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Willingness to Make Negative Responses as a Measure of Maturity

Findley, Warren G.; Myers, Charles T.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Compliance Psychology, Maturity Individuals, Military Personnel, Negative Attitudes, Response Style (Tests)


Conclusions of this study were the following: 1. A "willingness to make negative responses" can be measured by tests constructed according to the rationale described here. 2. This "willingness to make negative responses" is shown by the same individuals in tests involving widely different content. 3. The "negative response" score is distinctively related to willingness to make negative responses and not simply to willingness to persist in making any response required excessively. 4. The negative response score is uncorrelated with academic grades. 5. The negative response score is not significantly correlated with adaptability. If one were to speculate on the evidence that an identified trait which is apparently desirable bears no relation to reliable measures of desirable traits of intellect and personality, three chief courses would be: to suspect that the trait evidenced in test situations is a test- situation phenomenon, not related to superficially similar behavior in life situations; to wonder if the academic and personality criteria are defective in failing to include evidence of this desirable trait; and to question whether the presumed basis for the test response is the only motivation that may lead to the response.

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