hWhen taking a limit of an equation in Calculus, a limit doesnot always exist. However, in the real word there arealways limitations to what people can accomplish no matterhow hard they work or try. These limitations are evident ininterpersonal commuciation research as well. In the article,”Commucication Apprehension Among SecretarialStudents,” the authors, Melanie Booth-Butterfield andCarol C. Thomas, research and examine the levels of traitcommunication apprehension among students enrolled incollege level office administration programs. In thefollowing paragraphs I will discuss the process and twolimitations of the research.
In the article, the authors seek to investigate communicationapprehension among secretarial students. Communicationapprehension is an individual’s level of fear or anxietyassociated with communicationg with others(Booth-Butterfield ; Thomas, 1995, pp. 39). Themethodological framework utilitized by the authors was toadminister questionnaires during regular class time in fourdifferent sections. This survey included a measure of traitcommunication apprehension and anxiety across fourdifferent areas of interpersonal, small group, meeting andpublic speaking. In addition, the questionnaire asked for theage and whether the participants have had experience in aco-op role or as a secretary for a regular business.
Theparticipants of the questionaire were 117 random studentsenrolled at a four-year, technical business-oriented college.
Of these students, 58 were female students enrolledfull-time in office administration courses. The remainingstudents were not secretarial students but were enrolled inbusiness administration, management, and communicationcourses. The results of the survey clearly showed a highercommunication apprehension among secretarial studentsthan non-secretarial students rergardless of age or jobexperience. Furthermore, secretarial students showedanxiety in all four areas of communication especially inpublic speaking. In conlusion to the research, the authorssay that the anxiety experienced by many officeadminstration students should be observable and willsubstatntively influence their performance in classes and onthe job (Booth-Butterfield ; Thomas, 1995, pp. 39).
Although this communication apprehension research seemsreasonable, limitations include the type of data used and therelationships or generalizations that are drawn betweencertain variables. To begin with, the methodologicalframework utilized by the author is in the form of aquestionairre. A questionairre is basically a test to see howone thinks of his or herself and is not necessarily accurate.
For example, an individual may think he or she isapprehensive to communication but when actuallyconfronted with the scenerio may perform rather well andwithout any fear or anxiety. Perhaps a bettermethodological approach in gathering data is to setup anactual communication setting and have the participantsperform to the communication task. The data should bebased on the performance as well as feedback from theparticipant to see if the communication apprehension wasaccurate. Another limitation to the research is the relationships orgeneralizations that are drawn between certain variables.
First, of the secretarial participants that took thequestionairre, all were females. Differences in traitcommunication apprehension between males and females inthe non-secretarial group were examined and showed nosignificant differences (Booth-Butterfield ; Thomas, 1995,pp. 42). The authors use this data and draw a relationshipbetween the secretarial and non-secretarial gender to saythat in general there are no gender differences. However,accurate as it may sound, this is another limitation becausesecretarial students in general may think differently. Perhapsfemales with communication apprehension follow officeadministrative fields because they think that all they need todo is sit all day and type with little talk or interaction whilemales in the same field do not. Secondly, the authors cometo the immediate generalization that these secretarialstudents with communication apprehension will be lesssuccessful once in a working environment others(Booth-Butterfield ; Thomas, 1995, pp. 43). This parallelsthe first limitation where I stated that these individuals mightperform rather well when the spotlight is on them. Althoughthey may be apprehensive to communication does notnecessarily mean that they cannot perform under actualsituations.
In this paper I have discussed the authors’ research oncommunication apprehension among secretarial students aswell as the limitations of the research. Booth-Butterfieldand Thomas give us their interpretations of their findingsand feel that secretarial students have greater anxiety whenit comes to communication scenerios. They even concludethat this apprehension will make these students less capableof success in future work environments. However, thesestatements are based on generalizations and interpretationsfrom research with various limitations. In conclusion, thereare always limitations of interpersonal communicationresearch because it not like Mathematics where one canjust measure communication levels with a ruler.
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