Group Title: use of emotive words in intercollegiate debate
Title: The use of emotive words in intercollegiate debate
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Title: The use of emotive words in intercollegiate debate
Physical Description: vii, 175 leaves : ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kish, Gerald R., 1957-
Subjects / Keywords: Debates and debating   ( lcsh )
Rhetoric   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Gerald R. Kish.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1992.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 155-174).
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00103061
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 001753184
notis - AJG6147
oclc - 26585639

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I would first like to thank my parents, Gerald and Sue

Kish, for their constant support and encouragement.

I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to

my committee chairman, Dr. Norman Markel, for his continued

support, guidance, and encouragement throughout the course

of this study. His enthusiasm and dedication have greatly

contributed to making both the completion of this study and

my graduate program enjoyable and worthwhile experiences.

I would like to also express my thanks to Dr. Paul

Jensen for his rigorous editorial assistance and his never-

ending enthusiasm.

Special thanks are extended to Dr. Anthony J. Clark for

twice recruiting me to the University of Florida. I

greatly appreciate what he has taught me, both in the field

of debate and in the conducting of research.

Many thanks to Dr. Ronald Randles for his assistance in

the generation of the experimental design and for providing

me with many statistical methods.

It is with great appreciation that I acknowledge

Professor Gerald Bennett for providing me with an

opportunity to develop my quantitative research skills


in a significant research project. I also appreciate his

relentless support and encouragement.

I would like to offer special thanks to Associate in

Psychiatry Lynn Robbins for both her unending help with my

statistics and her friendship.

I would also like to offer special thanks to Chris

Morris for all his help with this project.

I cannot thank Linda Harris enough for all her help.

I thank Dr. Marsha Vanderford, Dr. George Barnard, Dr.

Gus Newman, Dr. Anita Raghavan, Dr. Ringo Ma, Mrs. Jane

Milam, Kelly Roberts, Teresa Gudaitis, Roberta Bell, Lise

Kent, Trish Sample, Donna Arents, Ann Allison, Roseanna

Rutledge, Clem Sepulveda, Sara McDaniel and Sam Walch.

Most especially, I would like to express my deepest

thanks to Lynn Kish for sharing in everything I do with

enthusiasm, friendship, and love. Also, my thanks for

getting her doctorate while waiting on mine.




ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . ....... ii

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . .vi


INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . 1

Overview . . . . . . . . . . 1
Literature Review . . . . . . . . 3
Brief History of Debate . . . . . . 4
Importance of the Rebuttal Speeches. . . . 7
Judging in Academic Debate . . . . . . 9
Emotive Words . . . . . . . . . 12
Quantitative Research in Debate . . . .. 17
Word Choice and Debate . . . . . . .. 23
Word Choice and Legal Research . . . . .. 27
Empirical Focus .. . . . . . . . . 32
The Dependent variable . . . . . . . 32
Gottschalk-Gleser Content Analysis Scale . 32
The Semantic Differential Scale . . . .. 34
Validity and Reliability . . . . . .. 35
Research Questions . . . . . . . .. 36
Notes . . . . . . . . .. . . 38


METHODOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . 53

Research Design . . . . . . . . .. 53
Variables . . . . . . . . .. .. . 53
Procedure . . . . . . . .. . 55
Transcripts for Analysis. ..... . . . .. 55
Subjects . . . . . . . .. . . 56
Materials . . . . . . . . . . 56
Identifying Emotive Words . . . . . .. 57
Statistical Model . . . . . . . .. 59
Notes . . . . . . . . . . . 61


RESULTS . . . . . . .

The Study . . . . . .
Linear Regression Analysis . .
Regression Analysis . . . .
Research Question Results . .
Summary . . . . . . .

S . . . . 64

S . . . . 64
S . . . . 115
S . . . . 119
S . . . . 138
S . . . . 139


DISCUSSION . . . . . .

Overview of the Study . . .
Interpretation of the Results .
Implications for Future Research
Limitations of the Study . .

REFERENCES . . . . . .


. . . . . 141

. 141
. 143
* 152
. 153

S. . . ... 155

S. . . ... 175

j j

A Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the
University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Gerald R. Kish

May, 1992

Chair: Norman Markel, Ph.D

Major Department: Communication Processes and Disorders

This study investigated the relationship between

emotive words and five variables of academic debate:

winning, speaker position, side of topic, year of debate,

and gender mixture of the teams.

Debate is an art that dates to the beginning of

civilization. Research has not determined the keys

to successful advocacy. Several scholars suggest that

emotive words are vital to successful communication. Noone

has investigated emotive words in debate.

Transcripts of nineteen years of intercollegiate

debate from the National Debate Tournament were analyzed by

a computer aided content analysis. The empirical focus

utilized emotive words as the dependent variable.

The data were analyzed by the use of six SAS regression

procedures. The results of this study's five research

questions, related to academic debate and the use of emotive

language, are: 1. Do winning and losing debate teams differ

in their use of emotive words during rebuttal speeches in a

debate round? No support was found. 2. Do affirmative and

negative debaters differ in their use of emotive words in

rebuttal speeches? No support was found. 3. Do the first

and second rebuttal speakers for each debate team differ in

their use of emotive words? No support was found. 4. Does

the quantity of emotive words used by debaters vary over a

period of years? The results suggested that the use of

emotive words was related to the year variable. 5. Does the

quantity of emotive words used differ between mixed gender

debate teams and single gender debate teams? The results

found that mixed-gender teams use greater emotive words.

The significant result related to research question

number four is the most important finding of this study. The

statistical analysis that debaters utilized increasingly

greater number of emotive words over the nineteen years of

debates studied. The most important contribution of this

study is that academic debate is placed in an empirical

context. That is, this research is a significant step in

closing the breach between the academic debate community and

the quantitative researchers in the communication field.





"Ideally, all judges and all debaters should

proceed from a commonly understood set of rules for making

the decision. Unfortunately, different types of judges

have different standards (Thomas, 1987c, p.123)."

Researchers in the field of contemporary academic debate

have attempted to discover what overall factors contribute

to the debate decision. Among the factors that researchers

have studied are characteristics of the judge's ballot

(Berthold, 1970), judging bias (McCroskey & Camp, 1966;

Brooks, 1971), stock issues in debate, the ability of

debaters to adapt (Markgraf, 1966; Verderber, 1968; Pearce,

1969), gender of the debater (Hayes & McAdoo, 1972; Hill,

1973b; Rosen, Dean, & Willis, 1978), side of the issue

(Hill, 1973b; Rosen, Dean, & Willis, 1978), competitiveness

of the debaters (Wilson, 1979), rate of speech (Vasilius &

DeStephen, 1979), evidence use (Larson & Giffin, 1964;

Dresser, 1964; Newman & Sanders, 1965; Dresser, 1966; Rieke

& Smith, 1968), qualities of arguments (Allen & Kellermann,

1988), debate jargon (Vasilius & DeStephen, 1979), and the

use of praise and derogation (Burgoon, Wilkinson, &

Partridge, 1979). None of these studies have demonstrated a

clear relationship between any one specific factor and

winning in intercollegiate debate.

Only a few studies have examined the use of language

as a factor in winning a debate. Rouse and Thomas (1987)

found that debaters changed their word usage over a span of

13 years. Newman (1939) argued that while language appears

to have a rational, or logical, basis, communication

(language) often functions through irrational, or illogical,

means. In general, research has also found that certain

types of language are related to psychological

characteristics of the speaker (Markel, 1990; Gibson &

Felkins, 1974; Gottschalk, 1961; Newman, 1939; Newman &

Mather, 1938). In addition, other research (Parkinson,

Geisler, & Pelias, 1983; Parkinson, 1981; Conley, 1979;

O'Barr & Conley, 1976) has found that word choice can have

an influence on success in an actual trial setting. Further

research has demonstrated the existence of emotive words

(Clore, Ortony, and Foss, 1987; Irene, 1990). Each of these

conclusions may be applied in an investigation of the issue

of the effect of emotive language on debate decisions.

To better understand the importance of language in

debate, one must first consider the functions of language.

The emotive function of language has been described as a

fundamental dimension of human life (Sapir, 1921; Jakobson,

1960; Irvine, 1990). The emotive function of language

communicates a speaker's emotions and attitudes (Fiske,

1982). The Gottschalk and Gleser (1969) hostility scale

and the Osgood, Suci, and Tannenbaum (1957) semantic

differential scale both purport to measure the speaker's

emotions and attitudes. A modified emotive word list was

developed from these two scales by Markel (1989). It

allows analysis by categorizing words into positive and

negative words.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the

use of emotive words in collegiate debate. While the

emotive function of language is important, the use of

emotive words in academic debate has never been

investigated. Initially, the significance of debate will be

discussed, followed by the history of debate,

characteristics of the national debate tournament, speaker

duties and the importance of the rebuttal speech, and debate

judges and their judging paradigms in debate. Following

this, a discussion of function of emotive words and debate

will be considered. Next, a discussion of the

quantitative research in debate, and of research of language

effects in both debate and the field of law will be

presented. Finally, a discussion of the dependent variable

will be offered. The methodology for the study will be found in

chapter two. The results will be found in chapter three and

the discussion in chapter four.

Literature Review

From the earliest times in recorded history, thoughtful

people have recognized the importance of debate for both

society and the individual (Freeley, 1976, p.2). Debate has

a "long and honored place in academia" (Colbert & Biggers,

1985, p.237).

Debate is a process of inquiry and argumentation that

seeks a reasoned judgment of a proposition. Patterson and

Zarefsky (1983) defined debate as argumentation that occurs

in a formal setting. To find a resolution of two or more

differing positions involves argumentation and, very often,


Differences between people or between groups of people

can be resolved by five different means (Patterson &

Zarefsky, 1983, p.309): first, a resolution may be reached

by force; second, decisions may be made based on impulse or

caprice; third, resolutions may be decided by chance;

fourth, one can allow another party to make the decision,

and, finally, each side can argue the issue and attempt to

persuade the other. The most logical and reasonable method

to reach a resolution is the fifth means, that of


Our society provides many opportunities for a wide

variety of types of argumentation and debate, including

political and judicial debates, parliamentary debates and

academic debate.

Brief History of Debate

An examination of the history of debate is important in

understanding the evolution of the activity and providing a

foundation from which debate can be evaluated. Debate has

always been viewed as a process of rational decision making

(Petrie, 1969); understanding the factors involved in such

decision making may clarify the importance of rationality in

such decisions. Briefly, debate appears to have first

been recorded by scholars of the Chou Dynasty some 3000

years ago (Freeley, 1976 p.17). Debate also appears in

Homer's Iliad and Odyssey (Ovid, 1955; Sproule, 1974) and in

Aristotle's Rhetoric (Murphy, 1964; Sproule, 1974).

Medieval educators required disputations of their students

and intercollegiate debate began as early as the fifteenth

century (Murphy, 1964; Freeley, 1976). From these early

intercollegiate contests, debate organizations were formed

and debate tournaments organized (Coburn, 1972). In the

United States, these organizations and debate tournaments

have undergone many changes (McBath & Aurbach, 1967).

The debates investigated in this study were those of

championship rounds at the National Debate Tournament. The

National Debate Tournament (NDT) uses a national resolution

that is chosen in the fall of each year and debated by

college debaters through the year. The NDT is the final

tournament of the year and usually occurs in late April or

May. The NDT resolution is not the only debate topic that

college debaters can debate. There have always been other

resolutions, but the NDT resolution was considered the most

important for many years. Matlon and Keele (1984) surveyed

703 participants in the NDT and reported . that some

of the most intellectually gifted students have participated

in the National Debate Tournament" (p.195). After obtaining

the advanced degrees, the debaters were found having

advanced professional positions of significant

responsibility, such as cabinet members, congresspersons,

ambassadors, judges, and other high status professional

positions (p.195). Several respondents compared the NDT to

the Super Bowl, the Master's Golf Tournament, or to the

World Series (p.200). In the early 1970s, another type of

resolution was created by the Cross-Examination Debate

Association (CEDA). The CEDA topic was a non-policy

resolution and was created to counterbalance perceived

abuses of NDT, including excessive speaking rates. CEDA

started slowly, but by the middle 1980s, CEDA had replaced

NDT as the debate format of choice for most debaters.

Patterson and Zarefsky (1983) wrote that NDT

resolutions have four characteristics: First, is

resolutions have policy implications (p.90), Secondly, is

resolutions are worded broadly (p.91), Thirdly,

resolutions propose actions that are unlikely to be taken

soon (p.91), fourth and finally, the meaning should not be

self-evident (p.92). The characteristics were designed to

increase argumentation by debate teams on both sides of the

debate resolution. In NDT, or policy debate, the

affirmative team has traditionally had three burdens to

prove: (1) that a significant problem exists, (2) that the

current system cannot solve the problem because of an

inherent barrier, and (3) that the affirmative's solution of

the problem will be efficacious or solvent. These

requirements have been known as the "stock issues" in a

debate. Just as the affirmative has certain traditional

requirements, each of the speeches in a debate has

requirements and duties.

