Date of Graduation
Both academic and business communities are concerned about how the conduct of argument affects decisions made by small groups. While most parties with experience in argument have intuitive ideas about why argument occurs as it does, empirical evidence is seldom available. This multi-subject single-case investigation identifies relations among kinds of statements made during persuasive argument. Argument was conducted during five separate experimental sessions between different pairs of people. The participants in the study were five native English speaking West Virginia University graduate students. The data sets from each argument allowed comparison of intervention effects within and across experimental sessions. Data were analyzed for effectiveness, that is, the consistency of the kind of first response class evoked in response to the interventions, and for the changes in the relations between response classes through different phases of intervention. Consistency of response class proportions across the five arguments reveals tendencies to respond in a certain way in the presence of a specific kind of intervention. Communication researchers will benefit from this micro-analysis of how one person's verbal behavior effects another person's verbal behavior. The behavioral response class codes developed in this study and used to show the sequential nature of verbal behavior represent an attempt to bring empirical methodology to the study of dynamic verbal behavior. The student of argument can utilize the strategy developed in this study to explore the strength of an opponent's verbal repertoire.
Fallon, Barbara Ann, "Behaviorological analysis and evaluation of functional controls over verbal behavior during persuasive argument." (1996). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8834.