Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Wayne Harrison

Second Advisor

Lisa Scherer

Third Advisor

Lynn K. Harland


Previous researchers (see Lind & Tyler, 1988) have reported that persons allowed an opportunity to express their opinions (voice) typically report a heightened level of perceived fairness-labeled as the voice effect. Instrumental and group-value theories have been proposed as explanations for this effect. The present study examined the voice effect in the context of personality theory to explore individual differences in relation to instrumental and group value theories of voice. This study was designed to test the effect of two individual difference components, Locus of Control and Need for Affiliation, across three conditions of voice (predecision, postdecision, and no-voice). Predecision voice represents the instrumental aspect of influencing the third party’s allocation decision; postdecision voice represents the noninstrumental group value aspect of symbolic voice. It was predicted that individuals who score in the internal Locus of Control direction focus mainly on instrumental aspects of voice, whereas individuals who score in the Need for Affiliation direction focus mainly on group-related issues of voice. One hundred twentyeight undergraduate students were administered personality inventories and experienced one of three voice conditions. Subjects performed a course construction task during the experimental procedure. The results of this study did not support the predicted hypotheses. Three possible explanations for the observed results are presented along with implications for future research.


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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