Importance of the Rebuttal Speeches

The speakers all have different duties (See note 1) and

while all the speeches in a debate round are important, the

most important speeches are the rebuttal speeches, for

several reasons. First, the rebuttal speeches are only one-

half as long as the constructive speeches. The debater's

time in the rebuttal speech is thus twice as valuable.

Mistakes in time usage have been critical in debate rounds.

The debater's time usage is most critical for the first

affirmative rebuttal because that speech must respond to

both the second negative constructive and the first negative

rebuttal. The first affirmative rebuttal must deal with two

negative speeches that total three times the affirmative

speaker's time. Any dropped issues are crucial as it is

generally considered that the second affirmative speaker can

not rectify the first affirmative rebuttal's mistakes (See

note 2).

Second, while new arguments can be made in either of

the constructive speeches, arguments can only be extended in

the rebuttal speech. Once a speaker fails to cover an

argument, it is presumed to be lost to that team.

Third, a recency effect might possibly allow a judge to

better remember rebuttal speeches. Fourth, debaters vary in

the effectiveness of their rebuttal strategy. Thomas (1979)

explained that in championship debates, it is fair to say

that more debates . are won--or lost--in the

rebuttals than in the constructive speeches. All too many

debaters, who have a good grasp of debate in general, go

into their rounds without a clear picture of what they are

going to do in their rebuttals" (p.288). A key to success

in rebuttals is the ability of a debater to cover the other

team's arguments. Rebuttal speakers typically speak rapidly

in order to respond to their opponent's arguments and extend

their own arguments. A successful rebuttal . requires

fluency and, more importantly, a gift of economical

language" (Thomas, 1979, p.294). The importance of language

in the rebuttal speech is highlighted in a study by Rouse

and Thomas (1987) which found that first affirmative

debaters steadily declined in their elaboration and

rhetorical amplification over the years. They concluded

that . this strongly suggests that . rhetoric and

psychological tactics may have given way to more efficient,

compacted argumentation" (p.109).

Scholars differ in their assessment of deciding which

rebuttal speech is paramount. Rouse and Thomas (1987) wrote

that the first affirmative rebuttal speeches often decide

the outcome of the debate. However, William Southworth

(1984) wrote in his NDT final round ballot that ". . as

is so often the case, one need only turn to the last two

rebuttals to isolate what issues) the teams considered

necessary to warrant a ballot" (p.53). Mayer and Meldrum

(1987) concluded that the last rebuttal was the most

valuable speech. Of course, one reason that the last

rebuttal might be the most important is because no other

speaker can subsequently influence the judgess.

Judging in Academic Debate

Since the the time of the early Greek rhetoricians, the

question of "who has won" (Sayer, 1974, p.6) has been the

focus of every forensic debate. Academic debaters entrust

the decision to a third party, the debate judge. The judge

listens to both sides and then decides which team won the

round. Understanding the elements that contribute to

winning academic debates has been the focus of some

research, and will be considered here.

It is the debate judge who always makes the decision as

to which team wins each round, with no ties allowed. David

Thomas' (1987c) explanation of the basic judging paradigms

is important:

If the judge is sincere and conscientious, he
or she will make the decision on the basis of
some model of an ideal debate and of what a
debate team must do in order to deserve to
win the debate. In adapting to a judge,
therefore, it is important for the debater to
realize what the judge's model of the ideal
debate consists of. . A debate is like any
other human experience in that the
participants sees it from their own personal
perspective, and they may honestly vary from
each other in describing what happened -- thus
the saying that 'debaters never lose debates,
only decisions.' Like the debaters, the judge
also sees the debate from a personal
perspective. (p.116)

Debaters usually strive to understand their judge's

perspective and adapt their presentation to that

perspective. However, the existence of competing paradigms

has been controversial throughout the history of debate

(Dunne, Mack, & Pruett, 1971). The judging paradigm

controversy was argued in academic circles as early as 1917,

(Dunne, Mack, & Pruett, 1971) with one paradigm arguing that

" . the task of the judge, therefore, is to place

himself in the position of one who has no opinions or

knowledge of the subject, other than what has been

presented, and to make the decision which any reasonable and

intelligent person would predicate upon the premises"

(p.201). An opposing paradigm argued that . the

decision should always be given to the team which shows

superior attainment" (p.201) or speaking skills.

These competing paradigms are meta-perspectives that

serve the debate judge as a mechanism for decision-making in

debate rounds. Research has demonstrated that there are

five different judging paradigms in current academic debate

(Cross & Matlon,1978). The five are: the hypothesis-testing

model, the chooser of policy systems, the tabula rasa judge,

the stock issues judge, and the evaluator of argument

skills. Others (Hample, 1979; Crable, 1976) would argue

that a sixth, a legal judging paradigm, exists as well. (See

note 3).

Whatever the paradigm, judges possess a great deal of

power in academic debate. Hufford (1965) wrote that the

debate judge is . like the Supreme Court, infallible.

There is no appeal (p.120)." The power of the debate judge

has provoked controversy for at least the last fifty years.

Laase (1942) wrote that because of the criticism leveled

against judges, debate should switch to a peer debater

quality rating system. This proposal was never implemented

on a wide scale and criticisms of judges have continued.

The majority of judges in academic debate are usually

debate coaches or speech communication teachers, but other

faculty and laymen judges are also used (Klopf, 1964).

Judges at the National Debate Tournament are typically

debate coaches. Judges who are considered to be "good"

judges, those who are considered to be unbiased and

competent in the conventions of debate, are sought after by

debaters. The good judge's viewpoints are valued because

debaters wish to be able to predict how their judges will

evaluate the debate. "Bad" judges are considered to be

incompetent or biased or both. However, debaters do

typically attempt to adapt to judges, even bad ones.

Unlike trial judges, but similar to appellant judges,

academic judges usually provide a written explanation to the

participating teams after the end of the round. Not

surprisingly, good judges usually write comprehensive

ballots, discussing the reasons for the decision in greater

detail (See footnote 4).

Ideally, all judges would utilize the same standards

for judging debate and making the decision (See footnote 5).

That would allow debaters to expect consistent judging and

they could thus concentrate on the topic and not worry about

idiosyncratic differences in judges. Because of the lack of

uniform standards for debate judging, there has been a

" . continuing disagreement within the debate community

in regard to methods of judging debate. It is little wonder

that our debaters are at times dismayed with the decisions

rendered by their judges" (Dunne, Mack, & Pruett, 1971,

p.207). The resulting confusion has helped undermine the

logical and rational processes of debate and has contributed

towards research that has investigated other factors that

would explain success in debate. One of these other factors

is the debater's word choice of emotive words.

Emotive Words

Jakobson (1960), Ogden and Richards (1923), Berger and

Bradac (1982), and Littlejohn (1983) all expressed the

notion that words have an emotive function. Each of these

scholars described the emotive function of words as the

expression of a speaker's feelings. The goal of this

function is explained by Littlejohn (1983) who claimed that

" . with emotive discourse the communicator hopes to

elicit similar feelings and attitudes" (p.96).

Jakobson (1960) identified six primary functions of

words -- emotive, referential, poetic, phatic,

metalingual, and conative. Jakobson (1960) identified the

emotive function of words as being the communication of

the attitudes and emotions of the addresser. Jakobson

(1960) further explained that:

(the) emotive or 'expressive' function [of
words], focused on the addresser, aims a
direct expression of the speaker's attitude
toward what he [/she] is speaking about. It
tends to produce an impression of a certain

the term 'emotive', . .has proved to be
preferable to 'emotional.' (p.354)

In elaborating Jakobson's definition of the emotive

function of words, Fiske (1982) stated the term

"expressive" is also used to describe this emotive function

(p.37). Fiske goes on to say that the emotive function

serves to communicate characteristics of the speaker such as

emotions, feelings, status and other items that make the

message uniquely related to the speaker (Fiske, p.37).

The present study focuses on the emotive function of

words. That the emotive function of words may be

central to the study of debate, and could be a factor in

persuading the judges to accept the debater's arguments is

indicated by Jakobson (1960) . if we analyze language

from the standpoint of the information it carries, we cannot

restrict the notion of information to the cognitive aspect

of language" (p.354).

The major thrust of the present research has been to

examine debaters' use of emotive words in their presentation

of arguments. The emotive function of words also serves to

persuade the listener. Bateson (quoted in Kobayshi, 1988)

stated . that through their work great artists

communicated complex emotive messages and provided

perceptual perspectives that pushed or pulled people towards

what they did" (p.352). That is to say, a central factor in

emotive words is that the message conveys the addresser's

emotions and attitudes, and in addition, as indicated by

Bateson, and germane to debate, is the fact that emotive

words attempt to push the listener in a given direction.

Berger and Bradac (1982), in a similar vein, have

indicated that a primary function of expressive or emotive

words is to convey information other than the message

content to the listener. Furthermore, they state that the

emotive function's information is communicated or 'given

off' by word choice (p.53). They wrote that there are three

primary functions of words -- referential,

instrumental, and emotive.

The emotive function of words has been investigated

by a small number of scholars. One reason for the lack of

research in emotive language was offered by Beeman (1988)

who explained that . linguists of all breeds seem to

develop cold feet when it comes to discussion of the

expression of emotion in language" (p.9). She suggested

that the problem was the perception of emotive language as

"soft" and "idiosyncratic," as contrasted with rule-governed

structures in linguistics. Irvine (1990) concluded that

while many scholars have ignored the emotive function,

" . two of linguistics' most stellar figures, Jakobson

(1960) and Sapir (1921, 1927), thought otherwise: Affect, or

emotion, according to them, was a fundamental dimension of

human life and a factor cross-cutting all levels of

linguistic organization" (p.126).

Some researchers who have investigated emotive

word usage include: Allport and Odbert (1936), Dahl and

Stengel (1978), Bolton (1979), Berger and Bradac (1982),

Clore, Ortony, and Foss (1987), and Irvine (1990). Allport

and Odbert (1936) created a lexicon of trait-names that were

divided into those words that were emotionally neutral,

evaluative, and emotionally active words.

Dahl and Stengel (1978) divided emotive words into

three primary dimensions: (1) Subject-Object or It-Me, (2)

Attraction-Repulsion, and (3) Extensor-Contractor or To-

From. Dahl and Stengel also divided the attraction-repulsion

words into positive and negative sub-types. They utilized 58

judges to classify 371 words and the attraction-repulsion/

positive-negative words were significantly agreed upon by

the judges. Bolton (1979) wrote that "emotions are the

key to vital communication" (p.92) and offered a short list

of "feeling words." Bolton (1979) wrote that speakers should

use feeling words that match the listener's experience.

Bolton provided an example of a couple who failed to do so.

They are looking at the Grand Canyon for the first time and

after a long silence one partner says to the other, "This is

magnificent. It is sublime" (p.92). The other responds;

"You think it's pretty" (p.92).

Berger and Bradac (1982) wrote that language could be

classified into subtypes such as "powerful and powerless"

language (p.60) or into "familiarity and goodness" (p.57).

Familiarity was related to a concept of a lexical

"goodness," (p.57) in which predictable or familiar words

were rated positively. They also discussed "linguistic

charms," in which lexical items . typically produce

very positive evaluations" (p.57). The reverse of the good

word list contained words that . denote excretory and

sexual processes, profanation of scared objects, and death

or decay" (p.57). The language associated with powerless

speech contained hedges, intensifiers and tag questions.

Words could be categorized as being either positive or


Clore, Ortony and Foss (1987) created an emotive word

list, which they called an affective lexicon. They defined

" . affective to refer to the positive or negative

evaluation, or valence, inherent in the meaning of a term"

(p.751). They also found that 234 English words were

empirically classified as having affective conditions. A

subject pool of 435 undergraduate students was used to rate

words and multiple contexts were used. One conclusion of

this study also found that these words were related to

psychological conditions of the speaker.

Irvine (1990) wrote that a growing body of research has

supported the importance of emotive words. Irvine

investigated the Wolof population in the African nation of

Senegal and found distinctive differences in the use of

emotive speech.

The research on the emotive function of communication

supports the notion that emotive words are inherent in

persuasive language. Research also supports the notion that

emotive words can be divided into subtypes, such as the

division into positive and negative emotive words. Clore,

Ortony and Foss (1987) wrote that a positive or negative

evaluation was "inherent" (p.751) to the concept.

Considering the inherent nature of emotive words, it is

interesting to note that there has been no investigation of

the use of emotive words in academic debate. This study

will investigate the use of emotive words in academic debate.

While the influence of emotive words in academic debate has

not been investigated, there is a body of research in

debate, some of which is relevant to this study.

Quantitative Research in Debate

Anderson (1966) reported that the status of an academic

field can be determined by the nature of the research and

that the future of a field can be predicted from the field's

research trends; unfortunately, quantitative research in

academic debate is sparse. Vasilius and DeStephen (1979)

wrote that . there are many empirical studies

relating to communication strategies, but fewer on debate

strategies and even fewer on style in debate" (p.197). Some

existing research has even been described by Thompson (1966)

as ". . banal and provincial" (p.109) (See note 6).

