Our focus publication for this month (randomly selected) by an IALSP member is:
Burgers, C., Beukeboom, C.J., Sparks, L., & Diepeveen, V. (2015). How (not) to inform patients about drug use: Use and effects of negations in Dutch patient information leaflets. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 24(2), 137-143. doi: 10.1002/pds.3679.
Under EU regulations, patient information leaflets (PILs) are required to be clear and understandable. Negations (e.g., not, no) are a linguistic aspect that may impact PIL comprehension, yet go unmentioned in these regulations. We conducted two studies to determine (1) how negations are used in Dutch PILs (study 1) and (2) the effects of negations on readers (study 2).
Study 1 was a content analysis of 30 PILs of different brands of pollinosis drugs, half of which were freely available in drugstores and half only by physician prescription. We mapped negation use in PIL sections on ‘proper usage’ and ‘potential side effects’. Study 2 was an experiment in which participants (N = 80, Mage = 33.19 years, SDage = 13.66; 76.3% female) were presented with one of two PIL texts on proper drug usage. Texts were identical except for the use of negations. After reading, participants answered questions about comprehension, PIL appreciation and medical adherence intentions.
Study 1 demonstrates that negations are often used in PILs as 21.0% of clauses contain at least one negation. This number is higher in sections related to potential side effects than proper usage. Study 2 demonstrates that negations decrease both actual and subjective comprehension. Negations also decrease PIL appreciation and medical adherence intentions. The reduction in medical adherence intentions is driven by the decrease of subjective and not actual comprehension.
In general, participants prefer PILs that contain clear and comprehensible language. To increase comprehensibility, PIL designers should refrain from using negations as much as possible.
From Cindy Gallois
I am writing to bring you the very sad news of the death from cancer of Emeritus Professor Christopher N. Candlin, on May 10th. Chris was a senior research professor in linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where he started as Professor and Department Chair in 1987. He was the Founding Director of the Centre for Language and Social Life at Macquarie, and he had previously started centres in applied linguistics and language and society at the University of Lancaster in England. Chris was a world leader in applied linguistics, particularly in the analysis of discourse in real-life contexts. He was passionate about using the theory and methodology of sociolinguistics to improve language in work, health, law, education – indeed, in all parts of society. He had a strong connection with language and social psychology, and had been a keynote speaker at ICLASP.
Chris was a dynamic and productive scholar, who aimed to bridge the disciplines of linguistics, education, psychology, and sociology – no mean feat, but one he accomplished with enormous energy and aplomb. He was very productive, with well over 150 books, chapters, and articles to his credit, and his work was well-cited. His great energy resulted in, as well as a teaching and research career that spanned 50 years, the editorship of books and journals, and his time as President of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA). He was an enthusiastic supervisor of PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, with more than 70 graduates to his credit, and his students always admired his unstinting capacity to help and mentor them.
As well as founding and directing centres, Chris was active in conference organisation and presentations. Many of us have profited greatly from the conference he started with Srikant Saranji: Communication, Medicine, and Ethics (COMET), one of the few places where researchers and practitioners from these diverse fields can come together. He continued to work past retirement, until the final few weeks of his life. When he died, he was co-editing a special journal issue, based on a symposium he had organised for AILA in 2014, called Making Applied Linguistics Matter – another opportunity to bring researchers and practitioners together.
Chris Candlin leaves a legacy of commitment to making research on language matter, and others should and will take up the charge he fulfilled so passionately. He will be missed by all of us.
A very warm welcome to the new IALSP blog posts! Please watch this space for updates from our Association’s executive and general membership.
As I write, IALSP is currently in the exciting space between conference past and conference to come. It is nearly a year since our last International Conference on Language and Social Psychology, where our friendly hosts were the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. It is also a year since I took up the presidency of this fine gathering of language and communication scholars from around the world, joining an illustrious line stretching all the way back to Peter Robinson and Howie Giles in the 1970s. Our latest ICLASP (the 14th) was the usual intellectual and social success, with ideas exchanged and friendships made or affirmed over three busy days in June. I was particularly impressed, once again, by the willingness of our large core membership to embrace and positively engage with fine work from different perspectives. It gave me renewed confidence in our future: the centripetal ontological forces holding us together as an association balance any centrifugal pressures that our ecumenical reaching out to other interests and traditions might bring. We are all about respect, dialogue and exchange – long may this continue.
Our current activities reflect this. Two recently-organised invited IALSP panels will augment upcoming events for sister organisations. I was delighted that Janice Krieger and Cindy Gallois and colleagues were able to put such a fine panel together for the next International Communication Association Conference on the 21st to the 25th of this month in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Here an IALSP Science Communication Task Force will present work on ‘Insights from the Science of Language on the Language of Science’. Equally impressive is the panel organised by Itesh Sachdev and colleagues for the Asian Association of Social Psychology’s next conference in Cebu, Philippines, 19-22 August, 2015. Itesh and colleagues will be showcasing a selection of recent and ongoing work in language and social psychology. We wish them bon voyage and every success in helping to get the IALSP message out there!
Planning is well under way for our next ICLASP, number 15. This will be a joint event with our colleagues from the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, to be held at their well-appointed Bangkok-central campus, next June. The IALSP Executive are in the process of finalising a line-up of stellar plenary speakers, and will be setting up activities and offers of support particularly for younger scholars. We can promise all attendees wonderful Thai and IALSP hospitality and a full quota of intellectual stimulation.
Details of the call for papers for ICLASP15 will follow soon, please look out for this in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology and as many other places as we can reach with the good news!
Our focus publication for this month (randomly selected) by an IALSP member is: Bull, P.& Miskinis, K. (2015) Whipping it up! An analysis of audience responses to political rhetoric in speeches from the 2012 American presidential elections. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 34.
ABSTRACT: In the context of Hofstede’s distinction between collectivist and individualist societies, an analysis was conducted of rhetorical devices utilized to invite affiliative audience responses in 11 speeches delivered by the two principal candidates in the 2012 American presidential election (Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney). Results were compared with preexisting data on Japanese and British political speeches. Whereas Anglo American politicians principally utilized implicit rhetorical devices, the Japanese principally utilized explicit devices. Whereas individualized audience responses (isolated applause and individual remarks) occurred throughout the American speeches, Japanese audiences invariably responded together. Collective audience responses also occurred in the American speeches, but showed a greater diversity than those for the British or Japanese, with chanting and booing, as well as cheering, applause, and laughter. In the American speeches, a significant positive correlation was found between affiliative response rate and electoral success; this is the first study to demonstrate such a significant relationship.
As part of an effort to promote the research conducted by IALSP members, this is the first of a regular set of posts highlighting member publications. Here, you can download a list of research by IALSP members that was published between January and March of 2015.
IALSP Member Publications January – March 2015
We are also starting a “Focus Publication” of the month feature, in which we showcase a recent publication by an IALSP member each month. This article will be randomly chosen from our list of member publications.
For April 2015, our focus publication is: Calleja, M., Montiel, C. J., Baquiano, M. (in press). Humor in power-differentiated intergroup wage negotiation. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology.
Abstract: This research examined the role of humour in power-differentiated wage bargaining conversations. We collected transcripts of wage bargaining between the local labour union and management negotiators of a multinational beverage company operating in the Philippines. Through conversation analysis, we determined how both parties utilised humor to challenge or maintain power relations even as both labour and management worked towards a wage bargaining agreement. Findings show that humour was used to maintain intergroup harmony, subvert authority and control the negotiation. Our findings may be useful for labour organisations and multinational corporations that operate in Southeast Asian countries with historically tumultuous labour relations such as the Philippines.