Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Frederick Freeman

Committee Member

Raymond Kirby

Committee Member

Janice Sanchez-Hucles

Committee Member

Peter Mikulka


The relationship between locus of control and the physiological responses of heart rate (HR) and electrodermal activity (EDA) was investigated in 30 males and 31 females during an arithmetic task. The Levenson's Internal, Powerful Others and Chance (IPC) scales (Levenson, 1974) were used to assess the various degrees of internality for each subject. Additionally, to determine each subject's physiological Lability or Stability (LS), EDA was measured by recording spontaneous skin conductance responses during a ten minute rest period and to a tone (an Orienting Response (OR) task). A simple difficulty effect was found on the performance scores across the three levels of difficulty for all subjects. There was an inverse relationship between the I and C scales and the EDA, but no gender differences were found. Males, however, showed more electrodermal spontaneous fluctuations than females.


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