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The Effects on Interpersonal Verbal Behaviour of Varying Participant Role in Initial Dyadic Conversations

Ralph, A. and Lee, E. (1994) The Effects on Interpersonal Verbal Behaviour of Varying Participant Role in Initial Dyadic Conversations. Scandinavian Journal of Behaviour Therapy, 23 (3-4). pp. 155-175.

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Approaches to social skills assessment and training have generally failed to view behaviour in context or consider the contingencies of particular acts. The Verbal Interaction Analysis System (VIAS) measures the frequency of particular sequences of verbal behaviour that feature in the speech of both participants in a dyadic exchange. Data are presented to illustrate the use of the VIAS and demonstrate that it is responsive to manipulated changes of role by participants. In addition they support the initial assumptions of the VIAS whereby active contributors to the maintenance of a conversation are judged as more competent. In particular, independent ratings of global interpersonal behaviour were negatively correlated with verbal behaviour that discouraged topic maintenance. These findings are interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that competence in interpersonal interactions is substantially determined by the effects that one participant's verbal utterances have on those of the other participant and vice versa. Furthermore, support is also given to the view that it is unproductive to consider the verbal behaviour of one person outside the context of the interaction with the other person in a dyadic exchange. Discussion is mainly concerned with the need to adapt assessment measures and training procedures to take account of the current findings.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Copyright: Taylor and Francis
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