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The influence of speaking rate on indicators of conflict situations

Driedger, Thomas (2017) The influence of speaking rate on indicators of conflict situations.

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Abstract:Interpersonal conflict situations often need to be managed. However, too little is known on the influencing factor speaking rate has on conflict situations. This study aims at furthering the understanding of conflict management by examining the influence of speaking rate on several different aspects important to conflict management; the likeability, willingness to collaborate, oppositional intensity and directness of two interlocutors. The speaking rate is determined by calculating the number of words per minute, syllables per second and letters per second, which represent the speed a person talks with.The corresponding hypotheses are tested using data gathered from experiments with 84 participants, of which 58 delivered valid results. The experiment was conducted using student participants of the author’s university. The data used was around 40 hours of roleplayed negotiation between two parties and amounted to roughly 500 pages of transcripts. To determine the speaking rate, a program was used to calculate the speed every single interlocutor talked with in every single utterance. The levels of oppositional intensity and directness were determined by manually looking at each utterance. Afterwards, a one-way ANOVA was used to test whether different speaking rates influenced the dependent variables.No statistically significant effect of speaking rate on likeability, willingness to collaborate, oppositional intensity and directness could be found. However, two trends could be distinguished; people in faster conversations tend to like each other more and people in hard conflict situations tend to talk faster. Further research is needed to clarify the connection between speaking rate and conflict situations.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/73243
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