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Date of Award

11-17-2017

Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Communication

First Advisor

Daniel C. Davis

Abstract

This thesis outlines the reasoning and the methods used to investigate whether a politician’s vocal gender typicality influences how a voter perceives and votes for the politician. Nonverbal cues such as kinesics and physicalics influence how voters perceive politicians. Most research has investigated the importance of these kinesic and physicalic cues, but other vocalic cue investigations found that vocalic communication is important in the context of political communication. However, research is not conclusive as to whether gender typicality of vocalic cues influences voter perceptions and their vote preference. This study is important in order to determine not only whether a difference in vocal pitch influences a voter’s political choice, but also whether that vocal pitch is more feminine or masculine. In addition, this study is novel since it provides further evidence that determines whether there is a preference solely for a lower vocal pitch in politicians, or whether it depends on other influences, such as ideology.

In order to investigate this phenomenon, the researcher used surveys to determine the difference between politicians’ voice gender typicality and the voter’s perception and vote preference of the politicians. Results found that neither the vocal gender typicality of the politician, nor the political ideology of the participant influenced how the participant perceived the politician and their preference to vote for them. These results are contrary to what is expected from previous research, and indicates that political vocalics research is limited in its understanding of vocalics in political communication. This investigation has several limitations that lead to opportunities for future research, not only in political vocalics, but also in the understanding of how both nonverbal and verbal communication work together.

Comments

Imported from ProQuest Michaud_ilstu_0092N_11114.pdf

Page Count

90

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