Conversational Behaviors with Large Gaps between Ideal and Real

Student respondents to our initial campus-wide survey were asked to rate each behavior as positive or negative (1=very negative, 5=very positive), to indicate how often each occurs in campus conversations (1=almost never, 5=almost always), and to indicate how often they personal engage in each (1=almost never, 5=almost always).

 

Dialogue Component

Ideal Mean

Real Mean

Personal Mean

Ideal-Real Gap

Ideal-Personal Gap

Participants with extreme views speak more than those in the middle.

Inclusivity

2.0529

4.1361

n/a

2.0832

n/a

Participants interrupt one another.

Civility

1.7507

3.4041

2.0914

1.6563

0.3407

Participants choose not to speak.

Flight

1.5794

3.2059

2.5353

1.6265

0.9559

Participants encourage newcomers to speak up.

Civility

4.3824

2.8964

3.4074

1.4860

0.9750

Participants are open to changing their minds.

Civility

4.3363

2.8647

3.7265

1.4716

0.6098

Everyone has a chance to speak.

Civility

4.6824

3.2721

n/a

1.4103

n/a

Participants try to see the issue from the perspective of oppressed persons.

n/a

4.5324

3.1382

4.1088

1.3942

0.4236

Participants try to win.

Competitiveness

2.5618

3.9556

3.2500

1.3938

0.6882

Participants raise their voices.

Civility

2.0794

3.3743

2.2750

1.2949

0.2956

Participants avoid the most challenging subjects.

Flight

1.5280

2.7655

2.2824

1.2375

0.7544

Participants listen attentively.

Civility

4.8118

3.6888

4.5294

1.1230

0.2824

Participants build stronger relationships with one another.

Common Ground

4.2912

3.2160

3.7059

1.0752

0.5853

Participants use insulting language.

Civility

1.2041

2.2700

1.4412

1.0659

0.2371

Participants acknowledge the best arguments of those with whom they disagree.

Objectivity

4.0779

3.0206

3.6147

1.0573

0.4632

Participants change the subject to something less controversial.

Flight

1.8029

2.8521

2.0882

1.0492

0.2853

Participants gain a deeper understanding of objective truth.

Values

4.3935

3.3580

n/a

1.0355

n/a

Participants focus on the weakest aspects of one another’s arguments.

Competitiveness

2.6445

3.6574

3.0015

1.0129

0.3570