Telephone apprehension : a study of individual differences in attitudes to, and usage of the telephone
This thesis explored one form of communication apprehension, namely telephone apprehension, defined as "anxiety or fear associated with the anticipated or actual use of the telephone". Using a self-report questionnaire, data from UK and Australian student and non-student samples indicated significant sex (male>female), non-significant age, but significant age by sex interactions (older men>older women, younger nsd). Culture and sample differences were significant (UK>Australian>USA; students>non-students). Correlations between apprehension and use were small. Factor analyses suggested that telephone apprehension comprised three independent factors. "Problematic Communication" focuses upon apprehension, whilst "Approach-Avoidance" involves overall like-dislike and use-avoidance. "Confidence" concerns self-perceived competence. This analysis implied that there was no necessary relation between telephone apprehension and use-avoidance. A validity study concluded that a revised self-report questionnaire incorporating distinctions between using, communicating, speaking and listening by telephone was an appropriately specified, valid and reliable measure of telephone apprehension. An investigation of the correlations of telephone apprehension with generalised anxiety, communication apprehension, social desirability and self-esteem showed that these were non-significant, and accounted for only 6.4% of the overall variance in telephone apprehension. It was concluded that differences in telephone apprehension do not result merely from differences in other, more generalised personality or communication variables. A critical review of the concept of telephone apprehension, and of communication apprehension in general, lead to the redefinition of telephone apprehension within an expectancy-value framework, as the summed product of the evaluative components of beliefs about the negative affective outcomes of telephone use, and their associated outcome expectancies. In addition to apprehension, other variables should be incorporated in predictive models of telephone use, such as non-affective outcome expectancies and evaluations, and self-efficacy expectancies. A combined expectancy-value and selfefficacy model was proposed which incorporated telephone apprehension as one of the predictor variables.