In particular, there has been little research

investigating language use by debaters. The existing

quantitative research that has examined the relationship of

other variables to debate has been generally inconsistent

(See note 7). Of the research which has a direct bearing on

the subject of this study, the studies (Hayes & McAdoo,

1972; Hill, 1973b; Rosen, Dean, & Willis, 1978) that

investigated the influence of gender are important, and the

study of word use by Rouse and Thomas (1987) provides a

foundation for the present study.

Three studies have investigated the issue of gender in

debate. One examined the effect of gender and evaluation

(Hayes & McAdoo, 1972); the second also examined the effect

of gender on the debate results (Rosen, Dean & Willis,

1978). Both of these studies found that mixed-gender two

person teams did better than all male or all female debate

teams (See footnote 20). However, a third study by Hill

(1973b) found that all male teams did better than all female

or mixed-gender teams.

Rouse and Thomas (1987) conducted a content analysis of

the transcripts of the first affirmative rebuttal speeches

of the NDT from 1972 until 1984. This is an important study

because they conducted a content analysis of 13 years of

NDT speeches. They examined speaking rates and noted that

three first affirmative rebuttals with the fastest speaking

rates were on losing teams and the average rate of winning

speakers was 270 words per minute, compared to an overall

average of 286. Rate of speech varied from 234 in 1972 to

355 in 1984. Despite this finding, the Rouse and Thomas

study did not conclude that there was a direct correlation

between a rapid rate and losing.

Rouse and Thomas also wrote that several trends were

noticed. First, they reported an increasing trend of

debaters offering "roadmaps" or signposting the material

that their speech would cover. Second, they found a

consistent decline in elaboration and rhetorical

amplification. They cited two rebuttal responses from their

transcripts, both in which a single argument is advanced.

The earlier example, from 1972, contained one hundred words

exactly, while a 1979 example contained only seven words.

This "streamlining" they saw as a natural response to the

requirements of a successful first affirmative rebuttal,

i.e., . fluency, and, more importantly a gift of

economical language" (p.101). As they considered the

outcome of a debate to be frequently determined by this

rebuttal, it may be concluded that language use is

crucial to decisions (See footnote 8).

That study, however, had some limitations. They made

no analysis of negative speeches for comparison. They

examined the first affirmative rebuttal speech. They did

not conduct any statistical analysis because the study was

"descriptive" (p.110). The study did not test for changes

over a time dimension even though "there have been some

notable differences observed over the time span, such as the

speeding up of speakers' rates" (p.110). The study

ultimately concluded that other factors besides the speaking

technique affect the winning or losing of a debate round.

Other quantitative research in academic debate that is

relevant to the current study has investigated judging

in academic debate. This research has focused on

examining judging practices, alternative methods of judging,

and evaluations of the quality of judging. Some of these

studies include an investigation of the judging of

persuasive speech (Benson & Friedley, 1982), a study of

demographic characteristics influencing debate judging

(Hill, 1973b), and three studies that conducted an analysis

of judges' criteria that included the debater's language

(Williams & Webb, 1964; Williams, Webb, & Clark, 1966;

Williams, Clark, & Wood, 1966). Benson and Friedley

(1982) investigated the judging of persuasive speaking and

concluded that little is known about how judges arrive at

their decisions. They noted that a major purpose of their

study would be to stimulate quantitative research, stating

that . only with an established body of empirical

research to describe and evaluate its contributions" will

forensics be able to withstand budgetary pressures (p.12)

(See note 9).

One empirical investigation of non-debater variables on

the judges' decisions was conducted by Hill. Hill's (1973b)

dissertation investigated the influence of variables not

related to the debater's ability on the judge's decisions.

He investigated the influence of the topic, speaker

position, sex, prestige of the school, and proximity. The

research concluded that both the topic and the speaker

position had no significant influence on the debate outcome.

Hill also reported that the geographical proximity of the

judge's school to the debater's schools did not influence

the debates' outcome. He did find that gender had an effect

with all male debate teams having a greater chance at

winning than all female or mixed debate teams. The study

established that prestige also had an effect, with junior

college debaters being most negatively affected. Hill

defined high prestige teams as those schools that had

previously participated in the National Debate Tournament.

Williams and Webb (1964) also investigated factors in

debate evaluation. The study asked judges to respond to 37

bipolar descriptive scales of debaters, and used factor

analysis to determine that the dominant factor was

"argument." This factor included scales for supporting

material, concreteness, logic, relevance of evidence,

analysis, reasoning, pertinency, refutation, persuasiveness,

use of motive appeals, and organization. A second factor

was "vocal-correctness" and it included articulation,

pronunciation, grammar and vocal quality. The third factor

was "overall-delivery" and included scales for eye contact,

rate, spontaneity, interestingness, facial expression and

intelligibility. The fourth was "apparent-character" and

included scales for courtesy, sportsmanship and ethics. They

reported that the first factor accounted for 36% of the

total variance. The amount of the accounted variance for

the other factors was not offered. They also reported in an

endnote that . terms in addition to those reported in

the results to this study included: . Word choice, Use

of figurative language" (p.128). Williams and Webb did not

explain why these items were ignored.

Two follow-up studies (Williams, Webb, & Clark,1966;

Williams, Clark & Wood,1966) supported the initial results

of Williams' and Webb's (1964) study. Williams, Webb, and

Clark (1966) conducted a follow-up study to the Williams and

Webb (1964) study. The results were similar to the earlier

study. Argument was again the dominant factor. They

concluded that "relatively few dimensions of evaluation

underlie judges' use of a relatively large number of rating

scales" (p.20). While word choice and the use of figurative

language were not discussed in the study, the "vocabulary"

(p.16) scale did not have a high loading on any of the

factors in the study.

Williams, Clark and Wood (1966) conducted yet another

follow-up study and again obtained similar results. The

argument dimension was found to predict the overall rating

as well as the other factors combined (p.100). They

concluded that judges offer overall assessments of

argumentative skill rather than judging on individual

factors such as logic or evidence.

Overall, quantitative studies in debate which focus on

judges has produced some consistent results. (1) Judges

currently use five different paradigms in judging debate:

hypothesis tester, policy evaluator, tabula rasa critic,

stock issues judge, and evaluator of argument skills. (2)

Studies of judging criteria report that the factor of

argument is important to the judge's decision in the round.

Other studies reported that the need issue was paramount.

(3) Judges and debaters usually do not view the round in the

same fashion. (4) At least one study suggested that

debaters' word choices do influence the debate decision.

(5) Bias of the judges regarding the topic was not found,

but some geographical bias was found. (6) Debaters become

confused because of inconsistency in judging. (7) Debaters

were able to adapt to judges over time.

The question of what influenced a judge to vote for a

given team has been of interest for quite some time and has

still not been resolved. Studies that examined the use of

logical arguments found that logic was not solely related to

success in debate. Studies also demonstrated that evidence

was not solely related to debate success either. Despite

debate's continued reliance on evidence and logical appeal

as the basis of success in debate, research has failed to

support either evidence or logic as being significantly

related to success in debate. Some of the studies that

investigated academic debate in the area of logical

processes included research (Allen & Kellermann, 1988) that

found that disadvantages were not persuasive in real world

terms. Yet, disadvantages were also seen as being decisive

in deciding the round (Allen, 1987). Similarly, rate of

speech, use of jargon and the amount of evidence was found

to be unrelated to academic debate success (Vasilius &

DeStephen, 1979). These questions will require equally an

empirical, quantitative effort to understand what transpires

in the debate round.

Word Choice and Debate

In examining the existing research specific to academic

debate, only a minor amount examining the use of language

exists; nevertheless, it has provided interesting results.

Four published articles (Giffin,1959; Williams and Webb,

1964; Williams, Webb, & Clark, 1966; and Rouse & Thomas,

1987) have dealt with the use of language in debate.

Giffin (1959) reported that the debater's use of

language accounted for only 5.29% of the factors involved in

the debate judge's decision; however, this author believes

there were several methodological problems with Giffin's

study. First, he used the debate ballot as the basis of the

judging criteria. The 34 judges were instructed to "make

your decision first, giving appropriate ratings and

rankings; then we would like to have you indicate those

criteria which you used in making your decision and to what

extent each criterion was considered" (p.70). Giffin failed

to explicitly state that the criteria were those from the

debate ballot, but an examination of his methodology

revealed that the criteria were from the ballot. The ballot

constrained the judges to use only the criteria listed.

Second, if language effects are subtle, there is no reason

that the judges would self report those effects. Third, the

study asked the judges to report the criteria that were

used. Giffin only used the judge's self-report. The study

did not examine any other variables. Fourth, Giffin

explained that language was defined as only the "phrasing of

concepts clearly and concisely" (p.70).

Giffin's failure to report any significant language

effect might have resticted further research if other

scholars concluded that Giffin had demonstrated a lack of

importance of language effects in debate. While Williams

and Webb (1964) included the variables of word choice and

the use of figurative language in their study, the results

of the two variables were never reported. Williams, Webb,

and Clark (1966) reported that the debater's vocabulary

failed to load highly on any of the study's evaluative


Rouse and Thomas (1987) reported differences in the

first affirmative rebuttal speakers' use of evidence and in

their conformity with a supposedly ideal argument pattern.

The study also discovered differences in the debaters' use

of "road maps" (p.108) and word economy, but only examined

the first affirmative rebuttals in each of thirteen debates

and did not use any statistical analysis.

Debate textbooks have paid little attention to the

importance of language in debate. Only five out of twelve

debate textbooks examined (Wood & Goodnight, 1989; Fryar,

Thomas and Goodnight, 1989; Sanders, 1983; Freeley, 1976;

and Patterson & Zarefsky, 1983) were found to discuss

the issue of language effects and debate.

Wood and Goodnight (1989) only suggested that debaters

use language that would be most appropriate for their judge

(p.280). Fryar, Thomas and Goodnight (1989) suggested that

speaking clearly was much more important than speaking

quickly. They also suggested practicing speeches to cut

down the number of nonessential arguments. Practice would

also allow the debaters to cut down on the nonessential


Sanders (1983) wrote that the wording of issues was

" .. extremely important . and yet, something that

is more often than not overlooked" (p.57). For example, he

discussed the statement that, ... the states need more

revenue" (p.57) and concluded that it had no impact. The

effective alternative was . the states can no longer

finance a viable public education system" (p.57). He also

noted that the wording had to be both succinct and

persuasive. Sanders also wrote that debaters should seek

to avoid ambiguous wording of issues.

Freeley (1976) discussed logical, ethical and emotional

appeals without discussing the differences in the language

that would make up such appeals. Freeley (1976) also

stressed the importance of defining terms, stating that the

" . advocates must carefully consider all possible

definitions of all terms" (p.43). An extension of this

argument would be for the advocates to equally consider

their choice of language.

Patterson and Zarefsky (1983) wrote that debaters have

choices in language use, for example, the use of

connotation. Patterson and Zarefsky offered the example of

the verb "said," which is neutral. A positive connotation

can be created by replacing "said" with "exclaimed," or it

can be given a negative connotation by replacing "said" with

"confessed." Patterson and Zarefsky noted that . in

constructing a case, therefore, advocates should consider

whether positive, negative, or neutral connotations are the

most desirable and should word their arguments accordingly"

(p.67). They also noted that debaters have a choice in the

precision of the language, and the intensity of the

language. Debaters have a choice of being precise or vague,

and debaters can use irony or hyperbole, thus ranging from

stating the reverse to large overstatement. However,

Patterson and Zarefsky noted that either tactic was likely

to backfire (p.67).

The remaining choice that Patterson and Zarefsky

discussed was style. Debaters could use straightforward

speech but they could also utilize analogies, similes, and

metaphors. Patterson and Zarefsky's discussion of language

concluded that:

the basic idea underlying all presentational
choices is that language is not a neutral
instrument, a vehicle in which the contents
of argument are conveyed. Rather, language is
an inseparable part of the argument itself
and one that exerts great influence on how
listeners perceive and react to the case. (p.68)

Word Choice and Legal Research

In terms of the use of language, the associated field

of law provides some interesting research. For example,

research (O'Barr & Conley, 1976; Parkinson & Parkinson,

1979; Conley, 1979; Parkinson, 1981; and Parkinson, Geisler

& Pelias, 1983) investigating language choices and language

effects in legal situations has found a relationship

between language choices and success in trials. Some of

these findings indicate that seemingly insignificant

differences in language can be important. O'Barr and Conley

(1976) noted that:

some differences in courtroom language may be
so subtle as to defy precise description by
all but those trained in linguistic analysis
. .New research on language used in trial
courtrooms reveals that the subliminal

messages communicated by seemingly minor
differences in phraseology, tempo, length of
answers and the like may be far more
important than even the most perceptive
lawyers have realized. (p.8)

O'Barr and Conley classified language along a "power

language continuum" in which a powerless speaker's language

contained a high frequency of hedges, such as "Perhaps . .

or "I think . ," repetition, intensifiers, such as "very

close friends" instead of simply "friends," and a greater

use of direct quotations (p.9). The article did not fully

identify the characteristics of the powerful speaker. The

study found that speakers speaking in the powerless mode

were found to be significantly viewed as having less

competence, believability, intelligence, assertiveness and


Another study that investigated language in the

courtroom (Conley, 1979) also reported a statistically

significant difference between powerful and powerless

speakers. This article reported the finding that speakers

who utilized "hypercorrect speech" were found to be viewed

as less competent, less convincing, less intelligent and

less qualified than a speaker who used a more natural form

of language.

