The Likelihood of Use and Acceptability of Social Power Bases in School Consultation

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Title: The Likelihood of Use and Acceptability of Social Power Bases in School Consultation
Author: Wilson, Kristen Ellen
Advisors: Ann C. Schulte, Ph.D., Committee Member
William P. Erchul, Ph.D., Committee Chair
Edward J. Sabornie, Committee Member
Mary E. Haskett, Committee Member
Abstract: In the two studies comprising this dissertation research, the French and Raven (1959) and Raven (1965, 1992, 1993) social power rubric was applied to study school psychological consultation. The first study addressed how likely consultants would be to use the social power bases, while the second study addressed the acceptability of a subset of these social power bases. In each study, 1,000 Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSPs) were mailed corresponding forms of a modified Interpersonal Power Inventory (IPI) In Study 1, the IPI was modified to measure the likelihood of use in a psychological consultant/teacher dyad, and in Study 2, the IPI was modified to measure the acceptability of the power bases in a psychological consultant/teacher dyad. Results from Study 1 indicated that Raven's (1992) social power bases can be divided into soft and harsh categories. Results further indicated that psychologists are more likely to use soft power bases than harsh power bases. In Study 2, the acceptability of the following six social power bases was addressed: direct informational, positive expert, positive referent, personal reward, legitimate position, and legitimate dependence power. Results indicated that psychological consultants view these power bases as differentially acceptable. Psychologists rated positive referent power as more acceptable than legitimate dependence, legitimate position, positive expert, and direct informational power. Psychologists also rated direct information as more acceptable than legitimate dependence, legitimate position, and positive expert power. Finally, psychologists rated legitimate dependence power as more acceptable than positive expert and personal reward power. Taken in their entirety, these dissertation studies reinforce the relevance and applicability of social power to the study of psychological consultation. Consultants are not only more likely to use soft power bases, but also report they find positive referent and direct information more acceptable within the psychologist/teacher dyad. These findings also support the notion that consultation is a complex interaction in which a consultant is able to select certain influence strategies over others based upon their likelihood of use and acceptability.
Date: 2005-11-28
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3474


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