Date of Award

Spring 1977

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Topetzes, Nicholas J.

Second Advisor

Nordberg, Robert B.

Third Advisor

Gawkoski, Roman S.


There has been an inadequate number of investigations on the part of clinicians and experimenters to explore the relationship between the locus of control dimension, instructional set, and sex during EMG (frontalis) biofeedback training. In order to examine these variables, subjects were categorized as internals or externals and then randomly assigned to one of four instruction (relaxation) groups: biofeedback only, self-control, biofeedback-awareness, and control. The results of the investigation showed no relationship between the locus of control concept and reduction of muscle activity. Analysis of the sex factor showed women to have higher muscle activity levels than men. Analysis of the respiration data indicated that paced breathing can partially control respiratory artifact. The effect of the instructional set factor indicated that the biofeedback-awareness group reduced muscle activity levels significantly greater than the other instruction conditions. This finding suggested that auditory reinforcement and a clear description of the meaning of the feedback itself jointly operated to facilitate low levels of muscle activity. Therefore, a field theory of learning was favored to explain this finding. Future work both in the laboratory and in the clinic was suggested.



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