Additional research on speech tactics and success in

trials has been conducted by the Duke University Law and

Language Project. One resulting article (Parkinson &

Parkinson, 1979) reported that a computerized language

analysis of actual jury trials found that successful defense

attorneys used fewer adverbs. They also used more vague or

abstract language. The study also examined the speech of

the prosecution and the defendants. Prosecution attorneys

who won their cases were found to speak longer, make more

indicative statements and ask more questions referring

directly to a witness. Losing attorneys were found to have

used more conditional language. These attorneys also used

more careful and polite language. In contrast, the

defendants who were successful were those who used more

courteous language. The successful defendants also made

fewer references to themselves and they made more

grammatically complete sentences.

Another study (Parkinson, 1981) from the Duke

University Law and Language Project reported that a number

of different speech behaviors were co-occurring with either

success or failure in courtroom trials. The study focused

on "message style, not message meaning" (p.31). The speech

behaviors differed for the speaker. What was successful for

some speakers were not successful for other speakers.

Prosecution attorneys were successful when they were

verbose, verbally assertive, and when they referred

specifically to the witness and used the pronoun "you."

Defense attorneys were successful when using ambiguous

or abstract language. They also used fewer adverbs, more

legal jargon, and fewer afferent words relating to the five

senses. Successful defendants were found to use more polite

and courteous language. They also used more demonstrative

language such as "this" or "that." The successful

defendants used grammatically complete sentences.

The same speech behaviors that were successful for the

defendants were found to be associated with failure for the

attorneys. Both demonstrative language and grammatically

complete sentences were associated with failure in defense

attorneys. Politeness and and hypercorrect grammar were

also present when prosecution attorneys failed. In addition

to the speech behaviors that were successful for defendants

but unsuccessful for the attorneys, Parkinson (1981) found

that prosecution attorneys who used conditional language

such as "might" or "could" failed. Defense attorneys who

used concrete words also failed. That finding was not

surprising since successful defense attorneys used abstract

language. Parkinson (1981) found statistically

significant differences associated with the word choice

and success/failure in trials. The study used a stepwise

discriminant analysis and concluded that the method . .

was able to predict trial outcome from language behavior

variables with an overall success rate of 77.08%" (p.27).

Another study (Parkinson, Geisler, & Pelias, 1983) that

also investigated language choices and trial success

reported results similar to the Parkinson (1981) study. One

difference was discovered in the use of nouns without

physical referents such as "honor" and nouns with physical

referents such as "automobile." Successful defendants and

their attorneys used more nouns with physical referents

while successful attorneys for the plaintiff used more nouns

without physical referents. Plaintiffs were found to be

successful when they were verbose and when they used more

adverbs and adjectives. They were unsuccessful when they

used more nouns without physical referents. The results

were found to be significant through the use of multiple

discriminant analysis. The study found that "the difference

between a successful and unsuccessful courtroom performance

may be only a few words per thousand" (p.21) and concluded

that "there are significant, though subtle, speech

characteristics which co-occur with trial success" (p.21).

Thus, while a few studies have investigated word use in

debate rounds, the results have been generally ignored. One

exception was the study by Rouse and Thomas (1987) that did

report some language differences. Research in legal studies

has demonstrated clear-cut and strong effects of certain

types of language on the winning and losing of trials. The

fact that minute differences in word use were significantly

related to success in courtroom trials should provide a

mandate for investigating word use in debates. Both

hinge upon the use of words to persuade a judge (or jury)

to accept only one of two opposing sides.

The present study examined the emotive words used

by all four debaters in their rebuttal speeches. The

purpose of this study is to conduct an analysis of the

transcripts from nineteen of the final rounds of the NDT and

determine the existence of and relative usage of emotive

words and the relationship, if any, to five variables

including result, side of resolution, speaker position, year

of debate, and gender composition of the team.

Empirical Focus

The Dependent Variable

Transcripts of nineteen years of intercollegiate

debate from the National Debate Tournament were converted

into word-processed form and analyzed by a software called

"wordscan" that can count and extract words from sub-

dictionaries. The transcripts were compared to a list of

negative and positive emotive words that were drawn from

Gottschalk and Gleser's content analysis scale and from

Osgood's semantic differential scale. These scales purport

to reflect the attitudes and emotions of the respondents.

Exemplars of emotive words are presented in tables 3-5

through 3-80.

The Gottschalk-Gleser Content Analysis Scale

The original scales were first developed by Gottschalk

and Gleser in 1969. The scales have been widely used by

scholars in a range of different fields (Gottschalk, 1986).

The content analysis scales have been used to measure the

affective states in African-American children (Uliana,

1979). The scales have also has been used to measure

hostility (Gift, Cole, & Wynne, 1986), depression

(Gottschalk & Hoigaard, 1986), alienation of drug addicts

(Viney, Westbrook, & Preston, 1986), and the speech of

mentally ill patients (Lebovits & Holland, 1986). Further,

the scales have been used to conduct textual analysis

(Nimicks, 1985).

One problem with the use of the scale is that it takes

considerable time to score the results, but Gottschalk

(1986) noted that a computer should solve that problem. A

number of scholars have used modified versions of the scales

(Gottschalk, 1986).

The scale has been found to be both reliable and valid

(Gottschalk, Eckard, & Feldman, 1979). Viney (1986)

surveyed the research on Gottschalk and Gleser's content

analysis scale and reported that the range of reported

interjudge reliability for the hostility scale was from 0.76

to 0.98 and . that [the scales] are also consistently

high . (p.60). Viney (1986) also reported that since

construct validity best reflects whether the scale is

successful, that the . scale seems likely to have

inherent content validity" (p.60) because the content is

directly derived from the subject's communication. Viney

(1986) also surveyed the literature of twenty years dealing

with the scale's validity and with the hostility scale, and

found that it was independent of age, educational level and

sex. The scale was found to be significantly correlated

with a number of emotive states (p.65) and was correlated

with . other measures of the same construct . .

(such as) self-reports and observations of behaviors . "


Gottschalk (1979) explained that the content

analysis scale had . a set of construct-validation

studies [that] had to be carried out to ascertain exactly

what this content analysis procedure was measuring . ."

(p.548). He noted that the procedure could be applied

to a variety of contexts such as . literature, public

speeches, and any other type of language material" (p.550)

as long as the samples are based on a response to standard

instructions and with equal temporal units. Debate could be

easily analyzed through the procedure since the debaters

operate within a framework of standard instructions and have

identical temporal units. The scales have also been

demonstrated to be valid and reliable for non-American

subject groups including Germans (Schofer, Koch, & Balck,

1979; Koch, 1986), demonstrating a cross-cultural utility

for the instrument. Gottschalk (1979) wrote that the use of

the scale in other languages was . evidence of the

validity and universality of the procedure . (p.39).

Gottschalk (1979) wrote that content analysis was the

best system available for measuring emotive words:

Reliable and valid measurement of affects, emotions,
and moods have posed a problem for psychiatric and
psychophysiological research as the demand has grown
for more sensitive, precise, and objective assessment
methods than the method of clinical impressionistic
evaluation. There are three major methods in current
use for assessing these psychological variables: self-
report scales, behavioral rating scales, and the
content analysis of verbal behavior . [which] can
avoid most of the shortcomings of the self-report and
observer rating methods . (p.541)

The Semantic Differential Scale

Charles Osgood, George Suci, and Percy Tannenbaum

(1957) created the semantic differential scale as an

instrument to describe major dimensions along with varying

judgments and meanings. The scale was composed of word

pairs such as "good-bad," "kind-cruel," "peaceful-

ferocious" and "happy-sad." Subjects were asked to select

one word from each pair. Staats and Staats (1969) pointed

out that the word's meaning involves a psychological process

that is different from word association processes. The

scale has been widely used and it has also been modified.

Weinreich (1969) expanded the scale with the use of Roget's

Thesaurus (p.118). Cliff (1969) utilized adverbs as


The scale has been reported as reliable (Solarz, 1969)

and valid across cultures (Tanaka, Oyama & Osgood, 1969).

Osgood, Suci, and Tannenbaum (1957) reported a .85 test-

retest correlation coefficient. They also reported that the

scale had face validity and that ". . throughout our work

with the semantic differential we have found no reason to

question the validity of the instrument on the basis of its

correspondence with the results to be expected from common

sense . (p.141).

Validity and Reliability

The reliability of the current study is easily answered

by the computerized emotive word list(s) and the

computerized Wordscan software that counts the presence of

the words. For example, "opportunity" is an emotive word.

"Opportunity" was used five times by the first affirmative

side speaker in 1979. Wordscan would always count five uses

of "opportunity" when checking that speech. Reliability

becomes perfect, as Lewis-Beck in Weber (1990) explained

" . once the text is computerized, say with an optical

scanner, it is relatively easy to make a classification from

more than one dictionary. Moreover, with computers, the

coding rules are necessarily made explicit, allowing for

perfect 'intercoder reliability'" (p.5). The present study

did use an optical scanner, an emotive word dictionary, and

software that allowed the presence of emotive words to be

consistently counted. The reliability was 1.00.

The validity is based on the original validities of the

content analysis scale and the semantic differential scale.

Since both of those scales had established validities, the

use of the emotive word list should be valid as well, based

on the notion of concurrent validy. Concurrent validity

uses an established validity of an existing measure to

provide validity for a new measure (Walizer & Wienir, 1978).

Research Questions

The present study examined the use of emotive

language in academic debate. The central research question


Research Question One

Do winning and losing debate teams differ in their

use of emotive words during rebuttal speeches in a debate


Related research questions are:

Research Question Two

Do affirmative and negative debaters differ in

their use of emotive words in rebuttal speeches?

Research Question Three

Do the first and second rebuttal speakers for each

debate team differ in their use of emotive words?


Research Question Four

Does the quantity of emotive words used by debaters

vary over a period of years?

Research Question Five

Does the quantity of emotive words used differ between

mixed-gender debate teams and single-gender debate teams?

(See note 10)


1 The first affirmative speaker presents the
affirmative case. The first negative speaker usually
presents the negative philosophy and often directly clashes
with the affirmative case structure. The second affirmative
speaker responds to the negative attacks and rebuilds the
affirmative case. The second negative speaker usually offers
the off-case attacks, so-called because the arguments do not
directly clash with the affirmative. Disadvantages are
examples of off-case arguments. The first negative rebuttal
responds to the second affirmative responses. The first
affirmative rebuttal must respond to both second negative
speaker and the first negative rebuttal speaker. This speech
is crucial because the rebuttal speaker has five minutes to
respond to fifteen minutes of attacks. The second negative
rebuttal speaker responds to the first affirmative rebuttal
speaker and offers the final rational for a negative ballot.
The second affirmative speaker responds to the second
negative speaker and offers the final rationale for an
affirmative ballot.

2 Scott Deatherage (1985) explained in his ballot
in the final round of the NDT that he voted negative as a
result of a brilliantly conceived"(p.55) second
affirmative rebuttal that fell . just short of
covering for earlier time allocation mistakes" (p.55).

3 The hypothesis-testing model is centered on the
belief that the debate process is similar to the testing of
a hypothesis in a laboratory test. The debate is a test of
the resolution alone, which would allow the negative to
"defend anything or everything that is non-propositional"
(Cross & Matlon, 1978, p.111).
The chooser of policy systems is a debate paradigm in
which the debate teams are similar to a legislative body
that evaluates competing systems which solve the same basic
problems. The policy system paradigm has been very common in
debate. The affirmative team usually offers a problem and
solution while the negative usually would attempt to
demonstrate that the current existing system could solve the
problem and that the affirmative solution would not work
and/or that it bring about worst harms.
The evaluator of argument skills paradigm would have the
judge decide the round on the basis of which team utilized
better analysis, evidence, reasoning, organization,
refutation and delivery.
Tabula rasa, Latin for blank slate, assumes that the
judges who use this paradigm are completely open to any
theory or approaches in the debate round.
The stock issues paradigm dates from ancient times
(Cross & Matlon, 1978, p.112). This paradigm contains four
elements: (1) The significance of the issuess; (2) The

inherency of the issue; (3) The issue of solvency or
solution; (4) The issue of disadvantage. The four issues are
approximately the issues of ill, blame, cure, and cost
(Cross & Matlon, p.112).
The legal paradigm assumes that the judge would evaluate
the debate by the use of the legal principles such as
precedent. However, a study (Cross & Matlon,1978) that
examined the judging philosophies at the most important
debate tournament, the National Debate Tournament (NDT), did
not find any judges who used the legal model.

