior after an osmotic challenge. The present study attempted to answer two primary research questions. The first question was whether osmoreceptive cells existed around the nucleus circularis in a homogeneous fashion or if these cells existed in a structured fashion stretching from the nucleus circularis forward. The second question was whether animals with lesions of the nucleus circularis and the surrounding areas were different in normal daily water intake than animals with no lesions. The first question was approached by lesioning the nucleus circularis, the area one millimeter anterior to the nucleus circularis, one millimeter posterior to the nucleus circularis, one half of a millimeter medial to the nucleus circularis and using a sham group which had the electrode passed through the brain to a spot one millimeter above the nucleus circularis but passing no current. All animals were then given an osmotic challenge which consisted of half of each group with an injection of hypertonic saline while the other half of each group was ...
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Effect of Task Appropriateness, Social Comparison, and Feedback on Female Goals, Performance, and Self-Confidence with a Motor Task

Effect of Task Appropriateness, Social Comparison, and Feedback on Female Goals, Performance, and Self-Confidence with a Motor Task

Date: May 1990
Creator: Adler, William P.
Description: Lenney (1977) concluded that achievement gender differences were predicted by females' lower self confidence and expectancies in competitive situations, identifying three variables that mediated female self confidence in achievement situations, (1) task appropriateness. (2) social comparison, and (3) feedback. The present study manipulated all three mediating variables with 240 undergraduate 18-25 year old female subjects with the pursuit rotor task that requires tracking a moving (40 rpm's) white light with a hand-held stylus for 60 seconds. Response measurement was based upon time on target. Subjects were tested over five trials while setting goals for each trial. Females were randomly assigned to a male appropriate, female appropriate, or gender neutral task condition, a competition or alone condition, and to one of four feedback conditions (no feedback, feedback about own performance only, feedback about own performance that provided the perception that subject was performing better than an opponent and/or average on each trial, or feedback about own performance that provided the perception that subject was performing poorer than an opponent and/or average on each of the five trials). Results from the 2 (social comparison) X 3 (task appropriateness) X 4 (feedback) ANOVA were contradictory to previous findings (Corbin, 1981; Petruzzello & Corbin, ...
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Handedness, Perceptual and Short Term Memory Asymmetries, and Personality

Handedness, Perceptual and Short Term Memory Asymmetries, and Personality

Date: August 1985
Creator: Wilcox, Gary A. (Gary Alden)
Description: A large body of research has depicted relative arousal of the left and right cerebral hemispheres as related to utilization of particular defensive coping styles, level of anxiety, and perceptual styles. The right and left hemispheres are also presented in the literature as differing in visual-spatial and verbal-auditory short term memory abilities. The present research studied 127 right handed undergraduates' relative performance on forward spatial and digits memory spans in relation to hemispheric lateralization and other perceptual and personality variables hypothesized in the literature to be related to hemispheric arousal. It was hypothesized that the forward spatial and digit memory spans would display asymmetrical sensitivity to hemispheric arousal. That is, in a series of successive factor analyses, a hemispheric balance factor, a trait anxiety factor, and a short term memory factor would emerge. The three factors were hypothesized to be unrelated to each other. During an initial group pretesting, subjects were given pencil and paper measures of handedness, trait anxiety, and several defensive coping styles. During a second individual testing, subjects were administered measures of short term memory, field independence, and a computerized presentation of geometric designs which measured the subjects ability to detect differences which occurred at either the ...
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Convergence of Self and Other Ratings of Personality: a Structural Equation Analysis

Convergence of Self and Other Ratings of Personality: a Structural Equation Analysis

Date: May 1998
Creator: McElhenie, Michael K. (Michael Keith)
Description: Recently, multi-source feedback has been a popular way of providing performance-related feedback to individuals in many organizations. Many who use multi-source feedback consider Rating Convergence, others seeing target individuals as they see themselves, to be a positive outcome of this process. However, the variables that account for Rating Convergence are not known. This study investigated whether the personality factor Extroversion and Behavioral Consistency, acting as a moderator variable, could account for Self-other Rating Convergence, particularly the Convergence between self and peer Ratings. The sample consisted of 235 mid-level managers from a variety of industries who were participants in individual career development workshops. Using structural equation modeling, the results indicated that a model consisting of a single Extroversion factor could account for the convergence of self-peer ratings. This finding calls into question the significance of Rating Convergence when using multi-source rating instruments that provide feedback on trait characteristics since it may be heavily influenced by a single personality factor rather than observers' comprehensive understanding of the ratee's performance.
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Patterns of Relationship Violence among Low Income Women and Severely Psychologically Abused Women

