Interpersonal Sensitivity: Theory and Measurement

By Judith A. Hall; Frank J. Bernieri | Go to book overview

APPENDIX
Two sets of cards are required for using standard content methodology. The first set is the encoding set, which comprises 27 cards, each of which includes three parts:
1. description of the situation or context in which the communication takes place;
2. the intention that the message should convey;
3. the statement, or words that the encoder is to use.

Each of these cards has the number of the message being sent (i.e., 1 to 9) on the back so that it can be easily seen by the decoder and also so that it can be seen on the videotape, if the messages are being recorded. The cards are shuffled so that the messages are presented in random order, and the encoder's task is to send the message to the partner, using the words provided (see Table 13.1 for an example of an encoding card).

The second set of cards is the decoding set, which comprises nine cards (one for each statement) that include the three possible alternative meanings for that statement. Decoders are required to find the appropriate card (matching it to the number of the card that the encoder has selected). They are then asked to choose which of the three alternatives they thought their partner was trying to send, and to record it on an appropriate form, out of the sight of the encoder (see Table 13.2 for an example of a decoding card).

The nine sets of contexts, ambiguous statements, and alternative intentions used by Noller (1980, 1984) for husbands are presented in Table 13.3, and those for wives are presented in Table 13.4.

The encoder and the decoder sit opposite each other at a table large enough for the decoder to be able to spread out the nine decoding cards. This procedure is followed so that the appropriate card can easily be located once the encoder picks up the message he or she will send next and shows the number on the back (1–9). If the encoders' messages are to be video-recorded, then the camera should be positioned to record the encoder from the waist up (or above the table). The encoder's 27 cards should be shuffled so that the messages are sent in random order. Both the encoder and the decoder need to make a note of the message numbers (e.g., 5b) as they are sent, with the list being kept out of sight of the partner. Scoring involves comparing the decoder's list with the encoder's list. The encoder's list is assumed to be a correct record of messages sent. Provided that the encoder keeps the cards in the order in which they were sent, any concerns can be checked.

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