In the social sciences, there is an important debate about how to do good empirical research and how to publish about it. As this journal, the Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, also regularly publishes empirical studies, the present article aims to open the debate in the field of language and communication. After outlining the major problems associated with research integrity and developing potential solutions to these problems, we invited researchers from the field of language and communication to present their views, which are published as reactions to this paper in the current issue of this journal.
- Hornikx, J., & Batenburg, A. (2016). Integriteit in kwantitatief, empirisch onderzoek: problemen en mogelijke oplossingen. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 38 (2), 119-131 [link].
The lead article by Hornikx and Batenburg (2016) invited researchers in language and communication to reflect on problems and possible solutions related to research integrity in conducting and reporting quantitative, empirical research. The reactions from the colleagues in the field underline the problems that were described, and present a number of solutions to these problems. In general, these solutions can be summarized under the heading of meta-analytic thinking: one study does not provide a yes-or-no answer to a given answer; it should be designed to provide more robust results (e.g., through replications, multiple message designs), and should be reported in such a way as to be replicable in the research community (e.g., transparency, registration reports).
- Batenburg, A., & Hornikx, J. (2016). Integriteit in kwantitatief, empirisch onderzoek: het perspectief van taalbeheersers. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 38 (2), 193-200 [link].
In this paper, it is argued that the most fruitful approach to developing normative models of argument quality is one that combines the argumentation scheme approach with Bayesian argumentation. Three sample argumentation schemes from the literature are discussed: the argument from sign, the argument from expert opinion, and the appeal to popular opinion. Limitations of the scheme-based treatment of these argument forms are identified and it is shown how a Bayesian perspective may help to overcome these. At the same time, the contributions of the standard scheme-based approach are highlighted, and it is argued that only a combination of the insights of different traditions will yield a complete normative theory of argument quality.
- Hahn, U., & Hornikx, J. (2016). A normative framework for argument quality: Argumentation schemes with a Bayesian foundation. Synthese, 193 (6), 1833-1873. [link]
In international advertising, there has been a long-standing debate about standardization versus adaptation. A prominent empirical line of research addressing this issue has revealed that adapting advertisements to important cultural values is beneficial for persuasion and ad liking. Strikingly, this effect is absent for Western Europeans. The present study examines if Western Europeans are sensitive to cultural value adaptation in advertising if individualism-collectivism is primed prior to exposure to the ad. An experiment was conducted in which an ad with an individualist or a collectivist value appeal was presented after exposure to irrelevant primes or to primes consisting of images expressing individualism-collectivism. Results were in line with existing studies: no effect of adaptation was found, even after cultural priming. The results were interpreted through the cultural perspective of dynamic constructivism, according to which the European context may explain why Europeans are as positive about incongruent value appeals as congruent appeals. The experiment adds to the body of research indicating that value adaptation in advertising is not beneficial for marketers in the Western European region.
- Hornikx, J., & Nijhuis, J. (2016). The potential effect of cultural priming on the effectiveness of cultural value adaptation in advertising. Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy, 1 (2), 180-188. [link]
Social media allow consumers to easily share positive or negative information about a brand with other consumers, for instance through Twitter. Such Twitter use is a source of information that may affect the brand reputation. Therefore, it is important to gain more understanding of how Twitter is employed to evaluate brands and to communicate these evaluations with others. Previous research on Twitter use has shown that tweets about brands are more likely to be positive than negative. The present study integrates an agenda-setting perspective with studies on word-of-mouth and services marketing, which have suggested that this finding may be different for services than for goods. A quantitative content analysis of 1920 Dutch tweets for 24 different brands was performed. The analysis showed that services receive significantly more negative sentiment tweets than products. Implications of these results for monitoring consumers are discussed.
- Hornikx, J. & Hendriks, B. (2015). Consumer tweets about brands: A content analysis of sentiment tweets about goods and services. Journal of Creative Communications, 10 (2), 176-185. [link]
In commercial messages, such as advertisements, foreign languages are sometimes displayed. Regardless of whether readers understand the foreign language utterance, researchers have claimed that such foreign language display evokes curiosity to read the ad, and improves ad and product evaluation. Whereas empirical research has established the impact of foreign language display on evaluation, no studies have been conducted on its curiosity-evoking capacity. In this research note, the importance of this capacity is highlighted, and a first study is presented that tested this capacity. The results did not find support for the curiosity-evoking capacity of foreign language display.
