ESC Graduate Student Conference Papers

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    How to judge a book by its cover
    (Wichita State University, 2022-04-29) Nulik, Kristina; Parcell, Lisa
    INTRODUCTION: Book covers publicize and sell books by portraying meaning to society. Designers know that cover image(s), color, title and author, typeface, or a combination of these components grabs the readers' attention to further investigate a book, but it is not known how these elements work together. PURPOSE: This study seeks to determine what the eye is drawn to in the initial sighting of book covers, the importance placed on the design of a cover as a whole, and to find out how readers make a choice based on visuals. Specifically, how consumers choose books based on the cover. METHODS: Three focus groups of 8-12 participants each were conducted at the Elliott School. Looking at covers of 16 highly rated new fiction novels, participants discussed the covers in general and voted on which book cover best fit the genre and conveyed potential content and theme(s). RESULTS: Participants agreed that color schemes, font styles, and graphics work together to convey potential genre and content of a novel. For romance, more pastel colors and cursive fonts with notable tension between any portrayed characters attracted readers. Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels garnered attention with bold colors and graphics that referenced weaponry or action. Mystery novels did well with darker colors and references to murder while general fiction novels, with a wider variety of story content and themes, led participants to want to see graphics and colors working together to convey those themes and content. CONCLUSION: Book publishers should continue being creative with design elements, but need to take into consideration what readers expect to find on covers in certain genres. This will help not only in getting their attention but connect them to the themes or content of a novel.
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    Communication apprehension and mindfulness: Can a negative correlation help us improve?
    (Wichita State University, 2021-04-02) Willett, Brandy; Parcell, Lisa; Xiao, Min
    Strong communication skills are vital in the modern workplace, and in fact impact numerous aspects of a person's life. In order to prepare students, many colleges and universities require an introductory-level communication or public speaking class. Unfortunately, for a significant portion of these students, their communication apprehension level -- defined as the fear and avoidance of real or perceived communication interactions -- is already so high that they have difficulty benefiting from these courses. This study explores the idea that adding basic level mindfulness skills and techniques to introductory-level communication courses may help students cope with their apprehension and as a result be more successful at developing communication skills. Mindfulness techniques and skills have been found to benefit college students in other areas where they face anxiety. This study looks for a link between a student's level of communication apprehension and their mindful mindset. This will be done by administering the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension -- (PRCA-24) and the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale- Revised (CAMS-R) to undergraduate students taking an introductory-level communication course. The results of the CAMS-R will then be compared with students overall PRCA-24 score, which determines their level of communication apprehension, and a subscale which looks only at public speaking anxiety. The goal being to determine if those with high communication apprehension and/or public speaking anxiety score low in the area of mindful mindset. An inverse correlation between the scores would suggest that further study of mindfulness intervention in introductory communication courses would be warranted.
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    Typeface appropriateness and its impact on wine purchase intent and brand credibility
    (Wichita State University, 2020-05-01) Ottaway, Luther; Parcell, Lisa; Xiao, Min; Middlewood, Alexandra T.
    Wine is big business in the United States—with over $68 billion in 2018 retail sales (Wine Institute, 2019). The U.S. boasts over 10,000 wineries, which when combined with significant imports from across the globe, create a multitude of choices for consumers. Further complicating the purchase decision is the consumption occasion, which is the question of where and with whom wine is intended to be enjoyed. The purpose of this study is to improve the understanding of consumers’ interaction with typeface on wine labels and how that interaction impacts: (1) purchase intent in wine consumption scenarios of varying perceived risk and (2) perceptions of brand credibility. Sixteen typefaces were pretested by 106 respondents recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk (“MTurk”), who determined Monotype Corsiva typeface was the most appropriate typeface for use on a cabernet sauvignon wine label and Impact typeface was the least appropriate. Main experiment participants (N = 154)—again recruited through MTurk—were randomly presented with one of four wine consumption occasions (home, gift, family dinner, and business dinner) and asked to select a wine bottle for purchase. The choice was between two digitally presented wine bottles—each utilizing the same fictitious brand name displayed in the typefaces selected in the pretest. Participants were also asked questions surrounding risk perceptions relative to the act of purchasing wine as well as brand credibility perceptions of the wine bottle selected in the choice experiment. Respondents selected the wine with the label displaying the most appropriate typeface—regardless of wine consumption occasion. The study’s results, however, failed to support a strong relationship between brand credibility and purchase intent. From a managerial perspective, this study’s results suggest wine companies would benefit from: (1) testing label typefaces with consumers to assess appropriateness (an apparent proxy for likeability and purchase intent) and (2) utilizing typefaces ranking high from such tests on wine labels.
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    Labeled individuals: The influence of stereotypes on communication between American and Non-American students
    (Wichita State University, 2020-05-01) Lamei, Lena; Dooley, Patricia L.
    Skin shades, gender, country of origin, accents, and even our names make a big difference in how we are perceived, welcomed, beaten up, appreciated, or degraded. All of us might have been carrying a scar of being labeled or stereotyped unfairly at some point in our life, and some of us may have more scars and cuts. This paper focuses on the negative stereotypic images specifically between American and non-American students. It grows out of my research and personal experiences during my M.A studies at Wichita State as an international student.
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    Generation Z: A study of its workplace communication behaviors and future preferences
    (Wichita State University, 2020-05-01) Bredbenner, Jamie; Parcell, Lisa; Jarman, Jeffrey; Koeber, Charles
    Research shows that Generation Z is the largest generation in the U.S. and will soon represent the majority of America's economy and its workplace. Generation Z is joining the staffs of more and more companies each year and combining with much different, older generations. If managers are not meeting the needs of each generation that they employ, employees will not work together successfully, which threatens the future of American businesses. Generation gaps are predicted to affect and interrupt the quality of the communication within organizations; therefore, current research on communication effectiveness is of utmost importance. The aim of this study was to explore what communication preferences and behaviors Generation Z has embodied in their short time as employees and if those preferences are lining up with the expectations and predictions in existing literature. The study showed that Gen Zs prefer face-to-face communication with their manager. When considering only digital communication, the study showed that current managers are using Generation Zs most preferred digital mode of communication (text messaging), and they are not using their least preferred digital mode of communication (social media).
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