The Trait Dominance-Submissiveness (Internal-External Control) Test & Software

Trait Dominance-Submissiveness Defined
This trait deals with a person's characteristic feelings of control and influence over everyday situations, events, and relationships versus feelings of being controlled and influenced by circumstances and others, such as, changes in life and work situations.

Software for Administring & Scoring the Trait Dominance-Submissiveness Scale
Software for administering, scoring, and interpreting the Trait Dominance-Submissiveness Scale is available within a larger package of software that includes all three PAD (Pleasure, Dominance, Arousability) scales. The software runs on IBM-compatible machines and, for Trait Dominance, provides (a) total score, equivalent percentile score, equivalent z-score, and interpretation of these scores for each person tested and (b) a database of all three scores (total, percentile, z-score) for all individuals tested. The software is easy to use and is password protected so that the Administrator can control access to the database of results. In this way, individuals being tested cannot have access to the results, unless the Administrator chooses to report such results to them.

Detailed Description of the PAD Temperament Software
Scale Features
The Trait Dominance-submissiveness Scale was developed originally by considering numerous characteristics related to generalized feelings of dominance versus submissiveness (Mehrabian & Hines, 1978). The Trait Dominance-submissiveness Scale currently in use (Mehrabian, 1994a) was developed within Mehrabian's (1987, 1991, 1995a, 1996) PAD Temperament Model which requires that Trait Dominance-submissiveness be reasonably independent of Trait Pleasure-displeasure and of Trait Arousability. This is a theoretically important feature of the present scale and helps distinguish it from others that confound the measurement of Trait Dominance with pleasant- unpleasant and/or arousable-unarousable characteristics. For instance, measures of Extroversion typically confound dominant and pleasant temperament characteristics, whereas measures of aggressiveness confound dominant, unpleasant, and arousable characteristics. The present version of the Trait Dominance- submissiveness Scale contains 26 items and subjects report the degree of their agreement or disagreement with each item using a 9-point agreement-disagreement scale.

The Trait Dominance-submissiveness Scale is intended primarily for experimental use. In the event it is used in clinical or applied settings, it is strongly advisable that findings based on the present instrument be checked against additional data from alternative tests and interview materials.

Scale Validity
Mehrabian's (1996) review article on the PAD Temperament Scales supplies considerable validity data on the Trait Dominance Scale. Validity on the Trait Dominance Scale is also available indirectly through its correlation of -.73 with the Sensitivity to Rejection Scale (Mehrabian, 1970). The Sensitivity to Rejection Scale (MSR) is a measure of generalized social submissiveness (i.e, the converse of social dominance). Its strong negative relationship with the Trait Dominance Scale is, therefore, understandable. Mehrabian (1994b) reviewed experimental evidence on the Sensitivity to Rejection Scale (MSR) and the findings can be summarized as follows:

Persons with higher Sensitivity to Rejection scores, compared with those with lower scores, are more likely to

The -.73 correlation between the MSR and the Trait Dominance Scale suggests a similar, though inverted set of relationships for Trait Dominance. For example, it can be inferred that persons with high Trait Dominance scores, compared with those with lower scores, are more likely to (c) be rated as more competent, more confident, more influential, and more leader- like by others in group situations, (d) do better in competition, as in sports, and so forth.

Construct validity for the Trait Dominance Scale is available also from Mehrabian and O'Reilly (1980) who found that the Trait Dominance Scale (TDS) correlated positively with measures of Extroversion, Exhibition, Affiliation, Nurturance, Play, Impulsivity, Understanding, Arousal Seeking, Sentience, Change, Achieving Tendency, Endurance, Autonomy, and Aggression. They also found that the Trait Dominance Scale correlated negatively with measures of Neuroticism, Trait Anxiety, Harmavoidance, Succorance (or Dependency), and Sensitivity to Rejection.

Additional data were reported by Mehrabian and Stefl (1995) showing that the Trait Dominance Scale correlated negatively with measures of Shyness, Loneliness, and Conformity. Finally, the TDS was found to be a negative correlate of measures of depression (Mehrabian, 1995b; Mehrabian & Bernath, 1991).

Mehrabian, A. (1970). The development and validation of measures of affiliative tendency and sensitivity to rejection. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30, 417- 428.

Mehrabian, A. (1987). Eating characteristics and temperament: General measures and interrelationships. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Mehrabian, A. (1991). Outline of a general emotion-based theory of temperament. In J. Strelau and A. Angleitner (Eds.), Explorations in temperament: International perspectives on theory and measurement (pp. 75-86). Plenum Press, New York.

Mehrabian, A. (1994a). Manual for the revised Trait Dominance-submissiveness Scale (TDS). (Available from Albert Mehrabian, 1130 Alta Mesa Road, Monterey, CA, USA 93940).

Mehrabian, A. (1994b). Evidence bearing on the Affiliative Tendency (MAFF) and Sensitivity to Rejection (MSR) scales. Current Psychology, 13, 97-116.

Mehrabian, A. (1995a). Relationships among three general approaches to personality description. Journal of Psychology, 129, 565-581.

Mehrabian, A. (1995b). Distinguishing depression and trait anxiety in terms of basic dimensions of temperament. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 15, 133-144.

Mehrabian, A. (1996). Pleasure-arousal-dominance: A general framework for describing and measuring individual differences in temperament. Current Psychology, 14, pp. 261-292.

Mehrabian, A., & Bernath, M.S. (1991). Factorial composition of commonly used self-report depression inventories: Relationships with basic dimensions of temperament. Journal of Research in Personality, 25, 262-275.

Mehrabian, A., & Hines, M. (1978). A questionnaire measure of individual differences in dominance-submissiveness. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 38, 479-484.

Mehrabian, A., & O'Reilly, E. (1980). Analysis of personality measures in terms of basic dimensions of temperament. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 492-503.

Mehrabian, A., & Stefl, C.A. (1995). Basic temperament components of loneliness, shyness, and conformity. Social Behavior and Personality, 23, 253-264.

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