4 The written explanations of the judge are called
ballots and are usually on standard forms. Most debate
tournaments and therefore most debate judges use ballots
obtained from the American Forensic Association called the
Form C ballots.

5 However, there exist different standards that the
debaters must adapt to. The nature or personality of the
judge is also critical to debate. The judge must "decide on
the substantive merits of the question in dispute"
(Patterson & Zarefsky, 1983, p.105). The judge must be
unbiased; he or she will need to decide the question based
on their prior background and beliefs as well as the
specifics of the debate itself. This is also influenced by
the judging paradigm in the debate round. The tabula rasa
(blank slate) judge tries to remove the prior background and
beliefs and only judge the round on what actually has
transpired in the round.
6 The first explanation for the sparse research is
that the existing behavioral or quantitative research is
fragmented. One survey (Anderson, 1974) found that almost
30 percent of all existing bibliographical entries on
behavioral research in debate were unavailable at the
nation's third largest library at the University of
Illinois. In 1991, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Almanac ranked the University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign as the fifth largest library in the United States
and Canada.This unavailability was the result of lack of
indexing for both important journals and the forensic
honoraries. As Anderson points out, . many of the
early empirical studies and most of the current ones are
published in these journals" (Anderson, 1974, p.148). A
related problem is that different operational definitions
are often utilized for similar phenomena, so that
comparisons or generalizations across different studies is
The second explanation for the lack of research is that
the field is not oriented towards its own meta-research.
There appears to be little interest within the field in
conducting research involving debate or debate processes.
One suggestion (Cox, 1976) is . that we are so
intensely involved in participation that seldom do we study
and professionally evaluate the discipline for the benefit
of others"(p. 57). Debate coaches might respond that their

preparation of their teams for the rigors of the debate
circuit would consume their time. Klopf and Rives (1965)
wrote that 85 percent of the debate coaches felt that their
professional and academic advancement was restricted . .
by directing forensics activities. The additional hours
required to coach, administer, and attend tournaments
prevents them from engaging in activities such as research
and publishing" (p.36). One result of the restriction is
that frequently debate coaches or the directors of forensic
programs will leave those positions to concentrate on non-
debate research or teaching. Often, the debate job is
considered unimportant. Kully (1972) explained that .
at some institutions responsibility for the debate squad is
considered a menial task for a junior faculty member or
graduate assistant" (p.195). Academics in the field are
confronted with two almost mutually exclusive choices,
research and publications or debate tournament success. As
Andersen (1974) explained, . those conducting
behavioral research in speech communication and persuasion
are moving in one direction while those active in forensics
and competitive debate are moving in a different if not an
opposite direction" (p.149.) Research thus needs to focus
more on bringing the two directions together.
The third explanation for the lack of research is that
while the field of speech communication has undergone
significant changes, debaters have remained much the same.
When departments of speech communication were heavily
centered on rhetoric, debate was more central to the
departments. But as departments became more behavioral and
experimental, debate became less important. As debate
becomes less important, the need to conduct research is
The direction of those active in competitive debate is
readily shown by the field's foremost academic journal. The
Journal of The American Forensic Association was founded in
1963 and originally focused on both debate and the
individual events in forensics, such as persuasive or
impromptu speaking. The journal, usually known by its
initials, JAFA, deals with the whole range of interest in
forensics, including descriptive articles, theory articles
and some quantitative or behavioral research articles.
However, debate theory articles came to dominate the journal
at the expense of research. After a questionnaire surveyed
the membership of the American Forensics Association, the
journal was renamed in 1988 as Argumentation and
Advocacy:The Journal of The American Forensic Association.
The professional associations have ignored research as
well. The American Forensic Association waited 20 years
before creating a committee on research (Walwik, 1969). The
focus of the professionals in the debate field is largely on
theoretical articles that further develop the practices in
the debate round, not on research that might help explain
the results of the debate round.

7 The existing quantitative research in academic
debate is best categorized in three areas (Anderson, 1974) :

(1) logical processes; (2) personality or characteristics of
debate participants; and (3) judging procedures. Each of
the three areas will next be discussed.
Logical processes research examinines the relationship
of the addresser to the addressee. Debate has been based on
the belief that it is a logical process. The research in
the area of logical processes has examined the effects of
evidence, investigations of logical and/or emotional
appeals, research on reasoning, one-sided versus two-sided
appeals, and receiver variables. Stanley Rives (Dresser,
1964) was quoted as explaining in his address to the Midwest
Forensic Association that, . debate is primarily an
exercise in reasoning and evidence . The debater, coach
or judge who concerns himself with academic debate agrees to
concern himself primarily with reasoning and evidence, to
accept these as the basis of an intelligent
decision"(p.101). Some of the research that would be
included under logical processes includes debater's use of
evidence (Larson & Giffin, 1964), the use of evidence in
ten championship debates (Dresser, 1964), the use of
evidence in one championship debate (Newman & Sanders,
1965), the dilemma of ethics in the use of evidence (Rieke &
Smith, 1968), the impact of evidence on decision making
(Dresser, 1966), the rhetoric of evidence (Gregg, 1967), the
relation of logic to argumentation (Petrie, 1969), the logic
of evidence (Kellermann, 1980), the effectiveness of NDT
final round disadvantages (Allen & Kellermann, 1988), and
the effect of various time limits on the quality or
effectiveness of rebuttals (Mayer & Meldrum, 1987).
Three different studies (Larson & Giffin, 1962;
Dresser, 1964; Newman & Sanders, 1965) examined the evidence
used in debates and have found a large proportion of such
evidence is unverifiable, misrepresented or fabricated.
Larson and Giffin (1964) examined the evidence used
in four randomly selected debates from the prestigious Heart
of America Tournament at the University of Kansas in 1962.
Larson and Giffin found that only half the evidence was
validly represented. They reported that forty-two percent
of the evidence were unverifiable; five percent was out of
context; only three percent was manufactured or quoted from
nonexistent sources.
Dresser (1964) examined the use of evidence in ten
championship debates. He examined the final rounds of the
National Debate Tournament for 1950, 1952, and 1955 through
1962. Dresser investigated the evidence for clarity of
documentation, recency of evidence, competency of sources
and the closeness of the evidence to the debater's claim.
The study found that most debaters used "evidence of
opinion" (p.106) and that the debaters were clear about the
qualifications of their sources but much less so about the
recency of the sources.
Another study (Newman & Sanders, 1965) investigated the
use of evidence in a single final round of the National
Debate Tournament. They found that of 71 pieces of evidence
read in the round, three were fabrications, 23 were
misrepresentations, and 6 were unverified. Such findings

were troublesome to the authors and created a demanded for
improvement in the use of evidence. Fabricated or
misrepresentated evidence could easily change the results of
a debate round. The importance of accurate evidence has been
well known for a long time. Carney Smith (1937) wrote in the
Quarterly Journal of Speech that "a single word changed or
omitted in a quotation may go unnoticed by the other team,
yet may alter the meaning of the entire statement" (pg.83-
A study that focused on the use of evidence and ethics
was conducted by Rieke and Smith (1968). They wrote that the
competitive nature of academic debate was both its strength
and weakness because the debater is expected to be both a
fervent champion of their cause and ". . a judicious
participant in rational decision-making" (p.228). Rieke and
Smith argued that these two duties are contradictory. They
suggested that it is difficult for debaters to advocate
their position with maximum energy and to also be . .
committed to rational methods rather than victory at all
costs" (p. 229). One result of the contradictory duties was
an increase in unethical or questionably ethical practices.
This study conducted a survey of debaters regarding ethical
practices. The authors concluded that . an
extraordinary contradiction exists between what is done and
what debaters perceive as being done" (p.227). They wrote
that academic debate had failed because of the unethical
practices. The impact of the results were argued to go
beyond academic debate because so many future lawyers and
other professionals are student debaters.
Several studies (Dresser, 1966; Petrie, 1969;
Kellermann, 1980; Allen & Kellermann, 1988) have examined
the relationship of evidence useage in debate to logic and
decision making in debate. The consensus of the studies is
that evidence does not influence the decision process in
debate and the use evidence is not logical. Debate
arguments have been found to be not logical as well.
Arguments such as disadvantages that have been successful in
debate were found to be not persuasive in real world terms
Dresser (1966) examined the impact of evidence on
decision making. This article reported that the common sense
view that a speaker who uses facts to support assertions
would be more likely to influence his audience was not true.
Research indicated that the quality of evidence, amount of
evidence or the identification of evidence . simply
did not make any significant difference to their listeners"
(p.40). Dresser did not suggest what elements would make any
significant difference to the listeners.
Gregg (1967) amplified this argument when Gregg examined
the rhetoric of evidence and concluded that logical pattern
of argumentation fails to consider the personalities of the
interactants, it neglects the subject matter's values, and
it assumes that the judge would make a careful examination
of the evidence.
Petrie (1969) investigated the relationship of
argumentation to logic. Petrie noted that while no one would
deny that logic and formal argument might sometimes change

belief, . the question remains, however, as to the
precise manner of such causal efficacy . or logic may
cause belief through external 'accidental' features of
formal argument such as style or impressiveness, regardless
of the formal correctness of the argument" (p.55). Petrie
never resolved either the issue of the mechanism of logic or
the issue of any external features such as style.
Kellermann (1980) noted that the research on evidence
" . has produced such inconsistent results that no
coherent theoretical perspective on the usefulness of
evidence can be extracted" (p.159). Kellermann concluded
that the poor results are possibly due to variations in
audience, source and message variables.
Allen and Kellermann (1988) investigated the
effectiveness of four NDT final round negative
disadvantages. This study noted that negative disadvantages,
which are those arguments that the negative suggests would
result if we believed the thesis of the affirmative case.
The judge's belief is the result of the judge's paradigm and
the interaction of the four debaters and their
argumentation. Judges sometimes have found themselves voting
for arguments that they personally do not believe but that
the judge "believes" in the context of the debate round. The
disadvantages were described as having a common
characteristic of being "high impact/low probability",
defined as having severe consequences but a rather low
likelihood. Allen and Kellermann (1988) explained that ". .
[the] reason such arguments have popularity is that judges
vote for them"(p.93). The popularity of these disadvantages
is due to the fact that they often present clear cut choices
in weighing the debate round. Judges are often faced with
both sides in the debate round claiming global destruction
which, for example, might force the judge to compare full
scale nuclear war with a runaway greenhouse effect.
The disadvantages are themselves the subject of controversy.
They were described by Allen (1987) as having a significant
value because they represent "real world" arguments and
debates over real policy decisions. But other scholars
(Hollihan, Riley & Baaske, 1985; Rowland, 1986) suggest that
these arguments fail to reflect real world policy decisions,
and that they have application only in academic debate. Howe
(1981) argued that these types of arguments have no truth
value and that judges should vote against them because they
are bad and not truthful arguments. The Allen and Kellermann
(1988) study presented four disadvantages from NDT final
rounds to 229 undergraduate students. The disadvantages were
taken from the transcripts in JAFA. Three of the four
disadvantages were the deciding issue in those rounds by the
majority of the judges. Allen & Kellermann (1988), noted
that . these arguments were selected because they had
been evaluated as good arguments presented by good teams.
These should be high quality arguments and represent the
best of academic debate; in other words, the debate
community had already established that these arguments had
worth"(p.101). However, the study found that while the
disadvantages had some level of argumentative acceptability,

the disadvantages were not judged to be persuasive in real
world terms (p.104) when presented to students.
An investigation of the effect of various time limits
on the quality of rebuttals (Mayer & Meldrum, 1987) found
that the time limit for a rebuttal did not affect the
rebuttal's quality. This study utilized five minute rebuttal
speech debates and compared them with seven minute
rebuttals. Debates were found to not give any more explained
qualitative arguments, rather they gave more unexplained
quanitative arguments. It was also found that the rebuttal
speeches were different in quality from each other. They
found that the last rebuttalist gave the better speech. One
possible reason is that the final speaker has a better, more
holistic view of the debate (p.164). Quality in this study
was measured as the effectiveness of the speech.
Overall, the logical processes research demonstrates
that logic and evidence are only part of the reason for
arguments being accepted by judges. Another explanation
might be message variables. The research also demonstrates
that the dual roles of passionate advocate and rational
decision-maker were contradictory and lead to ethical abuses
that included fabricated evidence. Finally, disadvantages
that debate judges had used to justify their advantage were
not found to be persuasive in real world terms.
Consistently, the research indicates that there are other
factors that influenced decision making besides evidence or
logic. One of these factors is related to the debater's
personality and characteristics of the individual debate
Several research studies in academic debate have
examined the personality and other related variables of
debaters. This area of research has also examined the
interface between personality characteristics and
participation, the descriptive studies of debate rounds, and
comparison of the different activities within forensics
(Anderson, 1974). Not all of the research that is described
under the personality category is explicitly related to
The range of this research is another example of the
scattered research in debate. Some research involves the
changes that debaters undergo or the difference between
debaters and non-debaters. This research includes a survey
of the participants in the NDT from 1947 to 1980 (Matlon &
Keele, 1984), a study of the differences between debaters
and nondebaters (Stewart & Merchant, 1969), a study on the
image of the debater (King & Phifer, 1968), a study on the
effect of debate students in the bicentennial debates
(Semlak & Shields, 1977), a study (Colbert, 1987) that
examined the effects of debate training on critical thinking
ability, a study of the competitiveness of the debaters
(Wilson, 1979), and a study that investigated debaters'
ability for interpersonal and concept compatibility (Allen,
Other research hag examined characteristics of the
debaters including the debater's nonverbal decoding
abilities (Barker, 1965; Sayer, 1974). Three studies have

