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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 17 developed by Clark and associates (R. A. Clark et al., 1998) to evaluate comforting effectiveness. Inter-item reliability for the eight items that composed this scale was good at = .84. Participants rated the perceived comforting quality of the confederate’s behavior on 7- point semantic differential scales that measured the extent to which the confederate’s behavior was experienced as appropriate-inappropriate, suitable-unsuitable, adequate-inadequate, effective-ineffective, competence-incompetent, capable-incapable, sensitive-insensitive, perceptive-not perceptive, understanding-not understanding, helpful-unhelpful, beneficial-not beneficial, caring-uncaring, warm-cold, and supportive-unsupportive. In the past, four single- item outcome variables have been used to measure comforting quality, namely, appropriate- inappropriate, sensitive-insensitive, helpful-unhelpful, and effective-ineffective. We added two additional items to each of these outcomes. For instance, the effectiveness items included, capability and competence, whereas sensitivity items included perception and understanding. In addition, two items (cold-warm and supportive-unsupportive) were added to the overall scale. In creating a 14-item scale, our goal was to determine whether these four message outcomes tap different domains of comforting message evaluations, an argument that has been previously advanced by Goldsmith and her associates (Goldsmith, McDermott, & Alexander, 2000). We subjected the 14 comforting quality to a principal axis analysis with OBLIMIN rotation. However, the analysis yielded only one factor, which accounted for 57.8% of the total variance. Because the 14 message attributes were highly correlated and formed one unidimensional factor, the items were combined to form a single scale to measure comforting quality. Inter-item reliabilities for the comforting quality scale were excellent at = .94.

Authors: Jones, Susanne. and Burleson, Brant.
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Effects of Helper and Recipient Sex 17
developed by Clark and associates (R. A. Clark et al., 1998) to evaluate comforting
effectiveness. Inter-item reliability for the eight items that composed this scale was good at =
.84.
Participants rated the perceived comforting quality of the confederate’s behavior on 7-
point semantic differential scales that measured the extent to which the confederate’s behavior
was experienced as appropriate-inappropriate, suitable-unsuitable, adequate-inadequate,
effective-ineffective, competence-incompetent, capable-incapable, sensitive-insensitive,
perceptive-not perceptive, understanding-not understanding, helpful-unhelpful, beneficial-not
beneficial, caring-uncaring, warm-cold, and supportive-unsupportive. In the past, four single-
item outcome variables have been used to measure comforting quality, namely, appropriate-
inappropriate, sensitive-insensitive, helpful-unhelpful, and effective-ineffective. We added two
additional items to each of these outcomes. For instance, the effectiveness items included,
capability and competence, whereas sensitivity items included perception and understanding. In
addition, two items (cold-warm and supportive-unsupportive) were added to the overall scale.
In creating a 14-item scale, our goal was to determine whether these four message
outcomes tap different domains of comforting message evaluations, an argument that has been
previously advanced by Goldsmith and her associates (Goldsmith, McDermott, & Alexander,
2000). We subjected the 14 comforting quality to a principal axis analysis with OBLIMIN
rotation. However, the analysis yielded only one factor, which accounted for 57.8% of the total
variance. Because the 14 message attributes were highly correlated and formed one
unidimensional factor, the items were combined to form a single scale to measure comforting
quality. Inter-item reliabilities for the comforting quality scale were excellent at = .94.


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