Human Communication Research

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1468-2958
Print ISSN: 0360-3989
Interaction between Fagerstrom Test of Nicotine Dependence and presence of smoking cues on uncertainty.
Average Uncertainty in Visual Fixation Across II and Smoking Cues
This study examines how addicted smokers attend visually to smoking-related public service announcements (PSAs) in adults smokers. Smokers' onscreen visual fixation is an indicator of cognitive resources allocated to visual attention. Characteristic of individuals with addictive tendencies, smokers are expected to be appetitively activated by images of their addiction-specifically smoking cues. At the same time, these cues are embedded in messages that associate avoidance responses with these appetitive cues, potentially inducing avoidance of PSA processing. Findings suggest that segments of PSAs that contain smoking cues are processed similarly to segments that contain complex stimuli (operationalized in this case as high in information introduced) and that visual attention is aligned with smoking cues on the screen.
PIP The authors empirically investigated the relative ordering of knowledge, attitudes, and practices in behavior change models and its relation to communicating health-related information. Considerable research has been conducted in the area of behavior change to identify and measure the presence of knowledge, attitudinal, and practice levels for many behaviors. The literature is reviewed. The authors' investigation consisted of interviewing 1680 men and women in Lima, Cusco, Huaraz, Puno, and Chimbote--5 large Peruvian cities--in 3 urban probability household surveys conducted in August 1994, January 1995, and January 1996. Six possible knowledge, attitude, and practice permutations are developed with regard to contraception in Peru. People may use contraceptive methods before they become fully knowledgeable about their chosen methods. In so doing, these users may become misinformed about contraceptive practice and become dissatisfied contraceptive users who discontinue contraceptive use. Media campaigns designed to inform the public can help produce a more satisfied and sustainable contraceptive user base. The informed choice approach can be the basis for effective communication strategies.
PIP Stanford University's Five-City Multifactor Risk Reduction Project (FCP) was a 14-year trial of community-wide cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk reduction through integrated programs of community organization and mass media health promotion. The project was launched in 1978 in 5 central California cities, including Monterey, Salinas, Modesto, and San Luis Obispo. TV public service announcements (PSAs), TV shows, booklets, printed tip sheets with brief health suggestions on 7 topics, and newspaper coverage were the types of mass media approaches used in the FCP. These strategies are compared with regard to reach, specificity, and impact for a 5-year study period from 1979/80. Reach is measured as the number of messages intervention community residents remembered, specificity was assessed by examining whether the campaign differentially reached people who were already knowledgeable and practicing cardiovascular disease risk reduction, and impact is defined as the amount of knowledge gained during the course of the campaign. Reach was highest for tip sheets, while specificity was highest for booklets followed by TV programs. Newspaper messages had the most impact, followed by booklets and TV PSAs, tip sheets, and TV programs. Communication channels varied according to reach, specificity, and impact, with each criterion being distinct. No channel was optimal for all 3 of the outcome measures.
This study develops and demonstrates a theoretical framework and corresponding methodology to link variables at the culture level to the individual level and, then, to specific outcome variables. The authors argue that in order to advance theory about culture's influence on communication, researchers must begin to examine how culture affects individual level (psychological) processes and, subsequently, how these processes affect communication. The image of self, referred to as self-construal, is an ideal candidate to perform the role of linking culture to behavior. The self is shaped by cultural forces and affects many, if not all, communication behaviors. The proposed strategy is applied in the test of a path-analytic model linking cultural collectivism with interdependent self-construals and, ultimately, high-context communication. The discussion includes implications for theory development and possible applications to further research.
PIP This paper describes an individual-differences model of information exposure which reflects the needs for novelty and sensation likely inherited as survival behaviors from humankind's ancient past. The model grew out of an earlier activation model developed to explain exposure to information about public affairs. After the model's biological basis is explained, it is proposed as a theory in deductive nomological form. Propositions are then deduced from its central assumptions and a series of funded health communication studies for which it has provided guidance is described. Individual differences in the need for novelty form the basis for both identifying target audiences most likely to engage in health risk behaviors such as drug and alcohol use and risky sex, and guiding the design of appropriate and effective messages. Strategies developed which have been based upon the theoretical model have successfully induced attitudinal and behavioral changes in experimental studies. They have also reached at-risk audiences in field studies through televised public service announcements in appropriate television programming.
PIP The effects of exposure to "Hum Log," India's first long-running television soap opera, on viewers' beliefs about women's status, freedom of choice, and family planning were assessed in a survey of 1170 respondents from three geographic areas. The soap opera is intended to promote prosocial beliefs about the role of women in India. A structural equation model was developed to measure the impact of awareness, involvement, and television dependency on personal beliefs. Viewers who were most exposed to "Hum Log" were more involved with its characters and more dependent on Indian television for education and entertainment, but were no more aware than their less exposed counterparts of the prosocial beliefs promoted by the soap opera. There was no significant association between viewers' involvement with the characters and their beliefs about women's equality, freedom of choice, or family planning. Moreover, viewers who were more dependent on television did not exhibit significantly stronger beliefs about these issues. There was a significant association between awareness of the prosocial messages promoted in "Hum Log" and viewer beliefs in freedom of choice and family planning. Overall, it appears that, while "Hum Log" enjoys a large and dedicated audience, its messages regarding women's equality are not being assimilated on a large scale. An analysis of the female characters in the soap opera reveals that, in many cases, the self-sufficient, career-oriented women experienced negative social consequences, while characters who pursued more traditional female roles were rewarded. Thus, while there is no evidence that "Hum Log" is making a significant contribution toward changing the way women are viewed in India, its popularity paves the way for future prosocial programming.
