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Submissiveness : a re-conceptualized view Johnson, Joanne Edythe 1991-12-31

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SUBMISSIVENESS: A RE-CONCEPTUALIZED VIEW By JOANNE EDYTHE (JODY) JOHNSON Reg. N., Calgary General H o s p i t a l , 1966 Sc.N., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1969 M.Sc, The U n i v e r s i t y o f Calgary, 1980  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology)  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o t h e r e q u i r e d standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1991 (£) Joanne Edythe (Jody) Johnson, 1991  In  presenting this  degree  at the  thesis  in  University of  partial  fulfilment  of  of  department  this thesis for or  by  his  or  requirements  British Columbia, I agree that the  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  the  representatives.  an advanced  Library shall make it  agree that permission for extensive  scholarly purposes may be her  for  It  is  granted  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6  A  (2/88)  P  r i l  2  6  •  1  9  9  1  ABSTRACT V o l i t i o n a l submissiveness i s proposed as the a d a p t i v e dimension of t r a i t  submissiveness.  The i n t e n t i o n t o be  self-  g i v i n g i s a c r i t i c a l f a c t o r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g t h i s dimension  of  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s from the t r a d i t i o n a l (low dominance) view of the trait.  V o l i t i o n a l submissiveness i s d e s c r i b e d as an  intrapersonal  o r i e n t a t i o n manifest by i n t e n t i o n a l l y c h o o s i n g t o  p l a c e the w e l l - b e i n g of another person ahead of one's own i n o r d e r t o a c h i e v e a g o a l or purpose t h a t  i s consistent  i n t e r n a l i z e d v a l u e s and deemed worthy of the c o s t T h i s b e h a v i o r was propriety,  found t o be motivated by c a r i n g ,  needs with  of s e l f - g i v i n g . helping,  and d e s i r e t o enhance or m a i n t a i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p .  The V o l i t i o n a l Submissiveness measure t h e t r a i t .  The f o l l o w i n g  S c a l e (VSS) was c o e f f i c i e n t s of  were o b t a i n e d : an i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y r e l i a b i l i t y alpha) of .78; t e s t - r e t e s t r e l i a b i l i t y  demonstrated  c o r r e l a t i o n s between the VSS intimacy, altruism,  reliability (Cronbach  (Pearson r) of .68  .001); c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h peer r a t i n g s of .60 C o n s t r u c t v a l i d i t y was  developed t o  (n = 40, p_ <  (p < .0001).  by s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e  and ego development, s e l f - e f f i c a c y ,  and s a t i s f a c t i o n with s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s ;  n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s with n e u r o t i c i s m and exchange o r i e n t a t i o n ; and a f i n d i n g of no r e l a t i o n s h i p with the CPI dominance s c a l e .  (Gough,  1987)  Evidence of c r i t e r i o n r e l a t e d v a l i d i t y  p r o v i d e d by o b t a i n i n g  significant differences  was  (p < .0001) i n the  mean VSS s c o r e s of two t a r g e t e d groups ( t h e r a p i s t s v e r s u s a d d i c t s ) ; and a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p  (p_ < .01) between  v o l i t i o n a l s e l f - g i v i n g behavior and VSS score i n an e x p e r i m e n t a l condition. factors  In a p r i n c i p a l component a n a l y s i s  (n = 234) , t h r e e  ( c a r i n g , a f f i r m i n g , and enhancing) accounted  f o r 28% o f  the t o t a l v a r i a n c e . T h i s study p r o v i d e d i n i t i a l evidence f o r an a d a p t i v e dimension  o f t r a i t submissiveness  t h a t was u n r e l a t e d t o gender  and a t r a d i t i o n a l measure of submissiveness,  but was c o r r e l a t e d  w i t h s e v e r a l p e r s o n a l i t y and b e h a v i o r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t a r e associated with well-being. i n t o account,  By t a k i n g the meaning o f b e h a v i o r  t h e tendency t o care and t o be r e s p o n s i v e t o t h e  needs o f o t h e r s s u r f a c e d as the primary motive f o r v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness,  s u g g e s t i n g a p e r s o n a l i t y p r o f i l e c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  h i g h e r l e v e l s o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l development and w e l l - b e i n g .  These  f i n d i n g s c o n t r a d i c t t h e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f submissiveness  as a  weak, feminine t r a i t o p p o s i t e dominance on circumplexes o f interpersonal  behavior.  IV TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract L i s t of Tables Acknowledgements  .  CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Background t o the Problem: Conceptual Foundations. Dominance, Subordination,and Submissiveness Statement o f t h e Problem Submissiveness as S u b o r d i n a t i o n Submissiveness: t h e Opposite of Dominance Submissiveness: P s y c h o l o g i c a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s P e r s o n a l i t y C o r r e l a t e s of the Adaptive Dimension.. Self-esteem Locus o f c o n t r o l Self-efficacy Ego development Moral development B e h a v i o r a l C o r r e l a t e s of the Adaptive Dimension... O b j e c t i v e s o f the Study Research Questions and Hypotheses Significance Delimitations CHAPTER 2:  LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE The H i s t o r i c a l B a s i s o f the C o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n Submissiveness: a T r a i t of P e r s o n a l i t y Submissiveness: S u b o r d i n a t i o n Submissiveness: the Opposite of Dominance Submissiveness: A Feminine C h a r a c t e r i s t i c The P s y c h o l o g i c a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Summary Submissiveness: A R e - c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n I n t r i n s i c Motivation S i t u a t i o n a l context Intentionality Submissiveness: T r a i t or S t a t e Coherence A P r o f i l e o f the V o l i t i o n a l l y Submissive Person... The Epistemology of the T r a i t  CHAPTER 3: METHODS AND PROCEDURES C r i t i c a l incident interviews C o n s t r u c t i o n o f the VSS P r e t e s t i n g of the Scale  i i v i i viii 1 4 4 7 8 12 17 21 22 24 26 27 30 31 35 36 40 42  44 45 45 57 59 68 71 76 78 82 84 89 92 95 96 103 107 107 110 I l l  V  V a l i d i t y and R e l i a b i l i t y Studies R e l a t i o n s h i p t o Demographic V a r i a b l e s T e s t s of C r i t e r i o n - r e l a t e d V a l i d i t y F u r t h e r T e s t s of R e l i a b i l i t y and V a l i d i t y F a c t o r S t r u c t u r e of the VSS Summary of Research Procedures Instrumentation E a g l y R e v i s i o n (1967) of the J a n i s - F i e l d S c a l e . . I n t e r n a l C o n t r o l Index Washington U n i v e r s i t y Sentence Completion T e s t . . The S e l f - E f f i c a c y S c a l e D e f i n i n g Issues Test Communal O r i e n t a t i o n Scale M i l l e r S o c i a l Intimacy Scale The Revised UCLA L o n e l i n e s s S c a l e The S a t i s f a c t i o n With L i f e Scale The S e l f - r e p o r t A l t r u i s m Scale Dyadic Adjustment S c a l e The NEO P e r s o n a l i t y Inventory The C a l i f o r n i a P s y c h o l o g i c a l Inventory Problematic S o c i a l Ties The Marlowe-Crowne S o c i a l D e s i r a b i l i t y S c a l e . . . . CHAPTER 4: RESULTS Phase 1: C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t Interviews The Interviews Phase 2: Development and P r e - t e s t i n g of the Instrument W r i t i n g the Items A s s e s s i n g Face V a l i d i t y Pretest 1 S c o r i n g the Revised VSS (Dichotomous) Pretest 2 Phase 3: F i e l d T e s t i n g of the Instrument C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Phase 3 Sample S c o r i n g the Data T e s t s of R e l i a b i l i t y and V a l i d i t y Hypotheses-Testing Analyses T e s t s of Hypotheses 1 - 20 T e s t s of Hypotheses 21 and 22 The Post Hoc S c o r i n g Method R e l a t i o n s h i p of Demographic V a r i a b l e s and VSS P r i n c i p a l Component A n a l y s i s of VSS  113 116 116 122 124 125 126 126 127 128 134 137 14 0 141 143 144 145 147 148 149 151 152 154 154 156 160 160 162 163 166 167 17 0 171 172 173 178 179 190 19 3 2 02 203  vi CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of F i n d i n g s Research Question 1 Research Question 2 Research Question 3 Research Question 4 Research Question 5 Research Question 6 I m p l i c a t i o n s and Recommendations f o r Future Research L i m i t a t i o n s o f the Study Summary and Conclusions REFERENCES APPENDICES Appendix 1 C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t Interview Appendix 2 Form 1: VSS Appendix 3 I n s t r u c t i o n s t o P r o f e s s i o n a l Raters Appendix 4 Form 2: VSS Appendix 5 I n s t r u c t i o n s f o r Scoring (Dichotomous Method) Appendix 6 Post Hoc S c o r i n g C a t e g o r i e s Appendix 7 Demographic Q u e s t i o n n a i r e Appendix 8 Summary of Demographic Data Appendix 9 I n s t r u c t i o n s t o S u b j e c t s : "Z" Experiment Appendix 10. . D e b r i e f i n g Experimental Subjects Appendix 11: Measures Appendix 12 L e t t e r of I n i t i a l Contact with Agency Appendix 13 I n f o r m a t i o n t o Subjects Appendix 14: P e r s o n a l Communication  208 209 209 212 214 230 233 233 2 34 244 247 250 276 277 278 281 282 298 299 3 02 3 03 314 315 340 341 348 349 351 3 52 353 354 355 356 357 377 378 379 380 381  vii L i s t of Tables Table 1 -  A n a l y s i s of VSS (Form 1) M o t i v a t i o n a l  S u b s c a l e s . . . 164  2 -  Summary o f Item S t a t i s t i c s  3 -  VSS A n a l y s i s  4 -  Summary o f VSS Item S t a t i s t i c s  5 -  C o r r e l a t i o n of VSS with Submissiveness, Peer r a t i n g s and S e l f r a t i n g s  6 7 8 -  169  (Dichotomous Scoring)  174  ( F i e l d Study)  176  Retest, 178  C o r r e l a t i o n s of VSS with P e r s o n a l i t y Characteristics  188  Comparison of VSS and P e r s o n a l i t y C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s by Gender  189  Comparison o f VSS Scores f o r T h e r a p i s t and  9 -  ( P r e t e s t 2)  C l i e n t Groups  ANOVA f o r T h e r a p i s t and C l i e n t Groups  190 191  10 - Comparison o f VSS Scores by Groups  193  11 - VSS A n a l y s i s  199  (Post hoc Scoring Method)  12  - Summary o f Item S t a t i s t i c s (Post hoc S c o r i n g Method) 200 13 - Summary o f VSS C o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h Submissiveness, R e t e s t , Peer and S e l f Ratings (Post hoc S c o r i n g ) . . 2 01 14  - P r i m a r y - f a c t o r P a t t e r n C o e f f i c i e n t s f o r B.C. F e r r y Sample w i t h Eigenvalues and P e r c e n t s o f V a r i a t i o n f o r Three Factors  2 07  viii ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am g r a t e f u l t o Richard  Young, c h a i r p e r s o n  d i s s e r t a t i o n committee, f o r h i s counsel and  of the  throughout t h e l i t e r a r y  e m p i r i c a l phases; and t o Donald A l l i s o n , Susan Butt, and  D a n i e l Perlman, f o r t h e i r i n t e r e s t , encouragement and v a l u a b l e suggestions a t various  stages of t h e p r o j e c t .  I acknowledge t h e  c o n t r i b u t i o n o f L a r r y Cochran and numerous other work g r e a t l y a i d e d  s c h o l a r s whose  i n my c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of t h e t r a i t .  To t h e s u b j e c t s who w i l l i n g l y gave t h e i r time t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e study, my s i n c e r e a p p r e c i a t i o n .  The l o v e o f f r i e n d s and  f a m i l y h e l p e d more than they c o u l d know.  C h r i s t i n e M a c M i l l a n and  Debra W i l s o n were p a r t i c u l a r i l y generous.  B r i a n , Geoff and  C a r r i e o f t e n p l a c e d my needs ahead of t h e i r own w h i l e I was writing.  A l l of these exemplify  t h e t r a i t t h a t I have  " The one who c a l l s you i s f a i t h f u l . "  described.  CHAPTER 1 : INTRODUCTION  The  manner i n which people r e l a t e to one  c o m p l e x i t i e s of those  another and  the  i n t e r a c t i o n s are matters of c o n t i n u i n g  c o n s i d e r a b l e importance.  One  and  type of r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t seems t o  have p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t r i g u e d r e s e a r c h e r s d u r i n g the p a s t s e v e r a l decades i s t h a t of dominance/submission.  R e l a t i o n s h i p s of  dominance/submission have been observed so w i d e l y and  f o r so  long  t h a t some t h e o r i s t s c o n s i d e r t h a t the urge t o dominate i s r o o t e d i n the p r i m a t e h e r i t a g e of human beings  (see f o r example, Omark,  S t r a y e r & Freedman, 1980). Of the two  t r a i t s , dominance appears t o have e l i c i t e d more  i n t e r e s t from t h e o r i s t s and r e s e a r c h e r s than has  submissiveness;  an o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t i s c o n s i s t e n t with the s o c i a l  desirability  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h these t r a i t s i n our c u l t u r e .  current  The  l i t e r a t u r e g e n e r a l l y suggests t h a t dominance i s f u n c t i o n a l i n terms of s t r u c t u r i n g aggression s o c i a l rank  ( F e s t i n g e r , 1950),  (Omark e t a l . , 1980), m a i n t a i n i n g  (Freedman, 1980;  Savin-Williams,  However, e a r l i e r i n t h i s century, dominance were noted. Maslow, 1942, i n s e c u r i t y or  p. 269) A  1980)  social  improving order  and a c q u i r i n g r e s o u r c e s .  the more u n f a v o r a b l e  aspects  of  For example, Wertheimer ( r e p o r t e d i n considered dominance t o be an i n d i c a t i o n of  s l i g h t s i c k n e s s ' i n a person.  Maslow (1942)  s i m i l a r l y suggested t h a t when dominance-feeling  motivates  i n s e c u r e i n d i v i d u a l i t r e s u l t s i n domination over o t h e r s ,  1  an urge  f o r power, and  self-seeking.  aggression  egotism.  and  dominance can  Cattell  (1957) r e l a t e d dominance t o  References t o the u n f a v o r a b l e a s p e c t s of  a l s o be found i n contemporary l i t e r a t u r e which  p e r t a i n s t o the more extreme or e x p l o i t i v e forms of domination (Tuan, 1984;  Goodfriend & C h r i s t i e ,  However, the  l i t e r a t u r e suggests t h a t i n many c u l t u r e s dominance  has  greater  achieved  1981;  Minces, 1982).  s o c i a l d e s i r a b i l i t y than submissiveness.  In  psychology, t h i s t r e n d seems t o have begun w i t h Maslow's s t u d i e s . Maslow's (1942) work i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h a t , although he d i s t i n g u i s h between secure and  insecure people i n the way  that  dominance i s m a n i f e s t , he a s s o c i a t e d dominance-feeling w i t h esteem.  T h i s a s s o c i a t i o n continues  i n the p s y c h o l o g i c a l  literature.  t o be p a r t i c u l a r i l y  In t h i s l i t e r a t u r e ,  evident  personal  power d e r i v i n g from p o s i t i v e s e l f - r e g a r d (Buss & C r a i k , Wiggins, 1979).  self-  dominance  i s c o n s i s t e n t l y d e f i n e d as a p s y c h o l o g i c a l posture of  Gough, McClosky, & Meehl, 1951;  did  1980;  Dominance i s  seen, f o r example, as a means t o achieve i n d i v i d u a l or group gains  (Gough e t a l . , 1951), as being motivated by f a c t o r s such  as power-mastery, task-completion, and  superior a b i l i t y ,  s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (Butt & F i s k e , 1968), and  and  personal  i s defined  w i t h such a d j e c t i v e s as powerful, a s s e r t i v e , s e l f - c o n f i d e n t , and self-assured  (Wiggins, 1979).  In c o n t r a s t t o the e x t e n s i v e are few  A  dominance' l i t e r a t u r e ,  there  p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s s p e c i f i c a l l y d i r e c t e d toward  submissiveness, and  the l i t e r a t u r e t h a t does r e l a t e t o  2  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s seems t o have evolved more from i t s p e r c e i v e d r e l a t i o n s h i p t o dominance than as independently i n s p i r e d of  s u b m i s s i v e behavior.  studies  For example, i t i s g e n e r a l l y agreed  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s i s the o p p o s i t e of dominance (Gough e t a l . , Leary, 1957;  Wiggins,  that  1951;  1979); consequently, submissiveness i s  d e f i n e d i n terms o p p o s i t e t o those t h a t d e s c r i b e dominance: p a s s i v i t y , weakness, and u n a s s e r t i v e n e s s . of  interpersonal traits,  On c i r c u m p l e x models  * submit' i s found a t the weak p o l e  o p p o s i t e the power dimension of dominate' (Leary, 1957;  Wiggins,  A  1979) .  The submissive person, i n c o n t r a s t t o the dominant  person, i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d as l a c k i n g i n s e l f - e s t e e m .  Leary  t h e o r i z e d t h a t submissive behavior c o n s i s t s of obedience  (1957)  and  "doing one's duty" a t the p o s i t i v e extreme, and m a s o c h i s t i c , weak and s p i n e l e s s a c t i o n s at the other. personality t r a i t  Submissiveness  i s d e s c r i b e d by Wiggins  as a  (1979) w i t h the 70  a d j e c t i v e s self-effacement, self-doubt, forcelessness timidity  (Wiggins, 1979) .  and  In g e n e r a l , the t r a i t appears t o have  been c o n c e p t u a l i z e d i n a r e l a t i v e l y homogeneous  way.  Evidence f o r the d i m e n s i o n a l i t y of i n t e r p e r s o n a l t r a i t s r e c e n t l y been p r o v i d e d by Wiggins, P h i l l i p s ,  and T r a p n e l l  has  (1988) .  They propose t h a t a t r a i t v a r i e s i n i t s degree of " a d a p t i v e n e s s " depending  on the i n t e n s i t y with which i t i s expressed by an  individual.  One may  any o t h e r t r a i t , depending  t h e r e f o r e expect t h a t s u b m i s s i v e n e s s ,  like  i s adaptive or maladaptive i n i t s e x p r e s s i o n  on the i n t e n s i t y with which i t i s m a n i f e s t .  3  T h i s study  seeks t o i d e n t i f y and i n v e s t i g a t e whether an " a d a p t i v e " dimension of submissiveness can be d e f i n e d , and i f so, t o i d e n t i f y i t s p e r s o n a l i t y c o r r e l a t e s , and t o d i s c o v e r the r o l e t h a t i t p l a y s i n interpersonal  relationships.  Background  t o the Problem: Conceptual Foundations  Dominance, S u b o r d i n a t i o n and  Submissiveness  I f i t i s the case i n psychology t h a t the " a d a p t i v e " a s p e c t s of dominance behavior (power, s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , mastery) emphasized  have been  more than the "maladaptive" c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  (domination, s e l f - s e e k i n g ) , i t f o l l o w s t h a t i n s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s dominance i s l i k e l y t o be v a l u e d . American  c u l t u r e , dominance i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be a m a s c u l i n e  and b e i n g "number 1" a popular g o a l . (i.e.,  In North trait  Both of these f a c t o r s  b e i n g masculine and being common) are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h  social desirability  (Edwards,  1990).  However, f a i l u r e t o  r e c o g n i z e the maladaptive dimension of dominance i g n o r e s the f a c t t h a t dominance r e g u i r e s s u b o r d i n a t i o n . One cannot be dominant except i n r e l a t i o n t o o t h e r s . (see B u t t , 1987,  In c o m p e t i t i o n , t h i s i s s a n c t i o n e d  pp. 12-18) but interdependent or c l o s e  r e l a t i o n s h i p s are more l i k e l y t o be mutually b e n e f i c i a l i f a c o o p e r a t i v e r a t h e r than a dominance s t r u c t u r e i s o p e r a t i v e . f a c t , the d e s t r u c t i v e nature of dominance i n c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s has r e c e n t l y been documented. Greenberg and Johnson  interpersonal  For example,  (1986) i d e n t i f i e d dominance-submission  couple i n t e r a c t i o n as the most c r u c i a l index f o r a s s e s s i n g 4  In  in  marital dysfunction. Although  submissiveness  i s g e n e r a l l y thought t o be t h e  c o u n t e r p a r t o f dominance, t h i s t h e s i s argues t h a t when dominance i s exercised subordination i s actually fostered. for  t h i s p o s i t i o n i s as f o l l o w s .  One cannot be dominant  i n r e l a t i o n t o someone e l s e and i f a person him  or h e r s e l f f i r s t  r e l a t i o n t o another another  person  The r a t i o n a l e except  succeeds i n p l a c i n g  ( i . e . , being dominant) i t i s always i n person.  When one achieves dominance s t a t u s ,  o r persons must be subordinate.  Similiarily, i f  dominance i s a means of a c h i e v i n g success, the achievements o f those who a r e not dominant must be secondary t o t h e one who i s . Those who a r e subordinate may thereby be denied o r r e s t r i c t e d i n t h e i r achievement of s e l f - s e l e c t e d g o a l s because they have f a i l e d to  p l a c e themselves f i r s t and achieve dominance.  Therefore, i f  s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n depends on dominance i t may be u n a t t a i n a b l e f o r many persons because everyone cannot occupy " f i r s t " p l a c e . if  And  success depends on being dominant or p l a c i n g o n e s e l f f i r s t , i n  a sense i t i s achieved a t the expense of those who do not achieve dominance s t a t u s (see M i l l e r ,  1976, f o r example).  S t u d i e s which p o r t r a y dominance as a h e a l t h y dimension of p e r s o n a l i t y do not g e n e r a l l y d i s c u s s s u b o r d i n a t i o n as a consequence o f i t . Many of the i d e a l s o f western c u l t u r e : r e a l i z i n g p e r s o n a l p o t e n t i a l , a c h i e v i n g p e r s o n a l g o a l s , and choosing  f o r o n e s e l f , have occurred i n a context  dominance i s accepted  i n which  as a d e s i r a b l e t r a i t o f p e r s o n a l i t y . 5  The  g o a l s of s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n and s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t are p o r t r a y e d as achievements f o r which a l l should s t r i v e Sullivan,  Swider, & T i p t o n , 1985;  ( B e l l a h , Madsen,  Rogers, 1961).  Oppression  (at  a t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l ) i s r e j e c t e d by the c u l t u r e and t h e r e i s an understandable  r e l u c t a n c e on the p a r t of i n d i v i d u a l s t o s u r r e n d e r  p e r s o n a l freedom or t o be subordinate. western  In f a c t , people i n  s o c i e t i e s c o u l d be s a i d t o be p e r s o n a l l y s e n s i t i z e d t o  the i n e q u i t i e s and  i n j u s t i c e s of domination,  but t o be  i n s e n s i t i v e t o the consequences f o r others of a c t i n g However, i t i s untenable t o approve of dominating  dominantly.  behavior  (i.e.,  choose t h a t behavior f o r o n e s e l f ) and r e j e c t the p r o s p e c t of o n e s e l f b e i n g dominated or not c o n s i d e r the e f f e c t of one's dominance on  another.  A c u r r e n t approach f o r r e s o l v i n g t h i s dilemma i s t o p l a c e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r being dominated on the person who subordinate p o s i t i o n .  i s i n the  I t i s assumed t h a t s u b o r d i n a t e  individuals  are d i s p o s e d t o take a submissive r o l e by v i r t u e of t h e i r p s y c h o l o g i c a l make-up. submissiveness literature.)  (The synonymous use of the terms  and s u b o r d i n a t i o n i n t h i s way I t i s reasoned  i s common i n the  one would not submit  t o dominance i f  one were more s o c i a l l y competent, l e s s p a s s i v e , or more assertive. as a way  As a consequence, a s s e r t i v e n e s s t r a i n i n g has  of t e a c h i n g people how  appropriately. inadequate  to r e s i s t  Since submissiveness  v a l u i n g of the s e l f , 6  arisen  domination  i s seen as a r e f l e c t i o n of  i t i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be  the  submissive i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o l e a r n t o v a l u e the  self  more.  or  The  authority, own,  and  b e h a v i o r s of submission: a c c e p t i n g  p l a c i n g another's i n t e r e s t s or needs ahead of one's  e f f a c i n g oneself,  seem i m p l i c i t l y  m a n i f e s t an  impoverished sense of s e l f .  undesirable  b e h a v i o r s f o r one  (1974) has undesirable  another's w i l l  pointed  ( i n our  culture)  As such they  to p r a c t i c e oneself.  are  Benjamin  out t h a t when a behavior becomes s o c i a l l y  i t a l s o becomes "abnormal".  Consequently, i t may  t h a t because submissiveness i s viewed as an u n d e s i r a b l e i t has  to  be  behavior,  a l s o become somewhat "abnormal" behavior. Statement of the Problem  In p e r s o n a l i t y r e s e a r c h  the task of a c c o u n t i n g f o r  d i f f e r e n c e s between i n d i v i d u a l s has c o n v i c t i o n t h a t the n a t u r a l  been approached from  the  language of the c u l t u r e p r o v i d e s  t o o l s f o r d e s c r i b i n g human tendencies  (Wiggins, 1979) .  the  However,  a d i s t i n c t i v e q u a l i t y of c u l t u r e i s t h a t unique meanings o f t e n acquire  g e n e r a l acceptance w i t h i n the c u l t u r e .  i n t e r a c t i o n of s c i e n c e development and  and  Here  the  c u l t u r e can be seen i n the way  a l t e r a t i o n i n the meaning of words and  concepts  are dependent upon the s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a t those concepts within  the c u l t u r e , but  s c i e n c e may  a l s o determine  s i g n i f i c a n c e of c e r t a i n concepts i n the The  that  hold  the  culture.  f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n examines the meaning of the concept of  submissiveness w i t h i n psychology and 7  i n western s o c i e t y .  The  c u r r e n t c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n i s analyzed t o determine whether i t accounts f o r the complexity of m o t i v a t i o n s u n d e r l y i n g submissive b e h a v i o r and the d i v e r s i t y of i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l behaviors. Submissiveness as S u b o r d i n a t i o n The word "submission" i s d e r i v e d from the L a t i n which i s d e f i n e d as "the a c t of lowering" o n e s e l f .  ^submissio' According to  Webster (1985), submission d e s c r i b e s a c o n d i t i o n of h u m i l i t y or compliance  i n r e l a t i o n t o another person; a y i e l d i n g of one's  person t o the w i l l or a u t h o r i t y of another.  I t refers to  b e h a v i o r , both i n conduct and i n b e a r i n g , t h a t i s humble and deferent.  The d e f i n i t i o n suggests t h a t submission may  s e l f - c h o s e n or imposed.  On t h i s b a s i s , i t may  be  either  be d i s t i n g u i s h e d  from s u b o r d i n a t i o n i n t h a t the l a t t e r , d e f i n e d as an i n f e r i o r or lower rank or p o s i t i o n i n t o which one i s p l a c e d (Webster,  1985),  l a c k s the c o n d i t i o n of p e r s o n a l v o l i t i o n .  an  By d e f i n i t i o n ,  i n d i v i d u a l i s s u b o r d i n a t e t o another by v i r t u e of d i f f e r e n c e i n rank, power, or a u t h o r i t y .  Consequently,  determined r a t h e r than s e l f - c h o s e n .  subordination i s  Secondly, s u b o r d i n a t i o n can  be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from submission i n t h a t a person cannot a t the same time be s u b o r d i n a t e and equal i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p . s u b o r d i n a t e i m p l i e s some k i n d of i n f e r i o r i t y . choose t o submit t o an e q u a l .  Being  However, one  may  Being submissive does not i n  i t s e l f require a hierarchical structure.  D i f f e r e n c e i n rank,  a u t h o r i t y , or power i s a s u f f i c i e n t but not n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n 8  f o r submission. I t i s , of course, t r u e t h a t a person may  submit under  c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n which one f e e l s a sense of duty, or even expediency.  responsibility,  However, t h i s behavior can s t i l l  be  d i s t i n g u i s h e d from s u b o r d i n a t i o n , and even from the maladaptive dimension of submission, i f the element of v o l i t i o n — c h o o s i n g t o submit,  i s a s a l i e n t f e a t u r e both i n d e f i n i n g the a c t  and i n d e t e r m i n i n g i t s consequences. person may  of  In these s i t u a t i o n s a  submit i n the b e l i e f t h a t doing so i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h  h e l d v a l u e s , or i s conducive t o a d e s i r e d outcome. A number of f a c t o r s may  have c o n t r i b u t e d t o the l a c k of  d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between the concepts of submissiveness subordination. western  and  F i r s t , the importance of the i n d i v i d u a l i n  s o c i e t y has produced a c l i m a t e i n which i n d i v i d u a l i s m i s  c u l t u r a l l y approved Sampson, 1977).  (Bellah et a l . ,  1985;  Lasch, 1978;  May,  1981;  P e r s o n a l e f f i c a c y i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d i n terms of  i n d i v i d u a l s e l f - a c t u a l i z i n g goals: r e a l i z i n g p o t e n t i a l , achieving p e r s o n a l aims, r e l y i n g upon o n e s e l f i n p u r s u i t of those aims, being p e r s o n a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r choices.  and  Dominance i s  c o n s i d e r e d t o be a means by which i n d i v i d u a l success can  be  a c h i e v e d ; consequently, submissiveness i s viewed as d e l e t e r i o u s t o s u c c e s s and a s i g n of p e r s o n a l weakness. another i s not a v i r t u e i n such a c o n t e x t . s u b m i s s i v e n e s s , because v u l n e r a b i l i t y , may  Humble d e f e r e n c e t o I t i s feared that  i t i s a p o s i t i o n of heightened  p r o v i d e an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r dominance, thus 9  c r e a t i n g a r e l a t i o n s h i p i n which one may (Unger,  become s u b o r d i n a t e  1984).  Secondly, c u r r e n t measures of submissiveness are based  on  the meaning of submission h e l d by those members of the c u l t u r e who  t e n d t o make up r e s e a r c h p o p u l a t i o n s ; t h a t i s , c o l l e g e  populations.  Buss and C r a i k (1981), f o r example,  undergraduate  classes to i d e n t i f y  Their l i s t  x  utilized  p r o t o t y p i c a l ' submissive a c t s .  of submissive a c t s r e f l e c t s a tendency t o y i e l d t o  p r e s s u r e w i t h v a r y i n g degrees of masochism.  The meaning of  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s t h a t i s h e l d by t h i s r a t h e r unique group may be r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the g e n e r a l p o p u l a t i o n .  not  I f , as h y p o t h e s i z e d  i n t h i s study, a t t i t u d e s toward submissiveness change as i n d i v i d u a l s achieve h i g h e r l e v e l s of p e r s o n a l i t y development, a c t s t h a t p l a c e the i n t e r e s t s or needs of o t h e r s ahead of one's own  may  a c t u a l l y r e f l e c t m a t u r i t y r a t h e r than masochism.  do, such a c t s would presumably  I f they  be c o n s c i o u s l y chosen t o a c h i e v e a  s p e c i f i c purpose and be accomplished without any sense of personal loss occurring.  As a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of more  advanced  l e v e l s of p e r s o n a l development, the s e l f - g i v i n g or o t h e r enhancing dimension of submissive behavior would be expected t o be r e l a t e d t o a g e / l i f e experience and t h e r e f o r e more l i k e l y t o be found i n mature a d u l t s than i n a young, t y p i c a l c o l l e g e sample. T h i r d l y , an e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e i n the p r e s e n t c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of submissiveness, i s t h a t submissiveness  has  been d e f i n e d l a r g e l y on the b a s i s of observer judgements of what 10  comprises  submissive behavior.  Observers' accounts  f a i l to  comprehend t h e meaning t h a t the behavior has f o r t h e person is acting.  who  Without c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r the meaning t h a t t h e  b e h a v i o r has f o r t h e person, the a r b i t r a r y l a b e l l i n g o f t h a t b e h a v i o r p r o v i d e s a c o n s i d e r a b l e source of p o t e n t i a l e r r o r . critical  The  n a t u r e o f p e r s o n a l meaning t o the d e f i n i n g o f b e h a v i o r  i s demonstrated i n the l i f e s t o r y of H a r r i e t Brent (Goodfriend & C h r i s t i e , nineteenth century.  Jacobs  1981), a black American s l a v e g i r l i n t h e  Her s t o r y demonstrates an i n s t a n c e i n which  submissive and s u b o r d i n a t e behavior may not be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d by an o b s e r v e r but a r e very d i f f e r e n t f o r the a c t o r . Upon t h e death of both parents and her m i s t r e s s , H a r r i e t was bequeathed a t age t h i r t e e n t o her m i s t r e s s ' n i e c e , a c h i l d o f five.  The c h i l d ' s f a t h e r became her master.  enforced her subjection t o h i s w i l l , reminding  h e r t h a t she belonged  He c o n t i n u a l l y  abusing and m o l e s t i n g h e r ,  t o him, t h a t he had t h e r i g h t t o  do w i t h h e r as he l i k e d , t h a t he c o u l d k i l l her i f he p l e a s e d , and t h a t he would compel her t o submit t o him.  