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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Randall Koper

First Committee Member

Kenneth Day

Second Committee Member

Carol Ann Hackley


One goal of communicating with others can be to gain their compliance, essentially to get someone else to do what we want them to do. The techniques used and communicative messages chosen to accomplish this goal can vary widely. This study investigated the effects of gender, self-esteem, age, and relationship on compliancegaining strategy selection. Two hypotheses and three research ·questions were addressed in this study. Hypothesis One predicted males would be more likely to select anti-social compliance-gaining strategies in a social setting when trying to influence other males and pro-social compliance strategies when trying to influence females. Hypothesis Two predicted women will select more pro-social compliance-gaining strategies in social settings with both males and females. Three research questions examined the effect of interactant age, relationship (interpersonal or noninterpersonal) and self-esteem on the selection of compliance gaining strategies. The total sample size was 161 college students drawn from a medium-sized, private university in the western United States. Students

were enrolled in one of four communication courses. A factor analysis was first employed to reduce the Weisman and Schenk-Hamlin Compliance Gaining typology into pro- and anti-social strategies, so that Hypothesis One could be addressed. However, after the analysis showed that the thirteen strategies used did not fall into two discrete categories as originally anticipated, a t-test was used to evaluate each strategy individually. An analysis of variance was used to determine interaction effects among gender, age, self:esteem, and compliance-gaining strategy. At-test was employed for analysis ofhypothesis two to determine gender differences in strategy selection. All research questions utilized regression analysis to determine the existence of a relationship between the individual variables of age, relationship, and self-esteem on compliancegaining strategy. Results for Hypothesis One showed no significant difference in male research participants' selection of compliance-gaining strategies for both male and female targets. Results for Hypothesis Two indicated female research participants used the 'allurement' strategy more than males with both male and female targets. No significant difference in strategy usage for the remaining 12 strategies resulted. Results for the three research questions showed significant interaction effects for the strategies of ingratiation, promise, allurement, aversive stimulation, threat, altruism, and hinting.



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