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Effects of Sex and Setting on Students' Interpretation of Teachers' Excessive Use of Immediacy

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Using a message interpretation perspective, this study (n=379) examined how sex of the student, sex of the teacher, and the setting affect the messages students receive from a teacher's excessive use of immediacy. Results reveal that students interpret excessive immediacy from female teachers as caring, but the same behavior from male teachers is interpreted as control. Students also perceive excessive levels of immediacy as offensive when used by male instructors. Students are more likely to label this behavior as sexual harassment when it occurs in extra-class settings such as the professor's office or the student center than in the classroom.

Keywords: Extra-Class Communication; Message Interpretation; Teacher Immediacy; Teacher-student Relationship

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2007


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