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A Meta-Analytical Review of the Relationship between Teacher Immediacy and Student Learning
Unformatted Document Text:  Immediacy and Learning Meta-Analysis 5 Verbal Immediacy and Student Learning From the outset, Mehrabian (1969, 1971) and Wiener and Mehrabian (1968) acknowledged that certain verbal cues can result in perceptions of immediacy or nonimmediacy, and both researchers developed taxonomies of specific word choices and syntactic structures as expressions of liking or closeness. Nevertheless, verbal immediacy received little attention in instructional communication research until Gorham (1988) reported a moderate correlation between verbal immediacy and both perceived and affective learning outcomes. Subsequent to this pivotal study, many communication researchers employed Gorham’s verbal immediacy measure in conjunction with nonverbal immediacy measures to examine both types of teacher immediacy (e.g., Adkins, 1998; Butland & Beebe, 1992; Christensen & Menzel, 1998; Christophel, 1990; Frymier, 1994; Hackman & Walker, 1990; McDowell & McDowell, 1990; Menzel & Carrell, 1999; Peterson, 1994; Powell & Harville, 1990; Thompson, 1992). Most studies of verbal and/or nonverbal teacher immediacy have relied on questionnaires in survey- type research where students indicate their perceptions of their teachers. Not surprisingly, a number of studies assessing both types of immediacy found substantial relationships between the verbal immediacy and nonverbal immediacy (e.g., Hess & Smythe, 2001; Jordan, 1989; Peterson, 1994). Even after concerns were raised about Gorham’s operationalization of the verbal immediacy construct (Robinson & Richmond, 1995), a number of research studies reported results for both verbal and nonverbal immediacy, and some researchers combined the two types of immediacy into a single construct (Farren, 1992; Garard, 1998; McAlister, 2001; Menzel & Carrell, 1999; Neuliep, 1995, 1997; Sanders & Wiseman, 1990). Jordan (1989; Jordan & Wheeless, 1990) developed a different measure of verbal immediacy and obtained results of a moderate correlation between verbal immediacy and affective and cognitive learning. Although

Authors: Witt, Paul., Wheeless, Lawrence. and Allen, Mike.
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Immediacy and Learning Meta-Analysis 5
Verbal Immediacy and Student Learning
From the outset, Mehrabian (1969, 1971) and Wiener and Mehrabian (1968)
acknowledged that certain verbal cues can result in perceptions of immediacy or nonimmediacy,
and both researchers developed taxonomies of specific word choices and syntactic structures as
expressions of liking or closeness. Nevertheless, verbal immediacy received little attention in
instructional communication research until Gorham (1988) reported a moderate correlation
between verbal immediacy and both perceived and affective learning outcomes. Subsequent to
this pivotal study, many communication researchers employed Gorham’s verbal immediacy
measure in conjunction with nonverbal immediacy measures to examine both types of teacher
immediacy (e.g., Adkins, 1998; Butland & Beebe, 1992; Christensen & Menzel, 1998;
Christophel, 1990; Frymier, 1994; Hackman & Walker, 1990; McDowell & McDowell, 1990;
Menzel & Carrell, 1999; Peterson, 1994; Powell & Harville, 1990; Thompson, 1992). Most
studies of verbal and/or nonverbal teacher immediacy have relied on questionnaires in survey-
type research where students indicate their perceptions of their teachers. Not surprisingly, a
number of studies assessing both types of immediacy found substantial relationships between the
verbal immediacy and nonverbal immediacy (e.g., Hess & Smythe, 2001; Jordan, 1989;
Peterson, 1994). Even after concerns were raised about Gorham’s operationalization of the verbal
immediacy construct (Robinson & Richmond, 1995), a number of research studies reported
results for both verbal and nonverbal immediacy, and some researchers combined the two types
of immediacy into a single construct (Farren, 1992; Garard, 1998; McAlister, 2001; Menzel &
Carrell, 1999; Neuliep, 1995, 1997; Sanders & Wiseman, 1990). Jordan (1989; Jordan &
Wheeless, 1990) developed a different measure of verbal immediacy and obtained results of a
moderate correlation between verbal immediacy and affective and cognitive learning. Although


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