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Advances in Communication Theory and Research: Current Volume, Vol. 3, 2010

Editor’s Note (2010) – Megan Oliver

Communication works for those who work at it.- John Powell

The Journal of Advances in Communication Theory and Research exemplifies Kansas State University’s perpetual endeavor to produce high-quality research. Although the journal had to reduce the frequency from semi-annual to annual, like past editions of the journal, the Fall 2010 volume showcases originative works from a multitude of communication topics in an effort to celebrate undergraduate and graduate student research and encourage its efflorescence. This collection of articles covers a variety of topics, with age-relevant issues being dominant.

As an undergraduate, I was unaware any of the channels for submitting the research I conducted. Arduous semesters of original, critical, and comparative research by thousands of students remains in the ‘documents’ section of hard drives the nation over. I am fortunate to be involved in ACTR during a time of rising popularity for online communication journals disseminating ideas and giving credence to the earnest works of students. Through submission, student authors discover the difficulty and importance of formulating a systematic method and seeing research through to analyses and implications. Submission and editing standards forACTR serve as a model to help students identify tone, format, and style of papers that can qualify for journals and conferences in their academic future. Though students may not yet be experts in their area of research and may not be submitting papers without flaw, they also feel encouraged by learning that a student can write a paper with merit within a semester. Continue reading ‘Editor’s Note (2010) – Megan Oliver’ »

Third Place Discourse- Alicia Carr


This study looked at the form discourse takes in an environment of commonplace rhetoric. Public discourse has transformed over recent years and we are now finding that the “public sphere” involves coffee shops. Coffee shops allow a chance to meet with friends and talk about issues that matter to individuals, whether the issues are personal or involve the community. These “third place environments” provide a location away from home and work for people to come together with whomever they choose, whenever they choose. Using Hicks and Langsdorf’s “Regulating Disagreement, Constituting Participants: A Critique of Proceduralist Theories of Democracy,” a narrated conversation by participants will be analyzed using their four criteria to discover whether an everyday coffee shop location, such as Starbucks, is producing discourse. Continue reading ‘Third Place Discourse- Alicia Carr’ »

Gender and Personality: Differences in Date Initiation Preferences- Eric Shumaker

Palms sweaty, heart racing, body trembling, and butterflies in your stomach. What does this describe? Think back to the first time you asked out someone you liked. These uncomfortable symptoms may be reminiscent of your first experience with attempting to initiate a date. How could gender and personality factors play a role in the way heterosexual humans initiate dating behaviors with the opposite sex? What sort of unique interpersonal communication behaviors do people utilize in initiating a date?

One of the top concerns of college students has always been interactions with the opposite sex and dating (Martinson & Zerface, 1990). A survey of college students by McEwan (1983), pressing personal concerns, indicated that 16% view the area of dating as the chief concern in their life over things such as grades and finances. Although this is not a large percentage, it is important to research interpersonal dating and find effective solutions for those struggling with dating-related anxiety. As sex roles and culture continually change, Muehlenhard and McFall (1981) proposed that men and women are often left confused on how to initiate and arrange first dates. Research in this area has the potential to assist social skills trainers, dating coaches, and counselors with how to give effective solutions to those clients struggling in this area of their lives. This research expansion will aid those that lack social skills known to assist in dating to help them better understand how they should approach someone they are attracted to. Continue reading ‘Gender and Personality: Differences in Date Initiation Preferences- Eric Shumaker’ »

Suspect Interrogation: Communication Strategies and Key Personality Constructs- Jessica Heuback


Interrogations are conducted by law enforcement officials in an effort to seek confessions and develop details about crimes. The goal of this study was to examine the communication strategies currently being used during the interrogation process as well as the key personality constructs that are integral to successful interrogation. A multi-method approach was used. Interviews with ten officers with interrogation experience were conducted in addition to collecting information via a web-based questionnaire (N=22). The findings suggest an overwhelming need to ―play nice‖ by beginning most interrogations with rapport building tactics. Additional strategies include the use of theme development, modeling interviews some ways but diverging in other necessary ways, and critical emphasis about on-the-job training with this specific job role. Results suggest a positive relationship between cognitive complexity and communication competence; verbal aggressiveness and cognitive complexity; and negative relationships between cognitive verbal aggressiveness and communication competence. Explanations for the findings and results are provided in addition to the mention of the study‘s limitations. Continue reading ‘Suspect Interrogation: Communication Strategies and Key Personality Constructs- Jessica Heuback’ »

