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Improving Communicative Competence: Validation of a Social Skills Training Workshop

Description: The effectiveness of a social skills training workshop was assessed by comparing the rated competence of participants in an Interpersonal Skills Training Program (a 2-session, 12-hour workshop) to the rated competence of nonparticipants. This comparison was operationalized through a study design of the pre- and posttesting of 12 experimental and 22 control subjects. The assessment instruments used were Spitzberg's Conversational Skills Rating Scale (CSRS) and Curran's Simulated Social Interaction Test (SSIT). Two rating judges were utilized. Results, although modest, are in the expected direction. Measured competence on the CSRS failed to show significant improvement in the rated competence of the experimental group as compared to the rated competence of the control group. However, the SSIT did reveal significant improvement of the rated skill and anxiety of experimental subjects while the control group showed no significant improvement. In addition to assessing the effectiveness of the workshop, this study sought to find a positive correlation of the CSRS instrument to the SSIT instrument. As expected, the CSRS showed a positive correlation to the SSIT.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Dawson, Pamela J. (Pamela Jane)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Readers Theatre in Performance: The Analysis and Compilation of Period Literature for a Modern Renaissance Faire

Description: The thrust of this study was twofold: to research and compile a script of English Medieval and Renaissance literature and to direct a group performance of the script in the oral interpretation mode at Scarborough Faire in Waxahachie, Texas. The study sought to show that a Readers Theatre script compiled of literature from the oral tradition of England was a suitable art form for a twentieth-century audience and that Readers Theatre benefited participants in the Scarborough Faire workshop program. This study concluded that the performed script appealed to a modern audience and that workshop training was enhanced by Readers Theatre in rehearsal and performance.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Reed, Delanna Kay
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Neo-Aristotelian Invention in Selected Speeches of Ronald Reagan

Description: Using the Aristotelian concept of artistic proof, this thesis analyzes nine televised speeches presented by President Reagan from February 1981 through April 1983. Reagan skillfully utilizes only two modes of rhetorical proof--ethos and pathos. However, his lack of logical proof has not lessened his effectiveness. This study reveals several reasons for Reagan's rhetorical effectiveness and success. For example, Reagan's strong ethical image and personality comfort his audience and encourage their trust. His weaknesses in logical argument are overlooked by his audience because of his high personal appeal. Furthermore, Reagan's use of pathos appeals makes Americans feel good about themselves and their country, helping him to maintain his popularity. Finally, Reagan's skillful use of the television medium has increased his effectiveness.
Date: August 1987
Creator: Jenkins, Ava W. (Ava Walker)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceptions of Self-Disclosure in Interpersonal Compliance-Gaining

Description: One hundred thirty-five undergraduate students were queried at North Texas State University. Perceptions of self-disclosure as a compliance-gaining tactic were surveyed. A fifteen item questionnaire was utilized. Fourteen questions were tested by an analysis of variance. One question was tested by chi-square. Data indicated that self-disclosure was viewed as an effective compliance-gaining tactic for both males and females; but females were perceived as more effective than males utilizing the tactic. Self-disclosure utilized as a compliance-gaining tactic was perceived as appropriate by both males and females. Results indicated females and males have similar perceptions regarding the appropriateness of utilizing the self-disclosure tactic. Male and female raters did not differ significantly from each other.
Date: May 1988
Creator: Vande Zande, Ann R. (Ann Rachel)
Partner: UNT Libraries

American Gothic: A Group Interpretation Script Depicting the Plight of the Iowa Farmer

Description: This thesis examines the possibilities of social-context issues in interpretation. A group interpretation script relating the current difficult conditions of rural Iowa was compiled. Three experts in the field of interpretation were asked to evaluate the potential of this social-context script. It was discovered that a compiled interpretation script of Iowa literature can successfully depict the social concerns facing the family farms of Iowa.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Doyle, Dennis M. (Dennis Michael), 1958-
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Wonderful World of Dr. Seuss: A Group Interpretation Script for the Primary Classroom

Description: This thesis proposed the idea of oral interpretation of children's literature as a pedagogical tool in the primary classroom. A group interpretation script entitled "The Wonderful World of Dr. Seuss" was compiled for performance in the primary classroom as a viable vehicle for teaching children to understand and appreciate literature. The script was evaluated by qualified teachers in the areas of English, oral interpretation, and elementary education as well as a critical analysis by the author. The thesis concluded that oral communication is necessary in the primary grade and that group interpretation is an exciting way to enhance learning.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Dodds, Karen Page Kalmbach
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examination of Narrative Point of View Through Production by Two Media

