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The operationalisation of assertiveness as a status characteristic in influence acceptance experiments

Miller, Leanda (1999)

Thesis (M.A.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Expectation States Theory argues that the status information of assertiveness will affect evaluations that were made in the standard experimental setting during small group interaction. It is predicted that persons will be more influenced by assertive individuals than non-assertive individuals in a collaborative exercise. The study by Dorning (1995) did not support this assumption. Dorning ascribed it to the manner in which assertiveness were , operationalised in her study, which she assumed was ineffective or inappropriate. The present study set out- to find -a -more -effective operationalisation of assertiveness to use in the standard experimental setting, which are used in studies based on Expectation States Theory. Assertiveness was operationalised in four different ways: descriptive self-statements (as used by Dorning in 1995), as well as in terms of photographic, audio and video material. These operationalisations of assertiveness were incorporated in a similar experimental setting as used by Dorning (1995), in order to allow comparison between Dorning's study and the current study. It is based on a computer program where the subjects, in collaboration with fictitious partners, try to earn points through accurate responses in a task where the fictitious ability of contrast sensitivity is measured. The partners were depicted as either assertive or non-assertive individuals by means of the different operationalisations of assertiveness. The results showed that the formulated hypotheses were not supported by the current study and that assertiveness did not influence the decision making process. The subjects could distinguish whether the partners were depicted as assertive or not. According to this, the conclusion can be drawn that the four operationalisations were indeed effective. The findings are discussed and certain recommendations are made.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Volgens die "Expectation States Theory" sal statusinligting oor assertiwiteit die evaluerings wat tydens kleingroep-interaksies gemaak word, beinvloed. Daar word voorspel dat persone meer beinvloed sal word in hulle samewerking met andere deur assertiewe persone as deur nie-assertiewe persone. Die studie van Doming (1995) het egter nie ondersteuning vir hierdie aanname verskaf nie. Doming het dit toegeskryf daaraan dat die wyse waarop assertiwiteit in haar studie geoperasionaliseer is, nie effektief was nie. Die huidige studie het derhalwe dit ten doel gestel om 'n meer effektiewe operasionalisering van assertiwiteit te vind, wat ook bruikbaar sal wees binne die raamwerk van die standaard eksperimentele situasie, wat gebruik word in ondersoeke gebaseer op "Expectation States Theory". Assertiwiteit is op vier verskillende wyses geoperasionaliseer, naamlikself-beskrywende stellings (soos gebruik deur Doming in 1995), asook in terme van fotografiese, klank en videomateriaal. Hierdie operasionaliserings is gebruik in 'n soortgelyke eksperiment as wat deur Doming (1995) gebruik is, om sodoende die vergelyking tussen Doming se studie en die huidige studie te vergemaklik. Dit is gebaseer op 'n rekenaarprogram waar die proefpersone, in samewerking met fiktiewe spanmaats, poog om punte te verdien met akkurate response in 'n taal wat die fiktiewe vermoe van Kontrassensitiwiteit toets. Deur middel van die verskillende operasionaliserings is die spanmaats voorgestel as assertiewe of nie-assertiewe persone. Die resultate toon aan dat die hipotese wat gestel is nie ondersteun is nie en assertiwiteit nie die besluitnemingsproses beinvloed het nie. Proefpersone kon wei goed onderskei of spanmaats voorgestel is as assertief of nie. Op grond hiervan kan die afleiding gemaak word dat die vier operasionaliserings van assertiwiteit wei effektief was. Hierdie resultate word bespreek en sekere voorstelle vir toekomstige studies word gemaak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51498
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