Without  legal  r e c o u r s e t o p r o t e c t her from v i o l e n c e or death, and w i t h not so much as a c o n f i d a n t e with whom she c o u l d dare t o share her s u f f e r i n g , H a r r i e t gave the appearance of being compliant t h e r e was no o p p o r t u n i t y t o do otherwise. never submitted. him,  because  But i n her s p i r i t  she  She despised the man, her s o u l r e v o l t e d a g a i n s t  and she vowed never t o g i v e i n t o him.  11  E v e n t u a l l y , a t age  twenty-one she succeeded seven y e a r s u n t i l she was  i n running away and remained hidden f o r able t o escape t o the n o r t h .  H a r r i e t Brent Jacobs' experience demonstrates the  disparity  between b e h a v i o r as i t i s observed and behavior as i t has meaning t o the a c t o r .  For H a r r i e t , she was  x  s u b o r d i n a t e ' t o her master  as a means of p r e v e n t i n g f u r t h e r abuse or death. her the o n l y meaning of her compliance. know H a r r i e t ' s i n t e n t i o n and who  T h i s was  Yet a person who  observed her, may  have  she was  submissive.  t o him,  she c o u l d never be s a i d t o have submitted t o him.  for d i d not  thought  However, because she never y i e l d e d her  s p i r i t she r e f u s e d t o submit.  In her  Her r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the man  more l i k e s u b o r d i n a t i o n ; the p o s i t i o n i n t o which she was i n a circumstance of domination.  will  seems  forced  Personal c h o i c e ( v o l i t i o n )  and  meaning appear t o be s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r s i n d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between submissive and subordinate behavior. Submissiveness:  the Opposite of Dominance  Submissiveness  has been p l a c e d o p p o s i t e dominance on  c i r c u m p l e x models of p e r s o n a l i t y t r a i t s C r a i k , 1980;  Leary, 1957;  Wiggins,  (Benjamin,  Buss &  1979), perhaps as a  consequence of a s s o c i a t i n g submissiveness conceptually.  1974;  with  subordination  Doing so i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h s u b o r d i n a t i o n b e i n g  d e f i n e d as the antonym of dominance (Webster, 1985). t h a t submissiveness,  I t follows  as i t i s p e r c e i v e d t o be the p e r s o n a l i t y  t r a i t t h a t would p r e d i s p o s e an i n d i v i d u a l t o be would be p l a c e d o p p o s i t e the power dimension 12  subordinate,  of dominance.  Self-  g i v i n g , y i e l d i n g , and d e f e r r i n g —  t h e p o s t u r e s o f submission,  are p e r c e i v e d as weakness and are p l a c e d o p p o s i t e t h e power dimension o f dominance. Allport's  (1928) and Maslow's (1940, 1942) works on  ascendance and submission,  which p r o v i d e d a f o u n d a t i o n  c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f these terms, have had an important  for the influence  i n e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e d i r e c t i o n of dominance/submissiveness research. animal  Maslow (194 0), f o r example, suggested  on t h e b a s i s o f  s t u d i e s t h a t an a s s o c i a t i o n e x i s t e d between dominance and  self-esteem.  He e x p l i c i t l y l i n k e d s e l f - e s t e e m w i t h t h e term  "dominance-feeling"  u s i n g the terms i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y .  t i t l e s o f these a r t i c l e s :  "A Test f o r Dominance-feeling  (Note t h e (Self-  esteem) i n C o l l e g e Women" p u b l i s h e d i n The J o u r n a l o f S o c i a l Psychology,  1940, and: "Self-esteem  (Dominance-Feeling) and  S e x u a l i t y i n Women" p u b l i s h e d i n t h e same j o u r n a l i n 1942.) Maslow b e l i e v e d t h a t dominance-feeling  was a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f  s e l f - e s t e e m and t h a t l a c k o f s e l f - e s t e e m was c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f x  low-dominance'.  The "dominance syndrome" was r e p r e s e n t e d  for  Maslow by such behaviors or a t t i t u d e s as s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , s o c i a l p o i s e , e x t r o v e r s i o n , f e e l i n g s of c a p a b i l i t y , and independence; whereas "low-dominance" was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by t i m i d i t y ,  shyness,  s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , i n h i b i t i o n , low s e l f - e s t e e m , and i n s e c u r i t y . Allport noted  (1928) i n h i s s t u d i e s o f "ascendance-submission"  t h a t t h e r e was an obvious  s o c i a l p r e f e r e n c e f o r ascendance  ( i . e . , dominance) but defended submissiveness 13  as a worthwhile  p e r s o n a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , suggesting t h a t the submissive person "still 1928,  o f t e n makes a s u c c e s s f u l adjustment" p. 134).  H i s own  b e h a v i o r s markedly  to l i f e  (Allport,  d e s c r i p t i o n s of ascendant and  submissive  f a v o r e d the former; a t l e a s t as b e h a v i o r s one  would p r e f e r f o r o n e s e l f .  T h i s i s perhaps best summarized i n h i s  q u o t a t i o n from H e r b e r t Spencer, t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s must d e c i d e whether they w i l l be a boot or a door mat society  (Allport,  1961,  p.  i n our c o m p e t i t i v e  339).  In the next decade, Gough et a l . (1951) p o l a r i z e d dominance and submissiveness as * o p p o s i t e ' t r a i t s with the d e f i n i t i v e statement t h a t "people with low-dominance are s u b m i s s i v e " (p. 3 61).  The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n s of submissiveness  that  e v o l v e d a f t e r Gough's d e f i n i t i v e statement suggest t h a t b e i n g dominant i s p r e f e r a b l e t o being submissiveness, a t l e a s t i n terms of d e s c r i p t o r s one would choose f o r o n e s e l f .  Wiggins  (1979) f o r  example, on h i s circumplex model of i n t e r p e r s o n a l t r a i t s , p l a c e d the l a b e l " l a z y - s u b m i s s i v e " at the weak p o l e o p p o s i t e the power c a t e g o r y l a b e l l e d "ambitious-dominant".  The " l a z y - s u b m i s s i v e "  l a b e l d e s c r i b e s those i n t e r p e r s o n a l i n t e r a c t i o n s t h a t incompetence,  involve  p a s s i v e r e s i s t a n c e , submission or obedience.  d i v e r s e a t t r i b u t e s are c o n s i d e r e d t o share i n common the  These  semantic  f e a t u r e s of denying s t a t u s t o s e l f , denying love t o both s e l f other, and g r a n t i n g s t a t u s t o o t h e r s " (Wiggins, 1979, "Submissiveness  (weakness)"  p.  398).  i s d e f i n e d by Wiggins w i t h the  a d j e c t i v e s s e l f - d o u b t i n g , s e l f - e f f a c i n g , t i m i d , meek, unbold,  and  unaggressive, f o r c e l e s s , unauthoritative. "dominant  On the o p p o s i t e  (power)" r e f e r s t o i n t e r p e r s o n a l a c t i o n s t h a t  pole,  are  a s s e r t i v e , f o r c e f u l , domineering, f i r m , s e l f - c o n f i d e n t , s e l f a s s u r e d and to grant  un-self-conscious  l o v e and  to others.  The  (weakness) and correlated.  (p. 405).  s t a t u s t o s e l f , and  Dominance i s  considered  deny s t a t u s but g r a n t  b i p o l a r a d j e c t i v e c l u s t e r s f o r the  love  submissive  dominant (power) dimensions are h i g h l y  negatively  T h e o r e t i c a l l y they are b e l i e v e d t o share no  features  i n common. The opposites  t h e o r e t i c a l assumption t h a t these t r a i t s are has  polar  been f r e q u e n t l y t e s t e d but the r e l a t i o n s h i p has  been c o n s i s t e n t l y demonstrated.  For example,  Wiggins  s u r p r i s e d t o f i n d t h a t of the s i x t e e n i n t e r p e r s o n a l  (1979)  not was  adjective  s c a l e s t h a t he developed, the s m a l l e s t psychometric d i f f e r e n c e s o c c u r e d on the ambitious-dominant and Also, Russell  lazy-submissive  items.  (1979), i n v e s t i g a t i n g the b i p o l a r i t y of a f f e c t i v e  space, found no evidence f o r the b i p o l a r i t y of dominance submissiveness. based on the  His e x p l a n a t i o n  and  for this "puzzling" finding  l a c k of v a l i d variance  i n the submissiveness s c a l e s ,  thus p r e c l u d i n g meaningful c o n c l u s i o n s .  Buss and  Craik  suggested t h a t the problem may  l i e in conceptualizing  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s as the opposite  of dominance.  (1981)  They h y p o t h e s i z e d  t h a t a c t s i d e n t i f i e d as being p r o t o t y p i c a l l y s u b m i s s i v e would p r e d i c t e d by two  r e l e v a n t s c a l e s : the Dominance S c a l e from  C a l i f o r n i a P s y c h o l o g i c a l Inventory (CPI; Gough, 1957) 15  was  and  the the  be  Dominance S c a l e from the Jackson P e r s o n a l i t y Research Form-E (PRF-E; Jackson, 1967).  ( S i m i l a r p r e d i c t i o n s were made w i t h  r e s p e c t t o t h r e e other t r a i t s : dominance, a l o o f n e s s , gregariousness.)  Subjects'  reported performance of  and submissive  a c t s were c o r r e l a t e d with t h e i r score on the submissive s c a l e s of the p r e d i c t o r i n v e n t o r i e s .  The  hypotheses were  c o n f i r m e d f o r the t h r e e other d i s p o s i t i o n s (dominance, g r e g a r i o u s n e s s ) but not f o r submissiveness. c o r r e l a t i o n s of two  (Buss & C r a i k , 1981).  (1981) s t a t e t h a t , although s p e c u l a t i v e and counterintuitive, properly  "dominance and  conceptualized  (p. 190).  Only  of the m u l t i p l e - a c t c r i t e r i a  s i g n i f i c a n t l y from zero  sub-  the differed  Buss and  Craik  perhaps  submissiveness may  as p o l a r opposites,  aloofness,  not  be  as i s g e n e r a l l y done"  They suggest t h a t a t t e n t i o n needs t o t u r n t o  the  c o n s t r u c t i o n of s c a l e s s p e c i f i c t o the domain of s u b m i s s i v e a c t s and  t h a t the  may  provide  i n g r e d i e n t s of masochism, abasement, and c l u e s t o the nature of the  deference  construct.  S i n c e p e r s o n a l i t y t e s t s r e f l e c t c u r r e n t u n d e r s t a n d i n g of phenomena b e i n g measured, t h i s study proposes t h a t the w i t h submissiveness may  difficulty  l i e i n the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of  this  p a r t i c u l a r t r a i t p r i m a r i l y i n maladaptive terms.  Because the  maladapative dimension has  i n the  already been d e s c r i b e d  the  l i t e r a t u r e , t h i s study w i l l i n v e s t i g a t e whether i n t e r p e r s o n a l contexts and  e x i s t i n which submissiveness has  i f so, attempt t o d i s c o v e r whether the  adaptive  consequences,  psychological  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of i n d i v i d u a l s engaging  i n these b e h a v i o r s a r e  c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the c u r r e n t p r o f i l e of a submissive p e r s o n a l i t y . Submissiveness: P s y c h o l o g i c a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h e A d a p t i v e Dimension T h i s study proposes t h a t submissiveness, when i t o c c u r s i n the c o n t e x t o f a s u b j e c t i v e sense of p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g and r e s u l t s i n p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p outcomes, i s an a d a p t i v e t r a i t not r e p r e s e n t e d by the p r e s e n t d e s c r i p t o r s : weak, powerless, passive.  Although p r e s e n t l y t h e r e i s meagre evidence t o support  the c o n t e n t i o n t h a t the c u r r e n t c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n i s incomplete or i n a c c u r a t e (e.g., Buss & C r a i k , 1981), t h e p r o p o s a l d e r i v e s from t h e o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t f r e q u e n t l y persons who appear t o m a n i f e s t p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l t h , who demonstrate  or express a  s u b j e c t i v e sense of w e l l - b e i n g and who e v i d e n t l y e x p e r i e n c e success i n t h e i r i n t e r p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , a c t s u b m i s s i v e l y . That i s , they a r e s e l f - g i v i n g ; they s e t a s i d e t h e i r own needs o r wishes  i n o r d e r t o serve the need of another person; o r they  d e f e r t o t h e wishes of another i n order t o p l e a s e t h a t person or t o a c h i e v e some purpose t h a t i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e i r i n t e r n a l i z e d values.  In the l i v e s of such people, these  b e h a v i o r s a r e c o n s i s t e n t , appearing as i d e n t i f y i n g f e a t u r e s o f their personality.  The a c t s appear t o serve a f u n c t i o n a l ,  c o n s t r u c t i v e r o l e i n promoting  inter-relatedness.  Submissive  a c t s o f t h i s nature i n f a c t appear t o d e r i v e from p e r s o n a l  17  q u a l i t i e s t h a t are generally i n d i c a t i v e of higher l e v e l s of p e r s o n a l i t y development.  The f o l l o w i n g biography p r o v i d e s an  i l l u s t r a t i v e example of t h i s hypothesized dimension b e h a v i o r and i n d i c a t e s the profound in  t h e world  o f submissive  impact t h a t such b e h a v i o r has  today.  A contemporary example of "adaptive" submissiveness.  She was  young, o n l y 12 years o l d , when she decided t h a t her l i f e was not to  be one o f p l e a s i n g h e r s e l f but was t o be g i v e n t o God.  e i g h t e e n she l e f t her Yugoslavian peasant convent.  A t age  f a m i l y and e n t e r e d t h e  F i f t e e n years l a t e r , with f i v e rupees  i n h e r pocket,  she l e f t t h e c l o i s t e r e d l i f e and made her way t o t h e most wretched p a r t o f C a l c u t t a where she found l o d g i n g and g a t h e r e d a few abandoned c h i l d r e n together t o begin a s c h o o l . fifty all  y e a r s she has, i n her own words,  F o r over  "despoiled [ h e r s e l f ] of  t h a t i s not God", l i v i n g i n poverty and detachment,  renouncing  her w i l l ,  make h e r s e l f 1971,  her i n c l i n a t i o n s , her whims and f a n c i e s , t o  "a w i l l i n g s l a v e t o the w i l l o f God" (Muggeridge,  p. 67).  In p r a c t i c a l terms t h i s means so t o t a l an  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the d e r e l i c t and d e s t i t u t e t h a t she shares the same food, wears the same c l o t h i n g , and possesses as p o s s i b l e .  She l i v e s f o r others, r e f e r r i n g t o h e r s e l f as a  mere instrument, world's  as l i t t l e  a w i l l i n g s l a v e of the most wretched o f t h e  humanity.  S t r i v i n g not o n l y t o abase, but t o a b o l i s h s e l f by b e i n g c o m p l e t e l y submissive t o God and the s e r v i c e o f o t h e r s i s an  18  uncommon d e s i r e .  With no other knowledge o f t h e person, one  might conclude t h a t e x c e s s i v e  g u i l t , masochism or low s e l f - e s t e e m  must u n d e r l i e such s e l f - d e p r e c a t i o n . claims  She seeks t o be n o t h i n g and  no c r e d i t , f e e l i n g undeserving of her t i t l e and s t r i v i n g  t o f e e l no p r i d e or v a n i t y i n her work (Gonzales-Balado, 1987) . The  p e r s o n a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t have been used i n t h e  p s y c h o l o g i c a l d e f i n i t i o n s of submissiveness (meek, s e l f - e f f a c i n g , yielding,  surrendering,  d e f e r r i n g , etc.) c h a r a c t e r i z e h e r  p e r f e c t l y , and she i n t u r n , seeks t o be c h a r a c t e r i z e d by them. These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are,  i n the p s y c h o l o g i c a l  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h low s e l f - e s t e e m  literature,  and a r e not g e n e r a l l y a t t r i b u t e d  t o a person o f unusual and exemplary personhood. However, t o d e s c r i b e Mother Teresa,  a Nobel P r i z e winner,  w i t h a d j e c t i v e s t h a t suggest p s y c h o l o g i c a l weakness i s t o deny s i g n i f i c a n t a s p e c t s of her c h a r a c t e r . that currently describe  Consider t h e a d j e c t i v e s  submissiveness: s e l f - d o u b t i n g ,  self-  e f f a c i n g , t i m i d , meek, f o r c e l e s s , unbold, u n a g g r e s s i v e and unauthoritative d e s c r i b e her,  (Wiggins, 1979).  They do, by her own admission,  but not i n a weak way.  s e l f - e f f a c i n g , c l a i m i n g no s t r e n g t h ,  She i s s e l f - d o u b t i n g and no i n i t i a t i v e ,  " I t comes from C h r i s t and t h e Sacrament", she says 1971,  no c r e d i t : (Muggeridge,  p. 107). She i s meek and s e r v i l e , weak and u n p e r s u a s i v e i n  p h y s i c a l s t a t u r e and manner; but her achievements demonstrate her f o r c e f u l n e s s and t h e impact she has had on t h e world. r e f r a i n s from any appearance o f p e r s o n a l  19  She  p u b l i c i t y or p r a i s e ; yet  she i s known and r e c o g n i z e d throughout the world.  She asks f o r  n o t h i n g f o r h e r s e l f and p e r s o n i f i e s h u m i l i t y and p o v e r t y ; y e t her e f f o r t s have r e s u l t e d i n houses f o r the d y i n g b e i n g e s t a b l i s h e d i n many c o u n t r i e s , and care being g i v e n t o thousands She  o f people.  i s a s m a l l , homely woman, who i s n e i t h e r p a r t i c u l a r l y  clever  nor a r t i c u l a t e , who acknowledges g r e a t p e r s o n a l weakness but c l a i m s d i v i n e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of weakness i n t o s t r e n g t h , b o l d l y abandoning s a f e t y and her own p h y s i c a l needs t o s e a r c h f o r t h e d y i n g , and f o r c e f u l l y a s s e r t i n g her duty t o serve them.  Seeing  t h a t they a r e helped i s her mission, r e g a r d l e s s o f p e r s o n a l c o s t . Mother Teresa's l i f e i l l u s t r a t e s how extreme  submissiveness  can be a d a p t i v e and how the present c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n f a i l s t o acknowledge t h i s .  Submissiveness  manifest i n b e h a v i o r s o f t h i s  k i n d would n o t u s u a l l y be r e c o g n i z e d as submissiveness  because  of t h e tendency  They would  t o connote  submissiveness n e g a t i v e l y .  l i k e l y be i d e n t i f i e d as u n s e l f i s h n e s s , love, or a l t r u i s m .  These  d e s c r i p t o r s obscure the i n h e r e n t submissiveness: t h e s e t t i n g a s i d e o f o n e s e l f f o r another t h a t i s b a s i c t o submissive b e h a v i o r and t h a t i s perhaps  the d i s p o s i t i o n which enables a person t o  l o v e , a c t u n s e l f i s h l y or be a l t r u i s t i c .  I f the behavior i s  understood t o be submissive by the a c t o r ' s own admission  (as i t  i s i n Mother Teresa's c a s e ) , or i f i t meets t h e c r i t e r i a by definition,  ( i . e . , conveying the n o t i o n o f d e f e r e n c e , meekness  and s e l f - g i v i n g ) , dimension  should such behavior not a l s o be c o n s i d e r e d a  o f submissiveness?  20  There are other l e s s dramatic, more commonplace examples of submissiveness health.  which occur i n the context of p s y c h o l o g i c a l  For example, the I-Thou r e l a t i o n s h i p d e s c r i b e d by Buber  (1960) and enacted  i n the c o u n s e l l i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p ,  which the " a d a p t i v e " dimension observed.  i s one i n  of submissive behavior may  The c o u n s e l o r s e t s a s i d e h i s or her own  be  needs t o  a t t e n d t o the c o u n s e l l e e ; the counselor does not seek t o be a f f i r m e d or t o have p e r s o n a l needs met r e l a t i o n s h i p ; the counselor empathizes, "know" the c o u n s e l l e e ' s p a i n .  i n the t h e r a p e u t i c attempting t o a c t u a l l y  These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s r e q u i r e t h a t  the c o u n s e l o r assume a "submissive" posture i n r e l a t i o n t o the counsellee.  Doing  so c o u l d not be thought t o s i g n i f y poor  p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l t h but r a t h e r i s i n t e r p r e t e d as the c o u n s e l o r p r o v i d i n g a model of p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y h e a l t h y b e h a v i o r . The p e r s o n a l i t y and b e h a v i o r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t are expected  t o be a s s o c i a t e d with the adaptive dimension  submissiveness  w i l l now  of  be presented along w i t h the r a t i o n a l e f o r  p r e d i c t i n g them. P e r s o n a l i t y C o r r e l a t e s of the Adaptive Dimension of Submissiveness Theoretically, t o be i d e n t i f i e d ,  i f a dimension  of a d a p t i v e submissiveness  is  one would expect t o f i n d i t w i t h i n a c o n t e x t of  o t h e r p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t are r e l a t e d t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l well-being. suggested  E v a l u a t i o n s of what c o n s t i t u t e s w e l l - b e i n g have been  t o d i f f e r depending upon whose p e r s p e c t i v e i s taken: 21  mental h e a l t h worker, 1977) .  s o c i e t y or the i n d i v i d u a l  (Strupp & Hadley,  Although the i n d i v i d u a l ' s a p p r a i s a l o f p e r s o n a l w e l l -  b e i n g may not be c o n s i s t e n t with the views of s o c i e t y o r t h e professional, decade,  i t i s b e l i e v e d t o have v a l i d i t y .  During t h e p a s t  some of the p e r s o n a l i t y f a c t o r s t h a t have been a s s o c i a t e d  w i t h a s u b j e c t i v e sense o f w e l l - b e i n g are s e l f - e s t e e m (Anderson, 1977;  Coopersmith,  1967),  i n t e r n a l locus o f c o n t r o l ,  1977;  Brandt, 1980; D u t t w e i l l e r , 1984; R o t t e r , 1966), and  perceived personal efficacy Mercandante,  (Campbell, 1976; Sherer, Maddux,  Prentice-Dunn, Jacobs, Rogers,  1982).  such b e h a v i o r a l f a c t o r s as intimacy (Reis & Shaver, participation  (Bradburn, 1969; Peplau & Perlman,  s a t i s f a c t i o n with f r i e n d s  (Baker,  1988) , s o c i a l  1982),  (Anderson, 1977; Campbell,  s a t i s f a c t i o n i n a love r e l a t i o n s h i p  In a d d i t i o n ,  1976), and  (Diener, 1984) have been  i d e n t i f i e d as f a c t o r s r e l a t e d t o a s u b j e c t i v e sense o f w e l l being.  T h e r e f o r e , i t w i l l be important t o d i s c o v e r whether the  a d a p t i v e dimension of submissiveness i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h any o f these v a r i a b l e s .  I t i s hypothesized t h a t t h e f o l l o w i n g  p e r s o n a l i t y and b e h a v i o r a l a t t r i b u t e s w i l l be c o r r e l a t e d w i t h the a d a p t i v e dimension of submissiveness. Self-esteem S e l f - e s t e e m i s g e n e r a l l y understood t o r e f e r t o a s u b j e c t i v e a p p r a i s a l o f one's worth  (Coopersmith, 1967).  I t has been  i d e n t i f i e d r e p e a t e d l y as a s i g n i f i c a n t determinant o f p e r s o n a l s a t i s f a c t i o n , emotional w e l l - b e i n g , and mental h e a l t h . 22  Positive  s e l f - a p p r a i s a l s have been i d e n t i f i e d as r e l i a b l e p r e d i c t o r s o f higher  l e v e l s of p h y s i c a l h e a l t h while n e g a t i v e  self-appraisals  have been c o r r e l a t e d with p h y s i c a l d i s e a s e , a n x i e t y and academic failures  (Coopersmith,  1967).  Traditionally, positive  (or high)  s e l f - e s t e e m has been a s s o c i a t e d with dominance and a s s e r t i v e n e s s ; negative  (or low) s e l f - e s t e e m with submissiveness  Maslow, 1940, 1942).  ( A l l p o r t , 1928;  The l a t t e r i s of course d e f i n e d as t h e  tendency t o be p a s s i v e , weak, or u n a s s e r t i v e i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l relations. However, low s e l f - e s t e e m has not been demonstrated e m p i r i c a l l y t o c h a r a c t e r i z e submissive  a c t i o n s i n which t h e  i n d i v i d u a l has chosen t o p l a c e the other's needs ahead o f h i s or her own f o r a p a r t i c u l a r reason.  Choosing t o submit i n o r d e r t o  a c h i e v e a purpose t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l c o n s i d e r s worthy o f s e l f g i v i n g would appear t o be a q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t b e h a v i o r submission  motivated  by low self-esteem.  This  than  investigation  p o s t u l a t e s t h a t v o l u n t a r i l y chosen a c t s of submission  more  l o g i c a l l y d e r i v e from p o s i t i v e s e l f - a p p r a i s a l s t h a t a r e r o o t e d i n c o n s i s t e n t and s t a b l e c o n v i c t i o n s t h a t one i s worthwhile, adequate, and s i g n i f i c a n t .  D.K. C l a r k ' s (1985) d i s t i n c t i o n between  s e l f - e s t e e m based on f e e l i n g s of "worthfulness" f e e l i n g s o f "worthiness" b e i n g suggested  here.  rather  than  i d e n t i f i e s the c r i t i c a l element t h a t i s  Self-esteem  i n a s e l f - g i v i n g person  like  Mother T e r e s a would not l i k e l y be based on t h e b e l i e f t h a t one i s d e s e r v i n g , e n t i t l e d , or worthy, but upon a r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t one  has worth by v i r t u e of being human.  Assurance  o f worth f r e e s an  i n d i v i d u a l from t h e pre-occupation with s e l f t h a t plagues  persons  low i n t h e i r esteem of s e l f , who a r e beset w i t h thoughts o f personal d i f f i c u l t i e s , (Coopersmith,  1967).  inadequacies and powerlessness Thus energy  and i n t e r e s t can be d i r e c t e d  o u t s i d e o n e s e l f t o other persons and p u r s u i t s .  This i s  c o n s i s t e n t w i t h Maslow's (1942) d e s c r i p t i o n of secure as people  individuals  i n whom h i g h s e l f - e s t e e m r e s u l t s i n s t r e n g t h and  cooperation. i s not thought  In secure people as Maslow saw them, p e r s o n a l power of p r i m a r i l y i n terms of enhancing  one's own  p o s i t i o n but r a t h e r i n c o o p e r a t i n g t o achieve a common good. Locus o f C o n t r o l The  l o c u s of c o n t r o l c o n s t r u c t has been developed  to refer  t o an i n d i v i d u a l ' s p e r c e p t i o n of t h e r e l e v a n c e o f t h e i r t o an outcome.  behavior  The c o n s t r u c t d e r i v e s from t h e p r o p o s i t i o n o f  s o c i a l l e a r n i n g theory t h a t human behavior i s determined  by t h e  p e r c e i v e d v a l u e o f reinforcements and t h a t persons d i f f e r  i n the  degree t o which they b e l i e v e the reinforcement i s e i t h e r dependent upon, or independent ( D u t t w e i l l e r , 1984). expectancy  of h i s or her a c t i o n s  Locus of c o n t r o l i d e n t i f i e s t h e person's  f o r reinforcement as being e i t h e r i n t e r n a l l y o r  externally located.  A person who i s i n t e r n a l l y o r i e n t e d b e l i e v e s  t h a t outcome i s c o n t i n g e n t upon behavior; whereas, t h e e x t e r n a l l y o r i e n t e d person c o n s i d e r s luck, chance or powerful o t h e r s t o determine  what happens (Rotter, 1966) .  A s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r i n the locus of c o n t r o l  construct  r e l a t e s t o f e l t mastery over the course of one's l i f e 1970).  Rotter  (Mirels,  (1966) suggested t h a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p between  i n t e r n a l / e x t e r n a l locus of c o n t r o l and the t o c o n t r o l the environment was  i n d i v i d u a l ' s attempt  r e l a t e d t o powerlessness, i n t h a t  an e x t e r n a l o r i e n t a t i o n r e s u l t s i n persons p e r c e i v i n g c o n t r o l over l i f e circumstances.  Extreme e x t e r n a l i t y i s  i n d i c a t i v e of p a s s i v i t y i n the face of environmental (Rotter,  1966).  pressures  I t would seem l o g i c a l t o expect t h a t  persons, as the t r a i t  little  i s currently defined  i n the  submissive  literature,  tend t o be e x t e r n a l l y o r i e n t e d , responding t o p r e s s u r e s w i t h o u t r a t h e r than c o n v i c t i o n s from w i t h i n . who  are  from  C o n v e r s e l y , persons  i n t e r n a l l y o r i e n t e d tend t o f e e l more i n c o n t r o l of  environment and  are more attuned to r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n  be u t i l i z e d t o i n f l u e n c e the s i t u a t i o n . a c t i v e l y w i t h the e x p e c t a t i o n w i l l happen.  their  that  can  They tend t o respond  t h a t what they do determines what  T h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n suggests t h a t persons who  t o p l a c e the need of others ahead of t h e i r own  or t o  submit, are l i k e l y t o be i n t e r n a l l y o r i e n t e d .  Having  choose  volitionally considered  v a r i o u s a l t e r n a t i v e a c t i o n s and the p o t e n t i a l consequences, they choose t o submit i n the b e l i e f t h a t doing so i s most conducive t o achieving  the d e s i r e d e f f e c t .  They then submit w i t h o u t f e e l i n g  that personal  c o n t r o l has  of c o n f o r m i t y  are a p p l i c a b l e t o t h i s deduction.  i n d i v i d u a l s who  been given up.  Rotter's  are i n t e r n a l l y o r i e n t e d may  (1966) s t u d i e s  He  perceive  found t h a t an  advantage  i n conforming and  thus choose to conform, f e e l i n g t h a t they  r e t a i n c o n t r o l s i n c e the o p t i o n to r e s i s t m a n i p u l a t i o n or unwelcome i n f l u e n c e i s always maintained. Bender's (1928) e a r l y o b s e r v a t i o n between h i g h e r aspect  s c h o l a r s h i p and  I t may  be  that  that a r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s  submissiveness i s r e l a t e d t o  of l o c u s of c o n t r o l .  F i v e f a c t o r s have been i d e n t i f i e d as being p e r t i n e n t i n t e r n a l l o c u s of c o n t r o l ( D u t t w e i l l e r , 1984; The  this  f a c t o r s c o n s i s t of c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s i n g ,  Lefcourt,  self-  These f a c t o r s are expected t o be c e n t r a l t o  manifestations of being  1976).  autonomy, r e s i s t a n c e  t o i n f l u e n c e attempts, delay of g r a t i f i c a t i o n , and confidence.  to  adaptive  of submissiveness: the a c t i s chosen on the  the most e f f e c t i v e way  basis  to achieve a d e s i r e d purpose;  the  i n d i v i d u a l i s capable of autonomous a c t i o n as an i n d i c a t i o n of ego  development; the  i n f l u e n c e ; and  i n d i v i d u a l a c t s independently of  by v i r t u e of possessing  a higher  external  level  of  p e r s o n a l i t y development i s able to delay g r a t i f i c a t i o n a n t i c i p a t e long-term  and  satisfaction.  Self-efficacy A f a c t o r t h a t has  been i d e n t i f i e d as having a p o w e r f u l  e f f e c t upon b e h a v i o r change i s the b e l i e f t h a t one i n a way  t h a t w i l l b r i n g about the d e s i r e d outcome.  expectancy i s termed s e l f - e f f i c a c y and  i s able to act This  i n v o l v e s an i n d i v i d u a l ' s  w i l l i n g n e s s t o i n i t i a t e behavior, t o expend e f f o r t t o complete the b e h a v i o r , and  t o p e r s i s t i n the face of d i f f i c u l t y 26  (Sherer  et a l . ,  1982).  Because s u b m i t t i n g t o another  person ahead of o n e s e l f , d e f e r r i n g t o another)  (putting  another  is difficult  b e h a v i o r f o r most people, i t would appear t h a t a person submits  who  ( i n a manner t h a t would be c o n s i d e r e d adaptive) would  need t o be s t r o n g l y motivated t o engage i n the b e h a v i o r and c a r r y i t out, o f t e n a t c o n s i d e r a b l e p e r s o n a l c o s t . m o t i v a t i o n f o r t h i s k i n d of behavior may  then  The  d e r i v e from concern f o r  an i n d i v i d u a l , commitment t o a r e l a t i o n s h i p , d e s i r e t o c a r e f o r or h e l p another,  or a b e l i e f t h a t one i s a c t i n g m o r a l l y .  R e g a r d l e s s of m o t i v a t i o n , the i n d i v i d u a l must b e l i e v e t h a t the b e h a v i o r w i l l produce the d e s i r e d outcome. they are c u r r e n t l y i d e n t i f i e d  Submissive  (Buss & C r a i k , 1981)  t h i s n o t i o n of p e r s o n a l involvement  a c t s as  do not convey  i n i n i t i a t i n g and  persisting  i n g o a l - d i r e c t e d behavior, whereas an a d a p t i v e dimension chosen submissiveness Ego  of  self-  does.  Development Ego development has been d e f i n e d i n numerous and somewhat  ambiguous ways (Hauser,  1976;  Loevinger, 1979)  and  assessments of i t have been d i f f i c u l t t o a c h i e v e .  nonclinical However, i t  remains a u s e f u l c o n s t r u c t f o r d e s c r i b i n g the p a t t e r n i n g and p r o g r e s s i v e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n p e r c e p t i o n s of s e l f and of s e l f i n r e l a t i o n t o the s o c i a l world H o l t , 1980;  (Helson, M i t c h e l l & Hart,  McCrae & Costa, 1980).  Loevinger  1985;  (1969) c o n c e i v e s of  ego development as a continuum along which people proceed, i n customary p a t t e r n s t h a t r e f l e c t t h e i r o r i e n t a t i o n t o 27  each  themselves  and t o the world.  According t o her model the  i d e n t i f i a b l e stages along the continuum r e f l e c t s e q u e n t i a l changes i n s t r u c t u r e s of meaning and c h a r a c t e r (Loevinger, L o e v i n g e r & Wessler,  1970).  