Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Sally Kuhlenschmidt, Samuel McFarland, Daniel Roenker

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Prior research endorsed two theories of misattribution of interpersonal attraction. Both the two-component theory and the excitation transfer theory demonstrate misattribution and, in combination, enhance the probability of misattribution. However, which theory provides the primary source of misattribution has not been distinguished. The present study asked 60 undergraduate males to rate their interpersonal attraction toward a female in a video recording engaging in self disclosure. A manipulation of different levels of environmental saliency and physiological arousal was used to determine which condition or combination of conditions is most likely to elicit misattribution of interpersonal attraction. An analysis of variance followed by an analysis of covariance was performed on the interpersonal attraction ratings. The covariate of base pulse rate was used to control for individual difference of arousal. The results did not indicate a statistical difference of misattribution under any of the manipulated conditions. The expansion of the arousal conditions is discussed as a prerequisite of misattribution effects. Further research is recommended in the areas of female misattribution of interpersonal attraction and individual cognitive recovery levels.


Applied Behavior Analysis | Cognitive Psychology | Gender and Sexuality | Psychology | Sociology