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1 Social Psychology Practical 02 Analysis of Equivocation (assessed) Jane Clarbour Christian von Wagner (2003)

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1 1 Social Psychology Practical 02 Analysis of Equivocation (assessed) Jane Clarbour Christian von Wagner (2003)

2 2 Overview The experiment – 2 scenarios Equivocation is… – The Situational theory of Communicative Conflict Additional variables – Social – Personality The research questions The data analysis The write up

3 3 The experiment You work on two mini scenarios. Each scene depicts a hypothetical conversation between you and another person. The conversation will lead to a question posed to you. Formulate an answer in writing. The answer should resemble a spoken reply, i.e. it should be phrased in active rather than passive voice.

4 Stage 1: Generating messages

5 5 Avoidance-avoidance conflicts Bavelas et al (1990) pointed out that an avoidance-avoidance conflict is characterised by the inappropriateness of direct communication as – A direct truth would offend, hurt, embarrass both sender and receiver – A direct lie would jeopardise the relationship between sender and receiver.

6 6 The face analogy – Bavelas et al (1990) did not systematically distinguish between threats to the sender or the receiver. The role of face in communication – Applications from political and televised interviews of famous public figures (e.g.Princess Diana, e.g. Bull et al, 1996, Bull 1997) – The application of face to interpersonal communication (Lim & Bowers, 1991; Lim, 1994, MacGeorge et al 2002)

7 7 Face and interpersonal communication – Face is defined as the positive public image that a person claim for him/herself – It is not private but public (what you think other people think of you) – It describes positive social values (you do not protect the negative images of you) – Facework are the actions taken to deal with the face wants of one and/or the other.

8 8 Face and interpersonal communication Different types of face wants Autonomy – I am (You are) in control Fellowship – I am (You are) desirable Competence – I am (You are) competent

9 9 A situation in which the the truth would primarily embarrass the sender You have just been to a seminar group that meets three times a week. You have just given a talk. You prepared and delivered the talk very badly. After the seminar a student who was also at the seminar walks up to you. He asks: “What did you think about your presentation?”

10 10 A situation in which the truth would primarily embarrass the receiver You have just been to a seminar group that meets three times a week. One of the other students has just given a talk. He prepared and delivered the talk very badly. After the seminar, he walks up to you. He asks: What did you think about my presentation?

11 11 The underlying face threat A threat to competence face: – A truthful and direct response would undermine 1) your own competence (SENDER): I was rubbish 2) the competence of the other (RECEIVER): You were rubbish

12 12 Person factors Equivocation is caused by situations that present an avoidance-avoidance conflict “we do not accept explanations that would treat equivocation as error, individual differences, or solely the product of cognitive processes such as internal rules (Bavelas et al 1990, p.66).” – Even if equivocation is determined by the situational context. it could still be further influenced by additional factors (Bello, 2001) – In other words, are some people more equivocal than others

13 13 Additional person factors: Gender The gender of the sender – Women make a more accommodating and polite impression than men (Bull, 2002) – Women are more relational oriented, men are more control oriented (Holmes, 1995; Bull, 2002) – Women self disclose more (Shimanoff, 1994) – Women lie to spare their partner’s feelings rather than to save their own face (Shimanoff,1994)

14 14 Additional person factors 2: The role of personality Basic social skills (SSI; Riggio et al, 1987) – Nonverbal components (15 items per subscale) Emotional sensitivity Emotional expressivity Emotional control –5 response options Verbal components (15 items per subscale) Social sensitivity Social expressivity Social control –5 response options

15 15 Grouping criteria for between-Ss variable This practical only assessed verbal rather than non verbal communication skills. We therefore use the verbal rather than nonverbal skills as a grouping variable. Sum of verbal scores – Social Sensitivity + Social Expressivity + Social Control = Sum of verbal scores

16 16 The evaluation of your answers (Bavelas et al,1990) Proposed a four dimensional scaling procedure Who (SENDER) – Is saying What (CONTENT) To whom (RECEIVER) When (CONTEXT) Each of the dimension can be used to introduce ambiguity

17 17 Sender To what extent is the reply the sender’s own opinion? 1-------2------3------4------5------6------7 Hardly very much

