Date of Award

Spring 1989

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Griffin, Robert J.

Second Advisor

Turner, Lynn H.

Third Advisor

Smith, Zoe

Abstract

This study examined the effects that audience vocabulary similarity and dissimilarity have upon audiences' perceptions of radio newscasters, their attractiveness and their credibility. No significant effects were found between audience actual vocabulary similarity or dissimilarity and their evaluations of the newscasters. However, conclusions from the data suggest a better measure would be a test between perceived vocabulary similarity or dissimilarity and perceptions of the newscaster, rather than actual similarity. Message comprehension also did not correlate with perceived source attractiveness or credibility. This result may be due to an inadequate comprehension measure. Support was generated for two hypothesis. Perceived source similarity correlated with attractiveness which seems to reconfirm the proposition that one good measure of attractiveness is perceived similarity. In addition, perceived vocabulary similarity correlated with perceptions of an overall rating of perceived similarity. This results appears to again reconfirm the idea that perceptions of certain similarities may lead to perceptions of additional similarities. Moreover, it indicates language may be one important dimension which is used as a basis for the inference of additional similarities. In addition, some support was found for the proposition that attractiveness and credibility are related. While the relationship between the two overall constructs was a bit tenuous, significant results were shown for relationships between the determinants of these two constructs.

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