ERIC Number: ED210722
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
An Interview Study of Children's Understanding of Communication Rules: A Preliminary Investigation.
Valtin, Renate; And Others
A study involving 26 children, aged five to eight years, employed a clinical interview method to examine the children's recognition and knowledge of rule violations in communication. The rules, derived from H. P. Grice's "be cooperative" principle, referred mainly to the maxim "be perspicuous, unequivocal, clear, and intelligible" and to turn-taking behavior in conversation. The subjects were interviewed individually and were shown 13 film scenes, each containing a face-to-face encounter between two girls in which one participant showed inappropriate behavior illustrating a rule violation. After each scene, the subject was asked to identify the rule violation that had taken place. The results showed a clear age-dependency of scores, with younger subjects showing a greater ignorance of communication rules than older subjects. The poor performance of the younger subjects was attributed to a lack of understanding of messages that refer to the representational level (rather than to an ongoing action) and to lack of role taking ability. The findings support a hierarchical model of different levels of perspective taking ability. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Etiquette; Interpersonal Communication
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Conference on Reading (2nd, Joensuu, Finland, August 2-5, 1981).