18 18 Content To what extent does the reply make sense? 1-------2------3------4------5------6------7 Hardly very much

19 19 Receiver To what extent does the reply address the other person in the situation? 1-------2------3------4------5------6------7 Hardly very much

20 20 Context To what extent does the reply addresses the question? 1-------2------3------4------5------6------7 Hardly very much

21 21 Additional aspects of your messages The degree of honesty There is an argument as to whether equivocation can be considered a type of deception

22 22 Honesty Bavelas et al “Equivocal replies are unclear but true.” Their theory predicts that people do not intend to lie when they equivocate Their research indicates that indeed equivocal messages are not perceived as deceptive.

23 23 Honesty Deception is related to equivocation. Equivocal replies sometimes contain elements of deception, which are mostly pro social (but see equivocation in political communication) Equivocal replies are perceived to contain similar aspects of deception (Buller, Burgoon, Buslig, & Roiger, 1994; Buller, Burgoon, White, & Ebesu, 1994).

24 24 Honesty To what extent are the messages in the two conflict scenarios perceived to be honest 1-------2------3------4------5------6------7 Hardly very much

25 25 Politeness One of the main interpersonal functions of equivocation is to appear polite (or to avoid appearing impolite) The degree of politeness – Facework has an effect on the evaluation of replies with mitigating facework (i.e. equivocation) producing the most positive effects (MacGeorge et al, 2002)

26 26 Politeness To what extent are the messages perceived to be polite 1-------2------3------4------5------6------7 Hardly very much

27 27 Competence The degree of competence Bavelas et al, (1990) – “Equivocation is not the deliberately deceitful “dirty old man” of communication. it is subtle, often commendable and entirely understandable, if only the observer will expand his or her analysis to include the communicative situation (p.260)”. Daly, Diesel and Weber, (1994) – “Although these authors (Daly et al, 1994) reported no correlation between response sophistication and degree of equivocation, carefully examining the actual response choices suggests that there was such a connection, that the more sophisticated responses were also somewhat more equivocal and that certainly they were not the least equivocal (Bello unpublished dissertation, p.25)”

28 28 Competence To what extent are the messages perceived to be competent 1-------2------3------4------5------6------7 Hardly very much

29 29 Stage2: Analysing messages

30 30 The questions Do messages in scenario 1 and 2 differ in terms of their degree of equivocation? Do messages in scenario 1 and 2 differ in terms of their degree of honesty?

31 31 More questions Do messages in scenario 1 and 2 differ in terms of their degree of politeness? Do messages in scenario 1 and 2 differ in terms of their degree of competence?

32 32 More questions Are messages by participants with higher verbal skills perceived to be: – Less equivocal – More honest – More polite – More competent

33 33 The mock analysis 1.Perform 2-way (mixed) ANOVA’s for the degree of equivocation, politeness, honesty and competence For each analysis: Between subjects factor: Verbal social skills (High or Low) Within subjects factor: (scenario: self and other) (e.g. HONESTY: F(1,98)=.22, p>.05)

34 34 The write up First and foremost ALL reports should be in an acceptable format!!!!! You MUST use FONT 12 and double ( or 1 ½) spacing. The margins should NOT be in any way adjusted or modified from the usual format. In other words there should be plenty of room for comments on the side. The report should NOT be squeezed or squashed as this substantially hinders the marking process. Messing with the presentation of your report will ALWAYS leave a bad impression, and may result in penalties or details being overlooked.

35 35 The abstract Summarise the method and purpose of the study Stress the comparison between two different kinds of conflict, and the personality measure used Briefly state the number of scenes and the number of participants, the mode of response and the way replies were being evaluated Summarise the results (i.e. whether or not they supported the hypothesis ) State the implication in terms of the completeness of the Situational Theory of Communicative Conflict

36 36 The introduction Outline the Situational Theory of Communicative Conflict (Bavelas et al, 1990). Use an example of an avoidance-avoidance conflict and explain how direct replies may result in negative consequences. Review Bavelas et al’s findings, summarise the experiments, different modes of responses used. Summarise their conclusions (i.e. a purely situational explanation).

