ERIC Number: ED222951
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Ethics of Proof in Speech Events: A Replication.
Thomas, David A.; Hart, Jack
A survey attempted to determine whether forensics participants operate under a contest-oriented ethic, an educational standard, or a more general rhetorical standard of ethics. Subjects were 63 judges and 98 contestants in rhetorical events at the American Forensic Association's (AFA) National Individual Events Tournament in April 1982. A five-item forced-choice instrument, "Judgement Calls," asked respondents to label a specific situation as either a definite ethical violation, a questionable ethical behavior, or not an ethical violation. "Your Opinion," a 10-item Likert-type scale, called for respondents to express their agreement or disagreement with statements about certain ethical judgments. Results indicated that there is a major discrepancy between the ethical perspectives the subjects say they favor and the evaluations they attach to specific contestant behaviors. Contestants and judges alike still remain committed to a contest-oriented ethical system above all other perspectives. While also supporting a view of ethics tied to an academic or educational paradigm, these findings do not support a view of forensics events as rhetoric. Written comments of respondents stressed context, explaining why they wanted to avoid labeling behaviors ethical or unethical. In conclusion, the perspectives of contests and education create an ethical system that is punitive but not rewarding. Favoring a competitive ethic over a rhetorical may leave the forensic community in a vulnerable position. (Includes questionnaires and tables of results.) (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Forensic Association (68th, Louisville, KY, November 4-7, 1982). Earlier version presented at the Texas Speech Communication Association (October, 1982).