Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

346

Author

Charlotte Nau

Date

2011

Date of Award

7-29-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Communication

Committee Chair

Craig O. Stewart

Committee Member

Sandra J. Sarkela

Committee Member

Antonio de Velasco

Committee Member

Richard A. Dale

Abstract

With the number of women in politics growing, the question arises whether they are judged based on the same standards as their male colleagues or if they must adapt to different sets of expectations among the voters. Language Expectancy Theory suggests that women are less effective than men using aggressive persuasion strategies because by being verbally aggressive, they violate social expectations about gender-appropriate conduct and men do not. Three online experiments involving a total of 242 participants were conducted assessing perceptions of speaker credibility, agreement, perceptions of communicative appropriateness, and perceptions of aggressiveness when verbal aggressiveness, gender, and the speaker’s party affiliation were manipulated in political speeches. Results indicate that verbal aggressiveness negatively affects ratings of messages and their sources; however, most gender-verbal aggressiveness interactions were nonsignificant. Also, in some instances, Republican Party identifiers rated Republican speakers more favorably and Democratic Party supporters rated Democratic speakers more favorably.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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