Description: Narrative point of view should be the initial place of focus in the study of prose fiction, but it is often difficult to understand or teach. This study proposes that stage or screen production of narrative fiction may be purposefully structured to enhance the understanding of narrative perspective. The study details grammatical analysis of narrative language and describes implications drawn from that language which influence production decisions. The thesis examines the techniques and technology of stage and screen production which may be manipulated to underscore narrative point of view, suggesting ways in which each medium can borrow from the techniques of the other for point of view production.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Rosewell, Susan Tilden
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Competitiveness in Counter-System Counterplans in Academic Debate

Description: Allen J. Lichtman and Daniel M. Rohrer write that "Unfortunately, formal debate theory tends to lag behind the actual practice of competitive debate" (70). This statement accurately describes the current controversy surrounding the counter-system counterplans and how they may affect traditional debate theory. These counterplans are increasingly employed by negative teams in intercollegiate debate, but so far, there is no contemporary attempt to explain how they fit into current debate theory. This study will analyze this new genre of counterplans by answering the following questions.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Bjork, Rebecca S. (Rebecca Suzanne)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Diplomacy Rhetoric and the Human Rights Appeals of Jeane J. Kirkpatrick and Vernon A. Walters

Description: This thesis investigates the extent to which Ambassador Kirkpatrick's and Ambassador Walters' United Nations discourses on human rights reflects the rhetorical themes of "prophetic dualism" and "technocratic realism." A metaphoric analysis of six speeches reveals that both Kirkpatrick's and Walters' arguments were framed through an ideological division between Democracy and Communism. The presence of "prophetic dualism" in Kirkpatrick's and Walters' discourses is explained as an extension of President Reagan's bipolar rhetoric on world affairs. The presence of "technocratic realism" in Walters' discourse is described as resulting from a unique set of political and rhetorical factors. The exacting nature of "prophetic dualism" may make it ill suited as a method of argument in the realm of diplomacy.
Date: May 1991
Creator: Rogina, Sergio A. (Sergio Armando)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Toward a Critique of the Message Construct in Communication

Description: The idea of an inherent structure of meaning in human communication is identified as the message construct. Traces of the construct in textbook models of the basic communication process and in popular magazine images of communication are examined. The argument is raised that objectifying the message has resulted in a paradigm which focuses disproportionately on explicit, representational, and instrumental aspects of communication. An alternative conception is proposed which would take into account implicit, constitutive, and generative aspects.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Wilson, John K. (John Kenneth)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Priesthood: An Analysis of Official Church Statements Concerning Black Priesthood Denial

Description: This study sought to determine whether the change in the LDS Church practice of black Priesthood denial on June 8, 1978, was voluntary or was a result of external and internal pressures against the Church. Four official statements given by the First Presidency of the Church were examined using Karlyn Kohrs Campbell's seven elements of rhetorical action. It was determined that external and internal pressures from the NAACP, civil rights activists, and dissonant LDS believers, against the Church's practice of black Priesthood denial, were the motivations behind the change in Church practice.
Date: December 1991
Creator: Bolen, Ingrid B. (Ingrid Britt)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Heresy vs. Orthodoxy: The Preus/Tietjen Controversy

Description: Using the framework set up by rhetorical critic Thomas M. Lessl in his article "Heresy, Orthodoxy, And The Politics Of Science", this study examines the ways in which heretical discourse defines community boundaries and shapes perceptions of right belief. Specifically, this study analyzes the historic conflict in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod which produced the doctrinal statement "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles". Comparison is made between this event and other "heretical" conflicts in other discourse communities. This study concludes that community boundaries must be drawn, and that a doctrinal or policy statement is a useful rhetorical tool to accomplish such a task. Rhetorical critics may assist in this by examining heretical conflicts as historical trends, rather than emotional dissonance.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Barnhart, Melody R. (Melody Ruth)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Someone to Talk to: Conversations Between Friends in a Junior High Lunch Room

Description: Quantitative studies dominate early adolescence research, a field which also lacks an understanding of communication behaviors between early adolescents. This study uses the qualitative methods of participant observation and informal interviews to observe conversations between girls in a junior high lunch room. Friendship characteristics and group socialization are discussed as they emerged from the field data. First, friendship hierarchies (best friend, close friend, and friend) may be adult-imposed structures. Hierarchies are not prominent in the minds of friends as they relate to each other in daily conversation. Second, friendship groups serve to socialize early adolescent girls.
Date: December 1990
Creator: Adams, Brenda Inglis
Partner: UNT Libraries