also investigated gender differences (Hayes & McAdoo, 1972;
Hill, 1973b; Rosen, Dean, & Willis, 1978).
Several studies examined behavior or characteristics of
the debaters while in the debate round. These studies
include one which examined the evaluation criteria as
predictors of debate success (Burgoon, 1975), one that
investigated the debater's dimensions of credibility
(Burgoon and Montgomery, 1976), one study that examined the
relative effectiveness of praise and derogation as
persuasion strategies (Burgoon, Wilkinson, & Partridge;
1979), one investigation of the relationship between debate
success and rate, jargon, and evidence (Vasilius &
DeStephen, 1979) and one content analysis of 13 years of
the first affirmative rebuttal speeches from the NDT (Rouse
& Thomas, 1987).
To characterize debaters, a survey of 703 debate
participants in the National Debate Tournament from 1947 to
1980 (Matlon & Keele, 1984) found that the two most common
major fields of study debaters engaged in were political
science, with 24 percent, and speech communication, with 20
percent. The next most common were history at 12 percent,
economics, at ten percent, English, at six percent,
philosophy, at five percent, and business administration, at
four percent. These debaters went on to obtain advanced
degrees with 633 having at least one advanced degree and
209 having two or more advanced degrees of the 703 people
surveyed. Matlon and Keele reported that they found . .
that some of the most intellectually gifted students have
participated in the National Debate Tournament" (p.195).
After obtaining the advanced degrees, the debaters were
found having advanced professional positions of significant
responsibility, such as cabinet members, congresspersons,
ambassadors, judges, and other high status professional
positions (p.195). Several respondents compared the NDT to
the Super Bowl, the Master's Golf Tournament, or to the
World Series (p.200). The most salient finding of this study
was that there was a significant relationship between the
goals of higher education and the participation in
competitive debate. The authors concluded that "We are
almost hesitant, therefore, to conclude that the results
support debate participation almost without exception"
Several studies (Stewart & Merchant, 1969; King &
Phifer, 1968; Semlak & Shields, 1977; Colbert, 1987; Wilson,
1979; Allen, 1963) have examined the perceived differences
between debaters and non-debaters. Some of the findings
indicate that debaters have been found to be more
competitive, have better delivery skills, and demonstrate
superior critical thinking skills.
Stewart and Merchant (1969) examined perceived
differences between debaters and non-debaters. An audience
that observed both debaters and non-debaters speaking on the
same topics was able to identify the debaters 90% of the
time. The debaters were scored higher on every speech scale
except "fair-unfair"(p.72). Stewart and Merchant concluded
that experienced debaters overwhelm non-debate audiences.

King and Phifer (1968) examined the public image of
debaters. The study used a semantic differential scale that
was administered to both debaters and nondebaters. A factor
analysis indicated that debaters were viewed as . .
effective, interesting, original, and convincing" (p.51).
The study also found no significance difference between the
debaters and nondebaters.
Semlak and Shields (1977) examined the effect of debate
training on those who participated in the bicentennial youth
debates and found that the students who received debate
training significantly improved their abilities in analysis,
delivery and organization (p. 195). Delivery consisted of
both the manner of the speaker as well as the speaker's
language choice.
Colbert (1987) examined the effects of debate training
on critical thinking ability and found that debaters scored
higher than non-debaters on the Watson-Glaser Critical
Thinking Appraisal, a measure of critical thinking. However,
the question of whether debate produced such changes or
merely attracted those students who already would score
higher in critical thinking was not answered. Colbert found
a difference between the debaters trained in NDT debate and
those trained in the newer CEDA (Cross-Examination Debate
Association) debate, but the quality of the difference was
not present (p.200). Colbert found a difference but he could
not identify it.
Wilson (1979) conducted research into the
competitiveness of intercollegiate debaters and found that
debaters are significantly more competitive than non-
debaters and that most of the variance was due to one
factor, toughmindedness. This study used Cattell's Sixteen
Personality Factor Questionnaire, a self-report instrument.
Allen (1963) assessed two different variables of
debaters. First, the debater's "interpersonal
compatibility"(p.67), the ability to work well with another,
was measured by the use of Schutz's FIRO-B scale. The
second variable was the debater's "concept
compatibility"(p.72), the ability to translate a single
concept into an internally consistent debate. This was
measured by the use of a semantic differential. Allen
concluded that debate teams in which the debaters were both
interpersonally and conceptually compatible would . .
more efficiently interact in the preparation of debate
cases" (p.26). The finding that debaters who get along with
their partners and who approach the topic in a compatible
fashion are more effective would not be very surprising to
many debate coaches.
Two different studies (Barker, 1965; Sayer, 1974)
investigated debater's ability to decode nonverbal messages.
Debaters have been found to be poor at decoding nonverbal
cues but they have the potential to make correct assessments.
Barker (1965) examined debater-judge ratings and
found that judges and debaters . do not rate the
debaters' performances the same" (p.19). The results
offered empirical proof that debaters are poor at
deciphering nonverbal communication from the judges. Sayer

(1974) wrote that Barkers' findings supported the old debate
maxim that . debaters possess the worst perception of
what has happened during any round of debate" (p.5). One
reason for the debater's inability to correctly understand
the judges nonverbal cues is that debaters are usually too
busy, either preparing for their next speech or writing
down the other team's speech.
However, debaters do have the potential ability to
understand the judges' nonverbals. Sayer (1974) conducted a
study in which debaters were asked to predict the judge's
decision . based upon their observation and
interpretation of the nonverbal cues" (p.4). The debaters
were correct at predicting the decision 66.5% of the time.
Sayer concluded that debaters have the potential to
correctly make nonverbal assessment. This study worked
because it asked the debaters to make a prediction that
forced them to pay more attention to the nonverbal cues.
Another group of studies examined the behavior of the
debater during the debate round. These studies examined the
evaluation criteria (Burgoon, 1975), debater's credibility
(Burgoon & Montgomery, 1976), use of praise and derogation
(Burgoon, Wilkinson, & Partridge, 1979), use of rate,
evidence and jargon (Vasilius & DeStephen, 1979) and a
content analysis of thirteen years of the first affirmative
rebuttal speeches from the NDT (Rouse & Thomas, 1987).
A study that examined the evaluation criteria as
predictors of debate success (Burgoon, 1975) examined the
six criteria on the American Forensics Association Form C
ballot, the most widely used debate ballot. The six criteria
were: organization, refutation, analysis, reasoning,
evidence, delivery, and success. The six criteria were
thought to be a quantitative measure of the debater's
personality. The study found that all six factors were
related to the debaters winning the debate. The analysis
demonstrated that the judges did not make discrete
differentiations among the six factors. The suggested
reasons for this result were that the judges were making a
gross or global evaluation or that there were other factors
that influenced the results. Burgoon did not speculate
regarding what the other factors could be, but one factor
could be the language used by the debaters; the debaters
might use language containing emotionally loaded words which
would influence the judge's emotive response.
Burgoon, along with Montgomery, (1976) also
investigated the debater's dimensions of credibility. They
received 186 completed questionnaires from debate coaches
throughout the United States. The questionnaire had 47
items, utilizing a seven interval semantic differential
instrument which asked the coaches to give their opinions of
an ideal debater's credibility. They found that three
factors accounted for 51 percent of the variance. The first
factor, which accounted for 48 percent of the explainable
variation, was "task competencies" (p.174). This factor
included qualities such as expert, active, articulate,
informed, coherent, competent and impressive. This factor is
a combination of the general quality of competence along

with good delivery skills that would deliver the competence.
Burgoon and Montgomery's second factor was "social
competencies" (p.174), which accounted for 26 percent of the
explainable variations and included qualities such as the
ability to be open-minded, relaxed, organized, poised, good-
natured, perceptive, and sociable. Burgoon and Montgomery
(1976) explained that this factor is related to the image of
the person who controls both social relationships and
himself (p.175). The debater is seen as both relaxed and
Burgoon and Montgomery's third factor was
"assertiveness" (p.174), which also accounted for 26 percent
of the variance, including the qualities of aggression,
headstrongness, criticalness, extrovertedness, verbal
ability, and experience. This third factor is based
primarily on the quality of extroversion along with the
quality of being critical (p.175). The verbal quality could
include the use of language by the debaters.
The finding that the debater's credibility is based on
three factors or dimensions was significant (p.175).
Burgoon and Montgomery (1976) argued that judges view
debaters through these three factors rather than the six
factors along the Form C ballots (p.176). A second
significant finding was that character, honesty and
ethicalness were not significant factors (p.176). The
third finding by Burgoon and Montgomery was that there was
little common agreement among the judges for a single
salient factor (p. 176). This finding would suggest that
judges view debates in a number of different ways and that
there are almost no universally accepted qualities that are
regarded as paramount. The overall finding of Burgoon and
Montgomery (1976) would serve to undermine much of the
research directed at personality and debate.
A study that examined the relative effectiveness of
praise and derogation as persuasion strategies (Burgoon,
Wilkinson, & Partridge; 1979) found that language of praise
was more favorable than derogation. This study also examined
the gender of the speaker as it interfaced with the type of
language that was chosen. They found that it was least
expected for a male to derogate another male and most
expected for a male to praise another male. The study found
that females derogating males with nontraditional receivers
were more effective than males derogating females, which was
contrary to the researcher's expectations. Also contrary to
their expectations, males were not rated higher on
credibility than female speakers.
Vasilius and DeStephen (1979) conducted an
investigation into the relationship between debate
tournament success and rate of speech, evidence, and jargon.
Vasilius and DeStephen (1979) found that faster- speaking
teams did not have greater success than slower speaking
teams; teams that used a greater amount of evidence were not
found to be more successful than those teams using a smaller
amount of evidence, and teams using a greater amount of
jargon were not more successful than teams using little
jargon. Jargon was defined as the specialized debate

language. A relationship between rate and jargon was found;
those teams who spoke faster were more likely to use jargon.
The study suggested that these factors do not contribute to
debate success and concluded that further research would be
needed to identify those factors that do contribute towards
Overall, the research in debate regarding personality
and characteristics of debaters has been varied. There have
been a number of important results: (1) Debate produced
changes in the participants. They become significantly
improved in their analysis, delivery and organization. They
demonstrated better critical thinking ability and better
debaters demonstrated better interpersonal and concept
compatibility. These changes proved to be valuable for
debaters in future professional careers. (2) Debaters have
poor nonverbal decoding skills but they can learn to improve
those skills. (3) While there have been no clear
differences between male and female debaters, the results of
two of three studies suggests that mixed gender teams do
better than single gender teams. (4) Variables such as task
competency, social competence and assertiveness, were found
to be related to debater's credibility. Faster speaking
debaters and debaters who used more evidence and more jargon
were not necessarily more successful in debate.
(5) A study of first affirmative rebuttal speakers reported
that the debaters' arguments varied from the ideal, varied
in rate and varied in substantiation, and that the speeches
changed over time.
8 They quoted Clough in 1972 as making the argument
that "Solvency. One, lack of flexibility and defense. This
is not a plan meet need; it is a disadvantage couched as
one. It has nothing to do with the case we present to you.
But I will suggest that we can get the military. First, the
volunteers are right now" (p.109). This was contrasted with
Dripps who argued in 1979 that "Three, empirically it's
false, twenty-eight amendments; Constitution not destroyed"

