Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dennis A. Fus

Second Advisor

Randall A. Rose

Third Advisor



This study investigates the relationship between rhetorical sensitivity attitude sets (rhetorical sensitive (RS), noble self (NS), and rhetorical reflector (RR)), effectiveness and debt collectors. The questions to be answered are: (1) do debt collectors hold predominantly one attitudinal set more than another, and (2) does collector effectiveness correlate with any specific attitudinal set held. The measurement of attitudinal sets was accomplished using the RHETSEN instrument operationalized by Hart, Carlson, and Eadie in 1980. Collector effectiveness was determined by the collectors' manager or supervisor rating them from 1 through 7 on a semantic differential scale (1 labeled Poor and 7 labeled Excellent). The 47 participants in this survey were individuals actively engaged in the collection of delinquent debts. These individuals were predominantly employed by collection agencies and financial institutions. The results of this study showed little correlation between the attitude towards encoding information and the effectiveness ratings given the collectors. It did, however, show that there is a difference in the strength of attitudinal sets held by individuals working for different types of firms.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha

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