1969;  Seven stages p l u s t h r e e t r a n s i t i o n a l  s t a g e s a r e d e f i n e d , each r e p r e s e n t i n g g r e a t e r complexity than p r e c e e d i n g one and each being p r e - r e q u i s i t e t o the one  following.  B r i e f l y , the stages are i d e n t i f i e d as the P r e s o c i a l Symbiotic  (1-1)  the  and  stage of the i n f a n t c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  g r a t i f i c a t i o n of immediate needs; the Impulsive  stage  (1-2), of  e a r l y c h i l d h o o d i n which e g o c e n t r i c i t y , demandingness and c o n c e p t u a l s i m p l i c i t y are common and impulse c o n t r o l and  a  p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h the s a t i s f a c t i o n of p h y s i c a l needs i s c e n t r a l ; and the S e l f - P r o t e c t i v e stage, a normal phase i n c h i l d h o o d c h a r a c t e r i z e d by g r e a t e r impulse c o n t r o l , more s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , and c o n f o r m i t y t o r u l e s f o r reasons of s e l f - i n t e r e s t and s h o r t term advantage.  The  Conformist  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of adolescence  (1-3)  stage, i s the  stage  i n which d i s a p p r o v a l and shame f o r  the t r a n s g r e s s i o n of r u l e s are important  i s s u e s , as are  concerns  f o r m a t e r i a l t h i n g s , s t a t u s , r e p u t a t i o n , and appearance. transition  The  (1-3/4) between t h i s stage and the next marks the  appearance of i n t r o s p e c t i v e c a p a c i t i e s and an awakening of  self-  awareness and s e l f - c r i t i c i s m ; the s o c i a l group no longer p r o v i d e s a b s o l u t e g u i d e l i n e s f o r behavior. 1976)  A number of s t u d i e s  have found more people t o be a t t h i s stage of  development than any other. 28  The f i f t h stage, termed  ego  (Hauser,  Conscientious  (1-4), i s marked by m o r a l i t y which has become  i n t e r n a l i z e d and  i n n e r r u l e s take precedence over those of  or a u t h o r i t i e s ; o b l i g a t i o n s , i d e a l s , t r a i t s , e v a l u a t e d by i n t e r n a l standards.  and achievements are  The t r a n s i t i o n a l stage  marks the achievement of g r e a t e r complexity  peers  (1-4/5)  in conceptualizing  interpersonal r e l a t i o n s h i p s , greater tolerance f o r paradoxical r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and relations.  The  i n g e n e r a l great v a l u i n g of i n t e r p e r s o n a l  s i x t h stage, Autonomous (1-5), d e s c r i b e s a p e r i o d  of development i n which i n d i v i d u a l i t y , r o l e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t are the themes of conscious thought and conflicts  r e s u l t i n g from d i v e r g e n t needs, i d e a l s and  are the e x p e r i e n t i a l processes f i n a l stage, the I n t e g r a t e d  of t h i s stage.  and  internal  perceptions  The h i g h e s t or  (1-6), sees the i n d i v i d u a l beyond the  stage of coping with c o n f l i c t to r e c o n c i l i a t i o n and where necessary,  r e n u n c i a t i o n of the u n a t t a i n a b l e  (Loevinger,  T h i s i s b a s i c a l l y a t h e o r e t i c a l stage with an expected  1969). 1 % of  persons a c h i e v i n g t h i s l e v e l of development. The  person who  submit i n a way developed  demonstrates the c a p a c i t y t o c o n s i s t e n t l y  t h a t i s adaptive would be expected  t o have  h i g h e r l e v e l s of ego development, perhaps stage  ( C o n s c i e n t i o u s ) or beyond.  The  i n f l u e n c e of c o n s c i o u s  1-4  thought,  i n t e r n a l i z e d i d e a l s , awareness of s o c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s , autonomous a t t i t u d e s , and g r e a t e r v a l u i n g of i n t e r p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the higher l e v e l s c o u l d be expected motivate  a c t s of v o l i t i o n a l submission.  As w e l l , the g r e a t e r  to  t o l e r a n c e f o r paradox t h a t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a h i g h e r l e v e l of ego development  may  d i s p o s e the i n d i v i d u a l t o s u b m i s s i v e a c t s  t h a t have an a d a p t i v e outcome.  The element of paradox,  a  philosophical basis for self-giving, i s reflected i n b i b l i c a l statements l i k e t h e s e : the master s h a l l be f i r s t ,  i s servant to a l l ,  the  last  and the l e a s t s h a l l be g r e a t e s t .  Moral Development Moral b e h a v i o r i s b e l i e v e d to d e r i v e from a person's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of j u s t i c e or f a i r n e s s i n s o c i a l (Rest, 1979,  1986).  interactions  Four b a s i c p s y c h o l o g i c a l p r o c e s s e s a r e  thought t o precede moral behavior: the a b i l i t y t o i n t e r p r e t a s i t u a t i o n as t o p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s ; the a b i l i t y t o judge  which  a c t i o n i s m o r a l l y r i g h t ; the a b i l i t y t o g i v e p r i o r i t y t o moral r a t h e r than p e r s o n a l v a l u e s ; and the a b i l i t y t o f o l l o w through w i t h t h e i n t e n t i o n t o behave m o r a l l y .  Moral b e h a v i o r i s b e l i e v e d  t o r e f l e c t the p a r t i c u l a r stage of development  a t which  the  i n d i v i d u a l i s operating.< Rest (1979), f o l l o w i n g K o h l b e r g , suggests t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s progress through stages from the most b a s i c m o r a l i t y of obedience t o the h i g h e s t stage e x e m p l i f i e d  by  non-arbitrary s o c i a l cooperation. On the b a s i s of Rest's (1979) model of moral  development,  t r a d i t i o n a l submissiveness would seem t o m a n i f e s t lower l e v e l s of moral development:  obedience  2) ; i n t e r p e r s o n a l concordance  (stage 1); simple exchange (stage (stage 3) ; duty t o the s o c i a l o r d e r  (stage 4 ) ; or s o c i e t a l consensus 30  (stage 5).  For example, when  i n d i v i d u a l s whose moral development i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d as stage are f a c e d w i t h a moral dilemma, they may obedience  submit  one  i n simple  t o an order even i f doing so c o n f l i c t e d w i t h p e r s o n a l  b e l i e f s or v a l u e s .  Such behavior c o u l d be i n t e r p r e t e d  as  r e f l e c t i n g low s e l f - e s t e e m , s e l f - d o u b t , weakness, f o r c e l e s s n e s s , and so f o r t h .  People i n the s u c c e s s i v e stages of development  may  submit because they stand t o g a i n a r e c i p r o c a l b e n e f i t ; because they want t o keep peace; because i t i s t h e i r duty or the accepted t h i n g t o do.  However, a t the h i g h e r stages of p r i n c i p l e d  r e a s o n i n g the i n d i v i d u a l a c t s on the b a s i s of v a l u e s t h a t s o c i a l cooperation.  moral reflect  P r i n c i p l e d moral r e a s o n i n g i s h y p o t h e s i z e d  i n t h i s study t o be r e l a t e d t o submissive behavior t h a t i s s e l f chosen  and a d a p t i v e i n nature.  B e h a v i o r a l C o r r e l a t e s of the Adaptive Dimension of  Submissiveness  I t i s p r e d i c t e d t h a t the f o l l o w i n g b e h a v i o r a l a t t r i b u t e s w i l l c h a r a c t e r i z e the l i v e s of people i n which submissive b e h a v i o r i s chosen v o l u n t a r i l y and has an a d a p t i v e e f f e c t i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s : intimacy, communality, m a r i t a l w e l l - b e i n g , and s a t i s f y i n g s o c i a l t i e s .  satisfaction,  The r a t i o n a l e u n d e r l y i n g  these p r e d i c t i o n s i s as f o l l o w s . Intimacy has been c o n c e p t u a l i z e d by R e i s and Shaver  (1988)  as a dynamic i n t e r p e r s o n a l t r a n s a c t i o n a l process t h a t i s i n f l u e n c e d by the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' g o a l s and t h e i r histories.  relationship  In r e c i p r o c a l i n t e r a c t i o n s , i n t i m a c y tends t o  31  strengthen  and deepen the r e l a t i o n s h i p and t o make the  f e e l v a l i d a t e d and i n t i m a c y may  supported.  However, i n t e n s e f e e l i n g s of  a l s o be engendered i n n o n - r e c i p r o c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s  such as c l i e n t - t h e r a p i s t or p a r e n t - c h i l d dyads. f e a t u r e i n any  The  critical  i n t e r a c t i o n , i f i t i s to be experienced  i n t i m a t e , i s t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t s must p e r c e i v e one be understanding, R e i s and  partners  as  another  to  v a l i d a t i n g and c a r i n g (Reis & Shaver, 1988) .  Shaver (1988) p o s t u l a t e t h a t c a r i n g i s an  essential  component of intimacy, and a s s e r t t h a t i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t i n t i m a c y can occur  i n the absence of c a r i n g .  In a s i m i l a r v e i n , M i l l s and C l a r k (1982) contend t h a t i n t i m a c y i s e s t a b l i s h e d , i n t e n s i f i e d and maintained  by the  way  t h a t i n t e r a c t i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s attend t o each o t h e r ' s needs. theorize Powell,  (see f o r example, C l a r k , 1985; 1986)  They  and C l a r k , M i l l s &  t h a t a "needs" r u l e i s f o l l o w e d i n communal  r e l a t i o n s h i p s which i n f e r s t h a t p a r t n e r s w i l l have a g e n e r a l o b l i g a t i o n t o be concerned about each o t h e r ' s w e l l - b e i n g and respond t o needs as they are p e r c e i v e d .  Partners i n a  r e l a t i o n s h i p t h e r e f o r e determine or c o n t r o l the l e v e l of achieved  will  i n t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s by t h e i r r e s p o n s i v e n e s s  intimacy  t o each  o t h e r ' s needs. I f c a r i n g and v a l i d a t i o n i s demonstrated through responsiveness responding  t o the other's needs - e x p l i c i t or  adequately  o f t e n r e q u i r e s t h a t a person  inferred, be a b l e t o put  a s i d e p e r s o n a l needs i n order t o attend to the o t h e r person.  32  It  i s a t t h i s p o i n t , when s e l f - g i v i n g i s r e q u i r e d ,  that  submissiveness may be a c r i t i c a l p e r s o n a l i t y v a r i a b l e i n promoting t h e development of intimacy, because a trait  submissiveness i s  t h a t o r i e n t s a person toward r e c o g n i z i n g the v a l i d i t y o f  another person's need and responding t o i t .  A submissive  o r i e n t a t i o n may a l l o w a person t o be more c o n s i s t e n t i n demonstrating c a r i n g behavior because, when i t i s c a l l e d f o r , he or  she can put another person's needs or wishes  i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t may c a l l  first.  Marriage  f o r t h i s k i n d of s e l f - g i v i n g .  The p r o v i s i o n of c a r e f o r a c h i l d a l s o o f t e n r e q u i r e s t h a t t h e c a r e g i v e r ' s own needs be secondary t o the needs o f t h e c h i l d , and t h a t t h e a d u l t , t h e r e f o r e , must submit t o the c h i l d i n o r d e r t o p r o v i d e adequate  and necessary care.  A c t s of submission of t h i s  nature, o c c u r r i n g i n h e a l t h y r e l a t i o n s h i p s , a r e comparable t o what M u r s t e i n , C e r r e t o , and MacDonald (1977) have c a l l e d nonexchange-oriented  interactions.  In these  interactions,  persons tend not t o be aware of i n e q u i t i e s of exchange, e i t h e r because  they a r e simply unaware of what they do f o r o t h e r s , o r i f  they a r e aware t h a t an exchange i s u n f a v o r a b l e toward  themselves  they a r e u n d i s t u r b e d , because t h e i r a c t i o n i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h internalized ideals. of  A c t s which p l a c e the needs o f another ahead  one's own needs as a gesture of c a r i n g , v a l i d a t i o n o r  u n d e r s t a n d i n g , would be expected t o promote i n t i m a c y i n t h e relationship.  I f t h i s i s so, a p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p would be  expected between a d a p t i v e submissiveness and i n t i m a c y .  33  Furthermore,  s i n c e intimacy has been found t o be p o s i t i v e l y  c o r r e l a t e d w i t h a sense of s u b j e c t i v e w e l l - b e i n g (Reis, 1987), the a d a p t i v e dimension  of submissiveness would a l s o be expected  t o be r e l a t e d t o the s u b j e c t i v e experience o f w e l l - b e i n g and t o general l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n  (Andrews & Withey, 1976; Bradburn,  1969) . F o l l o w i n g a s i m i l a r r a t i o n a l e , r e c e n t r e s e a r c h has i n d i c a t e d t h a t i n t i m a c y i s a c e n t r a l determinant support  (Reis, 1987).  of c e r t a i n k i n d s o f s o c i a l  Intimate or " h i g h - q u a l i t y " marriages a r e  r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t have been demonstrated t o p r o v i d e support  social  (Gove, Hughes, & S t y l e , 1983), as a r e marriages  s u p p l y t h e r e l a t i o n a l p r o v i s i o n s proposed  by Weiss  that  (1974).  S o c i a l support and r e l a t i o n s h i p s a t i s f a c t i o n have i n t u r n been demonstrated t o b e n e f i t h e a l t h s u b s t a n t i a l l y and t o c o n t r i b u t e t o a sense o f w e l l - b e i n g (Reis, 1987).  I f , as i t has been  here, t h e a d a p t i v e e x p r e s s i o n s of submissiveness  suggested  are r e l a t e d t o  the achievement of intimacy and the r e l a t i o n a l p r o v i s i o n s o f marriage,  i t should f o l l o w t h a t a person's  submission  i n positive  (adaptive) ways t o h i s or her marriage p a r t n e r s h o u l d be r e l a t e d to marital satisfaction.  Furthermore,  i n t h e same way t h a t t h e  absence o f r e l a t i o n a l p r o v i s i o n s have been shown t o r e s u l t i n loneliness  (Weiss,  1973) and t h a t the l a c k o f i n t i m a t e  i n t e r a c t i o n s tend t o produce f e e l i n g s o f p e r s o n a l  failure,  a n x i e t y , d e p r e s s i o n , h e l p l e s s n e s s and s e l f - d e p r e c a t i o n which a r e e x p e r i e n c e d as l o n e l i n e s s  (Peplau & Perlman, 1982; R e i s & Shaver,  34  1988),  t h e p o s i t i v e consequences  of adaptive a c t s o f  submissiveness should be demonstrated  by an i n v e r s e r e l a t i o n s h i p  to l o n e l i n e s s . Objectives  of the Study  T h i s study addresses the concern t h a t the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of t r a i t submissiveness has a r i s e n p r i m a r i l y as a by-product o f dominance r e s e a r c h , uni-dimensionally interactions.  and as such the concept i s p r e s e n t l y  as a weak dimension i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l  I t has been suggested t h a t the e a r l y work on  dominance and submission have i n f l u e n c e d t h i s view, the tendency t h a t has been noted 1981)  viewed  f o r some c o n s t r u c t s  of p e r s o n a l i t y r e s e a r c h submissiveness).  (see f o r example,  as w e l l as Goldberg,  ( i . e . , dominance) t o become t h e t a r g e t  t o the e x c l u s i o n of o t h e r s  (i.e.,  One consequence of m a i n t a i n i n g t h e a c c e p t e d  view and f a i l i n g t o i n v e s t i g a t e other p o t e n t i a l a s p e c t s o f a trait,  i s t h a t important dimensions of behavior may be e x c l u d e d  from t h e o r e t i c a l and e m p i r i c a l a t t e n t i o n (Buss & C r a i k ,  1985).  The o b j e c t i v e s o f t h i s study a r e t o (a) examine t h e p r e s e n t c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f submissiveness,  (b) p r e s e n t a t h e o r e t i c a l  c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f an adaptive dimension o f submissiveness, h e r e a f t e r r e f e r r e d t o as v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness,  (c) develop a  measure o f v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness and (d) t e s t i t s hypothesized c o r r e l a t e s .  35  Research  Questions  S i x r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s were posed t o address t h e problem i d e n t i f i e d i n t h i s chapter and t o achieve the o b j e c t i v e s above.  outlined  Each q u e s t i o n i s addressed by some aspect o f t h e  r e s e a r c h ; however, t h e hypotheses p e r t a i n o n l y t o r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s 3, 5 and 6. 1. Can b e h a v i o r a l a c t s t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e the v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness c o n s t r u c t be e l i c i t e d and i d e n t i f i e d by u s i n g the critical  i n c i d e n t i n t e r v i e w method?  2. I f v o l i t i o n a l l y submissive behaviors a r e i d e n t i f i e d , a r e they measurable? 3. I s t h e r e an a d a p t i v e dimension of the submissiveness  trait  t h a t can be d i s t i n g u i s h e d by behaviors t h a t a r e q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from the behaviors t h a t c u r r e n t l y comprise t h e domain of submissive a c t s , i n t h a t they a r e c o r r e l a t e d w i t h p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g and have the e f f e c t o f enhancing interpersonal  relationships?  4. What m o t i v a t i o n s u n d e r l i e v o l i t i o n a l l y submissive b e h a v i o r ? 5. Can groups be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d on the b a s i s o f p r e d i c t e d s c o r e on t h e t e s t o f v o l i t i o n a l  submissiveness?  6. I s t h e h y p o t h e s i z e d t r a i t , v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness, capable of p r e d i c t i n g b e h a v i o r a l response? Research Hypotheses The f o l l o w i n g hypotheses w i l l be t e s t e d : 1.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p o r 36  c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the V o l i t i o n a l Submissiveness Scale (VSS) and s e l f - e s t e e m as measured by t h e E a g l y R e v i s i o n of the J a n i s F i e l d Self-Esteem  Scale  (1967) . 2.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t n e g a t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p or  c o r r e l a t i o n between submissiveness as measured by the CPI (Gough, 1987) and s e l f - e s t e e m as measured by the Eagly R e v i s i o n of the J a n i s F i e l d Self-Esteem S c a l e . 3.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p or  c o r r e l a t i o n between submissiveness as measured by the VSS and i n t e r n a l l o c u s of c o n t r o l as measured by the I n t e r n a l  Control  Index ( D u t t w e i l e r , 1984). 4.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t n e g a t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p or  c o r r e l a t i o n between submissiveness as measured by the CPI and i n t e r n a l l o c u s of c o n t r o l as measured by the I n t e r n a l  Control  Index. 5.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p or  c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and ego development as measured by the Sentence Completion Test 6.  (Loevinger, 1970). There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p or  c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and s e l f - e f f i c a c y as measured by the S e l f - e f f i c a c y S c a l e (Scherer, e t a l . 1982). 7.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p or  c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and p r i n c i p l e d moral r e a s o n i n g as measured by the D e f i n i n g Issues T e s t (Rest, 1972). 8.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t n e g a t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p or  c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and n e u r o t i c i s m as measured by the NEO Inventory (McCrae & Costa, 9.  1983).  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p or  c o r r e l a t i o n between submissiveness as measured by the CPI and n e u r o t i c i s m as measured by the NEO Inventory. 10.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  significant positive  relationship  or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and c o n s c i e n t i o u s n e s s as measured by the NEO Inventory. 11.  There i s no r e l a t i o n s h i p or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l  submissiveness as measured by the VSS and submissiveness as measured by the CPI. 12.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  significant positive  relationship  Or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and m a r i t a l s a t i s f a c t i o n as measured by the Dyadic Adjustment 13.  S c a l e (Spanier, 1976).  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  significant positive  relationship  or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and i n t i m a c y as measured by the C l o s e S o c i a l Relationships Scale (Miller & Lefcourt, 14.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y 38  1982).  significant positive  relationship  or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and w e l l - b e i n g as measured by the S a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h Scale 15.  (Diener, Emmons, Larson, & G r i f f i n ,  Life  1983).  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e  relationship  or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and communal o r i e n t a t i o n Orientation 16.  Scales  (Clark,  as measured by t h e  Relationship  Ouelette, Powell & M i l l b e r g ,  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t negative  1987) .  relationship  or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the  VSS and exchange o r i e n t a t i o n  Orientation 17.  as measured by t h e  Relationship  Scales.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t n e g a t i v e  relationship  or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and l o n e l i n e s s (Russell, 18.  as measured by the UCLA L o n e l i n e s s S c a l e  Peplau, & Cutrona, 1980).  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e  relationship  or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and a l t r u i s m  as measured by the A l t r u i s m  Checklist  (Rushton, C h r i s j o h n , & Fekken, 1981). 19.  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t n e g a t i v e  relationship  or c o r r e l a t i o n between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by the VSS and c o s t o f c a r e - g i v i n g Problematic Social Ties 20.  as measured by t h e t e s t o f  (Rook, 1984).  There i s a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t n e g a t i v e  relationship  between v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness as measured by t h e VSS and 39  s o c i a l d e s i r a b i l i t y as measured by the Marlowe-Crowne S c a l e , (1960). 21.  The mean VSS score of the t a r g e t e d t h e r a p i s t group w i l l be  s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher 22.  than the mean VSS score of t h e c l i e n t  S e l f - g i v i n g behavior  group.  ( g i v i n g up the "Z" i n a b e h a v i o r a l  experiment) w i l l be p o s i t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d w i t h VSS s c o r e . Significance Submissiveness as i t i s p r e s e n t l y d e f i n e d  i s not a  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t h a t one i s l i k e l y t o c l a i m f o r o n e s e l f . assumed t o r e f l e c t low self-esteem p s y c h o l o g i c a l maladjustment.  It is  and a component o f  T h i s conception  of submissiveness  accounts f o r t h e tendency of some people t o respond t o dominance w i t h p a s s i v i t y , and i n these i n s t a n c e s p s y c h o l o g i c a l weakness. consider  i t appears t o r e f l e c t  But i t may be t h a t t h i s view f a i l s t o  some important aspects of i n t e r a c t i o n b e h a v i o r , such as  the meaning t h a t behavior has f o r t h e a c t o r . by C a r l s o n  As has been noted  (1985), t h e most "human" of our endowments i s our  c a p a c i t y f o r d i f f e r e n t i a t e d thoughts and f e e l i n g s . be t h e s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r p e r s o n o l o g i c a l enquiry. recognize  d i f f e r e n c e s i n the u n d e r l y i n g  This  should  Failure to  individual psychological  s t r u c t u r e s t h a t g i v e r i s e t o submissive behavior, and t o i d e n t i f y the meaning and t h e consequence of t h e behavior, may l e a d t o misconceptions.  Thus, t h i s study attempts t o i d e n t i f y and  i n v e s t i g a t e t h e t r a i t from the p e r s p e c t i v e  40  of i n d i v i d u a l s who  choose t o a c t i n submissive ways i n s i g n i f i c a n t  relationships.  Secondly, submissiveness has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been s t e r o t y p e d as a " f e m i n i n e " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which,  along w i t h some o t h e r  feminine q u a l i t i e s that contribute t o i n t e r p e r s o n a l e f f e c t i v e n e s s , have been thought t o make women b e t t e r " f i t " men  f o r r e l a t i o n a l r o l e s and f o r f a m i l y and c h i l d - c a r e  than  roles.  The e f f e c t o f s t e r e o t y p i n g submissiveness as a feminine t r a i t i s twofold.  First,  as Lewis  (1985) observed,  relegating  i n t e r p e r s o n a l and r e l a t i o n a l r o l e s t o women has r e s u l t e d i n women c a r r y i n g t h e burden of our c u l t u r e ' s d e v a l u a t i o n of s o c i a b i l i t y . The  importance  of s o c i a l support systems i s minimized by a  c o n c e p t i o n o f mental h e a l t h t h a t equates h e a l t h y a d u l t  adjustment  w i t h "masculine" c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s such as independence,  self-  s u f f i c i e n c y , and autonomy (Rosenkrantz, Vogel,- Bee, Broverman, 1968; Broverman, Broverman, & C l a r k s o n ,  Broverman, & 1970).  S t e r e o t y p i n g i n t e r p e r s o n a l t r a i t s t h a t promote i n t e r connectedness  as "feminine" has robbed them of t h e s o c i a l  d e s i r a b i l i t y f a c t o r t h a t i s necessary t o make them more androgenous.  As with other s t e r e o t y p e d b e h a v i o r s , t h e need i s  not t o e l i m i n a t e t h e behavior but t o expand i t s u t i l i t y t o a p p r o p r i a t e i n t e r p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o r both  genders.  S t e r e o t y p i n g has, by v i r t u e of p l a c i n g submissiveness w i t h i n t h e domain o f t h e feminine and t h e r e f o r e of t h e r e l a t i o n a l  traits,  s e r v e d a t l e a s t t o p o i n t t o the r o l e t h a t submissiveness p l a y s i n human r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  41  Secondly,  the negative e f f e c t of feminine s t e r e o t y p i n g i s  t h a t the d e s c r i p t o r s (weak, p a s s i v e , f o r c e l e s s ) have e x c l u d e d  an  a d a p t i v e p o t e n t i a l manifest i n p o s i t i v e i n t e r p e r s o n a l a c t i o n s . The n e g a t i v e consequences of maladaptive apparent,  submissiveness  are v e r y  but the p o s i t i v e consequences of the a d a p t i v e  have not been d e s c r i b e d or explored. dominated by another  dimension  For example, b e i n g  i s o b v i o u s l y unpleasant and n e g a t i v e l y  r e l a t e d t o one's sense of w e l l - b e i n g . of one's c h i l d ahead of one's own  However, p u t t i n g the needs  needs i n the p r o c e s s of  e f f e c t i v e p a r e n t i n g and l a b e l l i n g t h i s behavior as a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of s e l f - c h o s e n , adaptive submissiveness an i n t e r p e r s o n a l context i n which submissiveness  identifies  i s desirable.  T h i s study seeks t o i d e n t i f y the a d a p t i v e dimension trait,  t o i n v e s t i g a t e the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the a d a p t i v e  of t h i s dimension  t o o t h e r f a c t o r s t h a t have been shown to be i n d i c a t o r s of p s y c h o l o g i c a l adjustment, met  and to suggest c o n d i t i o n s which must be  i n o r d e r f o r submissiveness  t o be a d a p t i v e and t o promote or  enhance r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Delimitations The  i n v e s t i g a t i o n was  l i m i t e d i n t h a t the r e s u l t s may  generalized to a l l populations. c o l l e c t e d from men r e s u l t s cannot was  not  be  The data f o r the study were  and women between 19 and 68 y e a r s of age.  be g e n e r a l i z e d o u t s i d e t h i s age group.  An  The  attempt  made t o randomly sample an a d u l t p o p u l a t i o n but the sample  w i l l not be r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the g e n e r a l p o p u l a t i o n because the  42  m a j o r i t y of s u b j e c t s c o n s i s t of passengers on B.C. F e r r i e s t r a v e l l i n g between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay harbours.  This  p o p u l a t i o n was chosen because i t p r o v i d e d a somewhat randomized sampling of B r i t i s h Columbians l i v i n g i n an area a c c e s s i b l e t o the U n i v e r s i t y of B.C. and i t was a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e c o u l d be completed d u r i n g the one hour and f o r t y minutes o f t r a v e l so t h a t a higher r a t e of r e t u r n c o u l d be ensured than i f s u b j e c t s were requested  t o take  home and complete them on t h e i r own time.  questionnaires  Subjects were not  o f f e r e d payment as an i n c e n t i v e t o complete and r e t u r n t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e even though i t r e q u i r e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e  time  investment because no funds were a v a i l a b l e f o r t h i s purpose.  In  a d d i t i o n , s u b j e c t s were r e c r u i t e d f o r v a r i o u s other p a r t s o f t h e study The  from t h e U n i v e r s i t y of B.C., T r i n i t y Western U n i v e r s i t y ,  S a l v a t i o n Army Homestead, and a community p r e - s c h o o l  group i n Surrey,  B.C.  The s u b j e c t s were p r i m a r i l y  parents  Caucasian,  lower-mainland r e s i d e n t s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the middle range of the socio-economic s t r u c t u r e , so g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s a r e l i m i t e d t o a s i m i l a r sample.  F i n a l l y , the r e s u l t s are l i m i t e d t o a d u l t s who  are v o l u n t a r y p a r t i c i p a n t s , and who are i n t h a t sense, s e l e c t e d f o r t h e study.  43  self-  CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE The is,  b a s i c t a s k f o r the s c i e n c e  t h a t o f attempting t o d e s c r i b e  of p e r s o n a l i t y has been, and personality  empirically.  (1970) summarized the r o l e of p e r s o n a l i t y r e s e a r c h that of  " l e a r n i n g the best way t o d e s c r i b e  Levy  and t h e o r y as  what k i n d o f a person  a man [ s i c ] i s , how he [ s i c ] got t h a t way, what keeps him [ s i c ] t h a t way, what might make him [ s i c ] change, and how we might use a l l t h i s t o e x p l a i n why he [ s i c ] behaves as he [ s i c ] does and p r e d i c t how he [ s i c ] w i l l behave i n the f u t u r e " Describing  (p. 29) .  what k i n d of a person one i s : the q u a l i t i e s ,  a t t r i b u t e s , or c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t a r e m a n i f e s t w i t h some degree of c o n s i s t e n c y ,  and a t some l e v e l of i n t e n s i t y , over time and  across s i t u a t i o n s , requires  a considerable  depth o f knowledge of  a person's motives, b e l i e f s , values and way o f l o o k i n g  at l i f e .  R e c e n t l y , i t has been argued (see f o r example, L a m i e l l , 1981) t h a t t h e assessment of d i f f e r e n c e s between i n d i v i d u a l s , t h e paradigm which has dominated p e r s o n a l i t y r e s e a r c h c e n t u r y , has f a i l e d t o d e s c r i b e individual.  Carlson's  the p e r s o n a l i t y  during  this  o f any g i v e n  (1971) query: "Where i s t h e person i n  p e r s o n a l i t y r e s e a r c h ? " expresses t h i s concern. The  p r e s e n t study seeks t o i n v e s t i g a t e "the p e r s o n " who i s  submissive.  I t w i l l attempt p a r t i c u l a r i l y t o i d e n t i f y a d a p t i v e  e x p r e s s i o n s o f submissive behavior t h a t a r e d i s t i n c t from t h e b e h a v i o r s t h a t have been i d e n t i f i e d t o date i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e as t y p i f y i n g the t r a i t .  T h i s s e c t i o n begins w i t h a review o f t h e 44  e a r l y s t u d i e s of submissiveness, p r o v i d i n g the h i s t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n a l b a s i s f o r the c u r r e n t c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n .  or  The  i n f l u e n c e of the e a r l y work on the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the trait,  p a r t i c u l a r i l y i n r e l a t i o n t o dominance, i s then  i n terms of conceptual submissiveness and  b l u r r i n g between the two  subordination.  l i t e r a t u r e that portrays  The  rather  d e s c r i b i n g the p s y c h o l o g i c a l context  The  constructs, extensive  submissiveness as the o p p o s i t e  dominance w i l l then be reviewed, as w i l l the  presently considered  discussed  of  literature  which submissiveness i s  t o manifest.  