Term of Award

Summer 1976

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Robert Haney

Committee Member 1

Richard L. Rogers

Committee Member 2

Georgelle Thomas

Abstract

Muscular relaxation, mental relaxation, and music were compared to determine the relative effectiveness of each of these techniques on the attenuation of autonomic arousal, produced by visual presentation of erotic slides. Participants were 24 Caucasian females, between the ages of 18 and 38 years. During Session I, a taped program appropriate to the subject's experimental condition was presented, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures, heart rate, galvanic skin response, and respiration rate, recorded. During Session II, each subject viewed slides depicting adult human sexual activity, after which the taped program appropriate to her experimental condition was presented, and autonomic response measures recorded, as in Session I. Split-plot factorial and Kruskal-Wallis one-way analyses of variance indicated heart rate to be the only measure on which the three groups differed significantly in extent of attenuation (p < .01), with mental relaxation producing the greatest attenuation and muscular relaxation the least. It was suggested that more practice in responding to muscular and to mental relaxation instructions should be carried out before their effects on the attenuation of slide-evoked arousal is measured.

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