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ERIC Number: ED422598
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Causes and Psycholinguistic Correlates of Interpersonal Equivocation.
Bello, Richard
A study examined the longstanding theory of the Bavelas group which suggests that the only consistent cause of interpersonal equivocation is avoidance-avoidance conflict (AAC). The study also aimed to uncover a psycholinguistic profile of equivocation, especially in the form of paralinguistic cues such as disfluencies. Subjects, 18 college undergraduates, responded orally to questions from hypothetical interlocutors within scenarios designed to manipulate both the presence/absence of AAC and level of situational formality. Their responses were audiotaped, transcribed, rated for degree of equivocation, and coded for disfluencies. Results of ANOVA showed that AAC did result in equivocation, but also that formality level interacted with AAC in influencing equivocation. Subjects used filled pauses, surprisingly, in the condition within which they equivocated the least, although they produced other disfluencies (combined) within conditions where they equivocated the most. Findings demonstrate that, with regard to the antecedents of equivocation, the Bavelas group was right in claiming that AAC routinely leads to increased equivocation. Future research should aim for a clearer conceptual definition of "formality," and the search for antecedents should extend to individual differences as well. A more reliable method of rating degree of equivocation (as defined by Bavelas) must be used, employing more trained judges. With regard to the psycholinguistic profile of equivocation, the notion that both filled pauses and false starts might provide a substantive index of AAC-based equivocation are not supported. (Contains 2 tables of data and 12 references; an appendix contains "experimental stimuli.") (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A