423 Whats the beef with communication? Investigating communication styles of advanced animal science students Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Effective science communication skills are vital to the animal science industry for translating science-focused information to lay audiences. To address the American Society of Animal Sciences (2017) third core principle of communicating research and scientific information in an open, transparent, and dynamic manner, we sought to investigate the communication styles of students enrolled in a senior-level animal science (beef cattle production) course at Texas A&M University. To do so, we described students preferred communication style(s) and ranching experience levels to assess potential effect of ranching experience levels on communication styles. We used Hartman and McCambridge (2011) communication style assessment to describe the communication styles of amiable, analytical, driver, and expressive for students enrolled in this course during four semesters (N = 188; spring 2018 = 61, summer 2018 = 15, fall 2018 = 55, and spring 2019 = 57). Of these, 124 were females (66%) and all (100%) were animal science majors. Students preferred the amiable communication style (n = 59; 31.4%), while females preferred amiable (n = 124; 32.3%) and males preferred driver (n = 64; 29.3 %). Students were moderately experienced with ranching (M = 3.1, SD = 1.08 on a 1-to-5, lowest to highest, respectively, scale). We used a one-way, between-subjects ANOVA to compare the effect of ranching experience on communication styles at the P > 0.05 level and met the assumption of homogeneity using Levenes test (P = 0.52). There was no significant effect [F(10, 174) = 0.68, P = 0.74]. Because amiable communicators are generally supportive but not assertive, we recommend implementing decision-making exercises to move them to become more assertive in making decisions. Previous experiences due to familiarity with livestock production were not related to communication styles. Therefore, we recommend investigating students communication styles to prepare animal science graduates to meet industry needs.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Animal Science

author list (cited authors)

  • Norris, S. L., Leggette, H., Siptak, H., Herring, A., & Murphrey, T.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Norris, Shannon L||Leggette, Holli||Siptak, Hanna||Herring, Andy||Murphrey, Theresa

publication date

  • January 2019