The developmental and gender related use of listener responsiveness and interruption behavior

Marche, Tammy Ann (1988) The developmental and gender related use of listener responsiveness and interruption behavior. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

The developmental and gender related use of two conversational techniques, listener responsiveness and interruption, were investigated in three age groups (grades 4, 9 and college). In addition, the influences of dominance tendencies and sex-role orientation of individuals and their partners on each of these techniques were also explored. Twenty-minute structured dyadic conversations of 90 dyads (30 male, 30 female, and 30 mixed sex) were scored for nine types of back channel cues and four types of interruption. The analyses revealed the developmental findings to be: (1) the number of back channels gradually increased with age, although even young children produced frequent back channels; and (2) the three age groups used interruptions to similar degrees. The sex difference findings included: (1) female-female dyads were the most responsive dyad combination; females were as responsive to females as they were to male's, whereas males were slightly more responsive to males than females; and females were also somewhat more responsive than males in male-female interactions; and (2) the three dyad types used interruptions to similar degrees; males interrupted males as much as they did females; however, females interrupted females more than they did males; and females and males interrupted one another to similar degrees in crossed-sexed interaction. Overall, it was generally the older (grade 9 and college) female-female groups which produced the greatest amount of both back channels and interruptions. The analyses on the personality variables revealed that: (1) an individual's level of dominance did not predict back channel behavior, and predicted only some instances of interruption behavior, and (2) while subjects' masculinity and femininity did not account for a large portion of back channel behavior, when it did, femininity predicted frequent use, while masculinity predicted infrequent use; and whereas sex-role did not predict interruption behavior for those interruptions which were positively correlated with dominance, it did for those which were negatively related to dominance. -- Back Channel; Interruption; Developmental Differences; Gender Differences; Dominance; Sex-Role.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5837
Item ID: 5837
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 163-183.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1988
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Language and languages--Sex differences; Women--Language; Oral communication; Sex differences (Psychology); Listening--Psychological aspects

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