Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Carl Martray, Clint Layne, Leroy Metze

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


An instrumental avoidance conditioning task was used to test Eysenck’s theory of personality and conditioning, which is based upon levels of cortical inhibition and expectation, characteristic of extraverts and introverts. Based upon Eysneck’s theoretical stance, it was hypothesized that introverts would condition more effectively than extraverts. Several criteria defined by Eysenck Personality Inventory was administered to 125 undergraduates at Western Kentucky University for purposes of separating personally types into classification groups of extraverts, introverts, and ambiverts. Thirty-six subjects were presented a series of 48 index cards on which were typed for pronouns and three verbs of neutral impression level. Each subject was asked to say aloud a sentence for each card using any one of the pronouns and any one of the verbs. A noxious buzzer was sounded after every other time a subject used either “they” or “we” in a sentence. These were considered “incorrect” sentences, while sentences using other “I” or “you” were considered “correct,” and when used, indicated conditioning had taken place. The results showed no significant differences in ability to condition between the three groups, thus rejecting the hypothesis under study. Several explanations were offered as to the reasons for introverts not showing greater conditioning than extraverts.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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