Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The primary goal of the communication process is to have the addressee understand the communicator's expressed thoughts or ideas. Three factors which have Been shown to be important are: the relationship between the communicator and addressee (Ferguson, 19^9), the amount of feedback (Leavitt and Mueller, 1951)» and the communication channels used (Duncan, 1969).

The present study attempted to determine if friends communicate more effectively than strangers and if oral communication in a condition permitting nonverbal communication and feedback was more effective than written communication.

Five sets of ten pictures of males were given to each subject. One friend was designated the communicator. Her task was to select one picture of a male from each set and describe him to her friend and a stranger who served as addressees. Their task was to select the picture of the male described by the communicator in order to score a correct response. They were to give two responses for each description. The measures used were the number of correct responses and the time used to make the first response.

An analysis of variance was used to assess relationship and channel effects, no significant differences or effects were found.

The Mann-Mhitney U Test was used to compare the amount of time used for an incorrect or correct response. The written-correct condition z score was found to be significant indicating friends under this condition were faster in choosing the correct picture. Also the oral-incorrect condition z score was significant indicating friends under this condition were faster in choosing the incorrect picture.