Abstract

This study investigates the effects of conversation type and the speakerís gender on the participantís likelihood of listening and ability to recall the conversation. The subjects consisted of 49 female college students. Subjects heard one of four tape-recorded conversations, one-sided male, one-sided female, or two-sided female-female, or two-sided male-female, while completing a decoy questionnaire. The actual questionnaire was administered testing recall of the conversation as well as inference information. We found no significant main effects for gender or conversation type in the number of correct answers or inferences evident in the questionnaire. However, there were some significant results. Subjects in the male conditions found the conversation significantly less violent than did subjects in the female only conditions. Subjects in the male conditions also found the conversation to be significantly more interesting than did subjects in female only conditions. These results suggest that hearing a male voice affects the perception of Mount Holyoke College women, but conversation type does not.
 
 

Method

Subjects

Materials Procedure

Results

An independent groups ANOVA was used to determine if there was a significant difference in the number of questions answered correctly between the conversation type (one-sided or two-sided) or the speakerís gender (male or female). The number of correct answers for the one-sided conversation (M=.61) was not significantly higher than the two-sided conversation (M=.58), F(1,45)=.40, Mse=2.89, p>.05. The participants who heard the male speaker (M=.60) did not correctly answer more questions than those who heard the female speaker (M=.59), F(1,45)=.03, Mse=2.89, p>.05. There was no interaction effect between the conversation type and speakerís gender on the number of questions answered correctly, F(1,45)=.14, Mse=2.89, p>.05. (see Table 1)

An independent groups ANOVA was used to determine if there was a significant difference in the number of inferred questions answered correctly between the conversation type (one-sided or two-sided) or the speakerís gender (male or female). There was no main effect for the conversation type. Individuals who heard the one-sided conversation (M=.72) and those who heard the two-sided conversation (M=.58) did not significantly differ from one another in the number of inferred questions answered correctly, F(1,45)=1.97, Mse=.12, p>.05. There was no main effect for the speakerís gender. The participants who heard the male speaker (M=.72) did not correctly answer more inferred questions than those who heard the female speaker (M=.57), F(1,45)=2.28, Mse=.12, p>.05. There was no interaction between the conversation type and speakerís gender, F(1,45)=.67, Mse=.12, p>.05. (see Table 2)

Our questionnaire also measured inference by a using a 7 point subjective Likert scale rating whether the participantís perceived the conversation as very mellow or very violent. An independent groups ANOVA was used to determine if there was a significant difference in the perceived nature of the conversation (mellow or violent) between the conversation type (one-sided or two-sided) or the speakerís gender (male or female). Individuals who heard the one-sided conversation (M=3.57) did not perceive the nature of the conversation differently than those who heard the two-sided conversation (M=3.21), F(1,45)=2.09, Mse=.74, p>.05. There was a significant main effect for the speakerís gender. The male speaker (M=4.06) was perceived as significantly more mellow than the female speaker (M=2.72), F(1,45)=29.31, Mse=.74, p>.05. (see Table 3)

 
 
 
 

There was a significant interaction between the conversation type and the speakerís gender, F(1,45)=4.58, Mse=.74, p<.05. The significance of the interaction between the conversation type and speakerís gender was analyzed using t-tests. Individuals who heard the one-sided male conversation (M=4.50) perceived it as being significantly more mellow than those who heard the one-sided female conversation (M=2.64), t(21)=4.41, p<.05. There was a marginal significant difference between the perception of the one-sided male conversation (M=4.50) as more mellow than the two-sided male/female conversation (M=3.62), t(23)=2.08, p<.05. There were no significant differences in the perceived nature of the conversation between the two-sided female conversation and two-sided female/male conversation, t(24)=2.93, p>.05, or the one-sided female conversation and the two-sided female conversation, t(22)=-.73, p>.05.

Our questionnaire also measured inference by a using a 7 point subjective Likert scale rating whether the conversation was more unsettling or interesting. An independent groups ANOVA was used to determine if there was a significant difference between conversation type (one-sided or two-sided) or speakerís gender (male or female) and whether it was viewed as unsettling or interesting. There was a significant main effect for conversation type. The one-sided conversation (M=3.98) was perceived as more interesting than the two-sided conversations (M=3.25), F(1,43)=7.12, Mse=.87, p<.05. There was also a significant main effect for speakerís gender. The male speaker (M=4.00) was perceived as more interesting than the female speaker (M=3.22), F(1,43)=7.96, Mse=.87, p>.05. There was no significant interaction between conversation type and speakerís gender, F(1,43)=.14, Mse=.87, p>.05. (see Table 4)

We also used a 7 point subjective Likert scale to measure the participantís perception of the realistic nature of the conversation. An independent groups ANOVA was used to determine whether there was a significant difference between conversation type (one-sided or two-sided) or speakerís gender (male or female) and whether the conversation was perceived to be realistic or fictitious. There was no significant difference between the perceived realistic nature of the one-sided (M=3.72) and the two-sided conversations (M=3.40), F(1,44)=.72, Mse=1.63, p>.05. There was a significant main effect for the speakerís gender. The male speaker (M=4.27) was perceived as more unrealistic than the female speaker (M=2.84), F(1,44)=15.18, Mse=1.63, p>.05. There was no interaction between the conversation type and speakerís gender, F(1,44)=1.00, Mse=1.63, p>.05. (see Table 5)

 
 

Discussion

Are we talking? Tape recording may not have been convincing
 
 

?Problems