- Hornikx, J., & Mulder, E. (2015). The curiosity-evoking capacity of foreign languages in advertising. Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4 (1), 59-66. [link]
One of the linguistic consequences of globalization is the increase in the number of people communicating with each other in a language that is not their own. Studies have started to examine how non-nativeness affects people in their production and evaluation of discourse. This special interest section brings together a collection of empirical papers in a particular domain of non-nativeness in communication, that is, the use and effects of foreign languages in job and product advertisements. These papers investigate how the use of foreign languages is appreciated by non-native users, what determines the occurrence of foreign languages, how recall of foreign languages compares to the recall of L1 advertising, and whether foreign languages attract the readers’ curiosity. Together, these papers demonstrate the growing academic interest in non-nativeness in communication.
- Hornikx, J. (2015). Non-nativeness in communication: Use and effects of foreign languages in advertising. Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4 (1), 1-5. [link]
Claims supported by high-quality evidence have been found to be more persuasive than claims supported by low-quality evidence. However, Hoeken and Hustinx (2007) showed that this effect was only observed in short texts (a claim with evidence), but not in longer texts (where information unrelated to the evidence was added at the end of the text). The current experiment was conducted to examine whether this effect of text length could be explained by distraction (the additional text at the end distracts the reader) or by dilution (the additional text makes the fragment less diagnostic for claim evaluation). Participants (N = 629) read two texts with high/low-quality evidence. The text was presented in three versions: short, long with additional information at the end, or – new in comparison to Hoeken and Hustinx (2007) – long with additional information at the start. The data found support for the distraction explanation: an effect of evidence quality on persuasiveness was observed in the short text, and in the longer text with additional information at the start, but not in the longer text with additional information at the end.
- Hornikx, J. (2014). Het effect van evidentiekwaliteit op de beoordeling van standpunten: de rol van toegevoegde tekst. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 36 (1), 107-125 [link].
The concept of argumentation schemes plays an important role in identifying real-life argumentation, and in assessing the quality of this argumentation by virtue of critical questions. Argumentation schemes have played a central role within argumentation theory since the second half of the last century. This special issue addresses two general topics related to argumentation schemes. In the first place, some papers tackle the question how argumentation schemes should be classified into a framework, and how they work together in argumentative discourse. In the second place, other papers address the question how language users employ criteria to evaluate argumentation.
- Jansen, H., & Hornikx, J. (2014). Hedendaags theoretisch en empirisch onderzoek naar argumentatieschema’s. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 36 (1), 1-9 [link].
Om mensen mee te krijgen met een standpunt zijn overtuigende argumenten belangrijk. Sociaal-psychologische onderzoeken laten zien dat sommige argumenten overtuigender zijn dan andere, maar is het onduidelijk welke kenmerken van argumenten dat verschil verklaren. In de zoektocht naar een theorie over argumentkwaliteit bekijkt deze bijdrage eerst enkele perspectieven op argumentkwaliteit. Studies uit de cognitieve psychologie hebben zich wel verdiept in kenmerken die de kwaliteit van argumenten bepalen, maar dit perspectief stuit op bezwaren. Argumentatieschema’s met kritische vragen hebben het meest bevredigende perspectief geboden voor kenmerken van argumentkwaliteit. Toch heeft ook dit perspectief enkele nadelen. Zo is het onduidelijk wat de normatieve basis is om argumentkwaliteit te laten afhangen van de kritische vragen. Vervolgens wordt betoogd dat een Bayesiaans perspectief een waardevol vertrekpunt kan zijn voor het ontwikkelen van een theorie over argumentkwaliteit. Een Bayesiaans perspectief op het ad populum-argument laat de potentie van deze aanpak zien: nieuwe kritische vragen, die onderling samenhangen, blijken relevant voor de kwaliteit van een ad populum-argument. Samen met bestaande inzichten over argumentatieschema’s kan dit perspectief helpen om een theorie over argumentkwaliteit te ontwikkelen.
- Hornikx, J. (2013). Een Bayesiaans perspectief op argumentkwaliteit: het ad populum-argument onder de loep. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 35 (2), 128-143. [link]