Reuniting Old Friends: The Sophists and Academic Debate- Joe Koehle

“On every issue there are two arguments opposed to each other” —Protagoras

The above declaration from the sophist Protagoras that occurred over 2500 years ago may seem obvious to a person living in today‟s world of endless difference of opinion and deliberation ad nauseum, but at the time was revolutionary in Athens. As the city moved from oligarchy to democracy, the necessity for deliberation arose as differences of opinion cropped up in the process of collective decision making. Seizing the opportunity to influence this process, the sophistic movement emerged. Itinerant teachers and wordsmiths, the sophists left their mark upon history via their innovative pedagogy and the seemingly unending controversies they created. After a brief period of flourishing, the sophists‟ rhetorical insights were undermined by sustained attacks from Plato and students of Plato, eventually being condemned to historical obscurity as a footnote to the progress of Western thought. Continue reading ‘Reuniting Old Friends: The Sophists and Academic Debate- Joe Koehle’ »

Three Simple Words: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Slogan “Yes We Can”- Molly McGuire

Three simple words can inspire a generation, unite a community, and change a nation. Three simple words can conjure up images of a multitude of movements. Three simple words can transcend cultural differences. These three simple words provided inspiration for the United Farm Workers movement, helped elect the first African American President of the United States of America, and permeated international politics. These three simple words are: “YES WE CAN!”

The slogan “Yes We Can” became nationally recognized in the United State during Barack Obama‟s 2008 campaign for president. The slogan did not originate when Barack Obama said it in his infamous “Yes We Can” speech, nor did its power and influence end on Election Day (November 4th 2008). The intercontinental recognition of this slogan and its different cultural significance is the reason why I choose to examine the slogan “Yes We Can”. I will focus on its importance in social movements, and its overlap among multiple social movements. Continue reading ‘Three Simple Words: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Slogan “Yes We Can”- Molly McGuire’ »

The Power of Metaphor in Presidential Healthcare Rhetoric- Natalie Pennington



For over seventy years the United States federal government has attempted to pass legislation for comprehensive health care, each time failing to reach a consensus on the creation of a health care system that would satisfy the demands of both Republicans and Democrats. First brought before the senate floor in 1933 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s Social Security legislation, comprehensive health care quickly dropped off and remained an unattainable goal for the American people, a campaign promise made by each president elect, but never fulfilled— until now. Legislation in both the House and Senate concerning universal health insurance coverage is closer to being signed into law than any legislation on the issue has ever been before. What then, has changed over time, to allow the opportunity for health care reform to become so close to reality? Continue reading ‘The Power of Metaphor in Presidential Healthcare Rhetoric- Natalie Pennington’ »

Negotiating the Greek Feminist- Maurianna Shelbourn

The knowledge and societal construction of classic Greek writers has, arguably, been studied since the inception of these texts—with ample praise and criticism from scholars throughout history. As the foundations of Western democracy were lain and modern rational thought, Greek epics, essays, and dialogs established a place in classroom curricula so students and instructors alike might pay due reverence. However, with the pace of today‘s modernism seeming to ever quicken, there appears to be a growing distance between the Greek‘s intellectual and civic pursuits and our own. Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath sound the alarm for the decreasing prevalence of Classical texts in many academic institutions in their book, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (1998). Have Homer, Isocrates, and Plato exhausted their purposes within contemporary contexts, becoming irrelevant as our modern polis progresses beyond what we believe their works offer? Perhaps the survival of the Classics is contingent on the legitimacy with which we continue to understand their influence. Continue reading ‘Negotiating the Greek Feminist- Maurianna Shelbourn’ »