UM School of Communication researchers presenting papers at NCA

Our professors and students will be presenting research papers at the National Communication Association convention.

This year’s 98th annual convention will be held November 15-18 at Walt Disney World resorts. NCA touts the biggest membership of scholars in the communication discipline.

The itinerary schedule was just released. Courtesy of the NCA convention program, here are descriptions of some of the papers that will be presented, along with the dates, times and locations:

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Effect of Presidential Candidates’ Language Intensity and Experience on Source Credibility

Author:

David Clementson, University of Miami 

Co-Author(s):

Paola Pascual-Ferra, University of Miami

Michael J. Beatty, University of Miami

Presented During: Implications of Mediated Political Communication

Sponsor: Political Communication Division

Sun, 11/18: 9:30 AM  – 10:45 AM 

Dolphin resort

Room: Europe11 – Third/Lobby Level 

This study applied the rules of Language Expectancy Theory and language intensity (Averbeck, 2011; Burgoon, Denning & Roberts, 2002) to perceptions of credibility for hypothetical candidates for President of the United States. Credibility scales (McCroskey, 1966) measuring two dimensions, authoritativeness and character, were submitted to confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Results of the CFA validated the two-factor solution. Moreover, the credibility factors correlated significantly with perceptions of candidates’ electability and image as “presidential.” Intensity levels (high-intensity and low-intensity) and candidate experience levels (experienced, inexperienced, and control) were manipulated using hypothetical scenarios. Manipulation checks confirmed the effectiveness of the experimental conditions. Results of analysis of variance indicated that experience increased authoritativeness ratings, but high-intensity language reduced candidates’ character ratings. Implications for theory and research are discussed.

 

Undersold or Overrated? Challenging the Import of Florida’s Role in National Politics

Author

David Clementson, University of Miami

Presented During: National Politics on the Sunshine State Stage: Exploring Florida’s Role in Federal Elections

Sponsor: Communication and COMMunity in the Sunshine State

Sat, 11/17: 11:00 AM  – 12:15 PM 

Dolphin resort

Room: Asia1 – Third/Lobby Level 

There is disagreement regarding how critical Florida’s role in national elections. Although Florida is a key player in international trade and is taking the lead in challenging the Affordable Care Act of 2009, Florida’s 2012 GOP primary saw notably low turnout and term limits keep the state legislature inexperienced and relatively powerless. This paper explores these tensions to question just how influential Florida is for politics at the national level.

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A Meta-Analytic Comparison of the Effects of Text Messaging to Substance-Induced Impairment on Driving Performance

Author

Paola Pascual-Ferra,University of Miami 

Co-Author(s)

Yu Liu, University of Miami 
Michael J. Beatty, University of Miami

Sponsor: Applied Communication Division

According to the National Safety Commission, 28 percent of auto accidents or 1.6 million accidents per year are attributable to cell phone use and texting while driving. In response to this problem, states and federal agencies, as well as coalitions of citizens such as Mothers Against Texting and Driving, are leading public campaigns to ban texting while driving. The evidence in support of such campaigns often compares texting while driving to other forms of impairment such as drunk driving, but the evidence is often anecdotal or is drawn selectively from single studies. Such appeals do little to overcome drivers’ overestimation of their ability to “multi-task” while driving. Based on the assumption that scientific evidence regarding the comparative effects of text messaging while driving to other forms of impairment is required to establish credibility of campaigns, we conducted a planned contrast meta-analysis of the research in three domains. Results indicated large and comparable effects on poor driving performance for texting (r = .572) and alcohol use (r = .539) and an effect for marihuana use (r = .27) that, while moderate, was significantly less than either texting or alcohol.

 

A Quantitative Analysis of Quantitative Studies Published in the Journal of Public Relations Research

Author

Rita Linjuan Men, Univ of Miami 

Co-Author

Michael J. Beatty, University of Miami

Presented During: Extending Theoretical Research in Public Relations

Sponsor: Public Relations Division

Sat, 11/17: 3:30 PM  – 4:45 PM 

Dolphin resort

Room: Northern Hemisphere Salon E1 – Fifth Level 

Although public relations scholars have conducted in-depth analyses into theory development, and many dimensions of the research enterprise, one area that has been productively summarized and reviewed in other communication fields, but not in public relations, is the data analytic techniques employed in quantitative public relations studies. A systematic and critical review of methodological practice, with special focus on quantitative analysis, would be highly informative not merely by providing a description of the current state of affairs but it can identify areas of progress over time, highlight emerging trends, and point to likely future practices. Accordingly, we content analyzed each of the 123 quantitative studies appearing in the Journal of Public Relations Research from 1992 through 2012. Results indicated substantial advancement in recent years, most notably, but not exclusively, in terms of sophistication of quantitative analysis.

 

Changes in COMMunity and Communication in Florida over the Past Century: The Interaction of Maturing Miami Media During a Century of Constant Demographic Change

Author

Thomas Steinfatt, University of Miami

Presented During: National Politics on the Sunshine State Stage: Exploring Florida’s Role in Federal Elections

Sponsor: Communication and COMMunity in the Sunshine State

Sat, 11/17: 11:00 AM  – 12:15 PM 

Dolphin resort

Room: Asia1 – Third/Lobby Level 

From its sleepy start with no cities in 1900, Florida has become the fourth largest state, thanks in part to the development of its prominent media outlets. Florida’s political representation –due to its population size and composition – has made the state a media capital where its influence on national elections and international politics appear to be permanently established. This paper explores this influence and its implications beyond its many miles of sunny coastline.

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