Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The purpose of this study was to examine powerful and powerless speech styles in relation to sex of speaker, sex of respondent, and attitudes toward women. Based on research by Bradac, Mulac, and Thompson (1995) it was proposed that the powerless speech style variable, intensifiers, could be divided into separate masculine and feminine domains. The Attitude Toward Women scale was used to classify respondents as either liberal or traditional. From this classification predictions were made using Expectancy Violation Theory to formulate a priori hypotheses about respondent perceptions of speaker competence, trustworthiness, and masculinity. Multivariate, univariate and post-hoc tests revealed that speaker sex and respondent sex did not significantly impact respondent ratings of speaker competence, trustworthiness, and masculinity. Additionally, masculine and feminine intensifiers did not produce significantly different ratings on the dependent variables. However, the powerful speech style resulted in higher ratings of speaker competence and trustworthiness. The proposed interaction between sex of speaker and type of intensifiers after controlling for attitudes toward women was not supported.
Brandau-brown, Frances E., "Powerless Speech: the Effects of Gender, Gendered Intensifiers, and Attitudes Toward Women on Speaker Credibility." (1999). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 6977.