ERIC Number: ED238043
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Gender Schemas and Perceptions of Speech Style.
Warfel, Katherine Ann
A study examined S.L. Bem's Gender Schema Theory as it relates to communicator style. It was hypothesized that (1) speakers using a "powerless" speech style would be perceived less positively than would "powerful" speakers, and (2) sex-typed subjects, that is, those who adhere to a traditional sex role schema, would perceive both powerful and powerless speech in women more negatively than would nonsex-typed subjects. Subjects, 193 college students, were presented with transcribed interpersonal exchanges in which one speaker's communication style was manipulated to appear powerful or powerless, and subjects' impressions of the speakers were recorded on a number of interpersonal attribution items. Subjects then completed the Bem Sex-Role Inventory. The results failed to substantiate many of the predicted differences between sex-typed and nonsex-typed persons' perceptions of speakers' power. Speakers using powerless language features were perceived to be less dominant than powerful speakers. Sex-typed subjects associated powerful speech with masculinity and powerless speech with femininity, while nonsex-typed subjects did not, but no evidence was found to support the second hypothesis, specifically that powerful speech in women would be viewed more negatively by sex-typed individuals than by nonsex-typed subjects. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communicator Style; Gender Schema Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (69th, Washington, DC, November 10-13, 1983).