Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
There have been many studies on attitude change and the influence of interviewer characteristics. Studies on attitude change have concerned themselves with such factors as methodology used in attitude change studies and forms of communication that are effective in changing the position of an attitude already held. Studies on the influence of interviewer characteristics have been mainly concerned with demonstrating that the interview is a delicate social relationship between the interviewer and respondent in which the information received from the respondent may be affected by such characteristics of the interviewer as sex, race, age, and social class. This study investigates two problems: first, the effect of a communication in the form of personal contact with a blind person upon attitudes held toward the blind as assessed through a questionnaire; second, the effect of the blindness of an interviewer upon the immediate expression of the respondent’s attitude toward blindness. Two hypotheses were made: first, the subjects interviewed by a blind interviewer would give fewer negative responses toward the blind than subjects interviewed by sighted interviewers; second, that subjects who had contact with the blind interviewer would undergo a significant decrease in number of negative responses given toward the blind, as measured by a post-test after such contact, in comparison to groups of subjects without such contact. Results in both the interview conditions and the post-test show a definite trend in the direction of the hypotheses. Thus, it was tentatively concluded that: first, subjects interviewed by a blind interviewer give less negative responses toward the blind than subjects interviewed by sighted interviewers; second, that contact with a blind person will tend to produce a change in attitude toward the blind in a more positive direction than those held prior to the contact with a blind person. Because differences in interviewer personalities may account for the results in the interview situation and also because subjects who had contact with a blind person did not decrease significantly in number of negative responses given toward the blind form pre- to post-test in comparison to subjects who had no contact form pre- to post-test further research is needed to confirm these conclusions.
Copyright 1965 Thomas M. Farrell
Farrell, Thomas M., "Attitude Change and the Influence of Interviewer Characteristics" (1965). Master's Theses. 911.