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Effects of Helper and Recipient Sex on the Experience and Outcomes of Comforting Messages: An Experimental Investigation
Unformatted Document Text:  Effects of Helper and Recipient Sex 12 Method Participants A total of 216 students from introductory and upper division communication classes at a large university in the southwestern United States participated in this study for extra credit or research experience points. The average age of the participants was 21.8 years (range = 18 to 49 years). The majority of the sample consisted of White/European Americans (n= 178), Mexican- Americans, Latinos/as, or Hispanics (n= 14), and Asian or Asian Americans, (n= 11); less than 5% of the sample belonged to other ethnic groups. Procedures The experiment utilized a 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 (recipient sex x helper sex x verbal person centeredness levels: high, moderate, low x nonverbal immediacy levels: high, moderate, low) sex-balanced factorial design, with participants nested within verbal person centeredness (VPC) and nonverbal immediacy (NVI) conditions. The experiment utilized two female and two male confederates. The experimental set-up required participants to identify and subsequently talk about a mildly emotionally upsetting event with a confederate in a 5-minute conversation. All four confederates were trained to enact each of nine possible combinations VPC and NVI; over the course of data collection, each confederate enacted each possible combination six times, for a total of 54 interactions. Prior to each interaction, confederates drew a slip from an envelope to determine which condition they would enact. Confederates displayed their randomly assigned comforting condition as soon as participants arrived at the test site. Immediately following the conversation with confederates, participants were asked to evaluate confederates’ behavior on various scales.

Authors: Jones, Susanne. and Burleson, Brant.
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Effects of Helper and Recipient Sex 12
Method
Participants
A total of 216 students from introductory and upper division communication classes at a
large university in the southwestern United States participated in this study for extra credit or
research experience points. The average age of the participants was 21.8 years (range = 18 to 49
years). The majority of the sample consisted of White/European Americans (n= 178), Mexican-
Americans, Latinos/as, or Hispanics (n= 14), and Asian or Asian Americans, (n= 11); less than
5% of the sample belonged to other ethnic groups.
Procedures
The experiment utilized a 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 (recipient sex x helper sex x verbal person
centeredness levels: high, moderate, low x nonverbal immediacy levels: high, moderate, low)
sex-balanced factorial design, with participants nested within verbal person centeredness (VPC)
and nonverbal immediacy (NVI) conditions.
The experiment utilized two female and two male
confederates. The experimental set-up required participants to identify and subsequently talk
about a mildly emotionally upsetting event with a confederate in a 5-minute conversation. All
four confederates were trained to enact each of nine possible combinations VPC and NVI; over
the course of data collection, each confederate enacted each possible combination six times, for a
total of 54 interactions. Prior to each interaction, confederates drew a slip from an envelope to
determine which condition they would enact. Confederates displayed their randomly assigned
comforting condition as soon as participants arrived at the test site. Immediately following the
conversation with confederates, participants were asked to evaluate confederates’ behavior on
various scales.


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