The effect of hedges and certainty markers on the perceived quality of a manager.

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This study looks at the effect of uncertainty markers and certainty markers on the perceived quality of a manager. Earlier research has shown the influence of hedges, but not a lot of research has been done on certainty markers. The focus on internal communication in an organizational context is new in the field. Three versions of a message were used, differing in linguistic markers. Quality was measured with authoritativeness, trustworthiness, competence and sociability. An experiment with a between-subjects design done by 97 students showed no significant effects of the version on the perceived quality. Although not significant, the data indicated that authoritativeness, trustworthiness and competence were given the highest score when the message without markers was read and the lowest score when the message with uncertainty markers was read. Sociability was also perceived highest when the message without markers was read, but was perceived lowest when the message with certainty markers was read. The current study has several limitations, so future research done differently might contribute significant results in this field.
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