Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Donald Duns

First Committee Member

Roseann Hannon

Second Committee Member

Walter Nyberg


Small group interaction, as observed and evaluated by five major spokesmen of the past decade, will be the focal point of this investigation. Martin Buber, Eric Berne, Carl Rogers, B. P. Skinner, and Frederick Perls will each be examined, compared, and contrasted in terms of their views concerning human freedom, the essence of man, and man's relationship to his environment. These ideas expressed by the authors will be reviewed in terms of the possibility and potential for interpersonal trust, the manner in which trust between individuals is initiated, and those variables considered most relevant for the emergence of trust. Each of the preliminary chapters will give the reader an insight into the individual author's conception of human freedom and the possibility for interpersonal trust formation. In addition, the authors will be compared, contrasted, and critically analyzed in a subsequent section of the study, followed by a chapter summarizing and combining the thoughts, beliefs, and criticisms of these primary representatives of the years 19&0 through 1970.

The main hypothesis of this study is that an individual's belief system concerning interpersonal trust is determined by his definition of human freedom as it pertains to man's relationship with his environment.





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