Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Sam McFarland, Clinton Layne, Ray Mendel

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The California F Scale served to distinguish among high-, medium-, and low-authoritarian graduate students who participated in a study of client preference for psychotherapist. The subjects viewed the film series, Three anproaches to psychotherapy, and were asked their personal preference for a psychotherapist (Carl Rorers or Albert Ellis) and their perceptions on and consideration given to 12 dimensions of therapist style and behavior. Comparison of the high-, medium-, and low- authoritarian groups indicated that their choice of therapist was significantly different. Authoritarian subjects preferred the directive therapist (Ellis) whereas the nonauthoritarians chose the nondirective therapist (Rogers) at a rate significantly different from chance. Factor analysis of the percertion scores on the 12 dimensions of therapist behavior yielded two factors: a "good-guy"-competent-empathic factor and a directive-evaluative factor. These two factors were hi hly positively correlated for the high-F group and negatively correlated for the low-F group. Further analysis revealed that for all three groups, the global "good-guy" factor was most highly related to a subject's choice of therapist. Factor analysis of the consideration scores on the same 12 dimensions of therapist behavior yielded three factors: an affective-competence factor, a similarity-attraction factor, and a directive-evaluative factor. Further analysis indicated no significant differences across all three groups in the consideration they assigned to these factors. Discussion centers on why high- and low -authoritarian subjects differed in their choice of therapist and the possible implications of this in actual therapy settings. A case is made for matching client and therapist on the basis of the client's level of authoritarianism


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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