Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

William P. McGown


Using 28 male undergraduate university students provided with continuous oscilloscope display of basal skin resistance, this study investigated voluntary control of the GSR and concurrent changes in respiration. It was found, given feedback, subjects could voluntarily raise or lower their GSR. Subjects instructed to increase their GSR (N-14) could do so within the first trial session. However, subjects instructed to decrease their GSR (N-14) required additional practice. With less than 20 minutes of practice all subjects were able to reach a criterion of 2,500 ohms change from their basal level. Subjects increasing their GSR were found to have a significant increase in respiration. However, subjects lowering GSR also had a moderate increase in respiration and regardless of this increase were able to obtain criterion. There is evidence from this study that respiration was not a mediator of reaching criterion in both groups. Digital pulse was found to change as a function of group but it was not significant.