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dc.contributor.advisorHaywood, Sarahen
dc.contributor.authorLangley, Carolineen
dc.date.accessioned2008-07-10T13:40:16Z
dc.date.available2008-07-10T13:40:16Z
dc.date.issued2006
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/2361
dc.description.abstractThe present study set out to investigate whether an association existed between individuals’ state of empathy and engagement in audience design, whereby speakers tailor their utterances for the benefit of their addressees (Bell, 1984). We used a referential communication task very similar to Haywood, Branigan and Pickering (submitted) who demonstrated that speakers tailor their utterances with respect to word order when engaging in audience design. Participants were selected to take part in the communication task if they were characterised as highly empathic or lacking in empathy as measured by the Davis (1983) Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). Participants played the role of director and had to describe stimuli in the form of different coloured and patterned geometric shapes that were to be selected from two differentially organised boxes by a matcher (played by the experimenter). It was predicted that if participants were engaging in audience design, they would tailor their word order to reflect the way in which the cards were arranged in the different boxes in realisation of the fact that certain word orders would be more incrementally helpful than others. Links between empathy and prosocial helping behaviours have consistently been made (e.g. Eisenberg & Miller, 1987; Eisenberg & Fabes, 1990), which led us to hypothesize that individuals who are highly empathic will engage in audience design (by tailoring their descriptions of the stimuli) to a greater extent than individuals who are comparatively low in empathy. The findings of the present study provided evidence in support of the hypotheses, and demonstrated that individuals with empathic characteristics seemed to be altering their word order from utterance to utterance in order to be more helpful towards their addressee. We conclude that the positive relationship between empathy and audience design may be even greater than these findings suggest, and propose methods that may help to reveal the true strength of the associations. Keywords:en
dc.format.extent333810 bytesen
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdfen
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectempathic stateen
dc.subjectaudience designen
dc.subjectword orderen
dc.subjectreferential communication tasken
dc.subjectInterpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI)en
dc.titleA Study to investigate whether empathic state affects audience design through word orderen
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelUndergraduateen
dc.type.qualificationnameUndergraduateen
dcterms.accessRightsRestricted Accessen


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