H i s t o r i c a l B a s i s of the Current  Conceptualization  Submissiveness: A T r a i t of P e r s o n a l i t y E a r l y i n the h i s t o r y of p e r s o n a l i t y r e s e a r c h , emphasized the r o l e of the r e s e a r c h e r  and  the s c i e n t i f i c  i n d e f i n i n g such p e r s o n a l i t y v a r i a b l e s as t r a i t s . t h a t the t r a i t concept must be e s t a b l i s h e d on statistical,  and  Allport  He  "rational,  i f p o s s i b l e , on n e u r o l o g i c a l grounds, b e f o r e i t (p. 118).  from b e i n g  not otherwise v e r y  the o b j e c t of study, was  The  person,  the u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the t r a i t i n terms of p r o v i d i n g  which i t was  process  advised  can be employed w i t h j u s t i f i c a t i o n "  information  (1928)  apart  salient  personal  about the meaning of behavior w i t h i n the c o n t e x t enacted.  A t r a i t was  to  d e f i n e d by A l l p o r t as  in  "a  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c form of behavior more g e n e r a l i z e d than the s i n g l e r e a c t i o n or simple h a b i t " and  rather l i k e a generalized habit  or  a "prominent determining tendency" behavior" that A l l p o r t  (p. 119). Two " t r e n d s i n  (1928) i n i t i a l l y d e s c r i b e d and e s t a b l i s h e d  as t r a i t s were ascendance and submission. following  He p r o v i d e d t h e  rationale:  In most s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n s comprising o n l y two people  there  i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y a dominant p e r s o n a l i t y and a submissive personality.  I t does not matter whether t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p be  f r i e n d l y or i n i m i c a l .  O c c a s i o n a l l y t h e r o l e s o f t h e persons  may be r e v e r s e d , when f o r i n s t a n c e , the c o n v e r s a t i o n t u r n s t o a s u b j e c t i n which the experience o f the submissive person  i s superior.  Taking the aggregate  o f t h e responses  over a p e r i o d of time, however, i t i s o f t e n p o s s i b l e t o d e t e c t an enduring d i s p o s i t i o n on the p a r t o f one o f t h e p a i r t o assume a r o l e of supremacy, the other a r o l e o f subordination, Allport  (p. 120)  (1928) suggested t h a t i f one were t o f o l l o w these  i n d i v i d u a l s i n t o other f a c e - t o - f a c e s i t u a t i o n s , t h e same t e n d e n c i e s t o assume e i t h e r the dominant or submissive would be observed  roles  as a r e l a t i v e l y constant c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i n  t h e i r b e h a v i o r ; any s i n g l e a c t s of dominance o r submission would not be merely  d i s s o c i a t e d , or chance r e a c t i o n s t h a t were  u n r e l a t e d t o t h e g e n e r a l t r e n d of the person's  b e h a v i o r but, he  b e l i e v e d , c o u l d p r o v i d e "an index t o an a b i d i n g t r a i t "  (p. 120) .  As i s c u r r e n t l y the case, A l l p o r t b e l i e v e d t h a t ascendance and submission a r e c o r r e c t l y c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as two s e p a r a t e 46  t r a i t s r a t h e r than submission being merely t h e absence o f ascendance. ascendant  However, he c o n s i d e r e d each i n d i v i d u a l t o have an  and submissive i n t e g r a t i o n ; t h a t i s , each person  possessed both t r a i t s .  In some he thought t h e t r a i t s may be  expressed about e q u a l l y , but i n most persons one o f t h e two t e n d e n c i e s i s s u f f i c i e n t l y pronounced an ascendent  t o i d e n t i f y them as e i t h e r  or a submissive p e r s o n a l i t y  i s t h e predominant  (Allport,  view expressed i n the l i t e r a t u r e  As f o r p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , A l l p o r t  1928).  This  today.  (1928) d e f i n e d  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s as t h e " s t r o n g l y marked tendency t o be p a s s i v e i n c o n t a c t s ; " whereas, ascendence  was d e s c r i b e d  as t h e " s t r o n g l y  marked tendency t o take the a c t i v e r o l e , t o dominate, l e a d , and o r g a n i z e , i n d e a l i n g w i t h [one's] f e l l o w s "  (p. 127). The e x t e n t  t o which A l l p o r t c o n s i d e r e d submissiveness t o be a p a s s i v e o r weak response i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n the comparison  of behaviors that  he suggested were m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of ascendance  and s u b m i s s i o n .  For A l l p o r t  (1928), ascendance  was demonstrated  by s e e k i n g out  u s e f u l c o n t a c t s w i t h important people, whereas submissive b e h a v i o r c o n s i s t e d o f not seeking such c o n t a c t s o r f e e l i n g r e l u c t a n t t o make them.  Ascendance, he b e l i e v e d , was r e v e a l e d by  a c t i n g i n accordance w i t h one's own d e s i r e s , w h i l e submissiveness was i n d i c a t e d by y i e l d i n g t o t h e d e s i r e s o f others.  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note here t h a t A l l p o r t d i d not  address t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t one's own d e s i r e may be t o y i e l d t o the d e s i r e s o f o t h e r s i f i t were seen as a way t o s t r e n g t h e n t h e  r e l a t i o n s h i p , p l e a s e another person, or a c t i n accord w i t h some i n t e r n a l value. because he viewed  Perhaps he d i d not p e r c e i v e t h i s  alternative  submission p r i m a r i l y i n terms of t a k i n g "a r o l e  of s u b o r d i n a t i o n " ( A l l p o r t , 1928, p. 120). A l l p o r t f u r t h e r d e s c r i b e d ascendant  behavior as t h a t which  p l a c e d o n e s e l f i n a p o s i t i o n of advantage i f i t d i d not i n c o n v e n i e n c e o t h e r s (and sometimes i f i t d i d ) , whereas submissive behavior c o n s i s t e d of not seeking the p o s i t i o n o f advantage i f i n so doing one would be conspicuous.  Allport  b e l i e v e d t h a t ascendance permits a person t o speak one's mind or p a r t i c i p a t e i n a d i s c u s s i o n without f e e l i n g unduly  self-  c o n s c i o u s ; t h e submissive person i s l i k e l y t o r a r e l y o r never speak under such circumstances and t o f e e l very s e l f - c o n s c i o u s . Ascendance, he thought, may be manifest by open q u a r r e l l i n g , t h e ascendant  person r e s i s t i n g v i o l a t i o n of r i g h t s even when t r i v i a l ,  whereas, t h e submissive person i s d i s t u r b e d by q u a r r e l s and a v o i d s them a t any p r i c e , r e f u s i n g t o o b j e c t t o t r a n s g r e s s i o n s a g a i n s t p e r s o n a l r i g h t s even though inwardly provoked.  To  s h o u l d e r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , t o be chosen as p r e s i d e n t o r t h e r e c o g n i z e d l e a d e r o f groups,  or t o be a t ease s o c i a l l y , a r e  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t A l l p o r t a s s o c i a t e d with the ascendant personality.  A v o i d i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , being found r a r e l y i n  e x e c u t i v e p o s i t i o n s , and being s u g g e s t i b l e , i n h i s o p i n i o n e x e m p l i f i e d submissiveness.  Allport's description i s f a i r l y  c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the view of dominance and submissiveness t h a t i s 48  c u r r e n t l y found i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l  literature.  The p o r t r a y a l of submissiveness as a more weak, p a s s i v e i n t e r p e r s o n a l stance i s r e f l e c t e d i n the o c c u p a t i o n s t h a t  Allport  suggested were s u i t a b l e c h o i c e s f o r the submissive p e r s o n .  He  s t a t e d t h a t "a young woman with a submissive s c o r e might not, f o r example, f i n d h e r s e l f a t a disadvantage  [ i t a l i c s added] i n such  o c c u p a t i o n s as l i b r a r i a n s h i p , n u r s i n g , s e c r e t a r i a l o r c l e r i c a l work, e d i t o r i a l work.... On the other hand, women w i t h h i g h scores  [ t h a t i s , those who are ascendant] might, i f they have t h e  other r e q u i s i t e q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , safely  [ i t a l i c s added] c o n s i d e r  salesmanship, s o c i a l work, r e p o r t o r i a l work, t h e management o f c l u b s , t e a rooms o r s t o r e s , law, medicine..."  (p. 134).  Allport  seemed t o imply t h a t submissiveness may p l a c e one a t a d i s a d v a n t a g e f o r c e r t a i n c a r e e r s , w h i l e being ascendant p r o v i d e s ^safety' f o r other choices.  Bender (1928) expressed  similiar  sentiments when he e x p l a i n e d t h a t the tendency he had observed f o r s u b m i s s i v e students t o achieve higher s c h o l a r s h i p than dominant s t u d e n t s may be t h a t s c h o l a r s h i p i s a means o f compensating  f o r submissiveness.  However, A l l p o r t  (1928) noted and commented on t h e c u l t u r a l  p r e f e r e n c e a t t h a t time f o r ascendance,  and s t a t e d t h a t t h e  s u b m i s s i v e person should be reassured t h a t i t i s a "mistaken n o t i o n . . . t h a t ascendance i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y more d e s i r a b l e than submission"  (p. 134).  Oddly,  i n h i s t e s t of ascendant-submissive  b e h a v i o r , he a s s i g n e d a p o s i t i v e symbol t o ascendance and a 49  n e g a t i v e symbol t o submission,  commenting t h a t the symbol i m p l i e d  no m e r i t or l a c k of i t . He defends submissiveness c h a r a c t e r i s t i c by s t a t i n g t h a t "the submissive s o c i a l l y charming, and  as a p e r s o n a l  person  i n the long run as s u c c e s s f u l i n h i s  adjustment as the ascendent person"  ( A l l p o r t , 1928,  In summary, A l l p o r t d e s c r i b e d submissiveness  p. 134) .  as a p a s s i v e ,  feminine tendency with a p o t e n t i a l l y disadvantageous Maslow (1940) e l a b o r a t e d t h i s view and e a r l y conceptual  i s often  aspect.  f u r t h e r c o n t r i b u t e d t o the  d e s c r i p t i o n of submissiveness  by way  of h i s  s t u d i e s of dominance. On the b a s i s of o b s e r v a t i o n s of dominant and s t a t u s amongst primates,  subordinate  Maslow (1940) r e p o r t e d what he b e l i e v e d  were r a t h e r s t a b l e s t y l e s or b e h a v i o r a l syndromes among r e l a t i v e l y normal i n d i v i d u a l s i n h i s c l i n i c a l p o p u l a t i o n , attempted t o d i s c o v e r the thread of dominance-feeling t o t a l p e r s o n a l i t y of h i s s u b j e c t s .  Although  and  w i t h i n the  Maslow, as A l l p o r t ,  c a u t i o n e d a g a i n s t the tendency t o regard h i g h dominance f e e l i n g as d e s i r a b l e and  low dominance f e e l i n g as u n d e s i r a b l e ,  tendency t o do so i s nonetheless  evident.  the  For example, Maslow  (1942) used the terms "dominance or s e l f - e s t e e m syndrome" and "self-esteem  (dominance-feeling)"  between dominance and literature.  c r e a t i n g a conceptual  link  s e l f - e s t e e m which has p e r s i s t e d i n the  Coopersmith (1967) comments on t h i s a s s o c i a t i o n ,  s t a t i n g t h a t "the behavior m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of h i g h  self-esteem  have been d e s c r i b e d by such terms as dominance and a s s e r t i v e n e s s "  (p.  25); whereas, "negative s e l f - a p p r a i s a l , or low  self-esteem,  i s o f t e n equated with i n f e r i o r i t y , t i m i d i t y , s e l f - h a t r e d , l a c k of p e r s o n a l acceptance,  and submissiveness"  Maslow (1942) d e f i n e d s e l f - e s t e e m  (p.  260).  (or dominance-feeling)  as  e m p i r i c a l l y i n v o l v i n g "good s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , s e l f - a s s u r a n c e , h i g h e v a l u a t i o n s of the s e l f , f e e l i n g s of g e n e r a l c a p a b i l i t y s u p e r i o r i t y , and embarrassment"  or  l a c k of shyness, s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s or  (p. 2 60).  I t i s g e n e r a l l y assumed today t h a t  s e l f - e s t e e m and the m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of i t are r e l a t e d t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l t h or adjustment. of  an i n s e c u r e person  as having  x  I t i s unusual  self-esteem'.  today t o t h i n k  Yet Maslow  e m p h a t i c a l l y drew a d i s t i n c t i o n between s e l f - e s t e e m i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y secure i n d i v i d u a l s and s e l f - e s t e e m i n the insecure.  The  p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t one c o u l d have s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e ,  be s e l f - a s s u r e d , and possess high e v a l u a t i o n s of o n e s e l f , y e t p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y i n s e c u r e , was expressed  was  a p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t was c o n s i s t e n t l y  i n Maslow's w r i t i n g and was  d i f f e r e n t l y i n the person who secure.  be  expected  possessed  t o be  manifest  those c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  but  For example, Maslow (1942) wrote:  Wertheimer has p o i n t e d out t h a t any d i s c u s s i o n of dominance must be a d i s c u s s i o n of i n s e c u r e people, of  s l i g h t l y s i c k people.  that i s ,  Our data show t h i s t o be t r u e . . . .  High s e l f - e s t e e m i n secure i n d i v i d u a l s r e s u l t s i n s t r e n g t h r a t h e r than power-seeking, i n c o o p e r a t i o n r a t h e r competition.  High s e l f - e s t e e m i n i n s e c u r e 51  than  individuals  eventuates i n domination, urge f o r power over o t h e r and  self-seeking,  The importance of  people  (p. 269) the p s y c h o l o g i c a l context  i n which s e l f -  esteem was m a n i f e s t was important t o these e a r l y a u t h o r s . view t h a t dominance behavior i s r e l a t e d t o s e l f - e s t e e m m a i n t a i n e d ; however, i t s expression  i s not c o n t i n g e n t  The  has been upon t h e  c o n d i t i o n of p s y c h o l o g i c a l s e c u r i t y . Maslow  (1940) d e s c r i b e d  high dominance-feeling i n much t h e  same way t h a t A l l p o r t d e s c r i b e d  ascendance: s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e ,  s o c i a l p o i s e and f r e e r p e r s o n a l i t y expression; extroverted  being  relaxed,  and s e l f - a s s u r e d ; having high s e l f - e s t e e m ,  feelings  of c a p a b i l i t y or s u p e r i o r i t y , an autonomous code of e t h i c s , a l o v e f o r adventure, a tendency t o use people; being secure,  somewhat more  l e s s r e s p e c t f u l of r u l e s , more independent, l e s s  r e l i g i o u s , more masculine, l e s s p o l i t e . maladjustment and n e u r o s i s  He concluded t h a t  were among the v a r i a b l e s t h a t were not  s i g n i f i c a n t l y c o r r e l a t e d with high dominance. S i m i l a r t o A l l p o r t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of submissiveness, and i n c o n t r a s t t o dominance-feeling suggested t h a t low dominance timidity,  (1942)  (low self-esteem) was m a n i f e s t by  shyness, s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s ,  inferiority security.  (self-esteem), Maslow  modesty, i n t r o v e r s i o n ,  f e e l i n g s , low s e l f - e s t i m a t e , and l e s s p s y c h o l o g i c a l He b e l i e v e d t h a t low-dominance people were f a r more  strongly s o c i a l i z e d or i n h i b i t e d .  T h i s may have accounted f o r  some of t h e more p o s i t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t Maslow 52  associated  w i t h low-dominance ( f o r example, being more honest, prompt and  faithful).  reliable,  However, the low-dominance syndrome  g e n e r a l l y e x e m p l i f i e d "extreme f e e l i n g s of g e n e r a l and inferiority,  shyness,  consciousness"  timidness, f e a r f u l n e s s and  (Maslow, 1942,  p. 288).  dominance w i t h being more feminine.  self-  He a l s o a s s o c i a t e d low  Maslow (1940),  c a u t i o n e d a g a i n s t the tendency to regard h i g h as d e s i r a b l e and  low dominance-feeling  specific  like  Allport,  dominance-feeling  as u n d e s i r a b l e , s t a t i n g  t h a t the l a t t e r " i s not n e c e s s a r i l y an i n d i c a t o r of maladjustment, nor of n e u r o t i c t e n d e n c i e s "  (p. 2 64).  Maslow's (1940) o b s e r v a t i o n s of marriage maintained  i n d i c a t e t h a t he  the s t e r e o t y p e of dominance/masculinity  dominance/femininity. l o n g as i t was  and  low  He condoned male dominance i n marriage  so  not markedly so, suggesting t h a t i t l e d t o b e t t e r  m a r i t a l adjustment; whereas he thought  t h a t the dominance of w i f e  over husband p r e d i c t e d s o c i a l and sexual f a i l u r e .  The  high-  dominance woman, he s a i d , demands only a high-dominance man  and a  s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p i n which "she must be dominated, must be f o r c e d i n t o subordinate s t a t u s " (Maslow, 1940,  p. 284).  must be noted t h a t h i s comments are l i n k e d t o ego  Again i t  security in  t h a t he s t a t e d t h a t the concept of dominance i s of l i t t l e use i n " e q u a l " or "secure"  marriages:  ... the best marriages  i n our s o c i e t y (unless both husband  and w i f e are d e f i n i t e l y secure i n d i v i d u a l s ) seem t o be  those  i n which the husband and w i f e are a t about the same l e v e l of 53  d o m i n a n c e - f e e l i n g or i n which the husband i s somewhat h i g h e r i n d o m i n a n c e - f e e l i n g than the w i f e .  In terms of s t a t u s t h i s  means t h a t marriages with e q u a l i t y s t a t u s or  "split-  dominance" s t a t u s , or the husband i n dominant s t a t u s not markedly adjustment  (but  so) are most conducive t o happiness and good  f o r both husband and w i f e .  In those marriages i n  which the w i f e i s d e f i n i t e l y dominant over her husband, t r o u b l e i s very l i k e l y t o ensue i n the form of both s o c i a l and s e x u a l maladjustment individuals.  u n l e s s they are both v e r y s e c u r e  T h i s seems t o be t r u e a l s o , but t o a l e s s e r  e x t e n t , i n those marriages i n which the husband i s v e r y markedly  dominant over h i s w i f e . (Maslow, 1942,  p.  Maslow's c o n c l u s i o n s i n r e s p e c t t o dominance and s a t i s f a c t i o n c o n t r a d i c t an e a r l i e r c i t a t i o n i n which and Johnson  (1986) were quoted t o say t h a t  278)  marital Greenberg  dominance-submission  is a c r i t i c a l  index f o r a s s e s s i n g m a r i t a l d y s f u n c t i o n i n c o u p l e  interaction.  Deutsch  (1975) has s i m i l a r l y t h e o r i z e d  that  asymmetrical power undermines a f f e c t i o n a l bonds i n c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s and Emerson ( c i t e d i n Huston,  1983)  seems t o  suggest t h a t imbalance of power i n marriage i s u s u a l l y uncomfortable, p a r t i c u l a r i l y f o r the person who Peplau  has l e a s t power.  (1983) r e p o r t e d t h a t s t u d i e s have g e n e r a l l y supported  Maslow's c o n t e n t i o n t h a t higher l e v e l s of s a t i s f a c t i o n are found i n both male-dominant and e g a l i t a r i a n marriages, and lower  54  levels  i n female-dominant marriages.  Peplau (1983) i n t e r p r e t e d these  f i n d i n g s t o mean t h a t "the s p e c i f i c p a t t e r n of i n t e r a c t i o n t h a t a couple adopts may be l e s s important t o s a t i s f a c t i o n than whether the p a r t n e r s  agree about t h e p a t t e r n "  supported t h i s view, suggesting  (p. 262).  Huston  (1983)  t h a t asymmetrical e x e r c i s e o f  power when i t proves u n s a t i s f a c t o r y i s perhaps because t h e partners  a r e i d e o l o g i c a l l y uncomfortable with such a p a t t e r n .  Asymmetries o f power t h a t d e v i a t e postulated  from c u l t u r a l norms have been  t o be more l i k e l y t o produce t e n s i o n than those t h a t  are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h c u l t u r e (Huston, 1983).  Thus i t may be t h a t  Greenberg and Johnson's assessment w i l l be i n c r e a s i n g l y t r u e i n the f u t u r e as r e l a t i o n s h i p s r e f l e c t the e g a l i t a r i a n v a l u e s  of the  culture. Furthermore, i n r e s p e c t t o the m a s o c h i s t i c  element i n  s u b m i s s i v e behavior, Maslow (1942) observed t h a t t h e "standardized  c u l t u r a l formulation  i s t h a t women i n l o v e and sex  r e l a t i o n s a r e supposed t o be y i e l d i n g , submissive and even t o some e x t e n t m a s o c h i s t i c "  (p. 288).  The " c u l t u r a l  conventional"  view t h a t submissiveness e n t a i l s some degree o f masochism has been noted by others  (Buss & C r a i k , 1981; Leary, 1957).  Maslow  (1942) suggested t h a t t h i s tendency was demonstrated by t h e woman d e l i g h t i n g i n "the s u p e r i o r p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h , and  height,  hardness,  i n i t i a t i v e o f t h e male, and t h a t g e n e r a l l y r e g a r d s men as  s u p e r i o r t o women" (p. 289). tendencies,  Maslow claimed,  55  Cultural-conventional were present  submissive  to greater or l e s s e r  degrees  i n nearly a l l h i s subjects.  Those few women who showed  no s i g n s o f t h i s c u l t u r a l l y expected a t t i t u d e o f d e f e r e n c e t o men demonstrated attitude, sense.  what Maslow thought was a more t r u l y m a s o c h i s t i c  i n a p s y c h o l o g i c a l r a t h e r than a c u l t u r a l - c o n v e n t i o n a l  Maslow e x p l a i n e d t h a t these women s t r i v e i n c e s s a n t l y t o  dominate and tend t o be s a d i s t i c i n t h e i r dominance i n so f a r as culture allows. dominated,  When confronted by a man who cannot be  "who proves h i m s e l f s t r o n g e r " , then these women become  d e f i n i t e l y m a s o c h i s t i c , and " g l o r y i n being dominated" 1942,  p. 289).  (Maslow,  Although the myth of feminine masochism has s i n c e  been c h a l l e n g e d i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e  (Caplan, 1984),  the s i g n i f i c a n t  p o i n t t o be noted here i s t h a t Maslow i d e n t i f i e d r e l a t i o n s h i p s of dominance-subordination  as m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of maladjustment, and  s e x u a l b e h a v i o r one "channel through which dominances u b o r d i n a t i o n may be expressed"  (Maslow, 1942, p.  291).  Maslow j u s t i f i e d r e t a i n i n g the term d o m i n a n c e - f e e l i n g and u s i n g i t i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y with the term s e l f - e s t e e m , because h i s r e s e a r c h began w i t h t h e use of t h a t concept.  I n t h e next decade  low-dominance was d e f i n e d as submissiveness. Gough, McCloskey,  and Meehl (1951) p r o v i d e d t h e next  important l i n k i n t h e conceptual c h a i n when they a s s e r t e d t h a t "people w i t h low dominance a r e submissive" (p. 361). individuals,  Submissive  they s a i d , appear and f e e l weaker i n f a c e - t o - f a c e  c o n t a c t s , have d i f f i c u l t y a s s e r t i n g themselves, and a r e more easily  i n f l u e n c e d and i n t i m i d a t e d by o t h e r s .  56  In t h e i r  d e s c r i p t i o n of dominant and submissive  behavior  a close  resemblance t o A l l p o r t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n can be noted.  Gough e t a l .  (1951) contend t h a t : ...the dominant person tends t o be the " s t r o n g e r " i n f a c e t o - f a c e p e r s o n a l s i t u a t i o n s . . . . able t o i n f l u e n c e o t h e r s , t o g a i n t h e i r automatic r e s p e c t , and i f necessary them. his to  He  to control  [ s i c ] i s not r e a d i l y i n t i m i d a t e d or d e f e a t e d ,  and  [ s i c ] own f e e l i n g s i n most f a c e - t o - f a c e s i t u a t i o n s seems be f e e l i n g s of s a f e t y , s e c u r i t y , p e r s o n a l T i g h t n e s s ,  self-confidence.  Such a person i s  o t h e r s as " f o r c e f u l " ,  and  o f t e n d e s c r i b e d by  "masterful", "strong",  " a u t h o r i t a t i v e " , and "sure of h i m s e l f  [sic]",  "confident", (p. 361)  These dominance d e s c r i p t o r s : c o n f i d e n t , m a s t e r f u l , and s t r o n g , a r e c o n s i s t e n t with Maslow's d e p i c t i o n of h i g h manifesting  dominance  s e l f - e s t e e m and t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of  submissiveness as i n t e r p e r s o n a l weakness maintained i t s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h low s e l f - e s t e e m .  However, more r e c e n t e m p i r i c a l  s t u d i e s o f submissiveness have not demonstrated t h i s relationship. submissive  Deluty  (1979) hypothesized,  f o r example, t h a t  c h i l d r e n would have low self-esteem,  but t h i s  p r e d i c t i o n was not supported e m p i r i c a l l y . Submissiveness:  Subordination  The f o r e g o i n g l i t e r a t u r e reviewed the t h e o r e t i c a l f o r m u l a t i o n s which e s t a b l i s h e d submissiveness as a t r a i t and  57  p r o v i d e d t h e b a s i s f o r i t s t r a d i t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p t o dominance. The e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a r e l a t i o n s h i p t o dominance may have c o n t r i b u t e d t o a view of submissiveness i n which t h e n o t i o n of s u b o r d i n a t i o n was i n c o r p o r a t e d .  T h i s a s s o c i a t i o n has f o r t h e  most p a r t been i m p l i c i t , although i t was o r i g i n a l l y e x p l i c a t e d by Allport  (1928) when he suggested t h a t a submissive person assumes  a r o l e o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n i n r e l a t i o n t o a dominant person who t a k e s a r o l e of supremacy.  I t was noted e a r l i e r t h a t Maslow  (1940, 1942) a l s o tended t o l i n k the two concepts.  He b e l i e v e d  t h a t a tendency p r e v a i l e d f o r i n s e c u r e people t o u t i l i z e dominance t o e x e r t power over others —  t o dominate them, and he  i d e n t i f i e d s u b o r d i n a t i o n as the consequence of domination.  He  d e s c r i b e d i n t e r p e r s o n a l power dynamics as b e i n g c h a r a c t e r i z e d by d o m i n a t i o n - s u b o r d i n a t i o n , but he then used t h e term s u b m i s s i v e t o r e f e r t o t h e behavior of women i n sexual r e l a t i o n s h i p s which were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by d o m i n a t i o n - s u b o r d i n a t i o n . No e x p l i c i t d i s t i n c t i o n can be found i n t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e between t h e concepts of s u b o r d i n a t i o n and submissiveness.  The terms a r e found t o be c a s u a l l y  used  i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y i n p r o f e s s i o n a l and s e c u l a r l i t e r a t u r e .  Although  Maslow p r e f e r r e d t o use t h e term low dominance i n s t e a d o f t h e terms submission o r s u b o r d i n a t i o n , h i s use of both terms on occasion  ( f o r example, i n r e f e r e n c e t o t h e c u l t u r a l e x p e c t a t i o n s  f o r women) and h i s use of low dominance t o d e s c r i b e t h e low s e l f esteem syndrome, maintained a conceptual a s s o c i a t i o n between  58  s u b m i s s i v e behavior and  subordination.  Gough e t a l . (1951),  by  d e f i n i n g low dominance as submissiveness, a s s i s t e d i n the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of submissive behaviors p o l a r i z i n g o p p o s i t e dominance t e n d e n c i e s .  Because s u b o r d i n a t i o n  i s the antonym f o r  dominance (Webster, 1985), i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the c o n s t r u c t s have been considered Leary  to be roughly  to  two  synonymous.  (1957) made an important o b s e r v a t i o n  r e l a t i n g to  the  s e l e c t i o n of a d j e c t i v e s t o d e s c r i b e the i n t e r p e r s o n a l domain which may  provide  subordination by the  and  an e x p l a n a t i o n submissiveness.  He p o i n t e d  out t h a t terms used  i n t e r p e r s o n a l s c i e n t i s t do not n e c e s s a r i l y have the same  meaning t h a t they do the g e n e r a l He  f o r the tendency t o equate  advised  i n everyday l i f e ,  but t h a t words employed  p u b l i c are o p e r a t i o n a l l y r e - d e f i n e d by the  scientist.  t h a t i t i s best to keep the s c i e n t i f i c meaning  c l o s e as p o s s i b l e t o t h a t which i s used by the c u l t u r e  as  being  s t u d i e d , but the s c i e n t i s t must c o n t i n u a l l y be c l e a r about meaning of the words with which he or she d e a l s .  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s does) must, as much as p o s s i b l e , d e f i n e as they are d e f i n e d  Apart from c o l l e g e samples, very i d e n t i f y how  the t r a i t  little  i n the  e f f o r t has  the  Research t h a t  r e l i e s on the s u b j e c t i v e r e p o r t i n g of i n t e r n a l s t a t e s  concepts i n the same way  by  (which the  population. been taken t o  i s d e f i n e d i n the c u l t u r e .  Submissiveness: the Opposite of Dominance Having d e f i n e d (1951) d e s c r i b e d  low dominance as submissiveness, Gough e t a l .  dominance and  submissiveness i n b e h a v i o r a l  terms  as o p p o s i t e t e n d e n c i e s .  As noted e a r l i e r , they maintained t h e  view t h a t t h e dominant person c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y tends t o be t h e s t r o n g e r i n f a c e - t o - f a c e s i t u a t i o n s and the submissive person weaker; they d e s c r i b e d the dominant person as b e i n g a b l e t o i n f l u e n c e and t h e submissive person as having d i f f i c u l t y b e i n g a s s e r t i v e ; they d e p i c t e d the dominant person as b e i n g a b l e t o c o n t r o l o t h e r s , t h e submissive person as being i n f l u e n c e d and i n t i m i d a t e d by o t h e r s (Gough e t a l . 1951, p. 3 61).  The  s i m i l a r i t y t o A l l p o r t ' s and Maslow's d e s c r i p t i o n s i s s t r i k i n g . The o b v i o u s l y o p p o s i t e tendencies of t h e dominant and s u b m i s s i v e p e r s o n a l i t y as d e s c r i b e d t o t h i s p o i n t i n time were e l a b o r a t e d by Leary  (1957) who used dominance-submission  as t h e  opposing dimensions of t h e power a x i s on a circumplex o f interpersonal t r a i t s .  Leary l a b e l l e d t h e g e n e r a l c a t e g o r y under  which submit o c c u r r e d as S e l f - e f f a c i n g - - M a s o c h i s t i c .  Self-  e f f a c i n g r e p r e s e n t e d a moderate i n t e n s i t y o f submissive response; m a s o c h i s t i c r e p r e s e n t e d the p a t h o l o g i c a l i n t e n s i t y .  The a d a p t i v e  r e f l e x was t o "do one's duty, obey", but t h e p a t h o l o g i c a l  reflex  (masochism) was d e f i n e d i n t h e terms: "weak and s p i n e l e s s a c t i o n s , submit"  (Leary, 1957, p. 108).  R e f l e c t i n g Leary's counsel t h a t t h e s c i e n t i s t be m i n d f u l of the c u l t u r e ' s understanding of the concepts b e i n g d e s c r i b e d , Wiggins'  (1979) circumplex of i n t e r p e r s o n a l t r a i t s i s based on  the assumption  t h a t the n a t u r a l language of t h e c u l t u r e c o n t a i n s  the v o c a b u l a r y t o d e s c r i b e t h e content of human t e n d e n c i e s , and 60  t h a t a taxonomy o f " t r a i t - d e s c r i p t i v e terms must precede meaningful e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s "  (p.396).  The l a b e l s g i v e n t o h i s  i n t e r p e r s o n a l c a t e g o r i e s share the semantic " f l a v o r " o f t h e o t h e r terms i n t h a t p r o f i l e .  V a r i a b l e s t h a t have no semantic f e a t u r e s  i n common occur o p p o s i t e each other on the circumplex 1979,  p.396).  Thus, t h e l a b e l "ambitious-dominant"  (Wiggins,  occurs  o p p o s i t e t h e l a b e l " l a z y - s u b m i s s i v e " or "unassured-submissive" (Wiggins, P h i l l i p s ,  and T r a p n e l l , 1988).  a c c o r d i n g t o Wiggins,  The l a t t e r c a t e g o r y ,  shares the f e a t u r e s o f i n t e r p e r s o n a l  t r a n s a c t i o n s i n v o l v i n g incompetence,  passive resistance,  submission, o r obedience; a t t r i b u t e s t h a t a r e seen t o p o s s e s s t h e "common semantic f e a t u r e s of denying s t a t u s t o s e l f , denying l o v e t o both s e l f and other, and g r a n t i n g s t a t u s t o o t h e r " 1979,  p. 398). The category "ambitious-dominant"  (Wiggins,  shares f e a t u r e s  i n v o l v i n g s u c c e s s , s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e , power, and s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e . As an o p p o s i t e tendency having no f e a t u r e s i n common w i t h t h e " l a z y - s u b m i s s i v e " category, these a t t r i b u t e s would be expected t o be s i m i l a r i n g r a n t i n g s t a t u s t o s e l f but denying s t a t u s t o o t h e r , and g r a n t i n g l o v e t o s e l f and other.  The a m b i t i o u s -  dominant c a t e g o r y occurs a t t h e "power" dimension o f t h e circumplex.  The items i n t h i s category would be expected t o be  h i g h l y n e g a t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d with the items i n t h e l a z y s u b m i s s i v e c a t e g o r y which a r e a t the o p p o s i t e "weak" p o l e . s u b m i s s i v e c a t e g o r y l i e s between t h e l a b e l s : " l a z y "unassuming  (modesty)"  The  ( f a i l u r e ) " and  (Wiggins, 1979, p. 402): items which would  61  be expected t o have a moderately p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h submissiveness. Wiggins  (1979) argued t h a t the taxonomy i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l ' A  r a t h e r than s e m a n t i c ' s i n c e " i t i s assumed t h a t t h e semantic x  structures underlying  s o c i a l perception  i n t h i s c u l t u r e cannot be  i n f e r r e d i n any obvious way from d i c t i o n a r y d e f i n i t i o n s " (p. 4 00).  