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2003 - International Communication Association Pages: 26 pages || Words: 8594 words || 
1. Ross, Karen. "Democratic participation and public access broadcasting: Caller Perspectives on Election Call" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2003 Online <.PDF>. 2019-07-22 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: There has been much recent discussion about the changing nature of ‘the public sphere’ with the relatively new genre of RealityTV being viewed as a space in which the public can at least perform, if not always engage in meaningful debate. This paper considers the perspectives of callers to a political talk show – Election Call – in terms of why they call in, what they think about their interactions with politicians and how they regard the programme’s potential to constitute a public sphere. It also looks at the gendered aspects of caller experiences and beliefs in order to tease out if gender has any influence on the public’s practice of politics. The programme – Election Call – is a BBC production which has been broadcasting since 1974, going out simultaneously on radio and TV (and the web for 2001), in the days immediately preceding the British general election. I argue that whilst callers mostly felt very positive about the experience of appearing on the show and having the opportunity to put their point of view, and believed that Election Call fulfilled an important democratic function, they were much more negative in their assessment of their interactions with politicians, believing that it continues to be difficult to get a straight answer out of our elected members.

2015 - 15th Biennial Conference of the Society for Community Research and Action Words: 308 words || 
2. DelVicario, Amanda. and Crosby-currie, Catherine. "Calls to a Crisis Hotline: Relationship to Daily Temperature and the Chronic Caller" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 15th Biennial Conference of the Society for Community Research and Action, UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, Lowell, MA, Jun 25, 2015 <Not Available>. 2019-07-22 <>
Publication Type: Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This study examined patterns in calls received by a crisis hotline in a rural county; this hotline provides access to psychiatric help where traditional help is limited. Chronic or frequent callers may benefit especially from crisis hotlines, as they represent between 25-50% of the call volume (Haycock, 1999). This study explored the nature of the chronic caller but also the relationship between weather and call volume, based on our partner hotline director’s concerns about this connection; previous research also suggests an increase in psychiatric hospitalizations during heat waves (Hansen et. al, 2008).

One day of calls per week was randomly selected from every week for May 2004 through June 2012. Calls (N = 4,172) were coded for demographics, topic, information about the call and whether the caller was a chronic caller. Daily high temperatures were obtained from

Chronic callers represented a substantial portion of calls (34%). A cluster analysis revealed seven clusters of chronic callers, differentiated by gender, type of problem (mental health and/or physical ailments) and caller location (local or not). Chronic callers with multiple problems called more frequency, suggesting that this hotline is serving those individuals most in need. The cluster of chronic callers suffering from physical health problems also called most frequently, highlighting the importance of physical health problems to mental well-being.

Chronic callers, in particular, seemed to be adversely affected by heat. Although a positive correlation for all callers was found between call volume and daily high temperature for the summers of 2008 and 2011, which experienced heat waves, chronic callers overall were significantly more likely to call when temperatures were 80 degrees or above. Chronic callers were also significantly more likely to report a diagnosed mental illness, supporting a need to investigate the cause of this relationship and its impact on hotline staffing.

2013 - International Communication Association Pages: unavailable || Words: 247 words || 
3. Hepburn, Alexa. "Turning Practices Into Strategies: Evidence Based Training to Support Helpline Workers in the Management of Caller Emotion" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Hilton Metropole Hotel, London, England, Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-07-22 <>
Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: Although helpline professionals often have a powerful practical understanding of what they do, they may be hampered by training systems that work with simplified views of interaction. Our research explicates the situated practices of helpline call-takers, supporting two levels of application: a) reassuring call-takers that they are using their skills in complex and sophisticated ways; b) using extracts from analysis of call-takers’ practices to highlight the strategic moments where they can make different choices. This paper focuses on one applied research theme, examining how crying is recognised and responded to by call-takers in a child-protection helpline, and the interactional production of sympathy, empathy, and its relationship with ongoing helpline business (see Hepburn & Potter, 2012 for an overview). Analysis has enabled the development of insights into hitherto-unexamined practices that are associated with displays of extreme upset. Our ongoing engagement with practitioners has allowed us to turn practices into strategies that can be used by practitioners (Potter and Hepburn, 2003).

Hepburn, A. & Potter, J. (2012). Crying and crying responses. In A. Peräkylä & M-L. Sorjonen (Eds.) Emotion and interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Potter, J. & Hepburn, A. (2003). ‘I’m a bit concerned’ – Call openings on a child protection helpline, Research on Language and Social Interaction, 36, 197-240.

2005 - American Association For Public Opinion Association Words: 241 words || 
4. McCutcheon, Allan. and Ludwig, Jack. "Who’s Calling?: The Impact of Caller-ID Displays on Telephone Survey Response" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association For Public Opinion Association, Fontainebleau Resort, Miami Beach, FL, <Not Available>. 2019-07-22 <>
Publication Type: Paper/Poster Proposal
Abstract: Caller-ID technology raised a national level debate when in January 29, 2004, the Federal Communication Association mandated telemarketers to transmit caller-ID information when making telemarketing calls (Federal Communication Commission-FCC, 2004). This initiative followed the establishment of the Do Not Call national registry. Survey research organizations, however, are exempted from these rules (Council for Marketing & Opinion Research -CMOR, 2004). Stimulated by the debate on the caller-ID, in the spring of 2003 The Gallup Organization conducted a caller-ID randomized, pre- and post-experimental design to test the effectiveness of different caller-ID displays (names) and their impact on response, contact, and cooperation rates for telephone surveys.

This research focuses on the impact of Caller ID listing on the frequency of final dialing dispositions, and on associated rates that are often used to assess the quality of data collection. The data include sampling designs employing both RDD and (client-supplied) list samples. The analysis examines the AAPOR (2004) standard response reports (run separately for “pre” and “post” periods) as the basis for investigating the impact of the implementation of Caller ID listing on relevant dispositions and rates.

We find evidence for the hypothesis that the caller-ID transmission works as a sort of “compact invitation letter,” similar to that found for advance letters which underscore the legitimacy of a survey, take away suspicion, and communicate the value of the survey thereby positively influencing response rates (Dillman, 1978; Goyder, 1987; Groves & Couper, 1998).

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