Patterns of Relationship Violence among Low Income Women and Severely Psychologically Abused Women

Date: August 1998
Creator: Weston, Rebecca
Description: Little research has addressed the degree to which domestic violence is mutual and whether patterns are stable across women's relationships. Studies that exist have conflicting results. This study addressed these issues and the effects of sustaining past violence on women's expressions of violence in their current relationship. Archival data from a sample of severely psychologically abused community women (N = 92) and a sample of low-income community women (N = 836) were analyzed. Results showed the presence of mutual violence in women's current relationships which was not related to past partners' violence. Results regarding the stability of violence are weak, but indicate that the frequency and severity of violence across relationships sustained by women does not decrease across relationships. Overall, results supported the hypothesis that violence is mutual in the relationships of community women, although specific patterns may differ by ethnicity.
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Hemispheric Interactions and Event-Related Potentials in Lateralized Stroop and Stroop Analog Tasks

Hemispheric Interactions and Event-Related Potentials in Lateralized Stroop and Stroop Analog Tasks

Date: December 1997
Creator: Kavcic, Voyko
Description: Classical Stroop stimuli and newly developed face/word Stroop analog stimuli were used to investigate hemispheric interactions in Stroop interference effects (SEs) and corresponding event-related potentials (ERPs). Lateralized stimuli were presented unilaterally and bilaterally as congruent or incongruent color strip-word or face-word pairs (to invoke right hemisphere (RH) and left hemisphere (LH) specialization, respectively, in the latter case). The common finding for such tasks is that responses for the congruent condition are faster and more accurate than for the incongruent condition (i.e., the SE). A primary prediction is that the SE will be maximized when both the distractor and target components, or distractor alone, are presented to the specialized hemisphere (i.e., LH for words and RH for faces). A total of 88 right-handed University of North Texas students participated in one of four experiments. Participants manually responded to one component of the stimuli (i.e., color, face, or word), while ignoring the other. Behaviorally, participants showed a robust SE across all experiments, especially for the face/word task with word targets. Findings from the face/word Stroop analog tasks also indicated that SEs were produced by selective attention to either faces or words, implicating a role for top-down (controlled) processes. Hemispheric asymmetries were observed ...
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Top Management Groups: the Relationships among Member Characteristics, Group Processes, Business Environments, and Organizational Performance

Top Management Groups: the Relationships among Member Characteristics, Group Processes, Business Environments, and Organizational Performance

Date: December 1996
Creator: Matthews, Lauri Luce
Description: In the present quasi-experimental study, the relationships among individual executive characteristics, top management group processes, the business environment, and organizational performance for the gas and computer industries were investigated. Data were collected through a questionnaire using several published instruments measuring work locus of control, self-monitoring, group innovation/improvement, collaboration, and task management, environmental uncertainty, and perceptions of organizational performance. Return on assets data and sales data for several years were obtained from a business database. A total of 204 executives, 135 from the gas industry and 69 from the computer industry, returned completed questionnaires. Group processes were positively correlated with the average return on assets over three years. In addition, based on regression analyses, group processes predicted the average return on assets over three years. Work locus of control was positively correlated with group processes. However, none of the hypothesized moderator relationships were supported due to collinearity difficulties with one of the measures. Also, there were no differences between the gas and computer industries with regard to the uncertainty of the business environment.
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The Relationship between Team Leader Behaviors and Team Performance and Satisfaction

The Relationship between Team Leader Behaviors and Team Performance and Satisfaction

Date: August 1996
Creator: Burress, Mary Ann
Description: The purpose of this study, a quasi experimental design, was to investigate the relationship between team leader behavior and team performance and satisfaction. This field research tested leader behavior dimensions from two theoretical models of team effectiveness: Hackman's (1992) "expert available coaching," and Cohen's (1994) "encouraging supervisory behaviors." The relationship between coaching behaviors and team performance, employee, and customer satisfaction was assessed. Manager behavior was assessed with the SMT Leader Survey (Burress, 1994), an instrument determined appropriate for team environments, that measures Communication, Administration, Leadership, Interpersonal Skills, Thinking, and Flexibility. Employee satisfaction and performance information was archival data provided by the organization. The results demonstrated that leader behavior is a less important component of team effectiveness than initially expected. Even though direct customer interaction was 25% of these manager jobs and considered the organization's most important predictor of corporate profitability, no relationship between leader behavior and customer satisfaction was found. Among the key findings was, that while flexibility differentiated leader behavior more than any other scale, its relationship with both team performance and team satisfaction was negative. Interpersonal skills were positively associated with team performance, while leadership was positively associated with team performance and satisfaction. The SMT data were factor ...
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