ERIC Number: ED192429
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
Differentiating Among Social Situations: An Investigation into the Situational Element in Communication Competency.
The bulk of communication research has approached competency from a trait perspective and has attempted to identify the individual characteristics that are presumed to generalize across all social settings. The role of social situation and the possibility that some individuals can be competent in some settings and incompetent in others have not been investigated throughly. A study was therefore undertaken to refine the theoretical base surrounding communication competency and to take preliminary steps toward exploring the relationship between competency and social situation. First, a set of 50 social situations was generated from open-ended communication diaries kept by 36 college students over a two-day period. This set was then narrowed to a sample of six situations by three raters and was evaluated in terms of (1) personal benefits/goals, (2) resistance, (3) intimacy, (4) apprehension, (5) homophily, (6) rights, and (7) dominance. Next, 296 students were asked to evaluate the situations using the seven criteria. Factor analysis indicated that while the emphasis placed upon a particular situation changed from situation to situation, "personal benefits/goals" and "resistance" accounted for the greatest amount of definitional variance. Discriminant analysis found "intimacy" and "apprehension" to best differentiate the six stimulus situations. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (30th, Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).