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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Further research on the photo-analysis test with special reference to sex differences Rempel, Henry


The general purpose of this study was to do further research work with Dombrose and Slobin's Photo-Analysis Test, and to construct a comparable Photo-Analysis Test without some of the possible defects which produced the unexpected results for Dombrose and Slobin. Both tests were used for measuring impulse, ego, and superego sex differences, and Dombrose and Slobin's test was also used for comparing age group differences of both sexes, on their impulse, ego, and superego responses. This study was also expected to contribute to the psychological literature concerning the sex differences on the self-rating of conscience as a determinant of behavior, as well as sex differences on the relative strength of the impulse, ego, and superego variables. The test constructed for the present study had both male and female photographs of a broad age range, instead of male photographs only, as in Dombrose and Slobin's test. The photographs were tested for ambiguity, and the items were tested for impulse, ego, and superego content, in preliminary studies. A seven point self-rating scale was constructed according to the specifications of the literature. This scale was expected to measure conscience as a determinant of behavior, with the scores acting as an independent means of testing the test for validity. Both tests were converted into a single group test, so that the photographs could be projected on the screen by the use of a projector. The test was given to two introductory psychology classes at the University of British Columbia, of which forty-two females and fifty-five males, eighteen and nineteen years of age, remained for the statistical analysis. The subjects were expected to project impulse and superego pressures through the processes of perception, apperception, empathy, and identification. Fifty hypotheses were set up for testing the experimental results, and both the Chi-square and t tests were used for testing the hypotheses. Fifteen hypotheses, which affected Dombrose and Slobin's test only, only demanded the results to be in the predicted direction and position in order to be verified. The other hypotheses had to be supported at the .05 level of confidence in order to be verified. The results show that the test constructed for the present study is a useful instrument for measuring impulse and ego sex differences, but not superego sex differences. Dombrose and Slobin1s test was not able to differentiate in the predicted direction between the sexes on any of the critical variables. The results from Dombrose and Slobin's test on the male age group differences were no better than could be expected by chance alone. The two female age groups, that were compared, verified the hypotheses set up for the impulse and ego variables, but not those set up for the superego variable. Since only two female age groups were compared, no definite conclusions can be formulated for the impulse, ego, and superego variables. The male photographs elicited more impulse and fewer ego and superego responses, from both male and female subjects, than the female photographs, but the superego differences were not significant statistically. Only the females produced more impulse and fewer ego responses in response to Dombrose and Slobin's test than in response to the female photographs. The male response was not in the predicted direction on any of the critical variables, when the responses to Dombrose and Slobin's photographs and the female photographs were compared. Both tests differentiate fairly well among the male groups which had been grouped on the basis of their own self-rating of conscience as a determinant of behavior. Dombrose and Slobin's test, however, differentiated much better than the test constructed for the present study when similar female groups were compared, but the differences were in the predicted direction only on the impulse and ego variables. Both tests appear to be measuring different things in males and females, and the superego variable differentiates poorest of the three critical variables. These tests, however, do appear to be measuring more than overt behavior, and seem to be getting at underlying psychodynamics. In general, the test constructed for the present study seems to be an improvement over Dombrose and Slobin's test. The self-rating scale seems to be a valid instrument for measuring conscience as a determinant of behavior for both sexes. It is suggested that more research work be done with both the Photo-Analysis Test and the self-rating scale.

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