Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Glena Andrews

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Thurston

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark McMinn


This dissertation examined the influence that level of adherence to traditionally masculine gender values, norms, and beliefs has on how men cognitively and physiologically respond to a shame based projective measure. A 2-stage study was used. In the first stage 208 undergraduate men responded to the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory (CMNI; Mahalik, Burns, & Syzdek, 2007). Utilizing the total masculinity score from the CMNI, quartiles were constructed. The two extreme quartiles comprised 2 groups; most traditionally conforming (TMASC) and most non-traditionally conforming (NTMASC) to masculinity norms. Men from these groups (TMASC n = 11; NTMASC n = 13) were invited into the 2nd stage during which physiological measures were recorded while they viewed and responded to the Thurston-Cradock Test of Shame (TCTS, Thurston & Craddock, 1998), a projective measure. Verbal responses to the shame test were coded and scored, electrical activity from the EEG and Heart Rate Variability were utilized in analyzing the results. Minimal differences in verbal responses to shame were found. However, significant differences and/or large effects sizes occurred as TMASC men and NTMASC experienced shame. The results provide indications that men may respond verbally in a similar manner but differ in their physiological responses. Furthermore, results identified potential cognitive process of avoidance of shame experienced by TMASC.