However, i n r e s p e c t t o the s e l e c t i o n o f t h e l a b e l  " s u b m i s s i v e " f o r t h e category of tendencies t h a t i n c l u d e t h e descriptors self-doubting,  s e l f - e f f a c i n g , t i m i d , meek, unbold,  u n a g g r e s s i v e , f o r c e l e s s , and u n a u t h o r i t a t i v e ,  i t must be  determined t h a t these a r e i n f a c t the a d j e c t i v e s t h a t a representative describe  sample o f the general  population  would use t o  submissiveness, and t h a t submissive b e h a v i o r i s  understood by most people t o mean a d e n i a l of love t o t h e other and  a d e n i a l o f love and s t a t u s t o s e l f .  For example, i n North  America many people c l a i m t o endorse a J u d e o - C h r i s t i a n  belief  system i n which submissiveness i s not understood t o be weak, s e l f - d o u b t i n g , and f o r c e l e s s and t h a t does not deny l o v e t o others.  Within  t h i s b e l i e f system, submission i s seen as a  r e f l e c t i o n of personal  power, an i n d i c a t i o n o f s e c u r i t y and o f  i d e n t i t y , and a m a n i f e s t a t i o n  of one's sense of p e r s o n a l  worth.  For C h r i s t i a n s , submissive behavior c o u l d be s a i d t o m a n i f e s t s t a t u s and l o v e f o r s e l f by g r a n t i n g s t a t u s and l o v e t o o t h e r s . (How  p e o p l e who p r o f e s s t o h o l d the C h r i s t i a n view r e c o n c i l e t h e  c o n f l i c t i n g c u l t u r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c o n s t r u c t  62  has  n o t been s y s t e m a t i c a l l y s t u d i e d nor e m p i r i c a l l y  demonstrated.)  At any r a t e , i t should be determined t h a t t h e  terms a r e c o n c e p t u a l i z e d  i n as broad a manner as a d i v e r s e  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the c u l t u r e uses them, otherwise t h e c o n c l u s i o n s may not be g e n e r a l i z e d t o p o p u l a t i o n s data do not apply  ( i . e . , non-college  Buss and C r a i k as t r a d i t i o n a l l y  (1981) d i s c o v e r e d  t o whom t h e  populations). t h a t submissive a c t s , even  (currently) conceptualized,  c o u l d not be  p r e d i c t e d by c u r r e n t dominance s c a l e s as they had a n t i c i p a t e d . They s p e c u l a t e d  t h a t perhaps "dominance and submissiveness may  not be p r o p e r l y c o n c e p t u a l i z e d  as p o l a r o p p o s i t e s ,  as i s  g e n e r a l l y done" (Buss & C r a i k , 1981, p. 190). Could Wiggins' (1979) f i n d i n g t h a t the s m a l l e s t psychometric d i f f e r e n c e s i n h i s study o c c u r r e d  on the ambitious-dominant and  lazy-submissive  a d j e c t i v e s c a l e s a l s o r e l a t e t o the f a c t o r o f c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n ? Russell  (1979) s i m i l a r l y found no evidence f o r b i p o l a r i t y  i n the  dominant-submissive dimension of a f f e c t i v e space. Although the u s u a l p r a c t i c e i s t o c o n c e p t u a l i z e s u b m i s s i v e n e s s as the opposite  of dominance, t h e r e a r e some  v a r i a t i o n s t h a t should be noted. explicitly  These v a r i a t i o n s do n o t  i d e n t i f y dominance and submissiveness as o p p o s i t e s ,  but t h e g e n e r a l view of submissiveness as a weak i n t e r p e r s o n a l posture  i s maintained.  For example, Benjamin (1974) attempted  t o r e s o l v e t h e o r e t i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s r e s u l t i n g from L e a r y ' s placement o f dominate and submit as o p p o s i t e s 63  on t h e v e r t i c a l  a x i s , and  Schaefer's  (1965) n o t i o n of "autonomy" being o p p o s i t e  "dominate" by d e f i n i n g submit as the complement of dominate. That  i s , submit  appears  i n her model on the c h i l d l i k e p l a n e i n a  p o s i t i o n complementary t o dominate which i s l o c a t e d on p a r e n t l i k e plane.  the  P a r e n t l i k e behaviors are a c t i v e i n nature  r e l a t e t o "what i s going t o be done t o or f o r the o t h e r  and  person";  c h i l d l i k e b e h a v i o r s are r e a c t i v e and r e l a t e t o "what i s g o i n g t o be done t o or f o r the s e l f "  (Benjamin,  1974,  p.395).  "Emancipate" here i s the opposite of dominate; "be the o p p o s i t e of submit.  The c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of  emancipated" submissiveness  as p a s s i v i t y i s maintained. Another view t h a t i n d i r e c t l y p l a c e s submissiveness dominance, i s the one a r t i c u l a t e d by Deluty submissiveness  as one  (1979).  opposite  He d e f i n e d  form of u n a s s e r t i v e n e s s and c a l l e d  i t "a  n o n - h o s t i l e a c t t h a t i n v o l v e s c o n s i d e r i n g the f e e l i n g s , power, or a u t h o r i t y of o t h e r s while denying own  r i g h t s and f e e l i n g s "  o p p o s i t e tendency,  (or not s t a n d i n g up f o r ) one's  (Deluty, 1981a, pp.  155-156).  The  a s s e r t i v e n e s s , he d e f i n e d as the e x p r e s s i o n  of s e l f without the v i o l a t i o n of other's r i g h t s .  However, r a t e r s  (both c h i l d r e n and teachers) experienced d i f f i c u l t y making assertive-submissive discriminations. this,  Deluty's explanation f o r  and f o r the l a c k of s i g n i f i c a n t n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n  between a s s e r t i v e n e s s and submissiveness  scores  (Deluty,  1979,  p. 1066), l i e i n the d e f i n i t i o n s of submissive and a s s e r t i v e a c t s t h a t he employed.  They are not complete o p p o s i t e s , but share  two  important  commonalities:  both are n o n - h o s t i l e a c t s , and n e i t h e r  i n v o l v e s the e x p r e s s i o n of r i g h t s and f e e l i n g s a t the expense of others.  Although Deluty p e r c e i v e s i t t o be otherwise,  f i n d i n g c o u l d mean t h a t submissiveness assertion.  this  i s indeed a form of  T h i s e x p l a n a t i o n , ( i . e . , submissiveness  self-  i s a form of  s e l f - a s s e r t i o n ) i s c o n s i s t e n t with h i s a d d i t i o n a l f i n d i n g t h a t t h e c o g n i t i v e r e p e r t o i r e s of submissive g i r l s were dominated by assertive alternatives appeared  (Deluty, 1981b).  Submissive  children  to regard assertive a l t e r n a t i v e s s i m i l a r l y to a s s e r t i v e  c h i l d r e n i n r e s p e c t t o the success, s t r e n g t h , b r a v e r y m a s c u l i n i t y of the b e h a v i o r s .  and  Deluty's r e s e a r c h p r o v i d e d  evidence f o r h i s c o n t e n t i o n t h a t submissiveness  little  i s a form of  non-  assertiveness. Deluty  (1979) contended  t h a t submissive b e h a v i o r c o n s i d e r s  t h e f e e l i n g s , power, or a u t h o r i t y of o t h e r s w h i l e denying or not d e f e n d i n g one's own  r i g h t s and f e e l i n g s , and on the b a s i s of t h i s  u n d e r s t a n d i n g p r e d i c t e d t h a t submissiveness p o s i t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d with low s e l f - e s t e e m .  i n c h i l d r e n would be However, he found  s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n e i t h e r the boys' or submissiveness adjustment.  girls'  s c o r e s and self-esteem, p o p u l a r i t y and b e h a v i o r a l  In f a c t , h i s f i n d i n g s were c o n s i s t e n t w i t h Bordewick  and B o r n s t e i n ' s (1980) f i n d i n g t h a t a s s e r t i v e and c h i l d r e n shared s i m i l i a r p e r c e p t i o n s .  submissive  Although D e l u t y found a  s m a l l c o r r e l a t i o n between male a s s e r t i v e n e s s and the t h r e e variables  no  ( s e l f - e s t e e m , p o p u l a r i t y , b e h a v i o r a l adjustment), i t 65  was  not so f o r g i r l s .  Apparently, i t was  not t h a t g i r l s  p e r c e i v e d t h e a s s e r t i v e responses to be too masculine t o engage in —  submissive g i r l s  i n fact rated assertive a l t e r n a t i v e s  more " f e m i n i n e " than d i d other c h i l d r e n  (Deluty, 1983,  as  p. 128)  —  but they a p p a r e n t l y s e l e c t e d submissive a l t e r n a t i v e s more f r e q u e n t l y because i t was feel  best.  Deluty  the behavior t h a t would make o t h e r s  (1983) concluded t h a t submissive  children  a p p a r e n t l y c o n s i d e r a s s e r t i v e behaviors "too unkind, unwise, ^bad' t o e x h i b i t them" (p. 128) .  An examination  and  of some of the  items on the C h i l d r e n ' s A c t i o n Tendency S c a l e (Deluty, 1979) illustrate response  h i s c o n c l u s i o n , keeping i n mind t h a t the  may  assertive  i s , a c c o r d i n g t o Deluty, the d e s i r a b l e one.  (Item 2)  You and a f r i e n d are p l a y i n g i n your house.  f r i e n d makes a b i g mess, but your parents blame you p u n i s h you.  What would you  Your  and  do?  ( A s s e r t i v e response) : Ask my  f r i e n d t o h e l p me  c l e a n up  the  mess. ( A g g r e s s i v e response): Refuse t o t a l k t o or l i s t e n p a r e n t s the next  to  my  day.  (Submissive response): Clean up the mess. 8. You're watching the middle for  a r e a l l y t e r r i f i c show on t e l e v i s i o n .  In  of the show, your parents t e l l you t h a t i t ' s time  bed and t u r n o f f the T V.  ( A s s e r t i v e response): n i g h t i f they l e t me  What would you  do?  Promise t o go t o bed e a r l y tomorrow stay up l a t e t o n i g h t .  (Aggressive response):  Scream a t them, " I don't want t o ! "  (Submissive response):  Start crying.  9.  You're having lunch i n t h e c a f e t e r i a . Your f r i e n d has a  b i g bag o f d e l i c i o u s c h o c o l a t e s f o r d e s s e r t .  You ask i f you  can have j u s t one, but your f r i e n d says, "No."  What would  you do? ( A s s e r t i v e response): O f f e r t o t r a d e something o f mine f o r the c h o c o l a t e . ( A g g r e s s i v e response): C a l l t h e k i d mean and s e l f i s h . (Submissive response): Forget about i t and c o n t i n u e e a t i n g my l u n c h . 13. You're p l a y i n g with a f r i e n d i n your house and you're making a l o t of n o i s e .  Your parents g e t r e a l l y angry and  s t a r t y e l l i n g a t you f o r making so much n o i s e .  What would  you do? ( A s s e r t i v e response): T e l l them, "I'm s o r r y , but I can't p l a y t h e game without making n o i s e . " ( A g g r e s s i v e response): Ignore t h e i r y e l l i n g and c o n t i n u e t o make n o i s e . (Submissive response): F i n d something e l s e t o do. (Deluty, 1979). D e l u t y c o n s i d e r e d t h e a g g r e s s i v e and submissive responses t o be maladaptive.  He d i d not a p p a r e n t l y c o n s i d e r o t h e r  factors  such as t h e s i t u a t i o n a l context of t h e behavior, o r t h e meaning of t h e b e h a v i o r f o r the c h i l d , 67  i n making t h e d e s i g n a t i o n s o f  a d a p t i v e o r maladaptive.  To i l l u s t r a t e ,  i f D e l u t y were t o apply  Maslow's c o n d i t i o n of ego s e c u r i t y t o e x p l a i n submissive behavior,  he may conclude t h a t a "secure" c h i l d s e l e c t s a  s u b m i s s i v e a l t e r n a t i v e as a s e l f - a s s e r t i o n i n which he o r she says: " I w i l l take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r my b e h a v i o r " (Item 2 ) ; o r "I r e s p e c t you" (Item 8); or " I accept your r i g h t t o do what you l i k e w i t h your goods" (Item 9); or " I r e s p e c t your r i g h t s and w i l l n o t v i o l a t e them i n p r e f e r e n c e f o r my own" (Item 13). Some p a r e n t s may argue t h a t the submissive responses p r o v i d e d by Deluty are the desirable  ones.  The theme t h a t i s common t o each of t h e views p r e s e n t e d i n t h i s s e c t i o n i s t h a t submissiveness r e p r e s e n t s t h e weak p o l e o f i n t e r p e r s o n a l i n t e r a c t i o n , and tends t o be maladaptive.  This  t h r e a d may be t r a c e d f u r t h e r throughout t h e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f s u b m i s s i v e n e s s as a feminine t r a i t . Submissiveness: A Feminine  Characteristic  Feminine: S o f t , d e l i c a t e , g e n t l e , tender, d o c i l e , s u b m i s s i v e , amenable, d e f e r e n t i a l . . . . M a s c u l i n e : Robust, bold, f e a r l e s s . . . . by J . O. Rodale  s t r o n g , l u s t y , e n e r g e t i c , p o t e n t , brave,  (Sample of synonyms from The Synonym F i n d e r  i n R e i n i s c h , Rosenblum, & Sanders,  1987).  A s u p e r f i c i a l review of p s y c h o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e and even minimal knowledge of t h e c u l t u r e suggests t h a t submissiveness i s associated with femininity.  68  I t has been suggested i n f a c t ,  that  females i n c o r p o r a t e t h e stereotypes  of submissiveness and  incompetence i n t o t h e i r self-images  (Deaux, 1979; Denmark, 1980).  Tender, d o c i l e , d e f e r e n t i a l submissiveness i s employed i n t h e r o l e t h a t women have t r a d i t i o n a l l y been c o n s i d e r e d for  (Lewis,  1985): t h a t o f c a r i n g f o r o t h e r s .  best s u i t e d  Miller  (1976)  contends t h a t women's psyches a r e s t r u c t u r e d around t h e p r i n c i p l e t h a t they e x i s t t o serve other people's needs.  "Women have  t r a d i t i o n a l l y b u i l t a sense of s e l f - w o r t h " , she s t a t e s , "on a c t i v i t i e s t h a t they can manage t o d e f i n e as t a k i n g c a r e o f and giving t o others"  (Miller,  1976, p. 53).  But s e r v i n g  needs, even though someone must do i t , i s not valued culture  (Miller,  i n our  1976) and l i k e submissiveness, i t i s not  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h conceptions Broverman, C l a r k s o n , The  others'  of p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l t h  Rosenkrantz, & Vogel,  (Broverman,  1970).  consequence o f d e f i n i n g o n e s e l f i n terms o f t h e needs o f  o t h e r s has been suggested by G i l l i g a n reduction  (1982) t o r e s u l t i n a  i n t h e power t h a t women h o l d .  This i s consistent  with  the p r a c t i c e o f l o c a t i n g submissiveness a t the weak p o l e o f interpersonal relations. a feminine  However, others have argued t h a t  while  m o r a l i t y appears t o concede power, s e l f - s a c r i f i c e may  a l s o be a s t r a t e g y by which women e x e r c i s e c o n t r o l and power (Janeway, 1971, 1981; Rosenblum, 198 6).  That i s , by s a c r i f i c i n g  s e l f - i n t e r e s t o s t e n s i b l y t o meet the needs of o t h e r s ,  "powerless"  women o b l i g a t e and make r e c i p i e n t s dependent upon them.  This  argument i s i n l i n e with t h e d y s f u n c t i o n a l c a r e - t a k i n g o f c o -  69  dependency  ( B e a t t i e , 1987) t h a t i s a coping b e h a v i o r l e a r n e d i n  r e l a t i o n s h i p s where t h e r e i s an e x c e s s i v e imbalance Rosenblum  of needs.  (1986) suggests t h a t the e t h i c of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e t h a t  d e f i n e s f e m i n i n i t y masks the f a c t t h a t " s a c r i f i c e i s a matter o f c h o i c e " , because t h e i n j u n c t i o n t o p l e a s e o t h e r s d i s g u i s e s t h e f a c t t h a t one i s choosing t o s a c r i f i c e advocated  (p. 98). What i s  i s not t h a t women abandon t h e i r commitment t o c a r e  (Rosenblum, 1986), but r a t h e r t h a t a t t e n d i n g t o one's own i n t e r e s t s and d e s i r e s be l e g i t i m i z e d f o r women and accepted w i t h s e r v i n g and c a r i n g f o r others ( M i l l e r ,  1976).  along  Thus, r a t h e r  than women t r a n s l a t i n g t h e i r own m o t i v a t i o n s i n t o means by which they may s e r v e o t h e r s , an i n t e g r a t i o n must be a c h i e v e d i n which s e l f and o t h e r s a r e served simultaneously; a f u l l e r a b i l i t y t o r e l a t e t o o t h e r s being achieved along with t h e f u l l e s t development o f s e l f  ( M i l l e r , 1976).  Furthermore,  i t i s t h e sex  s t e r e o t y p i n g o f c a r i n g and s e r v i n g a c t i v i t i e s t h a t must be abandoned i n order t h a t both men and women be allowed a c c e s s t o the avenues o f p e r s o n a l development t h a t engaging a c t i v i t i e s brings. affiliation  Miller  i n these  (1976) expressed t h e c o n v i c t i o n t h a t  i s not o n l y a r e q u i r e d c o n d i t i o n f o r t h e e x i s t e n c e of  human beings and t h e advancement of s o c i e t y , by which i n d i v i d u a l development proceeds.  i t i s t h e o n l y means  The major t a s k f o r t h e  human community i s how t o i n c o r p o r a t e t h e n e c e s s i t y o f s e r v i n g o t h e r s i n t o everyone's imposing  subservience  development, male and female, ( M i l l e r , 1976).  70  without  I t i s hoped t h a t t h i s  study w i l l advance understanding o f the p e r s o n a l i t y  attributes  t h a t a l l o w people t o serve and care f o r o t h e r s i n t h e way M i l l e r envisioned. The P s y c h o l o g i c a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Submissiveness The v a r i o u s p s y c h o l o g i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n s o f submissiveness t h a t have been reviewed t o t h i s p o i n t , focus p r i m a r i l y on t h e maladaptive dimension of the t r a i t : (Leary, 1957)/ unboldness, masochism  "weak and s p i n e l e s s  actions"  s e l f - d o u b t , s e l f - e f f a c e m e n t , t i m i d i t y , meekness,  f o r c e l e s s n e s s , u n a u t h o r i t a t i v e n e s s (Wiggins, 1979) ;  (Buss & C r a i k , 1981);  l a c k of s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , non-  a s s e r t i v e n e s s , p a s s i v i t y , conformity, l a c k of c o n t r o l over  self  and o t h e r s , need f o r emotional support and care (Mehrabian & Hines, 1978) and not defending one's own r i g h t s and f e e l i n g s (Deluty, 1979) . The f o c u s on t h e maladaptive dimension s u b m i s s i v e b e h a v i o r i s f u r t h e r demonstrated (1981) r e s e a r c h . undergraduate determined  i n defining i n Buss and C r a i k ' s  These authors a c q u i r e d , from a sample o f 37  s t u d e n t s , a l i s t of the f o l l o w i n g a c t s t h a t they  t o be most p r o t o t y p i c a l of submissiveness:  a c c e p t i n g an u n f a i r grade without q u e s t i o n i n g i t ;  a g r e e i n g one  was wrong when i n f a c t one was not; not complaining when a p e r s o n a l p o s s e s s i o n was used without p e r m i s s i o n ; not c o m p l a i n i n g when one was over-charged a t the s t o r e ; smoking marijuana a g a i n s t one's own wishes because  everyone e l s e d i d i t ;  a l l o w i n g one's  l o v e r t o b r i n g another date home; and a l l o w i n g one's roommate t o  p l a y t h e s t e r e o when i t o b v i o u s l y i n t e r f e r e d w i t h h i s o r h e r own work o r study.  The authors observe t h a t t h e a c t s d e s i g n a t e d as  b e i n g p r o t o t y p i c a l of submissiveness "seem t o imply more than simply t h e absence 182).  of dominant behavior" (Buss & C r a i k , 1981, p.  They make t h e o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t has been noted p r e v i o u s l y :  the d e s i g n a t e d a c t s seem t o share i n common a degree o f masochism t h a t goes beyond simply y i e l d i n g t o t h e p r e s s u r e o f another i n d i v i d u a l o r group,  and thereby are s e t a p a r t from t h e simple  d e n o t a t i o n o f absence x  Leary, 1957;  Wiggins,  o f dominance' (Buss & C r a i k , 1981; 1979).  Whether masochism i s t h e motive or  not, t h e a c t s t h a t Buss and C r a i k i d e n t i f y do not denote an optimal l e v e l of interpersonal functioning. products" x  (Buss & C r a i k , 1981, p.188),  As " s o c i o - c u l t u r a l  t h e s e l e c t i o n o f these  p r o t o t y p i c a l ' a c t s r e f l e c t s the way i n which submissiveness i s  p e r c e i v e d , a t l e a s t by t h i s sample of young people.  The s t u d e n t s  a l s o i d e n t i f i e d a c t s t h a t they c o n s i d e r e d t o be p r o t o t y p e s o f dominance which were i n obvious c o n t r a s t t o submissive b e h a v i o r s , such a s : i s s u i n g o r d e r s t o get a group o r g a n i z e d , t a k i n g  charge,  a s s i g n i n g r o l e s , t a k i n g command and d e c i d i n g f o r t h e group & C r a i k , 1980, p. 384) .  (Buss  Dominant a c t s were r a t e d h i g h i n s o c i a l  d e s i r a b i l i t y i f they e n t a i l e d l e a d e r s h i p and r e s u l t e d i n group g a i n ; low i f they were d i r e c t i v e but s e l f - c e n t e r e d .  Submissive  b e h a v i o r s d i f f e r e d from dominant behaviors i n t h e i r a b i l i t y t o a c h i e v e t h e s o c i a l d e s i r a b i l i t y r a t i n g , f o r obvious reasons. Russell  (1979) t o o d e f i n e d submissiveness i n terms t h a t  72  denote l a c k of power and controlled,  influence.  He used the  i n f l u e n c e d , awed, and guided t o  adjectives  describe  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s i n c o n t r a s t to the a d j e c t i v e s used t o dominance: c o n t r o l l i n g , i n f l u e n t i a l ,  describe  important, autonomous.  The  s o c i a l d e s i r a b i l i t y a s s o c i a t e d with f e e l i n g important, influential,  and  autonomous i s evident  i n comparison t o  being  i n f l u e n c e d , c o n t r o l l e d , awed, or guided. Further  research  t h a t r e l a t e s to the maladaptive  of s u b m i s s i v e n e s s i s t h a t reported (1977) . They d e s c r i b e d  by R u s s e l l and  Mehrabian  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c emotional s t a t e s i n terms  of b a s i c dimensions of temperament: t r a i t a r o u s a b i l i t y - s t i m u l u s screening, and  expression  and  pleasure-displeasure,  dominance-submissiveness,  proposed t h a t an emotional s t a t e c o u l d be i d e n t i f i e d  of i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the three dimensions.  For example,  a u t h o r s suggested t h a t anxiety would be a s s o c i a t e d displeasure,  a r o u s a l , and  i n terms the  with  submissiveness; w h i l e anger would  be  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h d i s p l e a s u r e , a r o u s a l , and dominance ( R u s s e l l & Mehrabian, 1977).  The  a s s o c i a t i o n of a n x i e t y w i t h submissiveness  i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h a maladaptive Mehrabian and  perception.  Hines (1978) employed the above assumptions t o  develop a q u e s t i o n n a i r e  measure of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n  dominance-submissiveness.  The  questionnaire  items  identify  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s through behaviors t h a t i n d i c a t e (1) l a c k of confidence  (not defending personal  one's a b i l i t y ,  opinions,  being unsure of  having d i f f i c u l t y speaking p u b l i c a l l y , 73  self-  lacking  confidence  i n one's ideas, l a c k i n g confidence i n s o c i a l  situations); "no",  (2) n o n - a s s e r t i v e n e s s  (having d i f f i c u l t y  saying  not adhering t o p e r s o n a l c o n v i c t i o n s , not i n s i s t i n g  on  one's r i g h t s , a v o i d i n g c o n f r o n t a t i o n ) ; (3) p a s s i v e r o l e s (conforming  t o o t h e r s , r e l y i n g on experts, being w i l l i n g t o  f o l l o w d i r e c t i o n s , t a k i n g the r o l e of f o l l o w e r ) ; c o n t r o l over one's p e r s o n a l l i f e , (5) needing others;  emotional  support;  (4)  one's emotions, and  others;  (6) t e n d i n g t o be cared f o r by  (7) t o l e r a n c e f o r o t h e r s ; (8) c o n f o r m i t y .  submissiveness  lacking  t h a t i s e x e m p l i f i e d by these  The  concept  of  items on the whole  convey the i d e a of low self-esteem, p a s s i v i t y , and p s y c h o l o g i c a l and  i n t e r p e r s o n a l weakness. F i n a l l y , Benjamin's (1974) placement of submit on  the  c h i l d l i k e plane of her model, i n a l o c a t i o n complementary t o "dominate" on the p a r e n t l i k e plane, maintains the view t h a t submissiveness  e x e m p l i f i e s weakness.  "Be  emancipated" conveys  the n o t i o n t h a t submissive behavior i s r e s p o n s i v e . model, submission behaviors.  In t h i s  i s a l s o not d e p i c t e d w i t h i n the sphere  of a d u l t  The absence of v o l i t i o n , t h a t i s , of choosing  submit, i s observed  i n the placement of "submit" on the  to  childlike  s u r f a c e which Benjamin r e s e r v e s f o r behaviors t h a t are r e a c t i v e and r e l a t e t o what i s going t o be done t o or f o r the (Benjamin, 1974,  p. 395).  The a n t i d o t e t h a t Benjamin's model  p r e s c r i b e s f o r submissiveness opposite  self  i s s p e c i f i e d by i d e n t i f y i n g i t s  (be emancipated) and then f i n d i n g the p o s i t i o n on  the  p a r e n t l i k e s u r f a c e t h a t i s complementary t o i t ( i . e . , emancipate).  In other words, the a n t i d o t e f o r submissiveness i s  f o r the person who status  i s dominating to move from a  (dominate) t o an a f f i l i a t i v e s t a t u s  assume l e s s i n t e r p e r s o n a l power. The  disaffiliative  (emancipate)  submissive p o s t u r e ,  p a s s i v e , does not a c t i v a t e an a n t i d o t e f o r dominating One  and  submits t o the domination of another and  one  being  behavior.  i s emancipated  from i t . Furthermore, "submit" does not appear on the t h i r d  surface  ( t h a t i s , the i n t r a p e r s o n a l dimension) which r e p r e s e n t s  attitudes  taken toward the s e l f : a c t u a l l y , i n t e r n a l i z e d p e r c e p t i o n s one  i s t r e a t e d by s i g n i f i c a n t others.  P o i n t s on t h i s  were deduced by t a k i n g p a r e n t l i k e behaviors  and  x  how  surface  t u r n i n g them  inward'.  Consequently, "dominating" becomes "I am my  master".  "Submit", because i t occurs  not  of  own  on the c h i l d l i k e s u r f a c e i s  i n t r o j e c t e d , so t h e r e i s no i n t e r n a l i z e d c o u n t e r p a r t  for i t .  T h i s r e i n f o r c e s the view t h a t submissiveness i s a r e a c t i v e behavior  and  not a way  of being t h a t i s i n c o r p o r a t e d  i n t o the  self-concept. The  p r a c t i c e of c o n s i d e r i n g submissiveness as a s o c i a l l y  undesirable,  maladaptive b e h a v i o r a l t r a i t may  be e x p l a i n e d  at  l e a s t p a r t i a l l y i n terms of what Broverman et a l . (1970) have r e f e r r e d t o as the "adjustment" n o t i o n of h e a l t h . t h a t c l i n i c i a n s accept  They argued  the n o t i o n t h a t h e a l t h c o n s i s t s of a good  adjustment t o one's environment. 75  Therefore,  s i n c e men  and women  are s o c i a l i z e d d i f f e r e n t l y i n our s o c i e t y , and s i n c e t h e adjustment n o t i o n of h e a l t h a t t r i b u t e s g r e a t e r s o c i a l v a l u e t o masculine s t e r e o t y p i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , submissiveness has, by v i r t u e of b e i n g c o n s i d e r e d  a feminine  as an i n d i c a t i o n of l a c k of h e a l t h . has not q u e s t i o n e d  the competitive  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , been viewed A l s o , North American c u l t u r e  e t h i c (Butt, 1987) which  encourages the maximizing of i n d i v i d u a l p r o f i t s many areas of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n and thereby t h a t i s a c c e p t i n g of dominance behavior.  (Lerner, 1982) i n  fosters a mentality  Therefore,  conceptions  of what c o n s t i t u t e s h e a l t h , being dependent upon and r e l a t i v e t o c u l t u r a l or environmental c o n d i t i o n s , have r e s u l t e d i n submissive behavior  i n g e n e r a l being devalued.  cooperativeness,  Depth of empathy,  and the a b i l i t y t o h e l p others have not been the  c r i t e r i a by which h e a l t h i s assessed of i t than a d a p t a t i o n t o p r e v a i l i n g  but may be b e t t e r i n d i c a t o r s values.  Summary In t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e d u r i n g the p a s t  five  decades, t h e concept o f submissiveness has p r o g r e s s i v e l y been d e f i n e d i n terms of s u b o r d i n a t i o n and i n t e r p e r s o n a l weakness. Allport  (1928) d e s c r i b e d submissiveness as a s t r o n g l y marked  tendency t o be p a s s i v e i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t s ; Gough e t a l . (1951) d e s c r i b e d the submissive  person as one who appears and  f e e l s weaker i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s and i s more e a s i l y i n f l u e n c e d and  76  i n t i m i d a t e d by o t h e r s ; Leary (1957) denoted the dimensions of s u b m i s s i v e n e s s as behaviors ranging t o weak and  s p i n e l e s s a c t i o n s ; Wiggins (1979) a p p l i e d the  lazy-submissive transactions Russell  and  unassertive-submissive  to  labels  interpersonal  i n v o l v i n g incompetence and p a s s i v e - r e s i s t a n c e ;  and  (1979) d e f i n e s submission as being c o n t r o l l e d ,  i n f l u e n c e d , awed and others,  i n i n t e n s i t y from obedience  and  guided.  Lacking  r e q u i r i n g nurturance and  c o n t r o l over s e l f emotional support  and are  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t have been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h submissiveness (Mehrabian & Hines, 1978), as i s a n e u r o t i c element, p a r t i c u l a r i l y masochism (Bronzaft, Hayes, Welch, & K o l t u v , Buss & C r a i k ,  1981;  Leary, 1957;  Once low-dominance was al.  1951), the  of dominance.  Maslow, 1940).  d e f i n e d as submissiveness  been unable t o l o c a t e any  devoted s p e c i f i c a l l y t o the conceptual submissiveness. the  The  and  Buss and  absence of d e s c r i p t i v e r e s e a r c h ,  Craik  (1981, p. 190)  next s e c t i o n i n t h i s chapter presents  as w e l l  Russell  of inner  experiencing.  77  as  (1979, is  conceptualization.  a t h e o r e t i c a l framework  i n which the concept of submissiveness i s examined from perspective  studies  suggest t h a t t h e r e  a need t o examine the accuracy of the c u r r e n t The  opposite  i n v e s t i g a t i o n of  i n d i r e c t f i n d i n g s of Wiggins (1979, p. 407),  p. 351),  (Gough e t  l a t t e r has p r i m a r i l y been s t u d i e d as the T h i s w r i t e r has  1960;  the  Submissiveness: A R e - c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n A review of the l i t e r a t u r e suggests t h a t the d e s c r i p t i v e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of submissiveness, and the a t t r i b u t i o n of t h a t specific trait the way  l a b e l t o i n d i v i d u a l s depends t o a l a r g e e x t e n t on  behavior i s interpreted.  The person —  h i s or her  v a l u e s , i d e a l s , l i f e p l a n , and a c t u a l meaning u n d e r l y i n g b e h a v i o r , may  be overlooked i n the quest f o r the more o b j e c t i v e  data of b e h a v i o r (Carson, 1969).  Cochran  (1984, 1986)  has  argued  t h a t i n a t t r i b u t i n g t r a i t s t o i n d i v i d u a l s i t i s important t o d i s t i n g u i s h between t r a i t s t h a t can be a t t r i b u t e d on the b a s i s of an outward view of a person's a c t i o n s and those t h a t depend on an inward view of what a person i s . He employed the n o t i o n of " o r i e n t a t i o n " t o d e s c r i b e t r a i t s t h a t r e q u i r e an inward view of the person or t h a t express the stance or p o s i t i o n t h a t a person has adopted.  A person's stance or p o s i t i o n can be a c c u r a t e l y  i d e n t i f i e d o n l y by determining the meaning t h a t the observed b e h a v i o r has f o r him or her s i n c e outward m a n i f e s t a t i o n s i n themselves do not p r o v i d e evidence f o r an o r i e n t a t i o n . r e g a r d , Cochran  (1984) s t a t e s t h a t " i f we ask what b e h a v i o r s  s i g n i f y , what they a c t u a l l y r e f l e c t i n a person, we to  In t h i s  are o b l i g a t e d  g i v e some account of the person and what t h i n g s mean t o him or  h e r " (p. 194) . particular trait  T h e r e f o r e , i f one says t h a t a person p o s s e s s e s a ( i f t h a t t r a i t i s one t h a t r e q u i r e s an  o r i e n t a t i o n ) , one must say something w e l l as about what the person  78  does.  about what the person i s as  In  psychology the t r a i t  "submissiveness" i s c u r r e n t l y  d e f i n e d on t h e b a s i s o f manifest  (outward) behavior, r a t h e r than  a c c o r d i n g t o the inward meaning t h a t the behavior has f o r t h e actor.  For example, Buss and C r a i k (1980) a c q u i r e d t h e i r l i s t of  s u b m i s s i v e a c t s by a s k i n g s u b j e c t s t o t h i n k o f t h e most s u b m i s s i v e persons they knew and then l i s t observed  the t h i n g s t h a t they  i n these persons t h a t were i n keeping w i t h t h a t  designation.  These a c t s were then r a t e d f o r t h e i r  p r o t o t y p i c a l i t y t o submissiveness by other judges who had no knowledge o f t h e a c t o r s a t a l l .  