Watch your mouth: Swearing and credibility in the classroom
Swearing and credibility are directly related, as credibility is the perception of an individual derived from their verbal and nonverbal communication. Credibility has a fundamental impact in the realm of education, as the more credible an instructor is perceived to be, the higher students score in cognitive learning. When an instructor demonstrates the three elements of crediiblity – high expertise, trustworthiness and caring – students report that they learned more. Swearing is a unique category of language in that it can reflect a broad range of emotions in both the speaker and the audience. The same words can reflect or elicit joy, passion, anger, frustration and humor. Through a series of three focus groups, this research examines how those words can positively or negatively influence students’ perceived credibility of their instructors. It specifically reflects that the context and intent of the swear words have a more significant impact on the perceived credibility of the instructor than the words themselves.
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Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Elliot School of Communication