Date of Award

1981

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Speech Communication

Abstract

This study was designed to find preliminary information concerning differences between oral and written linguistic indices of deception during employment interviews. It was predicted that: (1) oral messages would be characterized by significantly different linguistic indices than written messages, (2) truthful messages would be characterized by significantly different linguistic indices than deceptive messages, (3) male responses would be characterized by significantly different linguistic indices than female responses, and (4) individual question responses would be characterized by significantly different linguistic indices than other individual question responses. 31 male and 42 female students enrolled in undergraduate business and professional communication courses participated in oral and written employment interviews. The transcribed and coded responses were analyzed with the Syntactic Language Computer Analysis Program. The data were analyzed with a four-way analysis of variance with repeated measures and a stepwise multiple discriminant analysis programs. The results from the statistical analysis supported each of the null hypotheses. Deceptive messages were characterized as having significantly more total words, positive existential density, negative authority perception, positive audience perception, defined relational density, and less past time densities than truthful messages. Comparing these results with the mode (oral or written) used and the sex of the interviewee revealed several interesting relationships. Deceptive written responses were characterized by significantly more negative authority perceptions and total words. Deceptive oral responses were characterized by significantly more positive audience perceptions and defined relational densities. The results also suggest that females used more words when writing deceptively, whereas males used more positive audience perceptions when speaking deceptively. The results provide a foundation for further research investigating linguistic indices of deception during employment interviews.

Pages

128

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