Thus, the p e r s o n a l meaning o f  observed behavior was not taken i n t o account a t a l l .  Wiggins  (1979) had s u b j e c t s r a t e the accuracy o f s p e c i f i c semantic to  t h e i r s e l f - p e r c e p t i o n s on the presumption  labels  t h a t t h e meaning  t h a t a p a r t i c u l a r l a b e l had f o r an i n d i v i d u a l was t h e same as t h e u s u a l meaning o f t h a t d e s c r i p t i v e term w i t h i n the language. However, d i f f e r e n c e s i n p e r s o n a l meaning c o u l d account f o r a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount o f v a r i a b l i t y . effacing"  Take the l a b e l  "self-  on t h e H I ' or submissive s c a l e , f o r example, and X  imagine t h e d i f f e r e n c e i n meaning t h a t t h e r e c o u l d be f o r a person l i k e Mother Teresa and f o r an a d o l e s c e n t f o r whom s e l f effacement  r e p r e s e n t s a n e g a t i v e s e l f image, even though each may  f e e l t h e a d j e c t i v e a p p l i e s q u i t e a p t l y t o them.  Without  knowledge o f p e r s o n a l meaning the behavior i s l a r g e l y unexplained. A c c o r d i n g t o Cochran's (1986) f o r m u l a t i o n , submissiveness i s  79  the k i n d of t r a i t t h a t r e q u i r e s an o r i e n t a t i o n t o be  enacted  because i t r e q u i r e s t h a t a p o s i t i o n be adopted; a c o n s i s t e n t of " b e i n g " of s e l f .  i n r e l a t i o n t o s e l f and  i n r e l a t i o n to others  outside  (To r e a l i z e the d i f f e r e n c e between t r a i t s which r e q u i r e  an o r i e n t a t i o n and with a t r a i t  those which do not,  l i k e absentmindedness.)  manifests a personal  compare s u b m i s s i v e n e s s To count as a t r a i t  p o s i t i o n or o r i e n t a t i o n , the  that  submissive  b e h a v i o r must r e f l e c t what the i n d i v i d u a l i s r e a l l y l i k e . Mother T e r e s a , serve,  which means f o r her,  meekness and  Other persons may  submissive  Her p o s i t i o n i s m a n i f e s t through self-effacement.  a c t i n some ways l i k e her: deny s e l f ,  serve others,  different position. disregard  s t r i v i n g to be completely  submissive a c t s of s e l f - d e n i a l and  humble, and  For  her p o s i t i o n i s t h a t she s t r i v e s t o be worthy t o  (Gonzalez-Balado, 1987).  and  way  for self,  but they may  T h e i r a c t i o n s may  a c t meek  be a c t i n g out a  r e f l e c t d i s t r u s t or  a l a c k of c o n t r o l over the outcome of  a c t i o n s , or d i s t r u s t and  very  f e a r of others,  their  and would be more l i k e l y  t o c h a r a c t e r i z e the maladaptive dimension of submissiveness t h a t i s depicted  i n the  literature.  I f an observer s t r i v e s t o i n t e r p r e t behavior on the b a s i s of a person's i n n e r p e r s p e c t i v e  (that i s , a c c o r d i n g  i s ) , the meaning t h a t the a c t i o n s have f o r the an important c o n s i d e r a t i o n .  i n d i v i d u a l must be  Krebs (1982) argues i n r e s p e c t  a l t r u i s t i c acts that "phenotypically from q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t sources"  80  t o what a person  s i m i l a r b e h a v i o r s may and  to stem  "that d i s t i n g u i s h i n g  among such b e h a v i o r s i n terms of t h e i r i n t e n t i o n s and motives  is  more a c c u r a t e than grouping them together i n terms of t h e i r e x t e r n a l appearance because the former approach s u p p l i e s a more sophisticated  ... model of r e a l i t y "  (p. 449).  Observing t h a t a  person a c t s p a s s i v e l y , shows deference, or i s s u b j e c t t o someone e l s e , cannot  a u t o m a t i c a l l y or a c c u r a t e l y l e a d t o the c o n c l u s i o n  t h a t the person  i s o r i e n t e d i n a submissive way.  The  behavior,  the outward m a n i f e s t a t i o n , i s the data t o be e x p l a i n e d i n the l i g h t of i n n e r e x p e r i e n c i n g when making the t r a i t The  attribution.  f o l l o w i n g example (source unknown) i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s p o i n t . A young and powerless  houseboy was  c o n s t a n t l y harassed  p r a c t i c a l jokes p l a y e d on him by the m i l i t a r y men to serve.  he was  by  forced  D e s p i t e t h e i r h e a r t l e s s n e s s , he continued t o s e r v e  w i t h apparent h i s nature was  submission.  E v e n t u a l l y they were convinced t h a t  unprovokable  v i r t u e , some of the men stop tormenting him.  and i n view of the boy's  apparent  r e g r e t t e d being so unkind and promised  Recognizing t h e i r change of h e a r t , the  s e i z e d upon the o p p o r t u n i t y and conceded t h a t he would then  to  boy no  l o n g e r s p i t i n t o t h e i r soup. The boy's m a n i f e s t behavior f u l l y concealed what he was.  In f a c t , h i s manifest t o l e r a n c e and s u b s e r v i e n c e  p r o v i d e d a way  t o enact h i s o r i e n t a t i o n and was  really  actually  more a r e f l e c t i o n  of h i s i n c l i n a t i o n t o r e t a l i a t e than t o be submissive.  Cochran  (1984) r e l a t e d Benjamin F r a n k l i n ' s s t r u g g l e w i t h p r i d e as a f u r t h e r i l l u s t r a t i o n of the n e c e s s i t y of determining the meaning  81  of b e h a v i o r . in  F r a n k l i n ' s determined e f f o r t s t o subdue p r i d e and  i t s p l a c e t o c u l t i v a t e h u m i l i t y were so i n e f f e c t i v e t h a t he  was f o r c e d t o conclude t h a t a l l he had a c q u i r e d was a g r e a t of t h e appearance o f h u m i l i t y and very l i t t l e it.  He f e l t  of the r e a l i t y of  so u n s u c c e s s f u l i n a l t e r i n g h i s p r i d e t h a t he  b e l i e v e d t h a t even i f he c o u l d have completely would p r o b a b l y Cochran  deal  overcome i t , he  have been proud of h i s h u m i l i t y .  (1984) suggested s e v e r a l c r i t e r i a by which t o  e v a l u a t e whether an o r i e n t a t i o n i s being enacted. t h a t the behavior  must be i n t r i n s i c a l l y motivated.  The f i r s t i s I t must a l s o  occur w i t h i n a s i t u a t i o n a l context t h a t a l l o w s f o r t h a t motivation.  I t must be i n t e n t i o n a l , must f i t c o h e r e n t l y  the i n d i v i d u a l ' s t o t a l l i f e p a t t e r n and be compatible personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  with  other  Each of these c r i t e r i a w i l l now be  b r i e f l y examined i n r e l a t i o n t o Intrinsic  within  submissiveness.  Motivation  In o r d e r f o r an a c t t o be s a i d t o r e f l e c t a o r i e n t a t i o n , the determination w i t h i n t h e person.  t o be submissive  submissive  must come from  Choosing t o submit, t o d e f e r t o another o r t o  deny s e l f - i n t e r e s t f o r t h e w e l l - b e i n g of another, i s a c r i t i c a l f a c t o r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g behavior h e l p from b e h a v i o r  that r e f l e c t s a d i s p o s i t i o n to  that r e f l e c t s passive subordination t o the  demands o f o t h e r s . respect t o behaviors  Again,  Krebs (1982) noted t h i s d i f f e r e n c e i n  t h a t appear outwardly t o be a l t r u i s t i c and  suggests t h a t o b j e c t i v e d e f i n i t i o n s t h a t f a i l t o make a 82  d i s t i n c t i o n between the aims, goals and and  i t s e f f e c t s are inadequate.  i n t e n t i o n s of a b e h a v i o r  He proposes t h a t one  of  reasons t h a t i t i s important t o i d e n t i f y the i n t e n t i o n an a c t i s t h a t i n t e n t i o n s u p p l i e s a b e t t e r view of p e r s o n a l i t y or c h a r a c t e r and  thus p r o v i d e s  behavior  the  underlying  the  of a person than does the a c t  itself,  a sounder b a s i s f o r p r e d i c t i n g subsequent  (Krebs, 1982).  Cochran (1984) agreed, s t a t i n g t h a t when  an a c t i o n i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y motivated, " t h a t a c t i o n i s pure, a r e f l e c t i o n of the d i s p o s i t i o n w i t h i n "  (p. 195).  d e f e r s t o another but  i n the matter, or f e e l s  f e e l s no choice  I f a person  i n t i m i d a t e d or coerced t o submit, the behavior does not an  inward d i s p o s i t i o n but  reflect  i s motivated by e x t e r n a l f a c t o r s .  Such  b e h a v i o r c h a r a c t e r i z e s submissiveness as i t i s c u r r e n t l y described the  i n the  l i t e r a t u r e as s u b o r d i n a t i o n .  I t would seem t h a t  i n t e r p e r s o n a l e f f e c t of choosing t o submit stands d i s t i n c t l y  apart  from i n t e r a c t i o n s i n which a person f e e l s l a c k i n g i n  v o l i t i o n because the chosen a c t of submitting intentional. d e s i r e and  i s purposeful  I t would be expected t o be motivated by  (1983) commented t h a t a t t r i b u t i n g p e r s o n a l  hostility.  s a c r i f i c e i s most  as an i n d i c a t i o n of love unless  83  Kelley  a markedly  d i f f e r e n t e f f e c t on both the r e c i p i e n t and the g i v e r . marriage, f o r example, a p a r t n e r ' s  lack  v o l i t i o n versus  e x t e r n a l compulsion t o an a c t of goodness has  perceived  personal  t o be r e c e i v e d p o s i t i v e l y ; whereas a c t i o n s t h a t  v o l i t i o n are l i k e l y t o i n s p i r e resentment and  and  In likely  i t i s interpreted  as  m o t i v a t e d by e x t r i n s i c c o n d i t i o n s such as r o l e requirements or duty. Situational  Context  The second c r i t e r i o n t h a t determines whether or not an o r i e n t a t i o n i s being enacted r e l a t e s t o the s i t u a t i o n a l c o n t e x t i n which the behavior occurs.  I f the u n d e r t a k i n g does not a l l o w  s u b m i s s i o n t o be i n t r i n s i c a l l y motivated, and i f the c i r c u m s t a n c e s are c o n t r a d i c t o r y t o e x p r e s s i n g concern f o r another's w e l l - b e i n g , then the enactments — t o be e x t e r n a l l y —  whatever they  appear  cannot be c o n s i d e r e d i n s t a n c e s of the  a d a p t i v e dimension of submission.  For example, one would not  c o n s i d e r the v i c t i m s of World War  I I internment camps t o have  been s u b m i s s i v e on the b a s i s of t h e i r a c t i o n s .  T h e i r submission  d i d not r e f l e c t t h e i r b e l i e f s and c e r t a i n l y c o u l d not be t o have been i n t r i n s i c a l l y motivated.  said  W i t h i n the c o n t e x t , t h e i r  y i e l d i n g r e s u l t e d from e x t e r n a l i n t i m i d a t i o n and were more t r u l y a c t s of s u b o r d i n a t i o n . In marked c o n t r a s t t o c o e r c i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s ,  close  r e l a t i o n s h i p s such as occur between f a m i l y members, f r i e n d s or r o m a n t i c p a r t n e r s , are l o g i c a l contexts i n which submissive o r i e n t a t i o n s may  be enacted with a p o s i t i v e e f f e c t .  In c l o s e  r e l a t i o n s h i p s , people f e e l a s p e c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r one another's w e l f a r e and g i v e , e i t h e r i n response t o the o t h e r ' s need or simply t o p l e a s e the other person.  C l a r k (1986) used the  term "communal" t o d e s c r i b e these k i n d s of r e l a t i o n s h i p s where 84  members f o l l o w a norm of mutual responsiveness ( P r u i t t , g i v i n g and general  r e c e i v i n g b e n e f i t s not as p a r t of an exchange but  as a  o b l i g a t i o n t o be concerned about the o t h e r ' s w e l f a r e  (Clark & M i l l s ,  1979;  C l a r k & Muchant, 1988).  Although  degree of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t h a t a person assumes f o r the needs may  vary, concern i s manifest through h e l p i n g .  (1985) p r o v i d e d  evidence t h a t h e l p i n g  communal r e l a t i o n s h i p s but maintaining The  the other's  Clark  i s not only more common i n  i t i s an important aspect of  c o m p a t i b i l i t y between members.  m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p i s a l o g i c a l context i n which t o  discover  t h a t a submissive o r i e n t a t i o n i s being enacted because  marriage i s most u s u a l l y p e r c e i v e d communal r e l a t i o n s h i p . marriage t h e r e norms and  M i l l s and  by the p a r t i c i p a n t s t o be Clark  in  another  However, experience i n a marriage r e l a t i o n s h i p  c o n f l i c t i n g needs a r i s e , and  one  s a t i s f y i n g one's own  h e l p the other,  i t i s important  ( i f not  frequently)  must choose between h e l p i n g  need.  I f a partner  ( i n f o l l o w i n g communal norms) t o  based on communal norms do not convey t h a t they  intended t o b e n e f i t o n e s e l f , (Mills & Clark,  1988).  the  chooses t o  communicate a p r i n c i p a l concern f o r the other person's  o t h e r person.  a  i s no s u b s t i t u t e f o r choosing t o f o l l o w communal  confirms that at l e a s t occasionally  o t h e r and  (1988) b e l i e v e t h a t  t o p r o v i d e mutual help or b e n e f i t s t o one  voluntarily.  Actions  1972) ,  or t h a t they are t o be  welfare. are  reciprocated  They are c l e a r l y intended t o b e n e f i t  the  T h i s f e a t u r e d i f f e r e n t i a t e s a communal o r i e n t a t i o n 85  from the process of s y s t e m a t i c accommodation d e s c r i b e d by Borden and L e v i n g e r  (1987).  According t o Borden and  Levinger's  c o n c e p t i o n , p e r s o n a l p r e f e r e n c e s are put a s i d e or a l t e r e d i n o r d e r t o adapt t o one's p a r t n e r , the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n being h i g h l y dependent upon the c o n t i n u a t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p . t h a t when c a r i n g stops, the m o t i v a t i o n t o adapt s u g g e s t i n g t h a t the accommodation was  They s t a t e  ceases,  based upon the  anticipation  of a t l e a s t some p e r s o n a l b e n e f i t . T h i s study proposes t h a t adaptive behaviors of submissiveness  are l i k e l y to be enacted  i n a c o n t e x t of mutual  responsiveness  t h a t occurs w i t h i n a communal o r i e n t a t i o n and  not e x p l a i n e d by f o r m u l a t i o n s t h a t suggest t h a t h e l p i n g may motivated  by p e r s o n a l b e n e f i t s accrued d i r e c t l y or  from the r e l a t i o n s h i p . submissive  are be  indirectly  Thus h e l p i n g , when i t d e r i v e s from a  o r i e n t a t i o n , would be expected  t o be more person-  focused and not s o l e l y dependent upon the e x i s t e n c e of a relationship.  The r e l a t i o n s h i p would s u r e l y b e n e f i t from a c t s  which p l a c e the o t h e r ' s w e l l - b e i n g f i r s t , behavior  but the  i s not motivated p r i m a r i l y by thoughts  self-giving  of the  relationship. T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n a l s o suggests t h a t b e h a v i o r s t h a t r e f l e c t a submissive o r i e n t a t i o n are most l i k e l y t o be found i n c e r t a i n k i n d s of l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  For example, Maslow's  (1955) c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of unneeded, u n s e l f i s h B-love, which i s capable of " c r e a t i n g " the other by g i v i n g a s e l f - i m a g e , 86  self-  acceptance and a f e e l i n g of love-worthiness, i n which v o l u n t a r y a c t s of submission  describes a context  would be expected.  (1977) concept o f " s t o r g i c " and "agapic"  love s t y l e s  Lee's  similarly  suggest s t a b l e , s e l f - g i v i n g love t h a t i s f r e e o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t and  i s devoted t o enhancing the beloved  concept i s a l t r u i s t i c  love  elicit  An analogous  ( K e l l e y , 1983) i n which c a r i n g i s  p e r c e i v e d as an i n t r i n s i c a l l y behavior  other.  motivated,  self-sacrificing  intended t o promote the other's w e l f a r e r a t h e r than t o  r e c i p r o c a l behavior.  epitomized  Altruistic  love and B-love a r e  i n the love of healthy parents  f o r t h e i r c h i l d , but i n  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men and women such love i s b e l i e v e d t o be a c u l t u r a l i d e a l t h a t i s seldom achieved  (Lee, 1977) , although i t  may be a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of mature love  (Rubin,  1973).  Altruistic  l o v e i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o the concept of communal o r i e n t a t i o n i n t h a t " a l t r u i s t i c b e n e f i t s t o a partner are geared s o l e l y t o t h e p a r t n e r ' s needs and i n v o l v e no c o n s i d e r a t i o n of one's own needs, whether p a s t , present,  or f u t u r e " ( K e l l e y , 1983, p. 285).  T h i s r e s e a r c h proposes t h a t i f a communal r e l a t i o n s h i p p r o v i d e s a s i t u a t i o n a l context  i n which a submissive o r i e n t a t i o n  may be enacted, then submissiveness i s one p e r s o n a l i t y a t t r i b u t e or t r a i t t h a t enables  an i n d i v i d u a l t o f o l l o w communal norms, t o  p l a c e t h e w e l l - b e i n g o f another person ahead o f h i s o r h e r own needs o r i n t e r e s t s , o r t o love a l t r u i s t i c a l l y .  Interpreted i n  t h i s way, t r a i t submissiveness i s the means by which a p a r t n e r may l i v e up t o the e x p e c t a t i o n s of a communal r e l a t i o n s h i p ; o r , 87  t o employ K e l l e y ' s  (1979) terminology, i t i s the  personal  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t h a t g i v e s substance t o the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s  that  are made i n t a k i n g another person's needs i n t o account. If a l t r u i s t i c love provides  a context  f o r the  adaptive  dimension of submissiveness t o be demonstrated, i t i s apparent that rather extensive  development of p e r s o n a l  n e c e s s a r y f o r i t s enactment.  character  is  i t would  be  Interpersonally,  expected i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by commitment and  s a t i s f a c t i o n as opposed to those t h a t  s u p e r f i c i a l , e x p l o i t i v e or unstable. mutual concern f o r each other's expectation Kelley  of commitment and  Clark  intimacy, are  (1985) observed t h a t  needs i m p l i e s t h a t t h e r e  t h a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l  i s an endure.  (1983) noted t h a t commitment i n c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s  i n v o l v e s a g g r e g a t i n g experiences over a lengthy  period,  discounting present  s a c r i f i c e or d i f f i c u l t y  broader p e r s p e c t i v e  of past s a t i s f a c t i o n s , f u t u r e b e n e f i t s  long-term consequences.  He  i n view of  the and  s t a t e d t h a t the s e l f - r e g u l a t o r y  p r o c e s s e s t h a t are r e q u i r e d t o maintain commitment i n c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s have not been analyzed 1983).  A question  t h a t may  or f u l l y i d e n t i f i e d  be posed f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h  whether the a b i l i t y t o be submissive t o one's p a r t n e r expression  of concern f o r h i s or her w e l l - b e i n g  that process.  i s one  as  heightened v u l n e r a b i l i t y , may 88  is an  aspect  D e f e r r i n g t o another or p l a c i n g the other  i n t e r e s t s ahead of one's own  (Kelley,  of  person's  ( i . e . , submitting) as a p o s i t i o n of not only serve t o i n d i c a t e one's  commitment t o the other,  but may  commitment of both p a r t n e r s  a l s o serve t o s t r e n g t h e n  the  to the r e l a t i o n s h i p .  Intentionality I m p l i c i t w i t h i n the c o n d i t i o n s of i n t r i n s i c m o t i v a t i o n c o m p a t i b l e context, 1984).  Actions  and  i s the n o t i o n of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y (Cochran,  t h a t r e f l e c t what one  i s , or t h a t are evidence of  an o r i e n t a t i o n , must be enacted i n t e n t i o n a l l y . B e h a v i o r t h a t i s i n t e n t i o n a l tends t o be d i r e c t e d toward a d e s i r e d g o a l or end.  Deutsch (1975, 1985)  implicitly  identified  i n t e n t i o n a l i t y as a f a c t o r i n v o l v e d i n the tendency of people t o f o l l o w need-based norms when cooperation e m o t i o n a l bonds are the goals and  Powell  and  positive socio-  in a relationship.  Clark,  Mills,  (1986) a l s o a f f i r m the r o l e of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y i n  communal i n t e r a c t i o n s when they r e p o r t t h a t people keep t r a c k each o t h e r ' s  needs and  g i v e help, not f o r reasons of r e c i p r o c a l  exchange but r a t h e r t o maintain the communal nature of relationship.  of  the  A c t s t h a t r e f l e c t a submissive o r i e n t a t i o n , i f  they are v o l u n t a r y  a c t s d i r e c t e d toward the w e l l - b e i n g  of another  person, are a l s o marked by i n t e n t i o n a l i t y . Furthermore, i n t e n t i o n a l i t y i m p l i e s t a k i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the outcome of one's a c t i o n s . d e f e r e n c e or s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , c o s t i n c u r r e d by h e l p i n g .  Thus, when h e l p i n g  submission may  i s self-chosen.  be viewed simply  P e r c e i v i n g i t i n t h i s way  l i k e l y r e s u l t i n s e l f - d e p r e c a t i n g , negative On the c o n t r a r y , 89  requires  would  as a  not  f e e l i n g s because i t  a c t s of submission t h a t  are  voluntary  and  are intended  t o b e n e f i t another person would  expected t o r e s u l t i n f e e l i n g s of accomplishment s a t i s f a c t i o n , of having The  had  be  and  a p a r t i n the o t h e r ' s  well-being.  p o s i t i v e e f f e c t s of even r a t h e r mundane, everyday a c t s of  h e l p i n g are j u s t now t o the p h y s i c a l and  being documented i n terms of a c t u a l b e n e f i t s emotional h e a l t h of the h e l p e r  (Luks,  People, f o r example, have r e p o r t e d t h a t they f e e l calmed  1988). and  r e l i e v e d of emotional s t r e s s , and t h a t s e l f - w o r t h i s enhanced a r e s u l t of simple  a c t s of h e l p i n g .  Further, because i t has  as been  demonstrated t h a t the more a person f e e l s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the o t h e r the more c o s t s he or she  i s w i l l i n g t o i n c u r i n meeting  o t h e r ' s needs (Hays, 1985), i t may  be reasonable  the  t o expect t h a t  the more r e s p o n s i b l e a person f e e l s f o r the other the more he she w i l l be w i l l i n g t o bear the c o s t of being  submissive t o  or  the  other. Accumulating evidence r e l a t e d to the consequences of, motivation  f o r h e l p i n g suggests t h a t people may  truly altruistic, & Sorrentino,  u n s e l f i s h motives (Batson  1981).  indeed  and  a c t out  & Coke, 1981;  of  Rushton  However, Batson and Coke (1981) suggest  t h a t i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o d i s t i n g u i s h between e g o i s t i c and altruistic  motivation  because m o t i v a t i o n  cannot be  observed.  They make the f o l l o w i n g d i s t i n c t i o n : e g o i s t i c a l l y - m o t i v a t e d h e l p i n g i s d i r e c t e d toward i n c r e a s i n g the h e l p e r ' s own  welfare  whereas " a l t r u i s t i c a l l y - m o t i v a t e d h e l p i n g i s d i r e c t e d toward end-state  g o a l of i n c r e a s i n g the other's w e l f a r e " ,  i t i s an  the end  i n i t s e l f and any "personal g a i n i s an unintended by-product and not t h e g o a l of t h e behavior" The  Hobbesian view —  (Batson  & Coke, 1981, p. 172) .  t h a t people always a c t out o f s e l f -  i n t e r e s t , which has dominated psychology p a r t i c u l a r i l y b e h a v i o r i s t and p s y c h o a n a l y t i c t r a d i t i o n s , evidence  i s b e i n g c h a l l e n g e d by  t h a t demonstrates t h a t h e l p i n g begins  l i f e and i s not always motivated  very e a r l y i n  by need f o r approval  a l l e v i a t e p e r s o n a l d i s t r e s s and a v o i d g u i l t . this,  i n the  or t o  Evidence such as  and c o n s t r u c t s l i k e genuine a l t r u i s m h e l p t o make t h e  behaviors  o f v o l u n t a r y submissiveness p l a u s i b l e because p u t t i n g  o n e s e l f a s i d e , p l a c i n g t h e needs of others ahead o f one's own, attempting  t o achieve p o s i t i v e outcomes f o r another r a t h e r than  for the s e l f —  often at considerable cost t o s e l f —  genuine a l t r u i s t i c m o t i v a t i o n .  Recent evidence  indicates that  t h e r e i s a b a s i c human tendency t o be r e s p o n s i v e needs o f o t h e r s  t o the  (Kohn, 1988) and t h a t a person may r e c e i v e  i n d i r e c t benefits to health 1988)  require  (e.g. "the h e l p e r ' s calm", Luks,  as a r e s u l t of h e l p i n g supports  t h e c o n t e n t i o n t h a t people  may a l s o submit t o o t h e r s , p a r t i c u l a r i l y t o persons toward whom they empathize  (Batson  & Coke, 1981) and who they p e r c e i v e as  b e i n g s i m i l a r t o themselves (Krebs & R u s s e l l , 1981) i n a genuinely  a l t r u i s t i c way without  maladjustment o r n e u r o s i s . dimension o f submissiveness,  such behavior  manifesting  From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , t h e a d a p t i v e v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness,  can be  viewed as a p e r s o n a l i t y a t t r i b u t e t h a t accounts f o r i n d i v i d u a l  differences i n altruism. V o l i t i o n a l Submissiveness: T r a i t or S t a t e Viewing submissiveness as the i n t e n t i o n a l enactment of an o r i e n t a t i o n r a i s e s the q u e s t i o n of whether the v o l i t i o n a l s u b m i s s i v e n e s s c o n s t r u c t i s a t r a i t or a s t a t e . acknowledged the enduring t r a i t - l i k e  Allport  (1928)  tendency of one person t o be  p a s s i v e and the other t o be dominant i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l interaction.  However, B e r n s t e i n (1980) argued f o r a more s t a t e -  l i k e view of dominance; an argument t h a t c o u l d presumably a p p l i c a b l e t o submissiveness.  be  He argued t h a t dominance i s a  r e l a t i o n s h i p r a t h e r than the permanent a t t r i b u t e of an i n d i v i d u a l , because  dominance rank c o n t i n u a l l y changes w i t h  m a n i p u l a t i o n s of the group.  The r o l e of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y would  seem t o be c e n t r a l t o t h i s view, because an i n d i v i d u a l would be expected t o a s s e s s the nuances of each r e l a t i o n s h i p and then a c t a c c o r d i n g l y : dominantly, not so dominantly, or s u b m i s s i v e l y . Thus i t c o u l d be argued t h a t v o l u n t a r y submissiveness i s a l s o a h y p o t h e t i c a l v a r i a b l e t o be demonstrated  i n a p a r t i c u l a r context;  a s t a t e r a t h e r than a t r a i t . However, C h a p l i n , John and Goldberg  (1988) have r e c e n t l y  i d e n t i f i e d f i v e a t t r i b u t e s that d i f f e r e n t i a t e stable t r a i t s temporary  states.  from  They present an a p p e a l i n g argument which i f  adopted,  c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e s v o l u n t a r y submissiveness as a t r a i t .  Firstly,  they a s s e r t t h a t most c e n t r a l t o the t r a i t - s t a t e  92  d i s t i n c t i o n i s t h e a t t r i b u t e of temporal s t a b i l i t y : s t a b l e o r c o n s i s t e n t over long p e r i o d s  t r a i t s are  of time, s t a t e s a r e  temporary o r i n c o n s i s t e n t m a n i f e s t a t i o n s .  Volitional  submissiveness would be expected t o be m a n i f e s t i n c o n s i s t e n t a c t s o f c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f o t h e r s ' needs because r e c o g n i z i n g and r e s p o n d i n g t o o t h e r s ' needs r e q u i r e t h a t a person be o r i e n t e d i n such a way t h a t needs a r e important.  Infrequent  would appear t o be r e l a t e d t o circumstance than as a m a n i f e s t a t i o n  of c h a r a c t e r .  people who a r e submissive  occurrences  (state-like) rather  P r o t o t y p i c a l examples o f  ( f o r example, Mother  Teresa),  demonstrate a great d e a l of s t a b i l i t y i n t h e behavior and t h e appropriateness disposition.  of t h e t r a i t d e s i g n a t i o n  to the underlying  Mother Teresa i s so c o n s i s t e n t l y o r i e n t e d  that  submissiveness i s observed as an enduring c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f h e r personality.  T h i s does not mean t h a t the b e h a v i o r s o f  submissiveness a r e n a t u r a l or u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y evoked.  In h e r own  words, Mother Teresa acknowledged t h a t her submission r e q u i r e s a " r e a l l i v i n g determination"  t o renounce her w i l l and make  h e r s e l f a w i l l i n g s l a v e t o God (Muggeridge, 1971, p. 66).  This  i s where t h e n o t i o n of o r i e n t a t i o n i s h e l p f u l because i t i d e n t i f i e s a person's stance or p o s i t i o n as one o f t h e f a c t o r s responsible  f o r t h e s t a b i l i t y of the t r a i t .  Mother Teresa's  p o s i t i o n i s t h a t she wants t o be obedient t o God. Her submissiveness i s manifest i n her c o n s i s t e n t and s t a b l e determination  t o surrender  u n c o n d i t i o n a l l y t o God's w i l l :  93  "taking  what He g i v e s and g i v i n g what He takes" (Mother T e r e s a , p e r s o n a l communication, June 20, The  1989) .  second d i s t i n g u i s h i n g a t t r i b u t e i s d u r a t i o n .  Traits  d e s c r i b e e x p e r i e n c e s or behaviors t h a t are l a s t i n g ; s t a t e s are of shorter duration.  I f i n c i d e n t s of submissiveness o c c u r r e d as  f l e e t i n g r e a c t i o n s t o e x t e r n a l s i t u a t i o n s , they would be d e s c r i b e d as s t a t e s .  However, when behavior r e f l e c t s a person's  o r i e n t a t i o n and i s d i r e c t e d —  o f t e n toward  long-range g o a l s  —  time i s r e q u i r e d f o r the behavior t o be enacted and the b e n e f i t t o be r e a l i z e d .  P e r s i s t a n c e , d e t e r m i n a t i o n , and  delayed  g r a t i f i c a t i o n are p e r s o n a l q u a l i t i e s t h a t a l l o w a d a p t i v e s u b m i s s i v e n e s s t o be  enacted.  The t h i r d a t t r i b u t e i s l o c u s of c a u s a l i t y . viewed  T r a i t s are  as i n t e r n a l l y caused c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , whereas s t a t e s are  e x t e r n a l l y caused.  T h i s a t t r i b u t e c o i n c i d e s w i t h Cochran's  (1986) c o n d i t i o n of i n t r i n s i c m o t i v a t i o n .  The  intention  behind  the a c t i d e n t i f i e s the meaning of the behavior, and the c h a r a c t e r of the person who  initiates i t .  F o u r t h l y , the frequency of an a c t i o n w i t h i n a g i v e n p e r i o d of time d i s t i n g u i s h e s t r a i t s from s t a t e s .  Infrequent incidents  of s u b m i s s i v e behavior do not q u a l i f y f o r the t r a i t f r e q u e n t a c t s of s e l f - g i v i n g are r e q u i r e d . t o frequency,  Finally,  label; and  i s the a t t r i b u t e of s i t u a t i o n a l scope.  Behavior  t h a t o c c u r s a c r o s s a wide scope of s i t u a t i o n s are c a l l e d those t h a t have a narrow scope are s t a t e s .  94  Therefore,  related  traits;  submissiveness, because i t r e f l e c t s c h a r a c t e r  and an o r i e n t a t i o n ,  would be expected t o be manifest c o n s i s t e n t l y across of s o c i a l c o n t e x t s ,  a wide scope  but p a r t i c u l a r i l y i n c l o s e or i n t i m a t e  relationships. Coherence A f i n a l c r i t e r i o n by which t o judge whether an o r i e n t a t i o n i s being  enacted i s t h a t the t r a i t e x i s t s w i t h i n a p a t t e r n o f  b e h a v i o r s so t h a t i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n  makes sense.  one  i s apt t o be a s e n s i b l e  i s coherently  pattern" evident  o r i e n t a t e d , there i n one's l i f e  That i s , " i f  (Cochran, 1984, p. 195).  Furthermore, not only w i l l a c t i o n s t h a t manifest t h e o r i e n t a t i o n be expected i n c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s , t h e i r absence i n other s i t u a t i o n s w i l l confirm  t h a t the o r i e n t a t i o n i s h e l d .  For  example, submissiveness i s demonstrated as much by Mother T e r e s a ' s h u m i l i t y as i t i s by her f o r c e f u l n e s s when she r e s i s t s v i o l a t i o n s t h a t deny r e s p e c t , The  d i g n i t y or b a s i c r i g h t s t o people.  t h e r a p i s t who adopts Buber's (1958) model o f t h e I-Thou  r e l a t i o n s h i p f u r n i s h e s a context the t h e r a p i s t ' s v o l u n t a r y  i n the therapy s e s s i o n i n which  submission t o the needs o f t h e c l i e n t  make sense w i t h i n t h e broader purpose of attempting t o enhance the c l i e n t ' s w e l l - b e i n g .  The t h e r a p i s t - c l i e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p i s an  imbalanced r e l a t i o n s h i p o f "one-sided i n c l u s i o n " i n which t h e t h e r a p i s t submits t o t h e "great task, self-imposed...  to  supplement t h i s need o f [the c l i e n t ' s ] and t o do r a t h e r more than i n t h e normal s i t u a t i o n " (Buber, 1960, p.212).  