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Previous laboratory research has found that self-disclosure by a speaker identified as a political officeholder results in a decrease in persuasiveness, whereas similar disclosure by nonofficials increases persuasiveness. Two experiments were conducted to examine this effect further. In experiment 1, subjects were 75 male and 77 female undergraduates in an introductory psychology course who received credit for participation in the study. Subjects read a speech and completed a questionnaire concerning the persuasiveness of the speech. Results indicated that the decreased persuasion effect was found for speakers identified as either a male or female officeholder. In experiment 2, a control condition was added in which subjects heard about the disclosed information without actual exposure to the disclosure. Subjects in this condition, 47 male and 72 female undergraduate students, found the officeholder more persuasive than did subjects exposed to the self-disclosure. Thus, the act of disclosing itself, rather than the information obtained from the disclosure, appears to be responsible for the effect. (Contains nine references and two tables of data.) (RS)

Descriptors: Analysis of Variance, Communication Research, Higher Education, Interpersonal Communication, Persuasive Discourse, Political Candidates, Self Disclosure (Individuals), Undergraduate Students

Autor: Vartabedian, Robert A.; Burger, Jerry M.


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