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ERIC Number: ED228663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Comparison of the Interpersonal Orientations of Speech Anxious and Non Speech Anxious Students.
A special section of a public speaking class at the Universtiy of Tennessee was developed in the spring of 1977 for speech anxious students. The course was designed to incorporate the basic spirit of the regular classes and to provide special training in techniques for reducing nervousness about speaking and in methods for coping with the nervousness experienced while giving a speech. During 1981, students at the beginning of each quarter were administered a questionnaire (FIRO-B) that was found useful as a tool for developing insight concerning the students' interpersonal communication behaviors in another course on interpersonal communication. The questionnaire was based on a theory of interpersonal behavior that posits three different dimensions of ways in which people need or want to relate to other people: inclusion, control, and affection. Each of these need areas includes both an expressed and a wanted component. Comparisons between the expressed and wanted scores on each of the three need areas showed that all subgroups (male and female, nonspeech anxious and speech anxious) wanted more affection than they expressed, but this was particularly true for the females of the speech anxious groups. Furthermore, the speech anxious groups, but not the nonspeech anxious groups, wanted a higher level of control than was expressed. Finally, there were no significant differences between expressed and wanted inclusion for any of the groups, though the difference for speech anxious females approached significance, with the expressed scores being slightly higher than the wanted scores for that group. The data in the study suggest that speech anxious students are characterized by an aversion to, or evasion of, control behavior. The interpersonal orientations of these students, then, present special implications to the speech teacher for developing appropriate anxiety-relieving teaching strategies. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Speech Communication Association (Orlando, FL, April 6-9, 1983).