Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Psychology


Switzer, III, Fred S.

Committee Member

Taylor , Mary A.

Committee Member

Cantalupo , Claudio


The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of accountability on leniency reduction in self-ratings. It was hypothesized that participants in both the upward and illegitimate accountability condition would have lower levels of leniency in their self-ratings than participants in the no accountability condition. Accountability was operationalized as participants being told that they would have to justify their self-ratings of driving performance to either a professor who specializes in driving research (upward accountability) or to an education graduate student who maintains the driving simulator (illegitimate accountability) via an audiotape. The results showed that accountability had a significant effect on leniency reduction in self-ratings of driving performance. The implications of these results, limitations, and ideas for future research are discussed.