ERIC Number: ED318044
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
A Comparative Verbal Analysis of the Two 1988 Bush-Dukakis Presidential Debates.
Hellweg, Susan A.; Verhoye, Anna M.
This study examined the verbal message strategies employed in the two 1988 presidential debates by Vice-President George Bush and Governor Michael Dukakis, independently and comparatively. A number of broad verbal categories were developed to code the messages of each candidate from videotapes and transcripts. Verbal characteristics under investigation included verbal context of the message, attack/refutation ratio, argumentative tactics, debate mistakes, language devices, forms of support, and forms of reasoning. Results revealed that (1) Dukakis was clearly more attact-oriented in both debates than his counterpart; (2) Bush engaged in much more refutational behavior in the first debate than he did in the second one; (3) Bush offered nearly twice as many direct statements of policy in the first debate as Dukakis did in the second debate; and (4) Dukakis made considerably more direct references to his opponent than Bush did. (Seventeen references and an appendix containing the Verbal Coding Sheet are attached.) (Author/KEH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A