9 Judges have been found to use different judging
styles or paradigms to evaluate debate. One study (Dunne,
Mack, & Pruett, 1971) suggested that judges utilize either a
logical (issues) or a proficiency (skills) paradigm to
evaluate the debate. Two other studies (Cox, 1974; Cross &
Matlon, 1978) reported that judges utilize five different
paradigms. Those two studies agreed on: (1) chooser of
policy system, (2) evaluator of argument skills; (3) tabula
rasa; and (4) evaluator of stock issues. One study (Cox,
1974) suggested the fifth paradigm to be a critic of
rhetorical proposition while the other study (Cross &
Matlon, 1978) suggested that it was a hypothesis tester.
Other studies (Hample, 1979; Crable, 1976) have suggested a
legal model.
(Also see footnote 3). Dunne, Mack, and Pruett
(1971) conducted an analysis of judging styles in debate.
Judges were classified as either logical (issues) or

proficiency (skills) judges. Only about half the judges
sampled agreed with the logical-proficiency dichotomy. Of
those judges who did agree, a majority favored the logical
judging paradigm. One possible reason for the large number
of judges that rejected the logical-proficiency paradigm was
that five different judging paradigms had emerged (Cox,
1974) where the logical paradigm overlapped with four
different paradigms and the proficiency paradigm became the
evaluator of argument skills.
Cox (1974) conducted an analysis of judging philosophies
in academic debate and reported that judges viewed
themselves primarily as reflecting one of five judging
philosophies: (1) chooser of policy systems with 42.9% of
the judges reporting that they saw themselves as primarily
using this philosophy, (2) evaluator of issues with 32.1%,
(3) evaluator of argument skills with 15.5%, (4) critic of
rhetorical proposition with 3.6%, and (5) tabula rasa with
5.9 % (p.62). Cox also found that many judges expressed
willingness for the debate to include theoretical issues,
including the judging paradigm to be used in the debate
Similar to Cox's study, Cross and Matlon (1978)
conducted an analysis of judging philosophies in academic
debate and concluded that five philosophies prevail,
including: (1) The hypothesis testing model; (2) The chooser
of policy systems; (3) The evaluator of argument skills; (4)
The Tabula Rasa judge; and (5) The stock-issues judge. The
stock-issues is much the same as the evaluator of issues in
Cox's study. It is also noteworthy that Cox's critic of
rhetorical proposition was replaced by the hypothesis
tester. Cross and Matlon reached two important conclusions.
First, they found that . the majority of judges in the
academic debate community view debates with extraordinary
consensus regardless of their stated judging philosophies"
(p. 123). This finding is in contrast to the results of the
Burgoon and Montgomery study. The second finding was that
judges appear to accept new theory arguments if the theory
is forcibly and convincingly defended by the team that
originated the argument (p. 123).
Four different studies (McCroskey & Camp, 1964
;Williams & Webb, 1964; Williams, Webb, & Clark, 1966; and
Williams, Clark, & Wood, 1966) investigated the criteria
employed by the debate judge in making a decision.
McCroskey and Camp (1964) examined stock issues, judging
criteria, and the debate decisions. The results included the
finding that the "need" issue or the importance of the
problem was paramount. A second finding was that the judge
usually determines the central issue during the constructive
speech. The successful debaters were those who came to an
agreement on the stock or central issues. McCroskey and Camp
further noted that debaters were unable to render an
objective decision about the outcome of the rounds they had
participated in. This final finding supports the forty
percent disagreement that King and Clevenger (1960)

Bauer and Colburn (1966) wrote that judges differ in
their decisions. Four reasons for the judges' differing were
offered: (1) the contest was a close debate; (2) the judges
used different evaluation criteria; (3) the judge was less
competent due to a lack of knowledge; and (4), an unethical
decision was made (pg. 23-24). One measure of determining
the rationale for the judge's decision is through the
judge's ballot. The ballot serves to provide direct feedback
to the debaters and their coach.
Ellis and Minter (1967) wrote that . one can
never directly test the validity of debate decisions, since
there are no absolute criteria against which to judge them,
but the validity of decisions can be indirectly investigated
by seeing how consistent the decisions are from judge to
judge" (p.53). One of their findings regarding consistency
was that 27% of the judges might be inconsistent because of
travel fatigue (p.56).
Lewis and Larsen (1981) conducted a study of forensic
judges in individual events that examined interrater
agreement and found that additional training significantly
increased inter-judge agreement, and also found that . .
the present study indicates that practical results can be
achieved by applying empirical research methods to the
judging of forensics activities" (p.16). Of course,
interjudge agreement may be affected by bias.
Three studies (McCroskey & Camp, 1966; Brooks, 1971;
and Hill, 1973) investigated judging bias. Investigations
regarding bias has centered around either a bias regarding
the topic or a geographic bias.
McCroskey and Camp (1966) asked 95 debate judges of
their bias regarding the topic. They found no bias by
judges regarding the topic. They reported an earlier study
by Scott found no bias and they concluded that . .
Finally, Scott's conclusion that judges' bias on the topic
has no effect on their decisions was supported" (p. ).
Brooks (1971) noted that "an integral part of learning
is evaluation and feedback" (p.197), and in debate the
ballot is the feedback. Brooks attempted to find
geographical bias in judges' decisions. The results
supported some bias due to geographical distance and
concluded that more research was needed in investigating the
psychological and social distance. Part of the social and
psychological distance between the debaters and the judge is
that the judge usually has a holistic view of the debate
round while the debaters only see their viewpoints. It is
not uncommon for debate partners to have misperceptions
about each other's stands in a debate round.
Hill's dissertation (1973b) found no bias towards
either the topic or the geographical proximity of the
judge's and debater's schools. No study has supported any
bias towards the topic by debate judges. The existing
evidence on any geographical bias is less clear. One study
(Brooks, 1971) suggests that some bias exists while a second
study (Hill, 1973) found no support for a geographic bias.
One reason for investigations into potential judging bias is
because debaters rarely agree with the judge's decision.

Three studies (King & Clevenger, 1960; Klopf, Evans &
DeLozier, 1965; Hill, 1973) conducted comparisons of the
debater and the judge's assessment. Not surprisingly, King
and Clevenger (1960) found that debaters disagreed with the
judges over the result of a given round almost 40 percent of
the time. Klopf, Evans and De Lozier (1965) found that
laymen, students, and other faculty could judge debate if
their sole function was to make the win-loss decision.
Debaters were found to not agree with the judges.
One study, however, which did find a correlation
between the judges' evaluations and the debaters'
evaluations was Hill's (1973). Hill found that debaters had
similar assessments to those assessments of the judges.
Hill noted that his results were different from other
research and suggested the use of classroom debaters might
have caused the different result. Hill also speculated ". .
. that involvement in tournament debating tends to destroy
the individual's ability to accurately . assess his own
Three studies (Markgraf, 1966; Pearce, 1969; and
Berthold, 1970) examined the debaters' ability to adapt to
judges. Markgraf (1966) wrote that debaters feel confusion
because of the absence of uniform standards of judging.
Another problem was . the great discrepancy between
professed ideals and actual debate judging" (p.38).
Markgraf argued that the solution was for the judges to
adapt to the debaters and not the other way around. While
he did not give his perspective a name, Markgraf was
advocating a tabula rasa judging paradigm.
One possible method to reduce the disagreement between
the debaters and judges would be for the judges to state
their viewpoints. In support of this method, Verderber
(1968) found that when judges state their criteria and
preferences before the debate, the majority of debaters
would adapt to the judges. Debaters also can learn the
judge's viewpoints over time. Pearce (1969) reported that
repeated exposure to a judge made . debaters more
receptive to communication"(p.77) because the debaters could
learn the judge's criteria. Debaters improved because they
learned the judge's preferences and paradigm.
Berthold (1970) noted that . most debate coaches
and debaters would agree that the single most important item
in any debate tournament is the judge's ballot. The ballot
not only reveals which team won a given debate, but it also
presumably indicates in a number of ways the participants'
debate skills" (p.30). Berthold analyzed the C-form ballots
that Burgoon (1975) also utilized. Berthold found that
judges wrote more in the first round of a tournament but
found that this was not related to the judges' overall
10 No all female teams in the sample.


Research Design

The study investigated any effect of the use of

emotive words by four speakers involved in NDT

championship debate rounds. Operationally, the

relationships between three dependent variables and five

independent variables will be investigated. The three

dependent variables will be the overall use of emotive

words, and the uses of positive and negative emotive words.

The five independent variables are: result of the debate

round (winner or loser); side of the debate team

(affirmative or negative); position of the debate speaker in

rebuttal speeches (first rebuttal, second rebuttal);

the year of the debate final (1967 to 1985); and gender

make-up of the team (mixed or single-gender).


The dependent variable in this study was emotive words.

Those words were selected from two original instruments, the

Gottschalk-Gleser content analysis scale and the Osgood,

Suci, and Tannenbaum semantic differential scale. Three

dependent variables were identified in terms of the emotive

word list: positive emotive words, negative emotive words,

and the overall use of emotive words. Positive emotive

words, negative emotive words, and the overall use of

emotive words were further divided into the following


1. The emotive words used by the first negative

speaker in the first negative rebuttal speech, including

the use of positive words, negative words, and total

emotive words.

2. The emotive words used by the second negative

speaker in the second negative rebuttal speech, including

the use of positive words, negative words and total

emotive words.

3. The emotive words used by the first affirmative

speaker in the first affirmative rebuttal speech,

including the positive words, negative words, and total

emotive words.

4. The emotive words used by the second affirmative

speaker in the second affirmative rebuttal speech,

including the positive words, negative words, and total

emotive words.

The five independent variables will be:

1. Result of the debate round (winner or loser) as

measured by having a majority of judges vote for the


2. Side of the debate team (affirmative or


3. Position of the debate speaker in rebuttal

speeches (first rebuttal, second rebuttal).

4. Year of the debate final (1967 until 1985).

5. Gender make-up of the team (mixed or single-gender



Transcripts for Analysis

The transcripts of the final rounds of the National

Debate Tournament were published annually by the American

Forensic Association in JAFA from 1967 until 1985. This

study will analyze the transcripts of all of the rebuttal

speeches from those debates. The transcripts of the rounds

were made from audio tape recordings of the rounds. Rives

and Boaz (1977) explained that . the debate was

edited from a tape recording. Except for the correction

of obviously unintended errors . this is as close to

a verbatim transcript as was possible to obtain from the

recording" (p.10).

Thirty-eight debate teams representing twenty different

schools participated in the final round of the NDT between

1967 and 1985. Several schools made multiple appearances in

the final round, including six by Harvard and four each by

Dartmouth and Northwestern. A total of seventy-six debaters

were involved in these debates but because five debaters

appeared in two different final rounds, there was a total of

seventy-one different debaters involved. Negative teams won

eleven of the nineteen debates. Of the one hundred and nine

judges, fifty-seven voted for the negative teams and fifty-

one voted for the affirmative teams. Of the topics, five

were international in scope and fourteen were national

topics. The sides, teams, topics and results of the final

rounds from 1967 to 1985 are displayed in note 1.


The study utilized the existing published record of

nineteen years of the transcripts of the final round of the

National Debate Tournament. A total of seventy-one debaters

took part in these debates. Four women and sixty-six men

debated in the final rounds between 1966 and 1985. A total

of one hundred and nine judges were used to judge the

nineteen debates.


The study utilizes three pieces of hardware: the

optical scanner; the computer that will utilize the wordscan

and other content analysis software, a Macintosh PC; and the

computer that will conduct the multiple analysis of

regression upon the results of the data, a mainframe VAX.

The study utilizes the wordscan and browser software

that was discussed above and the study will also utilize

SAS, a statistical package available from the Center for

Instructional and Research Computing Activities (CIRCA) at

the University of Florida. The wordscan program examined

the "text only" debate transcripts for emotive words. Those

emotive words were taken from Gottschalk and Gleser (1969)

content analysis scales (the hostility scale) and the semantic

differential scales of Osgood, Suci and Tannenbaum (1957).

Both scales contain bipolar terms that fall into positive

and negative categories. Items from both scales were

combined and additional words were derived from the original

by the use of a thesaurus and grammatical derivations.

Identifying Emotive Words

The transcripts were processed by an optical scanner

(Model: Apple Scanner 300dpi) that will convert the

transcripts into a word processed form (MS Word 4.0). The

scanned document was manually checked against the original

to ensure its accuracy. The resulting document was divided

into smaller documents: one document for each of the

rebuttal speeches and two or three documents for each of the

constructive speeches. This division was necessary for ease

of analysis and to accommodate limitations of the Wordscan

software. All documents were placed into a "text only"

format that have all non-word elements such as punctuation

removed. The resulting documents) were examined by a word

processing program called Wordscan that was developed by

Durkee and distributed through the public domain by EduComp

Services (Baez, 1989).

The program compared the "text only" document to a

separate dictionary and provided a display of any dictionary

ideas that were contained in the document and the number of

uses. In this study the dictionary is a list of emotive

words that were derived from two other instruments, the

hostility scale (Gottschalk, Winget & Gleser, 1969) and the

semantic differential (Osgood, Suci, & Tannenbaum, 1957).

The hostility scale was designed to measure attitudes and

the semantic differential was designed to measure emotions.

This study investigated the use of emotive words in academic

NDT debate. From Gottschalk's hostility scale and Osgood's

semantic differential scale, an aid has emerged to examine

emotive words (See note 2). Another public domain word

processor, Browser-developed by Zimmerman (Baez, 1989)

allowed any word from a document to be displayed in context.

Together, Wordscan and Browser examined the processed

transcripts to determine the existence, types, amount and

context of both negative and positive emotive words. The

examination of context indicated whether or not the word use

was anomalous. For example, the word was not used in a

quote or the word was not used as a filled pause, one

example is the word well.

