Value appeals are crucial to persuasion. However, we wonder if forensic educators prioritize certain values. This content analysis examines the value appeals in the introductions of the three highest-placing persuasive speeches (N = 56) from the 1996-2016 Interstate Oratory Contests. Our two-decade comparison reveals that the diversity of values to which the finalists appealed decreased in the last decade. Drawing upon the Interstate Oratorical Association's historical context, Rokeach's (1973) value appeals, and Social Judgment Theory, we explain this trend and explore practical implications regarding exclusivity and judge bias, as well as methodological implications for future content analyses of value appeals.

Author Biography

Author's note: The authors would like to thank Dr. Jerry Miller, Nadia Clinkscales, Matt Delzer, Colin Lasu, Melissa W m Jama for their assistance throughout this study.



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