Competitive parliamentary debate is a popular and important form of debate in the United States. This study surveyed individuals who competed, and individuals who have never competed, in parliamentary debate were surveyed to understand if parliamentary debate increases argumentativeness and decreases verbal aggression in students who competed in the event. When it comes to verbal aggressiveness, competitive parliamentary debate participants did score lower in verbal aggressiveness then those who have not competed in parliamentary debate. However, there was not a significant difference in verbal aggressiveness with those who have more parliamentary debate experience and those with less experience. Additionally, competitive parliamentary debate participation did not predict the level of argumentativeness because competitive debaters did not significantly score higher on the argumentativeness scale compared to those who have not competed. However, when looking at those who did compete in parliamentary debate, it was found that the longer they competed, the higher their level of argumentativeness. These results lead to implications and conclusions about teaching and competing in parliamentary debate.


Leah White

First Committee Member

Deepa Oommen

Second Committee Member

Jasper Hunt

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Communication Studies


Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.