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Title:Participation in Small Groups: A Performance-Based Approach
Author(s):Bonito, Joseph A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):O'Keefe, Barbara J.
Department / Program:Speech Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Speech Communication
Abstract:This study tested a model of participation in which expectations are responsible for distributions of speaking opportunities in groups. Expectations are ascertained from performance, which itself is a function of expertise. One-hundred-twenty-six subjects were presented with 12 statements describing a fictitious person named Jim, and were asked to respond in writing with a profile of him. Responses were segmented into thoughts, and subjects were assigned to one of three expertise conditions, high-, medium-, and low-knowledge, based on the number of thoughts provided. Three-person groups were then composed with each group containing a high-, medium-, and low-knowledge participant and were asked to come to a group consensus regarding Jim. Analysis of participation showed differences in participation across levels of expertise in the expected direction for total contributions, and that high-knowledge subjects provided more task-related contributions than other group members; low-knowledge subjects provided fewer nontask-related remarks than their colleagues. However, results also showed that differences became attenuated as interaction progressed. Further analysis revealed that perceptions of participation (measured after discussion) were highly and positively correlated with task-related messages, and that participant rankings of perception of participation corresponded to knowledge condition such that high-knowledge subjects were rated as frequent participators, and low-knowledge subjects were perceived as infrequent contributors. Discussion makes reference to common ground and its effect on participation structure, as well as suggesting the practical importance of findings.
Issue Date:1997
Description:143 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9737057
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1997

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