Finnish communication reticence : perceptions and self-reported behavior
This study explores Finnish communication reticence by means of introspective methods. Communication reticence is conceptualized as a negative dispositional or situational response toward oral communication likely to restrict or inhibit one’s interactive functions. Communication reticence is primarily operationalized as a person’s score on the Likert-type Communication Reticence Scale (N = 1094). Additionally, communication reticence is operationalized as a person's score on the Situational Taxonomy Scale (N = 145) and a subject's written responses to sentence completing tasks on the Inventory of Communicative Experiences (N = 110). The distribution of communication reticence followed theoretical expectations based on the normal-curve equation. The level of communication reticence was significantly affected by environmental factors, such as education, growth milieu, and family's socio-economic status. Representing various facets of communication reticence, a low incidence of interpersonal communication reticence but a high prevalence of stage fright and general social anxiety were observed. The hierarchy of anxiety-arousing communicative situations was developed, and attributions salient to the rhetorical thinking of communication reticents were analyzed. Empirical evidence on communication reticence is confronted with national myths and common beliefs regarding Finns as oral communicators. Special attention is paid to the role of talk in society and different values placed on oral interaction in different cultures. Based on empirical findings, a series of theoretical, cultural, and pedagogical applications is proposed. ...
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