Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John K. Brilhart

Second Advisor

Donald P. Manson

Third Advisor

Walter H. Combs


Psychologists and researchers in communication have shown much interest in personality variables such as Machiavellianism and dogmatism. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between these two traits and perceived persuasiveness of different message types. Four hundred and twenty-six students enrolled in Speech 101, Fundamentals of Speech Communication, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha were administered the Mach V scale and the Dogmatism Scale-Foxm E. They were also presented two hypothetical, news releases to read and to rate on persuasibility. One release was based cm authority and the other on reason.

The results of this study indicated that for this sample of urban midwestern university students there was no significant correlation between scores on the Mach V and Dogmatism Scale-Form E, Machiavellianism and dogmatism appeared to be two independent variables.

The scores were split at the median to determine categories of low and high Machs and Dogs, The only significant difference in perceived persuasiveness of the two news releases m s that the classification of Low Dogs gave lower persuasibility ratings to the release based on reason than did the High Dogs, This finding is in opposition to the results of similar studies of F.A. Powell and of N.M. Wagman.

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Communication Commons