It’s not just What you say; it’s How you say it. But is it what you Rate, or how you Act? A Behavioural Measure of Feeling of Another’s Knowing.
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During a question-answering setting, speakers display their metacognitive states (FOK) paralinguistically (Smith & Clark, 1993). Listeners are sensitive to this information as when asked, they can accurately estimate the speakers FOK (FOAK) (Brennan & Williams, 1995). Past studies have used scales to measure FOK and FOAK. This shows that listeners accurately infer FOAK after required the reflection, and it is not reflective of how individuals evaluate a speaker in the real world. The present study aims to test the listener’s evaluations of a speaker in more life-like circumstance; being exposed to other peoples attempts to persuade to attain behaviour that is favourable to them. A new behavioural measure (choosing between options), was designed for this purpose. It tests whether the equally strong arguments of four banking companies are more or less persuasive when the speaker (male vs. female) delivers the arguments confidently (fluent) or unconfidently (disfluent). It aims to reveal whether the paralinguistic features of speech are consciously processed, as measured by which company the listener invest their play money in, or if they are only brought to consciousness by reflection, measured by a short likert-scale. Due to lack of power and insufficient control over independent variables, the study was unqualified to be conclusive. Effects of the version of the experiment were found, but lead to an interesting discussion. It is evident that the behavioural measure has the potential to answer its proposed questions with the recommended refinements to the design of the study.