Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. John K. Brilhart
Performance and message consequences of encoding belief incongruent editorials were examined in this study. Twenty-six students enrolled in News Editing completed a student option survey, containing scales for both direction and intensity of belief. Approximately two weeks later they were asked to write editorials on two propositions determined to be strongly-held beliefs. Each subject was required to write one editorial congruent with personal belief and one belief-incongruent editorial. Subjects were assigned at random so that 14 did the belief-congruent encoding first and 12 did the belief-incongruent first. The research hypotheses -- that when encoding belief-incongruent editorial subjects would make more spelling and punctuation errors, take longer to write, produce fewer words per minute, and write less readable messages than when encoding belief-congruent editorials – were rejected. However, time, rate and readability for the second editorial improved significantly over the first editorial. These results suggest that students’ writing apprehension decreases and performance improves from a first to second encoding, regardless of whether they are writing belief-congruent or belief-incongruent editorials. The author suggests a need to incorporate order effect as variable into future studies on belief-congruent vs. belief-incongruent message encoding.
Skarnulis, Leanna, "Performance consequences of encoding belief-incongruent editorials" (1978). Student Work. 3123.