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Title:When communication fails: The effect of dementia upon the management of requests
Author(s):Rivers, Mary J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dorfman, Marcy
Department / Program:Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Speech Communication
Abstract:The cognitive deficiencies of people who suffer from memory-impairing diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and other dementias notably impair their ability to effectively manage communication. These diseases impact the person's ability to linguistically decode structurally complex utterances or other messages that place high demands upon cognitive processing. It was hypothesized that forms of requests requiring multiple processing steps would be more difficult to manage than forms of requests which are processed in one step. A naturalistic experiment, in which individual subjects worked with the experimenter to complete a project in accordance with her varied requests, compared the compliance rates for three request forms: direct requests, conventional indirect requests, and unconventional indirect requests. Results indicated that the variation of request form had no impact on the likelihood or ease of compliance although the experimental subjects were significantly poorer in compliance overall than a similarly-aged control group. However, additional analyses indicated that the nature of the task for which compliance was sought had a strong effect upon likelihood of compliance. Tasks specific to the project itself were completed less frequently than were those which were more generic or social in character. The transcripts were analyzed for information about the nature of the various subject responses, and a typology of these responses, based on Bateson's formulation of two message levels, report and command, was advanced.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Rivers, Mary J.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136715
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136715

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