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Personal Preference Effects on Perceived Sincerity -...

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Personal Preference Effects on Perceived Sincerity 1 Running Head: PERSONAL PREFERENCE EFFECTS ON PERCEIVED SINCERITY To Tell the Truth: The Effects of Viewer and Presenter Personal Political Preferences on Perceptions of Sincerity John Damron Berea College
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Personal Preference Effects on Perceived Sincerity 2 Abstract This study examined the effect s of viewers’ and speakers’ personal political preferences on the perceived sincerity of public speech. Participants were polled for their political preference (Obama, McCain, or Clinton), then asked to view six short videos. A total of three speakers were seen talking about two of the three major candidates. A 2x2 repeated measures ANOVA showed a significant interaction between viewer's preference and the speaker's preference. Viewers could only discern the speaker’s sincerity when the subject of the tal k was not their own preferred candidate.
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Personal Preference Effects on Perceived Sincerity 3 To Tell the Truth: The Effects of Viewer and Presenter Personal Political Preferences on Perceptions of Sincerity Erving Goffman did some of the earliest research on nonverbal behavior. He basically pioneered the study of face-to-face interactions, or micro-sociology. His famous 1959 book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life , basically stated that man changes the way he interacts with his fellow man all the time (Goffman, 1959). He stated that people will act differently in different situations, and compared this behavior to that of an actor on stage. This idea that people’s actions and behaviors reflect more than just what is seen on the outside is central to this experiment. Another major researcher in the area of nonverbal behavior was Ray L. Birdwhistell. In 1970, he published his second major work, Kinesics and Context , in which he stated that two thirds of all communication is nonverbal. Much of Birdwhistell’s research involved viewing films of people interacting in social settings, such as a pub. According to his book, nonverbal behaviors include movements related to eye contact, facial expressions, shoulder posture, chest level, and rhythmic movements of the body overall (Birdwhistell, 1970). It was Marie Reid and Richard Hammersley who asserted that nonverbal communication is what humans use in place of verbal communication. They believe that whether it is voluntary or not, the emotions we express through our body language, facial expressions, etc. are for a purpose (Reid & Hammersley, 2000). They stated that humans often express verbal “leakages,” such as “uh” or “umm” when conversing and that these leakages, too provide purpose within human communication. The purpose of this experiment was to find out if people can accurately judge the sincerity of public speakers. They were to watch six short videos of a person endorsing a single political candidate. They were able to listen and also observe verbal and nonverbal cues to decide how sincere each speaker was being. There are countless instances in our lives where we watch, listen, and sincerely believe that which is presented to us. It is too often that we simply accept the
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