37 37 Introduction II Outline Riggio’s (1987) measurement of social skills in the SSI Suggest hypotheses following directly from the evidence you used in the introduction

38 38 The method Give details on participants (2 nd year psychology students = N; gender) Materials: – explain the verbal social skills scale (how many items, what response options) – Explain the rating scales Design: Note the between and within subjects factors Procedure: Verbally summarise instructions, the administration of the SSI and the task you have just completed including the rating of responses

39 39 The results Report the nature of the data used (i.e. personality, the scores on the scales) Report how the groups were established (cut off for the SSI: Group1 x 149) Report the mean and standard deviations for the between subjects variable you were interested in (i.e. the personality variable) Present your results in both a table and a graph.

40 40 Results2 Report the results from the 2 way ANOVA’s using the personality variable in addition to the within subject factor for: Equivocation, honesty, competence and Politeness.

41 41 Results3 The aim of this is to see whether there is a difference – between responses to the two different types of conflict – And/or a difference between the groups Use a verbal summary to link the results to the hypothesis

42 42 The discussion Review the implication of the results (i.e. this experiment did/did not support X or Y) – Relate back to introduction Talk about alternative explanations for the results – (e.g. limitations/ambiguities)

43 43 The discussion Suggest new experiments – Improving the current design and replicate – To built on the last finding Conclusion – Summarise findings and implication

44 44 Analysing YOUR data You will be sent the actual data by email as a SPSS data file attachment. (You will need to ensure we have your email address) You should carry out the analysis on this data in exactly the same way as in the practical

45 45 Analysing YOUR data DO NOT use the results from today’s mock analyses (this was dummy data). Your data will be different! If you use the mock analysis results, you will not gain any credit for the results section.

46 46 REFERENCES BULL, P.E. (1997).Queen of hearts or queen of the arts of implication? Implicit criticisms and their implications for equivocation theory in the interview between Martin Bashir and Diana, Princess of Wales. Social Psychology Review, 1, 27-36 BULL, P.E., ELLIOTT, J., PALMER, D. & WALKER, L. (1996). Why politicians are three- faced: the face model of political interviews. British Journal of Social Psychology 35, 267-284. BELLO, R. (2000). Determinants of Equivocation, Communication Research, 27, 161 – 193 (Copy in reserve). DALY, J.A., DIESEL, C.A., & WEBER, D. (1994). Conversational dilemmas. In W. R. Cupach, & B.H. Spitzberg, (Eds.), The Dark Side of interpersonal Communication (pp. 127 – 158). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. RIGGIO, R. E., TUCKER, J., &THROCKMORTON, B. (1987). Social Skills and Deception Ability. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 13, 568 – 577.

47 47 REFERENCESII BULLER, D.B., BURGOON, J.K., BUSLIG, A.L.S., & ROIGER. J.F. (1994). Interpersonal Deception VIII. Further Analysis of Nonverbal and Verbal Correlates of Equivocation from the Bavelas et al. (1990) Research. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 13, 396 – 437. BULLER, D. B., BURGOON, J.K., WHITE, C. H., & EBESSU, A.S. (1994). Interpersonal Deception VII. Behavioral Profiles of Falsification, Equivocation, and Concealment. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 13, 366 – 395. HOLMES, J. (1995). Women Men and Politeness. New York: Longman. LIM, T.S. (1994). Facework and Interpersonal Relationships. In S. Ting-Toomey, The Challenge of Facework (pp. 209 - 230). Albany: State University of New York Press.

48 48 REFERENCESIII LIM, T.S., & Bowers, J.W. (1991). Facework: Solidarity, Approbation, and Tact. Human Communication Research, 17 (3), 415-450. MACGEORGE, E.L., LICHTMAN, R.M., PRESSEY, L.C. (2002). The evaluation of Advice in Supportive Interactions: Facework and Contextual Factors. Human Communication Research, 28 (3), 451 - 463. MOTLEY, M. T. (1992). Mindfulness in solving communicator’s dilemmas. Communication Monographs, 59, 306 – 314. (on reserve) SHIMANOFF, S. B. (1994) Gender Perspectives on Facework Simplistic Stereotypes vs. Complex Realities. In S. Ting-Toomey (ed.), The Challenge of Facework (pp. 159 - 208). Albany: State University of New York Press.


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