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ERIC Number: ED186971
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Feb
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Television's Effect on Eye Gaze, Topic Shift, Amount of Talk and Topical Agenda during Dyadic Interaction.
Melton, Rex
An exploratory study was conducted of the ways people accommodate television in social interaction in contrast to the way they accommodate other individuals. Videotapes were made of five dyads--composed of members of a college speech course--who were told to wait in a small room before they were needed for a study. Each dyad was subjected to four different five-minute conditions: (1) they were left alone; (2) a confederate was brought in, presumably also to wait for the study; (3) a videotape recording of a television talk show was turned on; and (4) one dyad member was asked to leave the room, after which the videotape was either left on or turned off. Subjects then completed questionnaires about their experiences. Analyses of the data regarding frequency of eye gaze shift and topic shift, amount and content of talk, and self-report responses suggested that television reduces the amount of interpersonal interaction, influencing patterns of eye contact, number of topics discussed, and overall amount and content of conversation. Among the other conclusions were that interaction is partially determined by construction of a shared social reality; that when television is present it generates a substantial number of the messages in verbal interaction; and that television is perceived as less obtrusive and less threatening than interpersonal interaction. (GT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conversation; Dyadic Communication; Media Effects
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (Portland, OR, February 16-20, 1980).