Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Gail E. Mason


Affinity-seeking is the process by which individuals attempt to get others to like them. The purpose of the present study was to analyze student perceptions of instructor use of affinity-seeking strategies as a function of instructor gender and status by replicating the research of Bell and Daly (1984) and Roach (1992). A pilot study was first conducted to determine if research in this area was indeed warranted; results were significantly positive to that effect. For the present study, research questions were developed to examine the differences between male and female instructor affinity-seeking, Graduate Teaching Assistant and faculty affinity-seeking, and to determine whether or not these variables interact in a significant manner. Four hundred eighty-three undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of Speech Communication courses were administered Bell and Daly's (1984) list of 25 affinity-seeking strategies to measure these perceptions.

Using ANOVA and factor analysis procedures, no significant interaction effects were discovered among gender, status, and the perceived use of affinity-seeking strategies. Further, minimal significance was found for graduate teaching assistants using affinity-seeking strategies more often than faculty; the single strategy of Assume Equality was significant. However, instructors were perceived to use certain strategies significantly more often than male instructors. Such strategies include Dynamism, Nonverbal Immediacy, Openness, Present Interesting Self, Sensitivity, and Similarity. Overall, results indicate that the study of affinity-seeking strategies is both justified and necessary.