Content analysis scales such as the Gottschalk-Gleser

content analysis method can be utilized through the use of a

computer. Gottschalk, Hausmann, and Brown (1979) wrote that

the use of the computer can save time, increase the

uniformity of the analysis and aid in efficiency and

rapidity. Viney (1986) stated that computerization is both

feasible and cost-beneficial. Viney reported on three

different computer-based scoring systems based on the

Gottschalk-Gleser scales. Viney also underscored an ethical

value to the use of content analysis:

Insofar as content analysis is a technique
for analyzing data and not for collecting it,
it raises no ethical issues. Yet, because it
can be applied to data collected in ethically
appropriate ways, it has value. It provides a
means of making sense of and rendering
useful/ the information from a simple
question posed to research participants such
as 'I am interested in X. I'd like you to
tell me about your experience of X.' (pp. 75-

The participant's statement that Viney described could

be examined for use of emotive language. The Wordscan

software produced lists of the positive and negative words

that the debaters utilize.

Statistical Model

The best statistical model for conducting the analysis

is the use of the multiple regression model. Lewis-Beck

(1980) explained that . multiple regression has great

range and its mastery will enable the researcher to analyze

virtually any set of quantitative data" (p. 47). This model

allows formulation of the relationship between the many

independent variables and the dependent variable(s).

Agresti and Agresti (1979) also explained the value of

the multiple regression model; it enables one . to

develop a better predictor of a dependent variable than can

be obtained by using only one independent variable. Also,

these models allow one to analyze partial relationships

between two variables, controlling for other variables"

(p.322). Since the study utilized a number of different

variables, the possibility that partial relationships

existed between the variables might explain the existing

inconclusive results in the literature.


The formula that would be utilized for the multiple

regression was:

Y = Ln (P/l-P) = BO + BIX1 + B2X2 + B3X3 + B4X4

+ B5X5 + E

The variables deal with the result (X1), side (X2),

rebuttal position (X3), year of the debate final (X4), and

gender make-up of the team (X5) (See note 3).

SThe participating debate teams, result, strength of
the judges' decisions and the topic/resolution are listed:

1967 Dartmouth (negative) defeated Wayne State
(affirmative) on a six to one judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: That the United States should
substantially reduce its foreign policy commitments.

1968 Wichita State (affirmative) defeated Butler
(negative) on a six to one judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should the federal government
guarantee a minimum annual cash income to all citizens?

1969 Harvard (affirmative) defeated Houston (negative)
on a five to two judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should executive control of United
States foreign policy be significantly curtailed?

1970 Kansas (negative) defeated Canisius (affirmative)
on a four to three judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should the federal government grant
annually a specific percentage of its income tax revenue to
the states?

1971 U. California at Los Angeles (affirmative)
defeated Oberlin (negative) on a four to three judges'
Topic- Resolved: Should the federal government adopt a
program of compulsory wage and price controls?

1972 U. California at Santa Barbara (affirmative)
defeated Southern California (negative) on a four to three
judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should greater controls be imposed on
the gathering and utilization of information about U.S.
citizens by governmental agencies?

1973 Northwestern (negative) defeated Georgetown
(affirmative) on a four to three judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should the federal government provide
a program of comprehensive medical care for all United
States citizens?

1974 Harvard (affirmative) defeated Augustana of
Illinois (negative) on a three to two judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should the federal government control the
supply and utilization of energy in the United States?

1975 Baylor (negative) defeated Redlands (affirmative)
on a three to two judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should the power of the presidency be
significantly curtailed?

1976 Kansas (negative) defeated Georgetown
(affirmative) on a four to one judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should the federal government adopt a
comprehensive program to control land use in the United

1977 Georgetown (affirmative) defeated Southern
California (negative) on a four to one judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should the federal government
significantly strengthen the guarantee of consumer product
safety required of manufacturers?

1978 Northwestern (negative) defeated Southern
California (affirmative) on a three to two judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should United States law enforcement
agencies have significantly greater freedom in the
investigation and/or prosecution of felony crime?

1979 Harvard (negative) defeated Northwestern
(affirmative) on a three to two judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: That the federal government should
implement a program which guarantees employment
opportunities for all United States citizens in the Labor

1980 Northwestern (affirmative) defeated Harvard
(negative) on a five to zero judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: That the federal government should
significantly strengthen the regulation of mass media
communication in the United States.

1981 Pittsburgh (negative) defeated Dartmouth
(affirmative) on a five to zero judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: That the United States should
significantly increase its foreign military commitments.

1982 Louisville (negative) defeated Redlands
(affirmative) on a three to two judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: That the Federal Government should
significantly curtail the powers of labor unions in the
United States.

1983 Kansas (affirmative) defeated Dartmouth
(negative) on a four to one judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should United States military
intervention into internal affairs of any foreign nation or
nations in the Western Hemisphere be prohibited?

1984 Dartmouth (negative) defeated Louisville
(affirmative) on a four to one judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should any and all injury resulting
from the disposal of hazardous waste in the United States be
the legal responsibility of the producer of that waste?


1985 Harvard (negative) defeated Iowa (affirmative) on
a five to zero judges' decision.
Topic- Resolved: Should the United States government
significantly increase exploration and/or development of
space beyond the Earth's mesosphere?

2 Norman Markel combined the hostility and semantic
differential scales into an emotive word list.

3 The value, P, is the percentage of emotive
words in each rebuttal speech.
The actual value choices for each independent
variable is displayed below:

= 1 if team won the round
= 0 if team lost the round

= 1 if affirmative
= 0 if negative

= 1 for first speaker of that team.
= 2 for second speaker of that team.

where X1

where X2

where X3

where X4

for 1968
for 1969
for 1970
for 1971
for 1972
for 1973
for 1974
for 1975
for 1976
for 1977
for 1978
for 1979
for 1980
for 1981
for 1982
for 1983
for 1984
for 1985

where X5 = 1

if single gender team
= 0 if mixed gender team

1 for
= 2
= 3
= 4
= 5
= 6
= 7
= 8
= 9



Results of the study, comparison of the emotive

word use in the rebuttal speeches, results of the linear

regression, findings of the research questions, and a

summary of results are included.

The Study

The study was designed to examine the use of emotive

words by academic debaters in the National Debate

Tournament's championship round for each year from 1967 to

1985. The use of emotive words varied between debaters.

The first four tables (3-1, 3-2, 3-3, 3-4) present the

numbers of emotive words used by each debater. Table 3-1

displays the use of positive, negative, and overall use of

emotive words by the rebuttal speakers in the NDT from 1967

to 1969. Table 3-2 displays the use of positive, negative,

and overall use of emotive words by the rebuttal speakers in

the NDT from 1970 to 1974. Table 3-3 displays the use of

positive, negative, and overall use of emotive words by the

rebuttal speakers in the NDT from 1975 to 1979 and table 3-4

displays the use of positive, negative, and overall use of

emotive words by the rebuttal speakers in the NDT from 1980

to 1985. These tables display the number of emotive words

spoken by each debater.

Table 3-1: Use of Emotive Words in the NDT Rebuttal
Speakers from 1967 to 1969:

Year/Speaker Negative Positive Overall

1967 1NR 36 58 94

1AR 48 71 119



1968 1NR




1969 1NR
























Table 3-2: Use of Emotive Words in the NDT Rebuttal
Speakers from 1970 to 1974:

Year/Speaker Negative Positive Overall

1970 1NR 52 60 112

1AR 74 73 147

2NR 80 61 141

2AR 76 95 171

1971 1NR 78 62 140

1AR 71 55 126

2NR 90 114 204

2AR 105 78 183

1972 1NR 83 44 127

1AR 59 41 100

2NR 93 47 140

2AR 95 64 159

1973 1NR 69 44 113

1AR 69 87 156

2NR 98 82 180

2AR 65 75 140

1974 1NR 94 80 174

1AR 53 42 95

2NR 87 55 142

2AR 91 55 146

Table 3-3: Use of Emotive Words in the NDT Rebuttal
Speakers from 1975 to 1979:

Year/Speaker Negative Positive Overall

1975 1NR 107 47 154

1AR 79 92 171

2NR 80 66 146

2AR 70 93 100

1976 1NR 103 65 168

1AR 70 62 132

2NR 106 85 191

2AR 104 61 165

1977 1NR 91 72 163

1AR 83 137 220

2NR 139 61 200

2AR 82 69 151

1978 1NR 81 35 116

1AR 21 79 100

2NR 98 65 163

2AR 88 88 176

1979 1NR 99 49 148

1AR 95 83 178

2NR 92 68 160

2AR 90 55 145


Table 3-4: Use of Emotive Words in the NDT Rebuttal
Speakers from 1980 to 1985:

Year/Speaker Negative Positive Overall

1980 1NR 79 86 165

1AR 105 122 227

2NR 82 98 180

2AR 89 109 198

1981 1NR 92 61 153

1AR 84 79 163

2NR 114 85 199

2AR 73 63 136

1982 1NR 96 103 199

1AR 107 120 227

2NR 103 111 214

2AR 73 91 164

1983 1NR 94 73 167

1AR 129 75 204

2NR 82 72 154

2AR 79 95 174

1984 1NR 98 97 195

1AR 88 140 228

2NR 86 100 186

2AR 106 75 181

1985 1NR 105 74 179

1AR 182 108 290

2NR 99 98 197

2AR 128 103 231

The debaters varied in their choices of emotive

words as well as the amount of emotive language that they

used. Tables 3-5 through 3-80 display the most frequently

used emotive language for each speaker. For each speaker,

the five most often used choices are presented, assuming

that each of those words were used more than two times. If

the speaker used identical numbers of some choices, then

all those choices are also displayed. The number of word

choices varies from zero (when a speaker never used an

emotive word choice more than two times) to ten choices

(when a speaker had six ties among those words used three


Certain emotive words were used more than other words.

This was clear for the negative words (tables 3-5 through 3-

80). The debaters used a greater number of different

positive words than negative words. The debaters were

generally consistent in their use of the negative words.

The word "not" was used more than any other negative word.

"Not" was the most used negative word in all nineteen years

of the National Debate Tournament studied, for both the

second negative and second affirmative speaker. It was the

most used word for the first negative and first affirmative

speakers for eighteen of the nineteen debates. Both times

that the word "not" was not the most used word, it was the

second most used word. This happened in 1985 for the first

negative rebuttal and in 1983 for the first affirmative

rebuttal. In both debates, "argument" was used more than

any other negative emotive word.

Table 3-5:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1967

Positive words


Table 3-6:

Negative words


Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1967

Positive words


Negative words


Table 3-7:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1967

Positive words

Negative words


Table 3-8:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal 1967

positive words

negative words


Table 3-9:

Positive words


Table 3-10: Me

Positive words


Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal -1968

negative words


ost Often Used Emotive Words for First
affirmative Rebuttal 1968

negative words



Table 3-11: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1968

Positive words

negative words


Table 3-12:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal -1968

Positive words


Negative words



Table 3-13:

Positive word


Table 3-14:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1969

is Negative words


Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1969

Positive words


Negative words



Table 3-15: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1969

Positive words


Table 3-16:

Negative words


Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal 1969

Positive words


Negative words



Table 3-17: Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1970

Positive words


Table 3-18: M4

Positive words

Negative words


ost Often Used Emotive Words for First
affirmative Rebuttal 1970

Negative words



Table 3-19: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1970

Positive words

Negative words


Table 3-20:



Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal 1970

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-21: Most often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1971

Positive words

Negative words


Table 3-22:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1971

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-23: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1971

Positive words

Negative words



Table 3-24:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal 1971

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-25: Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1972

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-26: Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1972

Positive words

Negative words



Table 3-27: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1972

Positive words


Table 3-28: MC

Positive words

Negative words


ost Often Used Emotive Words for Second
affirmative Rebuttal 1972

Negative words


Table 3-29: Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1973

Positive words


Table 3-30:

Negative words



Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1973

Positive words

Negative words





Table 3-31: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1973

Positive words

Negative words


Table 3-32:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal 1973

Positive words

Negative words





Table 3-33: Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1974

Positive words

Negative words



Table 3-34: Most often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1974

Positive words

Negative words





Table 3-35: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1974

Positive words

Negative words


Table 3-36:


Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal 1974

Positive words


Negative words


Table 3-37: Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1975

Positive words


Table 3-38:

Negative words



Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1975

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-39: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1975

Positive words

Negative words



Table 3-40: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal 1975

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-41: Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1976

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-42:

Positive word


Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1976

Is Negative words



Table 3-43: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1976

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-44: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal Speech 1976

Positive words


Negative words


Table 3-45:

Positive word


Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1977

Is Negative words



Table 3-46:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1977

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-47: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1977

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-48: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal Speech 1977

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-49: Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Negative Rebuttal 1978

Positive words

Negative words




Table 3-50:

Most Often Used Emotive Words for First
Affirmative Rebuttal 1978

Positive words

Negative words



Table 3-51: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Negative Rebuttal 1978

Positive words

Negative words



Table 3-52: Most Often Used Emotive Words for Second
Affirmative Rebuttal Speech 1978

Positive words

Negative words




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