Prior experience and its effects on audience design
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PRIOR EXPERIENCE AND ITS EFFECTS ON AUDIENCE DESIGN. Abstract Objective Audience design involves tailoring utterances to suit the needs of your partner. The current experiment was interested in whether a speaker’s experience has an impact on their use of audience design as a conversational tool and whether a speaker can transfer knowledge gained in one task across to a similar task. Design Two description tasks were used to investigate audience design by recording the number of helpful and unhelpful descriptions given by a speaker when describing a shape with three elements e.g. a red, spotty, triangle. The first task used 3D wooden blocks stored in a four-drawer cardboard cabinet, which had a picture of a pattern on each drawer. The second task used 2D cardboard shapes stored in a plastic index card box which was divided into texture and then size by tabbed pieces of card. Method Thirty-six pairs of undergraduates played two games of each task. Twelve pairs received No experience of the task; twelve received Direct experience of the first task through a practice session, and twelve received Vicarious experience by watching a video of the first task being played. Results Audio recordings of the tasks were transcribed and turned into a percentage of helpful descriptions provided for each participant and for each item. The results did show a higher mean number of helpful descriptions in the Direct experience Cabinet task compared with both the Vicarious and No experience conditions. Vicarious experience also produced more helpful descriptions in the Cabinet task than the No experience condition. However no significant effects were found after statistical analysis. For the Box task, participants in the No experience condition produced the highest number of helpful descriptions. Again no significant effects were seen but the evidence suggests that transfer of knowledge failed. The correlations across the two tasks did find some interesting results though.