Because i t i s  imbalanced, the "I-Thou" r e l a t i o n s h i p i s t h e r a p e u t i c because i t p r o v i d e s an o p p o r t u n i t y  " i n which the s e l f comes i n t o b e i n g  through which i t f u l f i l l s 1976,  p. x v i i ) .  and a u t h e n t i c a t e s i t s e l f "  (Friedman,  T h i s a b i l i t y of the t h e r a p i s t t o be a c c e p t i n g l y  aware of the l i m i t a t i o n s of the r e l a t i o n s h i p and t o be through the Thou' and the a c t of s e l f - g i v i n g , x  of the whole of h i s / h e r An  and  affirmed  i s a coherent  part  life.  i n d i v i d u a l ' s use of s o c i a l manners i s another common  example of behavior orientation.  t h a t i s a coherent  expression  In the company of others and  of a  i n the p r o x i m i t y  d a i l y l i v i n g , manners convey a w i l l i n g n e s s t o r e c o g n i z e r e s p e c t the needs and comfort of o t h e r s .  A person who  mannerly would be expected t o be o r i e n t e d i n a way cognizant  submissive of  and is  that i s  of the needs of others and t h a t communicates r e g a r d f o r  o t h e r s by p l a c i n g t h e i r comfort ahead of one's  own.  A P r o f i l e of the V o l i t i o n a l l y Submissive P e r s o n a l i t y If  an adaptive dimension of submissive  behavior  i s to  found, the c r i t e r i o n of coherence would suggest t h a t i t be  be located  amidst o t h e r p s y c h o l o g i c a l , b e h a v i o r a l , and r e l a t i o n a l i n d i c a t o r s of h e a l t h or w e l l - b e i n g .  In the absence of a s u b j e c t i v e sense of  w e l l - b e i n g , v o l i t i o n a l a c t s of submissiveness c o u l d not manifestations life  of h e a l t h .  satisfaction  One  component of g e n e r a l w e l l - b e i n g i s  (Andrews & Withey, 1976; 96  be  Diener,  1984) .  Aggregated submissive a c t s , i f adaptive,  should c o n t r i b u t e  person's p o s i t i v e c o g n i t i v e a p p r a i s a l of l i f e . are not r e q u i r e d  submissiveness i s perceived t h e o r i e s of a l t r u i s m  of outcome because  as a c o s t i n c u r r e d by c a r i n g .  (Rushton, 1980)  imply, p l a c i n g the  person's i n t e r e s t s ahead of one's own  general  appraisals  t o r e l a t e p r i m a r i l y or immediately t o the a f f e c t  of s a t i s f a c t i o n , but t o c o g n i t i v e e v a l u a t i o n s  happiness be  Such  to a  may  require that  As  other immediate  s a c r i f i c e d i n order to achieve a f u t u r e g o a l .  The  l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n experienced by a person i s t h e r e f o r e  b e t t e r i n d i c a t o r of the adaptiveness of the b e h a v i o r than  a  current  mood. Several  p e r s o n a l i t y v a r i a b l e s t h a t have c o n s i s t e n t l y been  demonstrated t o bear a r e l a t i o n s h i p t o s u b j e c t i v e would a l s o be expected i n the p r o f i l e of the s u b m i s s i v e person.  The  first,  p r e d i c t o r s of w e l l - b e i n g , Campbell, 1976;  and  one  adaptively  of the  i s high self-esteem  Diener, 1984;  Wilson, 1967).  well-being  strongest (Anderson,  1977;  The  who  person  demonstrates a d a p t i v e a c t s of submission i s expected t o "worthful"  and  t h i s has  feel  been suggested t o be p r e - r e q u i s i t e t o  the  a b i l i t y t o be s e l f - g i v i n g (Wetzel, 1984). Two  o t h e r v a r i a b l e s t h a t have c o n s i s t e n t l y been shown t o  c o r r e l a t e with subjective well-being 1977; 1981).  Brandt, 1980)  and  self-efficacy  are i n t e r n a l i t y  (Baker,  (Campbell, 1976;  A t t r i b u t i n g outcomes t o o n e s e l f  and  perceiving  Eisenberg, control  over one's l i f e are important f a c t o r s i n one's w e l l - b e i n g 97  and  would seem t o be s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r s i n d e t e r m i n i n g the meaning of submissive behaviors. c o n t r o l over h i s or her  I f a person who  perceives  choice  and  l i f e v o l u n t a r i l y submits t o another  person without thought of r e c i p r o c a t i o n and  then a t t r i b u t e s the  outcome of the a c t i o n t o h i s or her behavior, the a c t i o n can  be  seen as g o a l - d i r e c t e d and i n t e n t i o n a l . As p r e v i o u s l y argued, behavior t h a t r e f l e c t s an o r i e n t a t i o n i s c o n s i s t e n t across a v a r i e t y of s i t u a t i o n s . been suggested by some (Hartshorne & May, Sorrentino,  1981)  1928;  Rushton &  integrity.  Hartshorne and May  found d i s t i n c t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between i n t e g r i t y and  stability,  and  between both of these and p e r s i s t e n c e  r e s i s t a n c e t o suggestion. persons who  has  t o be i n d i c a t i v e of an i n t e g r a t i o n of  p e r s o n a l i t y or of p e r s o n a l 30)  Consistency  Therefore,  (1928-  emotional  and  i t seems l o g i c a l  that  submit v o l u n t a r i l y are l i k e l y t o be dependable  p e r s i s t e n t i n the p u r s u i t of long-range g o a l s , even  and  considering  t h e i r need t o submit as a c o s t i n c u r r e d t o a t t a i n the g o a l . are not  They  l i k e l y t o be e a s i l y i n f l u e n c e d , n e i t h e r by p e r s a u s i o n  by the d i f f i c u l t y of the task, t o abandon t h e i r g o a l . c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : persistence, consistency suggestion  have been r e l a t e d t o higher  (Rushton, 1981).  Both ego  and  development (Eisenberg-Berg, 1979;  These  resistance to  l e v e l s of ego  s t r e n g t h and higher  strength  l e v e l s of moral  Krebs & Rosenwald, 1977)  i n t u r n been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h more p r o s o c i a l , a l t r u i s t i c Thus, v o l u n t a r y  have  behavior.  submission would be expected t o be c o r r e l a t e d 98  nor  w i t h h i g h e r l e v e l s of ego and moral development because s e c u r e l y possessed and t h e r e f o r e viewed as something  self i s  t h a t can be  g i v e n up v o l u n t a r i l y without f e a r or t h r e a t of l o s s of  identity.  Submissiveness, when i t i s s e l f - c h o s e n and meets the above criteria,  c o u l d be a v e h i c l e a l l o w i n g g e n u i n e l y a l t r u i s t i c a c t s  t o be expressed.  T h e r e f o r e , v o l u n t a r y submissiveness would be  expected t o have a s i g n i f i c a n t , p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h measures of a l t r u i s m .  I t would l o g i c a l l y be expected t o be  with l e s s competitive attitudes  (Rutherford & Mussen, 1968)  w i t h a g r e a t e r sense of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y D a n i e l s , 1964) .  found and  (Berkowitz &  Each of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s have a l s o been  found t o be a s s o c i a t e d with ego s t r e n g t h and a l t r u i s t i c b e h a v i o r . The  i n d i v i d u a l whose l i f e i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by v o l u n t a r y a c t s  of s u b m i s s i v e n e s s would be expected t o e x p e r i e n c e i n t i m a c y i n personal relationships.  Intimacy has been d e s c r i b e d as the  c a p a c i t y f o r deep r e l a t i o n s h i p s  (Sharabany,  1983) ; as the  ability  t o e x p e r i e n c e open, s u p p o r t i v e and tender r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h o u t f e a r of l o s i n g i d e n t i t y i n the process (Neuman & Neuman,  1986);  and as the c l o s e n e s s between two people t h a t v a l i d a t e s p e r s o n a l worth  (Sullivan,  1953).  The q u a l i t i e s t h a t are i m p l i c i t i n  d e f i n i t i o n s of i n t i m a c y and which Reis and Shaver explicitly  (1988) have  i d e n t i f i e d as q u a l i t i e s t h a t are n e c e s s a r y i f an  i n t e r a c t i o n i s t o be experienced as i n t i m a t e are t h a t a person f e e l understood, v a l i d a t e d and cared f o r . I f the a d a p t i v e dimension of submissiveness has a r o l e i n 99  the g e n e s i s of intimacy, i t would be expected p r i m a r i l y i n r e l a t i o n t o the c a r i n g component, although i t may  a l s o be a  n e c e s s a r y a t t r i b u t e t o permit the k i n d of l i s t e n i n g t o occur t h a t promotes understanding.  Understanding t h a t d e r i v e s from  a t t e n d i n g f u l l y t o another person, an I-Thou a t t e n d i n g , i s p o s t u l a t e d as an example of adaptive submission.  The i n h e r e n t  s a t i s f a c t i o n of such l i s t e n i n g i s a t t e s t e d t o by the i n t i m a t e f e e l i n g s t h a t persons  (e.g., t h e r a p i s t s , p a r e n t s ,  teachers) report i n non-reciprocal r e l a t i o n s h i p s 1988). of  intensely  (Reis & Shaver,  When another person's a c t i o n s meet one's needs,  b e i n g c a r e d f o r and understood are engendered  the components of i n t i m a c y are p r o v i d e d . enhances f e e l i n g s of connectedness have demonstrated,  ( C l a r k , 1985) :  Appropriate responding  and, as s t u d i e s of i n f a n t s  f o s t e r s deeply s a t i s f y i n g f e e l i n g s of  i n t e r p e r s o n a l t r u s t and i n t i m a t e bonding However, as S u l l i v a n r e q u i r e making adjustments  (Reis & Shaver,  (1953) has noted, responding  1988) . may  i n s e l f - i n t e r e s t s i n order t o meet the  requirements of the o t h e r ' s need. the "adjustment"  feelings  t h a t a person may  I t i s a t t h i s p o i n t of making be r e q u i r e d t o deny  i n t e r e s t s or t o t e m p o r a r i l y s e t a s i d e h i s or her own  self-  needs t o  meet the needs of the other, and i t i s here t h a t a submissive o r i e n t a t i o n comes i n t o p l a y . (i.e.,  The a b i l i t y  t o deny s e l f - i n t e r e s t  t o be submissive) i s perhaps the c r i t i c a l t e s t of whether  i n t i m a c y w i l l develop and be s u s t a i n e d i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p . r a t i o n a l e f o r t h i s unappealing p r o p o s i t i o n 100  (i.e.,  The  that intimacy  r e q u i r e s v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness)  i s related to the association  t h a t has been noted between the formation of s t a b l e i d e n t i t y and the achievement of intimacy ( E r i k s o n , 1968; 1974; Houle & K i e l y , 1984) .  E r i k s o n (1950, 1968) has t h e o r i z e d t h a t i d e n t i t y i s a  n e c e s s a r y p r e r e q u i s i t e t o the establishment of i n t i m a c y , w h i l e more r e c e n t r e s e a r c h has suggested t h a t t h e two a r e a t l e a s t c o n c u r r e n t processes  (Houle & K i e l y , 1984).  I t has p r e v i o u s l y  been noted t h a t a person must be secure i n h i s o r h e r p o s s e s s i o n of s e l f  i n order t o g i v e up s e l f : one cannot g i v e up what one  does n o t possess  (Wetzel, 1984).  Therefore, submissive a c t s o f  s e l f - g i v i n g t h a t a r e v o l u n t a r i l y chosen and intended f o r t h e w e l l - b e i n g o f t h e other person would be expected t o r e f l e c t a r e l a t i v e l y secure i d e n t i t y and t o be a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f i n t i m a t e relationships.  Conversely, the i n a b i l i t y o r u n w i l l i n g n e s s t o be  submissive when c o n f r o n t e d by the needs o f a person w i t h whom one would o r d i n a r i l y be expected t o d e s i r e intimacy, would  suggest  l i m i t a t i o n s i n t h e development of i d e n t i t y , and p r e d i c t to achieve intimacy. has a c h i e v e d and,  failure  The degree of i d e n t i t y f o r m a t i o n t h a t one  t h e r e f o r e , one's a b i l i t y t o submit,  may a l s o  suggest t h e p o t e n t i a l l e v e l of intimacy t h a t a person of b r i n g i n g t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p .  i s capable  A study by Houle and K i e l y  (1984) f o r example, has i n d i c a t e d t h a t women g e n e r a l l y e x p e r i e n c e h i g h e r l e v e l s of intimacy than t h e i r husbands a t t h e b e g i n n i n g of marriage  b u t t h a t over time, men i n s t a b l e marriages  achieve a  l e v e l o f i n t i m a c y comparable t o t h a t r e p o r t e d by t h e i r  101  wives.  Houle and K i e l y have i n t e r p r e t e d t h i s f i n d i n g t o mean t h a t women are s o c i a l i z e d t o d e s i r e and expect more i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and have been a b l e t o push t h e i r husband toward g r e a t e r mutuality.  T h i s i n f a c t i s the g o a l of h e a l t h y  whether i n marriage o r i n therapy: encourage g r e a t e r  self-giving,  t o supplement the o t h e r and  mutuality.  People g e n e r a l l y express a d e s i r e f o r c l o s e n e s s and i n t i m a c y and tend t o i n t e r p r e t the absense of i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s as a p e r s o n a l f a i l u r e  social  (Reis & Shaver, 1988).  The  absence o f i n t i m a t e i n t e r a c t i o n has been i d e n t i f i e d as a cause of l o n e l i n e s s , because i t i s a b e t t e r p r e d i c t o r o f l o n e l i n e s s than a number o f o t h e r q u a l i t a t i v e and q u a n t i t a t i v e i n d i c e s (Reis & Shaver, 1988).  L o n e l i n e s s , the negative d i s c r e p a n c y  between  a c t u a l and d e s i r e d s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s (Peplau & Perlman, 1982) has been suggested t o r e f l e c t f a i l u r e i n t r a d i t i o n a l sources o f i n t i m a t e bonds: a by-product of urbanism, d i v o r c e and s i n g l e parent  f a m i l i e s (Perlman & Fehr, 1987).  p r e d i c t e d , based on  comparative s t u d i e s of r u r a l and urban  c u l t u r e s , t h a t as t h e world more c o m p e t i t i v e  Kagan (1985) has  becomes more u r b a n i z e d  and i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c .  i twill  become  His p r e d i c t i o n i s that  l o n e l i n e s s w i l l become an i n c r e a s i n g l y common phenomenon.  This  i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e f i n d i n g t h a t the d e s i r e f o r i n t i m a c y has r i s e n d r a m a t i c a l l y i n American s o c i e t y d u r i n g t h e p a s t decades ( V e r o f f , Douvan, & Kulka,  102  1981).  three  The  Epistemology of the T r a i t : V o l i t i o n a l Kenrick  and  Funder (1988) have r e c e n t l y summarized the main  hypotheses i n the c o n t r o v e r s y the e x i s t e n c e of consensual, and  Submissiveness  of the past twenty years  regarding  discriminative personality t r a i t s ,  i d e n t i f i e d the c r i t e r i a t h a t must be met  p r e d i c t i v e v a l i d i t y from t r a i t r a t i n g s . become apparent t h a t r a t e r s who  to  acquire  Specifically,  are thoroughly  i t has  f a m i l i a r with  the  p e r s o n b e i n g r a t e d demonstrate g r e a t e r consensus i n making a t r a i t a t t r i b u t i o n than r a t i n g s made by s t r a n g e r s ; behavioral observations observations;  and  multiple  are s u p e r i o r to s i n g l e or unaggregated  dimensions t h a t are p u b l i c l y o b s e r v a b l e  r e p o r t e d w i t h b e t t e r agreement than t r a i t s t h a t cannot  are  be  observed. Buss and  Craik  (1985) a l s o enumerated c r i t e r i a by which t o  i d e n t i f y the t h e o r e t i c a l and e m p i r i c a l worthiness of a They suggested t h a t the d i s p o s i t i o n must r e p r e s e n t meaningful and  reasonably  s i z e d category  trait.  a clear,  of a c t s ; i t must possess  d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s ; i t must generate consensus about which a c t s p r o t o t y p i c a l examples; and over t i m e .  i t must demonstrate s t a b l e  are  act-trends  Furthermore, t h e r e should be marked d i f f e r e n c e s  between i n d i v i d u a l s i n m a n i f e s t a t i o n s  of the d i s p o s i t i o n , and  some c o n s i d e r a t i o n should be given to the base r a t e of  the  d i s p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the c u l t u r e . With c o n s i d e r a t i o n to the c o n d i t i o n s i n d i c a t e d by and  Funder  (1988) and Buss and C r a i k  103  (1985), and  Kenrick  based on  the  r a t i o n a l e presented i n the f o r e g o i n g d i s c u s s i o n , the d e f i n i t i o n and h y p o t h e t i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n of the adaptive dimension o f submissiveness  ( i . e . , v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness) i s p r e s e n t e d as  follows. V o l i t i o n a l submissiveness i s t h e o r i z e d t o be t h e i n t e r p e r s o n a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n of an i n t r a p e r s o n a l o r i e n t a t i o n which i s enacted when an i n d i v i d u a l chooses t o g i v e p r i o r i t y t o t h e needs o r i n t e r e s t s o f another person, i r r e s p e c t i v e o f t h a t person's power, a u t h o r i t y or s t a t u s .  P l a c i n g another  person's  needs o r i n t e r e s t s ahead of o n e s e l f i m p l i e s t h a t one's own needs, i n t e r e s t s o r f e e l i n g s are, a t l e a s t t e m p o r a r i l y , secondary t o t h e achievement  o f a p o s i t i v e outcome f o r the other person.  Submissive a c t s o f t h i s nature r e f l e c t what k i n d o f person one i s and a r e c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as the means employed by a p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y h e a l t h y person t o achieve s p e c i f i c r e l a t i o n a l and altruistic  ends.  The f o l l o w i n g c r i t e r i a p r o v i d e g u i d e l i n e s by which t o i d e n t i f y the t r a i t ,  v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness.  F i r s t , an  i n t e r p e r s o n a l s i t u a t i o n e x i s t s i n which the need of another person i s expressed, and i s opposed i n some way t o one's own need.  T h i s i s a necessary c o n d i t i o n f o r any a c t o f submission t o  occur, because  i f t h e r e i s no c o n f l i c t of i n t e r e s t o r w i l l s ,  t h e r e i s no need f o r one t o submit.  The c o n f l i c t  initiates a  c o g n i t i v e - a f f e c t i v e process i n which the i n d i v i d u a l a s s e s s e s t h e demands o f t h e s i t u a t i o n , examines a l t e r n a t i v e s , e v a l u a t e s t h e  104  c o s t s , and  a n t i c i p a t e s long-range outcomes.  s a l i e n t considerations be a c h i e v e d  Perhaps the most  r e l a t e t o whether the purpose t h a t i s t o  by submitting  exceeds the c o s t t o o n e s e l f .  The  second c r i t e r i o n i s t h a t the c o n f l i c t of needs or i n t e r e s t s i s r e s o l v e d by choosing, v o l u n t a r i l y , to p l a c e the o t h e r ' s ahead of one's own other p e r s o n .  needs, t o deny s e l f t e m p o r a r i l y  Personal  that i s envisioned.  c o s t now  The  other's  and  need becomes one's The  the  own,  conditions  of  i n t e n t i o n a l i t y d i f f e r e n t i a t e voluntary  s u b m i s s i v e s e l f - g i v i n g from other a c t s t h a t may on the s u r f a c e , but are i n f a c t i n s t a n c e s compliance, or acquiescense. self-chosen,  serve  becomes secondary t o the outcome  t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a s i n g l e , regnant g o a l . i n t r i n s i c motivation  and  needs  of  appear  similiar  subordination,  In submissive b e h a v i o r t h a t i s  s e l f i s not denied i n a m a s o c h i s t i c ,  passive  way  r e f l e c t i n g lower l e v e l s of p s y c h o l o g i c a l development; r a t h e r i t i s v o l u n t a r i l y given to give.  from a sense of s u f f i c i e n c y .  I t has  enough  I t i s s u f f i c i e n t l y secure to w i t h s t a n d temporary  d e p l e t i o n or d e p r i v a t i o n .  I t i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the  inner  development of the person. The  t h i r d c r i t e r i o n i s t h a t the submissive a c t must  d i r e c t e d toward some goal or purpose t h a t the worthy of the c o s t . end  individual feels i s  I t i s a means of a c h i e v i n g  i s r e l a t e d t o the welfare  be  an end,  of the other person.  and  that  It i s ,  t h e r e f o r e , h y p o t h e s i z e d to be an u n s e l f i s h b e h a v i o r m o t i v a t e d l o v e and  a communal o r i e n t a t i o n , and  105  l a c k i n g i n motives t h a t  by  imply p e r s o n a l g a i n o r need f o r r e c i p r o c a t i o n . submissiveness  Volitional  d i f f e r s from other c o n s t r u c t s i n which t h e  i n d i v i d u a l stands t o b e n e f i t i n some way from t h e a d a p t a t i o n (Borden & L e v i n g e r , 1987; K e l l e y , 1979; K e l l e y & T h i b a u t ,  1978).  F i n a l l y , t h e outcome of the submissive a c t c o n s i s t s not o n l y i n t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n t h a t i s made t o the other person's being, but i n an u n c a l c u l a t e d b e n e f i t t o the g i v e r . has s i g n a l l e d commitment t o the other.  well-  Self-giving  I t has gone beyond t h e  realm o f duty and i n d i c a t e d concern f o r the other t h a t  ranks  above concern  i s an  for self.  Recognizing t h a t the behavior  a c t o f g e n e r o s i t y , the r e c i p i e n t i s l i k e l y t o respond a p p r e c i a t i o n and a f f e c t i o n .  with  Rather than being an a c t o f  d e p l e t i o n , t h e a c t of s e l f - g i v i n g becomes an e x p e r i e n c e of i n t i m a c y ; s t r e n g t h e n i n g and deepening the r e l a t i o n s h i p , and enhancing  t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s own sense of p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g .  106  CHAPTER 3: METHODS AND PROCEDURES T h i s chapter d e s c r i b e s the r e s e a r c h d e s i g n employed i n t h e study.  The r e s e a r c h was conducted i n t h r e e phases:  (1) c r i t i c a l  i n c i d e n t i n t e r v i e w s , (2) development and p r e - t e s t i n g o f t h e V o l i t i o n a l Submissiveness S c a l e  (VSS), and (3) f i e l d  a s s e s s t h e v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y of  of t h e VSS.  tests to  F o r each phase  t h e r e s e a r c h , t h e sample and the method of data a n a l y s e s  be d e s c r i b e d .  A d e s c r i p t i o n of the instruments  will  employed t o  v a l i d a t e t h e VSS i s a l s o g i v e n . Phase 1 — The  Critical  Incident  study attempted t o provide a d e s c r i p t i v e a n a l y s i s o f t h e  a d a p t i v e dimension of submissiveness. of  Interviews  Because an understanding  t h e i n t r i n s i c m o t i v a t i o n s and meanings u n d e r l y i n g  b e h a v i o r was b e l i e v e d c r i t i c a l t o a c c u r a t e l y l a b e l as a d a p t i v e , t h e c r i t i c a l phase o f t h e r e s e a r c h . access t o people's understanding  submissiveness  i n c i d e n t method was used i n t h e f i r s t  T h i s method p r o v i d e d a way o f g a i n i n g  i n n e r worlds of experience,  enriching  by making meaning t h e s t a r t i n g p o i n t o f t h e  r e s e a r c h and r e g a r d i n g human experience f o u n d a t i o n f o r understanding 1985;  submissive  McConville,  1978).  as t h e most v a l i d  psychological processes  (Carlson,  In t h i s regard Bogdan and T a y l o r  (1975)  s t a t e d t h a t t o a t t e n d t o phenomenon as i t i s and t o d i s c o v e r something about a person, about t h e i r meaning.  the r e s e a r c h e r must ask t h e person  Brandt  107  (1982) a s s e r t e d t h a t approaches t h a t  seek a c c e s s t o meaning p o t e n t i a t e change by c r e a t i n g c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s , new of  meanings and new  new  ways of making sense  out  experience. The  r e s e a r c h e r ' s s e l f - s c r u t i n y and awareness of p e r s o n a l  e x p e r i e n c e , the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the d i a l o g i c a l encounter,  and  the c o o p e r a t i o n of r e s e a r c h e r and s u b j e c t s were c r i t i c a l f e a t u r e s in this  process.  The n a r r a t i v e s provided the c o n t e x t s i n which  i n t e r p e r s o n a l experiences of v o l u n t a r y submission  occurred.  The  s i g n i f i c a n c e of the n a r r a t i v e r e l a t e d t o d i s c o v e r i n g what meaning the s u b m i s s i v e behavior h e l d f o r the i n d i v i d u a l and i n understanding submissively.  the i n d i v i d u a l ' s m o t i v a t i o n f o r a c t i n g I t was  a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t the nuances of  intention  and meaning would d i f f e r e n t i a t e submissive behavior t h a t had p o s i t i v e e f f e c t and c o u l d be considered a d a p t i v e from b e h a v i o r t h a t had a p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y negative impact considered The  submissive  and would be  maladaptive.  Sample In  of  a  o r d e r t o achieve adequate coverage  the t r a i t ,  an attempt  was  of the c o n t e n t domain  made when s e l e c t i n g s u b j e c t s f o r  t h i s p a r t of the study t o ensure t h a t s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t e d a range i n t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  (e.g., age,  experience,  p s y c h o l o g i c a l m a t u r i t y ) t h a t were c o n s i d e r e d important the t r a i t  (Woolsey, 1986).  approximately  a s p e c t s of  The sample c o n s i s t e d of an  equal number of men  and women who  were a t l e a s t  y e a r s of age or o l d e r , known t o the r e s e a r c h e r or r e f e r r e d 108  by  35  other p r o f e s s i o n a l s on the b a s i s t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l demonstrated psychological well-being  and r e l a t i o n s h i p s k i l l .  Subjects  who  appeared t o be p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y w e l l - a d j u s t e d  were s e l e c t e d f o r  the  volitional  interviews  because i t was t h e o r i z e d t h a t  submissiveness would be a s s o c i a t e d with h i g h e r p e r s o n a l i t y development and w e l l - b e i n g .  l e v e l s of  Judgements of  p s y c h o l o g i c a l adjustment were based on o b s e r v a t i o n s s a t i s f a c t i o n with l i f e ,  interpersonal s k i l l s ,  family r e l a t i o n s h i p s , personal adjustment.  of  s o c i a l networks,  achievements o r m a r i t a l  A l l s u b j e c t s r e s i d e d i n the lower mainland of  B r i t i s h Columbia.  P o t e n t i a l s u b j e c t s were i n v i t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e  i n an i n t e r v i e w t h a t they were t o l d was p a r t of a study  relating  t o " c o n f l i c t i n g needs i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s " . The  Interviews A l l t h e i n t e r v i e w s were conducted by t h e r e s e a r c h e r  standardized  i n t e r v i e w guide (Appendix 1 ) .  using a  The i n t e r v i e w s  audiotaped and met the c o n d i t i o n s of the c r i t i c a l  were  i n c i d e n t method  (Flanagan, 1954) and the t h e o r e t i c a l c r i t e r i a of t h e t r a i t .  In  r e s p e c t t o t h e former, an i n c i d e n t was d e f i n e d as "any o b s e r v a b l e human a c t i v i t y t h a t i s s u f f i c i e n t l y complete i n i t s e l f  t o permit  i n f e r e n c e s and p r e d i c t i o n s t o be made about t h e person p e r f o r m i n g the a c t " (Flanagan, 1954, p. 327). context  In a d d i t i o n , t h e s i t u a t i o n a l  of t h e i n c i d e n t must be such t h a t the i n t e n t of t h e a c t  i s c l e a r and the consequences leave l i t t l e doubt about t h e  109  e f f e c t s of the act.  The c r i t e r i a f o r the v o l i t i o n a l  submissiveness t r a i t , need was expressed  o u t l i n e d i n chapter  2, were as f o l l o w s : a  i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p that c o n f l i c t e d with the  s u b j e c t ' s need; the s u b j e c t v o l u n t a r i l y chose t o p l a c e t h e o t h e r ' s need ahead of h i s / h e r own need; the s u b j e c t c l a i m e d h i s / h e r reason and  that  f o r submitting was t o achieve a g o a l o r purpose  b e n e f i t t h e other person i n some way; and f i n a l l y , i n  a d d i t i o n t o b e n e f i t i n g the other person, the s u b j e c t  identified  an u n c a l c u l a t e d p e r s o n a l b e n e f i t , u s u a l l y a sense o f p l e a s u r e i n the o t h e r ' s w e l l - b e i n g or a p e r c e i v e d growth of i n t i m a c y  i n the  relationship. Checks were made t o v e r i f y t h a t each i n c i d e n t d i d i n f a c t meet both t h e c o n d i t i o n s and the c r i t e r i a . continued  The i n t e r v i e w s  u n t i l the i n c i d e n t s became redundant.  Woolsey  (1986)  r e p o r t e d t h a t 25 respondents provided an adequate number o f i n c i d e n t s t o meet the redundancy c r i t e r i o n . Phase 2 —  C o n s t r u c t i o n of the V o l i t i o n a l Submissiveness S c a l e  Each i n c i d e n t was t r a n s c r i b e d and examined a second time t o determine whether the c r i t e r i a were met.  The i n c i d e n t s t h a t met  the c r i t e r i a were used t o w r i t e items f o r the V o l i t i o n a l Submissiveness S c a l e  (VSS).  c o n f l i c t i n g need s c e n a r i o ,  A t e s t item c o n s i s t e d o f (1) a (2) a submissive  response t o t h e s c e n a r i o , and (3) a motive.  and non-submissive The s c e n a r i o s  r e f l e c t e d , as c l o s e l y as p o s s i b l e , the c r i t i c a l s u b j e c t s ' r e p o r t e d i n the i n t e r v i e w s . 110  incidents that  The submissive  response t o  the s c e n a r i o c o n s i s t e d of the s u b j e c t ' s behavior reported  as he/she  i t . The non-submissive response was made up by t h e  researcher.  In the f i r s t form of the s c a l e (Appendix 2 ) , t h e  motive p a r t of t h e item was developed u s i n g B u t t ' s  (1969) method;  t h a t i s , f o l l o w i n g each item a number of p o s s i b l e motives t h a t a person may a t t r i b u t e t o him/herself were l i s t e d .  As t h e o r i z e d ,  the motives f o r v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness p e r t a i n e d t o c a r i n g , h e l p i n g , enhancing the r e l a t i o n s h i p , m a i n t a i n i n g connection,  o r doing the " r i g h t " t h i n g .  a social  These motives were  w r i t t e n so t h a t they r e l a t e d t o each s c e n a r i o .  A motive t h a t  p e r t a i n e d t o t h e c u r r e n t p a s s i v e view of submissiveness was a l s o i n c l u d e d i n order t o i d e n t i f y those s u b j e c t s who responded i n a t r a d i t i o n a l l y submissive  way.  T e s t - t a k e r s were asked t o i d e n t i f y  which motive would account f o r responding  i n the way t h a t  they  indicated. As a method of a s s e s s i n g the face v a l i d i t y of t h e t e s t items,  p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n the f i e l d of psychology and c o u n s e l l i n g  ( i . e . , p r o f e s s o r s and c o u n s e l l o r s ) were asked t o judge t h e e x t e n t t o which items r e p r e s e n t e d  the t r a i t as i t was d e f i n e d .  P r e t e s t i n g of the Scale A p r e t e s t of the f i r s t form of the V o l i t i o n a l Scale  (Appendix 2) was conducted.  Item means,  Submissiveness  standard  d e v i a t i o n s , i n t e r - i t e m c o r r e l a t i o n s and a c o e f f i c i e n t o f i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y were c a l c u l a t e d .  111  On the b a s i s of t h e f i n d i n g s of  P r e t e s t 1, refinements were made t o the s c a l e and a second p r e t e s t was conducted. The  Sample P r e t e s t 1.  F o r t y s u b j e c t s who were 19 t o 68 y e a r s o f  age and l i v e d i n t h e lower mainland p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e f i r s t pretest.  Fourteen s u b j e c t s were r e c r u i t e d from an a d u l t  e d u c a t i o n c l a s s i n a church i n t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s community, 15 were p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a community group f o r p a r e n t s o f p r e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n , and 11 were graduate students i n a r e s e a r c h course i n E d u c a t i o n a l Psychology a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Twenty-three  of t h e s u b j e c t s were women, 17 were men.  average age o f the sample was 3 6 y e a r s . 80%  (fifty  Columbia. The  The response r a t e was  q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were d i s t r i b u t e d of which 10 were not  completed). . P r e t e s t 2.  The r e v i s e d form of t h e VSS (Appendix 4)  was t e s t e d i n a second p r e t e s t study.  The sample f o r t h i s study  c o n s i s t e d o f 50 a d u l t s who were members o f an a d u l t e d u c a t i o n c l a s s i n a Surrey, B r i t i s h Columbia  church  than p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the f i r s t p r e t e s t ) .  (a d i f f e r e n t  church  The age range o f t h e  s u b j e c t s was 19 t o 68 y e a r s ; t h e average age was 37 y e a r s . Seventeen  o f t h e s u b j e c t s were male, 33 were female.  completed  t h e 24-item VSS and t h e dominance s c a l e o f t h e  C a l i f o r n i a P s y c h o l o g i c a l Inventory (CPI).  Subjects  The response r a t e f o r  t h i s study was 85% (60 q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were c i r c u l a t e d , 9 were not r e t u r n e d , 1 was incomplete). 112  Statistical  Analyses  Item a n a l y s e s were conducted  u s i n g the data from both p r e t e s t s  and measures of the s c a l e ' s i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y were o b t a i n e d . In the second p r e t e s t , the C a l i f o r n i a P e r s o n a l i t y Inventory dominance s c a l e was  c o r r e l a t e d with the VSS,  as were age  (CPI)  and  gender. Phase 3 —  V a l i d i t y and R e l i a b i l i t y  Phase t h r e e of the r e s e a r c h was First,  Studies  conducted  i n three parts.  