ERIC Number: ED213057
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
An Integrative Verbal and Visual Analysis of the Carter-Reagan Debate.
Tiemens, Robert K.; And Others
Noting that confrontation is a fundamental element of debate, a study examined the confrontational nature of a 1980 presidential debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan by analyzing its verbal and visual context as presented through television. By means of videotapes, still photographs, and a typed transcript, each instance of a verbal attack or refutation was identified as a confrontational segment and categorized according to the issue being addressed. Selected verbal characteristics within each segment, such as loaded language and direct references to the opponent, were also noted. To arrive at an integrated analysis of the verbal and visual content, the following visual factors were also noted: type of shot, nonverbal characteristics, sequencing of visual images, vector orientation, and vector target. The results indicated that 53 attacks and refutations occurred during the debate. Reagan initiated 16 attacks and offered 15 refutational statements, while Carter initiated 21 attacks and made only one refutational statement. The issues of inflation, the Salt II Treaty, and the Social Security System generated more confrontational statements than did the remaining five topics of debate. While the degree and intensity of confrontation was minor, it is clear that Reagan was much more aggressive than Carter in trying to engage his opponent in direct confrontation. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Carter (Jimmy); Reagan (Ronald)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (67th, Anaheim, CA, November 12-15, 1981).