Date of Award

1965

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

One of the most important attitudes that a person has is the attitude concerning his self. "What a person thinks and how he behaves are largely determined by the concepts he holds about himself and his abilities." How a person will act in any given situation is sependent on how he perceives himself and how he perceives the situations in which he is involved.

In light of the previous statement a study was made of two religiously orientated organizations at Ouachita Baptist University. The purpose of the study was to determine to what extent measurable differences were present between the members of the Baptist Student Union and the members of the Christian Commission Union. Since a person's self-concept is of vital importance in his relations with those around him, it was thought that a study of self-concepts might reveal significant differences in the personality traits manifested by the two groups.

It is overtly apparent that the students who are active in the two organizations do not exhibit identical personality characteristics. One possible explanation of this phenomenon is that the differences in the structure and the purpose of the two organizations attract students of varying interests and abilities. The expressed purpose of the Baptist Student union is "to co-ordinate the actions of all the religious organizations and to be a connecting link between the student and the local church." The purpose of the Christian Commission Union is to "train students in social welfare and mission work."

Another possible explanation which is closely related to the previous one is the supposedly higher social status that the Baptist Student Union has on campus. Because of its nature and function as a campus-wide organization, the Baptist Student Union seems to attract students who are known as campus leaders. The Christian Commission Union, on the other hand, has a limited campus function, and thus attracts students who are specifically interested in its work.

On the basis of previous research, several specific differences were anticipated in the relative position of the two groups on five factors of a self-concept scale. The following hypotheses were formulated.

  1. Social Adaptability--The subjects of the Baptist Student Union should exceed the subjects of the Christian Commission Union in social adaptability.
  2. Emotional Control--The subjects of the Baptist Student Union should exceed the subjects of the Christian Commission Union in emotional control.
  3. Conformity--The subjects of the Christian Commission Union should exceed the subjects of the Baptist Student Union in conformity.
  4. Inquiring Intellect--The subjects of the Baptist Student Union should exceed the subjects of the Christian Commission Union in inquiring intellect.
  5. Confident Self-expression--The subjects of the Baptist Student Union should exceed the subjects of the Christian Commission in confident self-expression.

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