the c o n s t r u c t and d i s c r i m i n a n t v a l i d i t y of the VSS  a s s e s s e d i n t e s t s of hypotheses of the VSS  1 - 20, as was  the  w i t h a number of demographic v a r i a b l e s .  t e s t s of c r i t e r i o n - r e l a t e d v a l i d i t y were conducted hypotheses the VSS  21 and 22).  was  relationship Second, ( t e s t s of  T h i r d , the v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y  were f u r t h e r assessed by employing  peer r a t i n g s ,  and s e l f r a t i n g s of submissive behavior and  two  of  retests,  volitional  submissiveness. T e s t s of Hypotheses 1 - 20 A number of p e r s o n a l i t y and b e h a v i o r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were h y p o t h e s i z e d t o be a s s o c i a t e d with the v o l i t i o n a l construct.  VSS  submissiveness  s c o r e s were c o r r e l a t e d with the data o b t a i n e d  15 p e r s o n a l i t y s c a l e s i n t e s t s of hypotheses  1 t o 20.  The  measures employed i n the c o r r e l a t i o n a l study were: the E a g l y (1967) r e v i s i o n of the J a n i s F i e l d Self-esteem S c a l e , the Marlowe-Crowne (1960) S o c i a l D e s i r a b i l i t y S c a l e , the dominance 113  on  s c a l e o f t h e C a l i f o r n i a P e r s o n a l i t y Inventory S a t i s f a c t i o n With L i f e S c a l e  (Diener,  (Gough, 1987), t h e  1983), the I n t e r n a l C o n t r o l  Index ( D u t t w e i l e r , 1984), the short-form  o f the Sentence  Completion T e s t o f Ego Development (Loevinger,  1970), t h e  n e u r o t i c i s m s c a l e o f the NEO P e r s o n a l i t y Inventory Costa,  1983), the S e l f - E f f i c a c y Scale  D e f i n i n g Issues T e s t short-form  (Sherer e t a l . 1982), t h e  (Rest, 1979) of moral development, t h e  o f the UCLA Revised  Loneliness Scale  & Cutrona, 1980), t h e problematic  social ties  (Rook, 1984) , the Dyadic Adjustment S c a l e M i l l e r S o c i a l Intimacy S c a l e  ( R u s s e l l , Peplau,  questionnaire  (Spanier,  1976), t h e  ( M i l l e r & L e f c o u r t , 1982) , t h e  R e l a t i o n s h i p O r i e n t a t i o n Scales Millberg,  (McCrae &  (Clark, O u e l l e t t e , Powell, &  1987) , and the A l t r u i s m C h e c k l i s t (Rushton, C h r i s j o h n ,  & Fekken, 1981). D e s c r i p t i o n o f the Sample The  sample f o r the c o r r e l a t i o n a l study was s e l e c t e d on t h e  basis of the f o l l o w i n g r a t i o n a l e . 1985)  Buss and C r a i k  i n a c q u i r i n g t h e i r l i s t of submissive  (1980, 1981,  acts recognized the  l i m i t a t i o n s o f e n l i s t i n g u n i v e r s i t y undergraduates as t h e s o l e source  o f s u b j e c t s i n the sample and suggested t h a t t h e number  and q u a l i t y o f a c t s nominated t o r e p r e s e n t a t r a i t  i s likely to  v a r y a c c o r d i n g t o such background v a r i a b l e s as age, e d u c a t i o n and socioeconomic s t a t u s of the s u b j e c t s . o b s e r v a t i o n and on t h e hypothesis  114  Based on Buss and C r a i k ' s  t h a t submissiveness i s a  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t h a t becomes more e v i d e n t as maturing p e r s o n a l i t y o c c u r s , t h i s study attempted beyond u n i v e r s i t y The  of t h e  t o broaden t h e sample  undergraduates.  sample c o n s i s t e d of 2 34 s u b j e c t s between 19 and 68 years  of age; t h e average  age being 35.4 years.  male and 116 were female.  Of these, 118 were  The s u b j e c t s completed  a 352-item  q u e s t i o n n a i r e c o n s i s t i n g of the VSS and the s c a l e s l i s t e d as w e l l as some b i o g r a p h i c a l questions were passengers  P e r m i s s i o n was granted t o the r e s e a r c h e r from  project.  Subjects  The data were obtained i n t h e f o l l o w i n g  F e r r i e s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n t o request passenger  arranged  7).  on B.C. F e r r i e s t r a v e l l i n g between Tsawwassen and  Swartz Bay t e r m i n a l . manner.  (Appendix  above,  B.C.  p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the  F e r r y passes and n o t i f i c a t i o n t o f e r r y p e r s o n n e l were by t h e p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s o f f i c e r .  The r e s e a r c h e r worked  alone on seven r e t u r n t r i p s between September and November, u s i n g both weekdays and weekends t o c o l l e c t d a t a . b o a r d i n g , passengers  1989,  Shortly after  were approached i n a random order  (alternate  s e a t s , a l t e r n a t e rows, a l l s e c t i o n s except d i n i n g ) , a b r i e f e x p l a n a t i o n of the p r o j e c t was given and p a r t i c i p a t i o n requested. is,  was  About an 85% p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e was r e c o r d e d .  o f those passengers  q u e s t i o n n a i r e an average  approached and asked t o complete t h e of 5 per round t r i p d e c l i n e d ; t h e r e s t  were w i l l i n g t o p a r t i c i p a t e . approximately  That  Q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were d i s t r i b u t e d f o r  3 0 minutes a t the beginning of each s a i l i n g (so  t h a t every s u b j e c t had a t l e a s t 1 hour t o work) , and then were  115  c o l l e c t e d as passengers de-boarded.  On each round t r i p  3 0 to  40  completed q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were obtained. R e l a t i o n s h i p of VSS  t o Demographic V a r i a b l e s  B i o g r a p h i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n was  obtained from s u b j e c t s  p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the c o r r e l a t i o n a l study and VSS c o r r e l a t e d w i t h the f o l l o w i n g v a r i a b l e s : age,  s c o r e s were  gender,  education,  m a r i t a l s t a t u s , number of c h i l d r e n , church a f f i l i a t i o n , attendance, to  who  church  attendance at a c h u r c h - a f f i l i a t e d s c h o o l , adherance  r e a d i n g the B i b l e or h o l y book, and the s i g n i f i c a n c e of  r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s t o approach to T e s t s of C r i t e r i o n - r e l a t e d T e s t of Hypothesis  life.  Validity  21.  V o l i t i o n a l submissiveness  proposes t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s who  theory  possess higher l e v e l s of  p e r s o n a l i t y development w i l l v o l u n t a r i l y p l a c e the needs of o t h e r s ahead of t h e i r own  i n c o n f l i c t i n g - n e e d s i t u a t i o n s when  doing so i s c o n s i s t e n t with h e l d values and c o n t r i b u t e s t o a g o a l or outcome t h a t the person deems worthy of s e l f - g i v i n g . t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l assumption and to address "Can  two  was  administered  p r e d i c t e d t o possess  to two  p r e d i c t e d t o possess  h i g h e r s c o r e s on the VSS.  a low l e v e l of the t r a i t and  a higher l e v e l of the t r a i t and  One to who  achieve  Would s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n  116  VSS  groups of s u b j e c t s .  s c o r e s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower on the s c a l e than the second group was  test  question:  groups be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d on the b a s i s of p r e d i c t e d  s c o r e s ? " the VSS group was  the r e s e a r c h  To  VSS  s c o r e s be demonstrated between groups s e l e c t e d on t h e b a s i s of perceived  l e v e l of p s y c h o l o g i c a l  well-being?  Substance ( a l c o h o l and n a r c o t i c ) a d d i c t e d p r e d i c t e d t o score  i n d i v i d u a l s were  low on the VSS because a d d i c t i o n i s c o n s i d e r e d  t o be a compulsive behavior and i s c l a s s i f i e d a major p s y c h i a t r i c d i s o r d e r .  i n t h e DSM-III-R as  A d d i c t i o n would be expected t o be  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h compromised l e v e l s of p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l t h and therefore, personal  l i m i t e d a b i l i t y t o p l a c e the needs o f o t h e r s  needs.  Therapists  treatment f a c i l i t i e s  ahead o f  and c o u n s e l l o r s working i n t h e  f o r these a d d i c t s were p r e d i c t e d t o s c o r e  h i g h on t h e t e s t f o r presumably obvious reasons. D e s c r i p t i o n of t h e sample. subjects:  The sample c o n s i s t e d o f 55  2 9 women i n r e s i d e n t i a l treatment f o r a d d i c t i o n a t The  S a l v a t i o n Army Homestead i n Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia, between September and December, 1989; and 26 c o u n s e l l o r s and t h e r a p i s t s working i n t h r e e a s s o c i a t e d period.  f a c i l i t i e s d u r i n g t h e same time  The t h r e e f a c i l i t i e s were the Homestead  (residential  treatment f o r women with a d d i c t i o n s ) , Kate Booth House (a s a f e house f o r women and c h i l d r e n needing s h e l t e r ) , and t h e Crosswalk (a d r o p - i n  center  administered  i n Vancouver's s k i d row).  These f a c i l i t i e s a r e  by t h e same d i r e c t o r s ; s t a f f a r e c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d  w i t h one another and may work a t more than one s i t e ; and c l i e n t s are r e f e r r e d among t h e three f a c i l i t i e s depending on t h e i r presenting The  needs.  c l i e n t group completed t h e VSS d u r i n g  117  a regularily  scheduled  a d d i c t i o n education c l a s s .  A d i s c u s s i o n l e d by t h e  r e s e a r c h e r on the t o p i c of c o n f l i c t i n g needs i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s was given afterwards  as a means of compensation.  T h e r a p i s t s and  c o u n s e l l o r s were requested t o a s s i s t i n t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s study on " c o n f l i c t i n g needs i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s " and completed t h e s c a l e on t h e i r own time.  They r e c e i v e d no compensation.  Data a n a l y s e s .  Questionnaires were scored and t h e d a t a  a n a l y z e d : mean s c o r e s and standard d e v i a t i o n s were c a l c u l a t e d f o r each group and a one-way a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e was performed t o compare t h e mean s c o r e s of the two groups. T e s t o f Hypothesis and  22.  A b e h a v i o r a l experiment was designed  conducted i n order t o determine whether behavior  p r e d i c t e d on t h e b a s i s of VSS scores.  c o u l d be  The experiment c o n s i s t e d  of a c o n t r i v e d s i t u a t i o n i n which a c o n f l i c t o f needs would a r i s e between an experimental  s u b j e c t and a confederate,  so t h a t t h e  s u b j e c t ' s a b i l i t y t o v o l u n t a r i l y p l a c e t h e need of t h e confederate  ahead of h i s / h e r own need c o u l d be t e s t e d and t h e  r e s u l t c o r r e l a t e d with VSS score.  The s i t u a t i o n i n c l u d e d t h e  c o n d i t i o n s o f (a) a c o n f l i c t i n g need, (b) p e r s o n a l r i g h t s , (c) o p p o r t u n i t y t o v o l u n t a r i l y p l a c e the need of another one's own need.  ahead o f  These c o n d i t i o n s met the c r i t e r i a o f t h e  v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness  t r a i t i n t h a t t h e other had a need t h a t  c o u l d be met i f t h e s u b j e c t chose t o g i v e up a p e r s o n a l r i g h t , no o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t h e other t o r e c i p r o c a t e was p r o v i d e d ,  and t h e  s u b j e c t was f r e e t o choose t o make a p e r s o n a l s a c r i f i c e t o meet 118  the o t h e r ' s need.  I t was hypothesized t h a t a p o s i t i v e  r e l a t i o n s h i p would be demonstrated between s u b j e c t s ' VSS s c o r e s and meeting the confederate's need. The  sample.  Subjects i n the experiment  were 2 5  graduate  s t u d e n t s i n a r e s e a r c h c l a s s a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia and 15 f o u r t h year students a t T r i n i t y Western U n i v e r s i t y a t Langley, B r i t i s h Columbia who were r e g i s t e r e d i n a r e s e a r c h methods c l a s s .  Subjects were s e l e c t e d and t h e data  o b t a i n e d i n t h e f o l l o w i n g way.  The r e s e a r c h e r o b t a i n e d  p e r m i s s i o n from t h e p r o f e s s o r s t o a t t e n d a c l a s s , r e q u e s t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e experiment, q u e s t i o n n a i r e t o the c l a s s .  student  and then a d m i n i s t e r t h e  Subjects were t o l d t h a t t h e  r e s e a r c h e r was s t u d y i n g what people do when needs c o n f l i c t i n a relationship.  They were informed t h a t p a r t i c i p a t i o n  was  v o l u n t a r y , t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r r e q u i r e d s u b j e c t s t o complete a 24-item  q u e s t i o n n a i r e , and t h a t some of them would be c o n t a c t e d  by t e l e p h o n e w i t h i n two weeks and requested t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n a psychology  experiment  t h a t would take about 15 minutes.  a d m i n i s t e r i n g the s c a l e , the r e s e a r c h e r s t a t e d t h a t peer  Before ratings  were r e q u i r e d and made the request t h a t students o b t a i n peer r a t i n g s from a spouse, p a r t n e r , f a m i l y member o r someone who knew them w e l l .  S c a l e s and i n s t r u c t i o n s t o peer r a t e r s were g i v e n t o  s t u d e n t s who were w i l l i n g t o attempt  t o o b t a i n peer r a t i n g s .  VSS was then administered i n c l a s s and c o l l e c t e d .  None of t h e  s t u d e n t s r e f u s e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n completing the s c a l e . 119  In a  The  f u t u r e c l a s s , t h e r e s e a r c h e r d i s c u s s e d the r e s e a r c h and s c a l e c o n s t r u c t i o n as a method of compensation. Seventy s t u d e n t s (40 a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h and 3 0 a t T r i n i t y Western U n i v e r s i t y ) completed  Columbia  questionnaires.  T w e n t y - f i v e o f t h e h i g h e s t and lowest s c o r i n g s u b j e c t s were c o n t a c t e d by telephone and requested t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e experiment.  Ten s u b j e c t s were unable t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e  experiment due t o absence, i l l n e s s , or other s c h e d u l i n g difficulty. The experiment.  Subjects were asked t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n a  p s y c h o l o g y experiment t h a t o s t e n s i b l y was a "word power" game on the o r d e r of S c r a b b l e .  Upon a r r i v i n g a t t h e room where t h e  experiment was t o take p l a c e , the s u b j e c t s were t o l d t h a t p a r t n e r f o r t h e experiment had not y e t a r r i v e d .  their  In t h e case of  the UBC s t u d e n t s , the confederate was w a i t i n g i n an a d j o i n i n g room and came i n a f t e r the s u b j e c t was seated, g i v i n g t h e appearance t h a t she was l a t e .  The c o n f e d e r a t e was i n t r o d u c e d as  a s t u d e n t from another f a c u l t y and made an apology f o r b e i n g late.  Because of the s m a l l e r campus s i z e a t TWU,  the confederate  was i n t r o d u c e d as a guest who was l e c t u r i n g f o r t h e p r o f e s s o r whose o f f i c e was being used i n the experiment.  She s t a t e d  that  she had misunderstood the time of the l e c t u r e and because she was e a r l y , consented t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the experiment.  The same  c o n f e d e r a t e p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a l l of the experiments. The s u b j e c t and c o n f e d e r a t e were seated a c r o s s from one 120  another a t a s m a l l t a b l e ; t h e confederate always s a t t o t h e r i g h t of t h e r e s e a r c h e r .  A cardboard p a r t i t i o n p l a c e d between t h e  s u b j e c t and c o n f e d e r a t e on the t a b l e allowed f o r eye c o n t a c t but p r e v e n t e d e i t h e r p a r t n e r from viewing t h e o t h e r ' s p l a y i n g a r e a . The r e s e a r c h e r then read t h e r u l e s of t h e game (Appendix  7)  s t a t i n g t h a t each person would s e l e c t 7 l e t t e r t i l e s from a box, t h a t t h e t a s k c o n s i s t e d of c o n s t r u c t i n g a word w i t h t h e h i g h e s t p o i n t v a l u e p o s s i b l e from the l e t t e r s s e l e c t e d , and t h a t they would have 3 minutes t o work.  They were a l s o i n s t r u c t e d  that  they c o u l d r e q u e s t l e t t e r s from each other and t h a t they c o u l d g i v e away l e t t e r s i f they wished t o do so.  t o , but t h a t they d i d not need  They were t o l d t h a t they d i d not need t o t e l l  their  p a r t n e r what l e t t e r s they had but o n l y t o answer yes o r no t o each r e q u e s t , and t h a t i t d i d not matter how many l e t t e r s ended up w i t h so t h a t i t was not necessary t o "exchange" The person on t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s r i g h t  they letters.  (the confederate) was  asked t o s e l e c t seven t i l e s from the box which had been p l a c e d i n a pre-arranged order.  The s u b j e c t then p i c k e d up t h e remaining  t i l e s which c o n s i s t e d o f t h e l e t t e r s : G R A Z E D N. i s a 10-point l e t t e r .  The " Z  11  The timer was s e t and p l a y began.  The c o n f e d e r a t e was i n s t r u c t e d t o a c t somewhat f r u s t r a t e d w i t h t h e d i f f i c u l t y of t h e task and t o convey t h a t , g i v e n t h e l e t t e r s she had s e l e c t e d , she was having g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y the t a s k .  with  She was i n s t r u c t e d t o say t h a t she d i d not have any o f  the l e t t e r s t h a t t h e s u b j e c t might request and t o r e q u e s t two 121  l e t t e r s from t h e s u b j e c t t h a t she knew t h e s u b j e c t d i d not have. During  t h e f i n a l minute of t h e game, the c o n f e d e r a t e  feigned  sudden r e c o g n i t i o n of a word t h a t she c o u l d c o n s t r u c t and asked the s u b j e c t i f he/she had a " Z .  I f the s u b j e c t responded  11  n e g a t i v e l y , t h e confederate disappointed,  was i n s t r u c t e d t o appear  attempt t o make the word i n another way, and then  ask t h e s u b j e c t again i f he/she was c e r t a i n t h a t he/she d i d n o t have a " Z . 11  The r e s e a r c h e r then i n d i c a t e d t h a t time was up.  S u b j e c t s were thanked, questioned  t o determine whether any were  s u s p i c i o u s about any aspects of the experiment or t h e confederate,  and then d e - b r i e f e d .  D e - b r i e f i n g c o n s i s t e d o f determining the t r a i t were met: (a) was the behavior s u b j e c t s f e e l about t h e i r a c t i o n ? motivation?  whether t h e c r i t e r i a o f volitional?  (2) how d i d  (c) what was t h e s u b j e c t s '  (d) what d i d s u b j e c t s hope t o achieve?  and (e) was  the outcome what they hoped f o r ? S t a t i s t i c a l analyses. confederate's score.  request  The s u b j e c t s ' responses t o t h e  f o r the " Z  11  was c o r r e l a t e d w i t h t h e i r VSS  A comparison of t h e mean VSS scores o f s u b j e c t s who gave  up t h e " Z  and those who d i d not was a l s o conducted.  F u r t h e r T e s t s o f R e l i a b i l i t y and V a l i d i t y VSS  data were analyzed  the s c a l e .  t o assess t h e i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y o f  A measure of t e s t - r e t e s t r e l i a b i l i t y was o b t a i n e d  from data p r o v i d e d by the s u b j e c t s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e " Z "  122  experiment u s i n g was  the  f o l l o w i n g procedure.  When the  f i n i s h e d , the r e s e a r c h e r o f f e r e d s u b j e c t s  r e s u l t s of the  a summary of  study i f they l e f t t h e i r names and  sheet of paper p l a c e d also t o l d subjects  experiment  on the t a b l e j u s t o u t s i d e  addresses on  the door.  t h a t r e t e s t data were r e q u i r e d  and  addressed envelope from the t a b l e , t o complete the  researcher.  first  t e s t i n g , and  Eighteen subjects  mail  a  She  asked them  ( i f they were w i l l i n g ) t o take a copy of the s c a l e and  month f o l l o w i n g the  the  a  scale  i t back t o  selfone  the  returned completed r e t e s t  questionnaires. Peer r a t i n g s were a l s o obtained and subjects' the  VSS  subject  self ratings.  Raters who  correlated with are w e l l a c q u a i n t e d w i t h  have been found to g i v e c o n s i s t e n t l y b e t t e r  of p e r s o n a l i t y than e x t e r n a l Funder, 1988;  ratings  c r i t e r i o n of s e l f - r e p o r t s (Kenrick  McCrae & Costa, 1987;  Norman & Goldberg, been suggested as a  &  1966).  The  s i n g l e r a t i n g of a spouse has  sufficient  and  a c c u r a t e source of p e r s o n a l i t y d e s c r i p t i o n f o r c o r r e l a t i o n  w i t h s e l f - r e p o r t s (McCrae & Costa, 1987). Peer r a t i n g s were obtained i n the f o l l o w i n g manner. time of i n i t i a l 70 s u b j e c t s  completion of the VSS  were asked t o o b t a i n VSS  by a "peer": a p a r t n e r , who  f o r the  11  Z  11  At  the  experiment,  r a t i n g s on themselves made  spouse, or c l o s e acquaintance.  Subjects  were w i l l i n g t o attempt t o o b t a i n peer r a t i n g s were g i v e n  written  i n s t r u c t i o n s f o r the p e e r - r a t e r  asked t o g i v e these t o t h e i r peer r a t e r .  123  and  a form of the VSS  and  They were t o l d t h a t i t  was  important  f o r t h e peer t o make independent r a t i n g s and t h a t  no c o n s u l t a t i o n should occur between t h e s u b j e c t and t h e peer. Peer r a t i n g s were made a t t h e r a t e r ' s convenience and t h e s u b j e c t s r e t u r n e d t h e peer r a t i n g s i n a s e a l e d envelope t o t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s mailbox.  Data were analyzed  and t h e r e s u l t s  c o r r e l a t e d with s e l f r a t i n g s . One  f i n a l t e s t of v a l i d i t y c o n s i s t e d o f a s e l f  q u e s t i o n a t t h e end of the VSS.  rating  An e x p l a n a t i o n o f v o l i t i o n a l  s u b m i s s i v e n e s s was given and s u b j e c t s were asked t o e s t i m a t e percent  what  o f t h e time, i n t h e i r c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s , they would a c t  i n t h a t manner.  T h i s r a t i n g was c o r r e l a t e d w i t h VSS s c o r e . F a c t o r S t r u c t u r e of t h e VSS  An e x p l o r a t o r y f a c t o r a n a l y s i s of t h e s c a l e was conducted f o r t h e purpose o f i d e n t i f y i n g p r i n c i p a l components.  I n order t o  determine whether VSS data c o l l e c t e d from a l l s u b j e c t s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e t h i r d phase of t h e r e s e a r c h study,  (correlational  b e h a v i o r a l experiment and t a r g e t groups) s h o u l d be pooled,  the homogeneity of t h e v a r i a n c e - c o v a r i a n c e  matrices  and t h e  d i f f e r e n c e s between means were t e s t e d , comparing s u b j e c t s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e c o r r e l a t i o n a l study  (the B.C. F e r r y sample)  w i t h s u b j e c t s who were r e c r u i t e d f o r the b e h a v i o r a l experiment and t h e t a r g e t groups.  Having made t h i s d e t e r m i n a t i o n ,  two  methods (maximum l i k e l i h o o d f a c t o r a n a l y s i s and s c r e e t e s t s ) were used t o determine t h e number of f a c t o r s t o e x t r a c t . (varimax) t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s  Orthogonal  were then performed and c o n c e p t u a l 124  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f each f a c t o r were made. of  The f a c t o r  structure  t h e s c a l e was expected t o r e l a t e t o t h e motives u n d e r l y i n g  volitional  submissiveness.  Summary of Research  Procedures  1. S u b j e c t s were r e c r u i t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n an audio-taped critical  i n c i d e n t i n t e r v i e w i n which they were asked t o t a l k  about a r e l a t i o n s h i p with a s i g n i f i c a n t person i n t h e i r  life.  2. I n t e r v i e w s continued u n t i l t h e redundancy c r i t e r i o n was satisfied  (Flanagan, 1954;  Woolsey, 1986).  3. The i n t e r v i e w t r a n s c r i p t s were analyzed and w r i t t e n i n t o items t h a t d e p i c t e d v o l i t i o n a l a c t s of submissiveness. 4. P r o f e s s i o n a l p s y c h o l o g i s t s and c o u n s e l l o r s were asked t o make p r o t o t y p i c a l i t y judgements of the items. 5. Based on t h e above r a t i n g s , 15 items comprised of 6.  t h e V o l i t i o n a l Submissiveness  the f i r s t  form  Scale.  The s c a l e was administered t o a sample o f 40 a d u l t s i n a  f i r s t p r e t e s t o f t h e instrument. 7.  Items were analyzed and a c o e f f i c i e n t o f i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y  c a l c u l a t e d u s i n g data a c q u i r e d i n the f i r s t 8.  Necessary  pretest.  refinements were made t o t h e s c a l e i n c l u d i n g t h e  a d d i t i o n o f 9 more items.  The s c a l e was then s u b j e c t e d t o a  second p r e t e s t u s i n g a sample of 50 a d u l t s . 9.  The c o n s t r u c t and d i s c r i m i n a n t v a l i d i t y o f t h e 24-item VSS  was a s s e s s e d by c o r r e l a t i n g p e r s o n a l i t y and b e h a v i o r a l 125  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t were hypothesized t o be a s s o c i a t e d v o l i t i o n a l submissiveness with the VSS.  Subjects f o r  c o r r e l a t i o n a l study were passengers on B.C. a questionnaire and  c o n s i s t i n g of the VSS,  demographic q u e s t i o n s .  of a t o t a l of 352 required  study was 10.  and  complete q u e s t i o n n a i r e  informed of the r e s u l t s and  and  An  f i n d i n g s of  experiment, p e e r - r a t i n g s ,  T r i n i t y Western U n i v e r s i t y .  Subjects  the  project.  t e s t - r e t e s t s were r e c r u i t e d from the U n i v e r s i t y of Columbia and  consisted  questions  upon completion of the  S u b j e c t s f o r the b e h a v i o r a l  completed  15 p e r s o n a l i t y measures,  one-half hours t o complete.  offered to subjects  the  F e r r i e s who  items p l u s the b i o g r a p h i c a l  about one  o p p o r t u n i t y t o be  The  with  and  British who  p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the t a r g e t groups were r e c r u i t e d from  The  S a l v a t i o n Army Homestead.  Instrumentation The  following  t e s t s of hypotheses Eagly Revision  instruments were c o r r e l a t e d w i t h the VSS 1-20.  (1967) of the J a n i s - F i e l d Scale  Development of the s c a l e .  Eagly  of s e l f - e s t e e m based on the J a n i s and Inadequacy S c a l e " . t h a t the by  in  Ten  (1967) developed a measure Field  (1959) " F e e l i n g s  of  items from t h a t s c a l e t h a t were worded so  a f f i r m a t i v e i n d i c a t e d low  items i n which the wording was  126  s e l f - e s t e e m were supplemented reversed  so t h a t an  affirmative  response i n d i c a t e d high self-esteem.  The  content  of  the  supplementary items were very s i m i l a r , though not exact of the o r i g i n a l J a n i s and Reliability.  Field  reversals  items.  Based on a sample of 144  h a l f c o e f f i c i e n t of r e l i a b i l i t y was  .72.  s u b j e c t s , the  The  t e s t was  d i v i d e d so  t h a t each h a l f c o n s i s t e d of equal numbers of p o s i t i v e l y n e g a t i v e l y worded items. when c o r r e c t e d a c c o r d i n g  The  reliability  Development of the s c a l e . The was  used I-E  Scale  1984) Internal Control  Index  developed to provide a s t r o n g e r ,  (Rotter, 1966) , and' one  more  aspects  1984).  I t was  a l s o thought d e s i r a b l e t o focus  luck) as does the I-E Scale.  Consequently,  I n t e r n a l C o n t r o l Index focuses on such aspects choice, b e l i e f p.  217).  i n one's s e l f , and The  as  been p r e v i o u s l y i d e n t i f i e d as being most p e r t i n e n t t o  1976).  (fate,  the  (Duttweiler,  items were based on those v a r i a b l e s t h a t  i n f l u e n c e , d e l a y of g r a t i f i c a t i o n and  had  internal  resistance to  self-confidence  (Lefcourt,  F o l l o w i n g p r e t e s t e v a l u a t i o n s , a t r y o u t t e s t was 127  on  personal  independent a c t i o n  l o c u s of c o n t r o l : autonomy, c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s i n g ,  free  Scale  of i n t e r n a l c o n t r o l r a t h e r than e x t e r n a l f a c t o r s  chance and  1984,  the  t h a t would be  of the problems t h a t have been i d e n t i f i e d with the I-E (Duttweiler,  the  .54.  r e l i a b l e measure of the locus of c o n t r o l c o n s t r u c t than widely  .84  to the Spearman-Brown formula and  I n t e r n a l C o n t r o l Index (Duttweiler,  1984)  and  of the t e s t was  c o r r e l a t i o n between p o s i t i v e and negative h a l v e s was  (Duttweiler,  split-  carried  out w i t h a sample of 548  u n i v e r s i t y and c o l l e g e s t u d e n t s .  These  data were s u b j e c t e d t o item and f a c t o r a n a l y s i s and on the b a s i s of  these r e s u l t s 28 items were s e l e c t e d .  evaluated  i n a f i e l d t e s t with 684  These items were then  s u b j e c t s and the  resulting  data were s u b j e c t e d t o f a c t o r a n a l y s i s , item a n a l y s i s and a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e . Reliability. correlations of one  With the item t o t a l - s c o r e removed,  (Pearson product-moment) f o r each item and  reliability  were a c q u i r e d f o r a f i e l d t e s t sample as w e l l as  a d d i t i o n a l (junior college) population.  The  coefficient  alpha e s t i m a t e of r e l i a b i l i t y  f o r the f i e l d t e s t was  the j u n i o r c o l l e g e sample .85  (Duttweiler, 1984).  Validity.  estimates  .84  and f o r  A d m i n i s t r a t i o n of M i r e l s ' (1970) F a c t o r I of  R o t t e r ' s I-E S c a l e t o the j u n i o r c o l l e g e sample produced a significant  (p <.0001) negative c o r r e l a t i o n  (r = - 0.385) between  the s c o r e s on the I n t e r n a l C o n t r o l Index and M i r e l s ' F a c t o r I of the I-E S c a l e . suggest  The  statistical  analyses completed t o  t h a t the I n t e r n a l C o n t r o l Index may  date  be a s t r o n g e r , more  r e l i a b l e measure of i n t e r n a l locus of c o n t r o l i n a d u l t s than p r e v i o u s l y developed instrument  instruments.  For r e s e a r c h purposes t h i s  demonstrates h i g h e r r e l i a b i l i t y  instruments,  and evidence  than a l t e r n a t e  of convergent v a l i d i t y .  Washington U n i v e r s i t y Sentence Completion T e s t of Ego (Loevinger,  1970): Male and Female Short Forms ( H o l t ,  128  Development 1980)  Development of the s c a l e . Ego Development was  The Sentence  Completion  T e s t of  designed as an assessment t e c h n i q u e by which  an i n d i v i d u a l ' s o r i e n t a t i o n t o s e l f and the world, c o n s t r u e d as ego development, c o u l d be amenable t o s y s t e m a t i c e m p i r i c a l research  (Hauser,  1976).  Loevinger's c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of  development assumes t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s possess o r i e n t a t i o n s toward  themselves  characteristic  and the world and t h a t t h e s e  frames of r e f e r e n c e and i n t e g r a t i v e processes can be a l o n g a continuum.  ego  arranged  The continuum r e p r e s e n t s ego development and  i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by p r o g r e s s i v e l y g r e a t e r d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of p e r c e p t i o n s of s e l f and the world  (Candee, 1974).  i s r e p r e s e n t e d by seven s e q u e n t i a l stages t r a n s i t i o n a l stages) t h a t comprise order  (Hauser,  1976).  continuum  (plus t h r e e  an i n v a r i a n t  Since a d u l t s can be  The  hierarchical  characterized  a c c o r d i n g t o the stage of development t h a t they have a c h i e v e d , t h e system  i n e f f e c t generates a "typology of  differences i n character styles'" x  (Hauser,  individual  1976,  p. 930).  t e s t assumes t h a t each person has a core l e v e l of ego t h a t i s m a n i f e s t i n the way completed.  t h a t the items  The  functioning  (sentence stems) are  H o l t (1980) t e s t e d twelve-item forms of the t e s t  male and female samples of American youths aged 16 t o 26  on  and  s c o r e d them a c c o r d i n g t o Loevinger's procedure. Scoring.  H o l t ' s s h o r t form of the t e s t c o n s i s t s of 12 of  L o e v i n g e r ' s 36 sentence stems.  A complex s c o r i n g system has been  c o n s t u c t e d by Loevinger and her a s s o c i a t e s (Loevinger & Wessler,  129  1970;  L o e v i n g e r , Wessler & Redmore, 1970).  The s u b j e c t ' s  response t o each of the sentence stems i s a s s i g n e d t o a l e v e l of ego development  by matching the s u b j e c t ' s response w i t h response  c a t e g o r i e s p r o v i d e d i n the s c o r i n g manual.  The manual p r o v i d e s  s e l f - t r a i n i n g e x e r c i s e s which have been demonstrated  t o pr