Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Gary Larsen

Second Advisor

James K. Wood

Third Advisor

C. Raymond Millimet


An attempt was made to assess the relationships between an individual's level of sex-role identification, degree of cognitive complexity or simplicity, and reported crying behavior. One hundred sixty six students from an introductory sociology class at the University of Nebraska at Omaha were administered three scales: the Bern Sex Role Inventory to assess their level of sex-role identification; the Millimet Rep Test (Version 1) to assess the degree of cognitive complexity, and the Votta Crying Scale-an instrument devised by the author to measure an individual's propensity to crying and the four major types of situations that will elicit the behavior.

A multivariate analysis was performed with gender and level of sex-role identification as independent variables, and the four factors on the Votta Crying Scale (the four major eliciting situations of sadness, aesthetics, nostalgia, and fear) as dependent variables. Level of sexrole identification (F(12,410)=6.17, p .0001), and gender (F(4,155)-14.7, p .0001), were both found to have a highly significant effect on an individuals' crying behavior.

Pearson product-moment correlations were computed between the four factors of the Votta Crying Scale and two alternate measures of cognitive complexity. No significant correlations were observed.

The potential for future research into the area of emotional-response behaviors, and the possible effects of gender, and level of sex-role identification on the availability and variability of alternate response behaviors is discussed.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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