Increasingly, communication experiments are incorporating replication/actors for the purpose of controlling confounds and increasing generalizability. If replications are considered to be samples of possible treatment implementations, treating the replication factor as random is more appropriate than treating it as fixed. Study 1 shows that treating sampled replications as a fixed effect leads to potentially serious alpha inflation in the test of the treatment effect while treating sampled replications as random controls alpha at its nominal level. Study 2 addresses a common objection to treating replications as random: the argument that to do so will lead to unacceptably low power in statistical testing. Although experiments with very few replications are likely to be deficient in power, the results of Study 2 establish that power can be improved to an unexpected degree by a relatively modest increase in the number of replications.
This study extends priming research in political communication by focusing on an alternative political information source (i.e., Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9-11), affect rather than cognitions, and the existence of intra-affective ambivalence. In addition, two moderator variables are analyzed: political party identification and need for closure. There is a statically significant three-way interaction between the viewing of F 9-11, political party identification, and need for closure relative to the dependent variable of affective ambivalence toward George W. Bush. High need for closure Republicans who viewed F 9-11 exhibited pronounced levels of Bush-affective ambivalence. In addition, high need for closure Independents who viewed F 9-11 exhibited far lower ambivalence toward Bush relative to their control group peers. The findings are discussed relative to the roles performed by emerging alternative political media and the expansion of the theory of priming within the context of political communication.
Studies 1 and 2: Contrasting Models of the PE-AE Relationship in Two Health Messages
Study 3: Contrasting Models of the PE-AE Relationship in Eight PSAs
Illustrative final structural equation models from Studies 3 and 4.Note: Not shown are the correlations among the exogenous variables, the disturbance terms, and the manifest variables. The numerical values that do appear are standardized path coefficients. All paths are significant at p < .05.
Study 4: Contrasting Models of the PE-AE Relationship in Five PSAs
Study 5: An Experimental Contrast of the PE-AE Relationship in Two PSAs
Can perceived message effectiveness (PE) be considered a cause of actual effectiveness (AE)? If so, PE judgments can be used as valid indicators of the persuasiveness of messages in the preimplementation phase of campaigns. In addition, manipulating PE may be a viable persuasive strategy. But, if the reverse causal sequence obtains (AE→PE), then the strategy would be ineffective and the utility of PE in formative campaign research meaningless. Structural equation analysis of 2 cross-sectional data sets (N = 202 and 204) concerned with fear appeals favored the PE→AE hypothesis. Two additional studies (N = 140 and 237), which employed a total of 13 public service announcements (PSAs), returned the same result. A fifth experimental study (N = 119) which utilized 2 PSAs provided further indication that PE→AE but not the reverse. At least under the conditions that characterize formative research, PE may be viewed as a causal antecedent of AE.
The past two decades have witnessed marked improvment in the work produced by communication researchers. Today's research is marked by increasing reliance on theory, a greater emphasis on programmatic research, and attempts to fit methods to particular research objectives. These advances, along with a dramatic increase in the number of capable communication researchers, have combined to heighten the credibility of communication research among colleagues in related disciplines. Although many issues remain unsolved, progress is the key word in assessing events of the last 20 years.
Recent accounts of male and female personality development suggest that members of each sex differ in the orientations and capacities they bring to their experience of the political world. This article explores the relative importance of respondents’ images of the candidates and respondents’ political positions to predictions of males’ and females’ candidate preferences. It was predicted that candidate images based on interpersonal communication behavior, as opposed to respondents’ political positions, would be a more powerful predictor of females’ candidate preferences. The opposite pattern was expected to be the case for males’ candidate preferences. These predictions were supported; however, the data analysis also indicated that both candidate images and politkal positions contributed significantly to predictions of females’ candidate preferences.
Do televised presidential debates affect audiences’perception of candidates’images more than their knowledge of candidates’issue positions? Existing communication theories offer two competing predictions, with one in favor of the effects on image perception and the other in favor of the effects on issue knowledge. Empirical studies have provided mixed evidence for both predictions. This article reports results of a new study of the effects of the first presidential debate in the 1992 election. Based on a review of various methodological weaknesses in previous studies, the current study used a between-subjects design involving repeated measures of issue knowledge and image perception. Results show that the viewers learned a great deal about candidates’issue positions that were discussed in the debate, but no learning took place of issues that were not debated. The debate did not affect the viewers’perception of the two well-known candidates'personalities but did improve the perception of the least well-known candidate, Ross Perot, on several debate-related personality traits.
Structural equation modeling (SEM) is a viable multivariate tool used by communication researchers for the past quarter century. Building off Cappella (1975) as well as McPhee and Babrow (1987), this study summarizes the use of this technique from 1995–2000 in 37 communication-based academic journals. We identify and critically assess 3 unique methods for testing structural relationships via SEM in terms of the specification, estimation, and evaluation of their respective structural equation models. We provide general guidelines for the use of SEM and make recommendations concerning latent variable models, sample size, reporting parameter estimates, model fit statistics, cross-sectional data, univariate normality, cross-validation, nonrecursive modeling, and the decomposition of effects (direct, indirect, and total).
Mares (1996) presented evidence that source confusions play a role in the cultivation effect. In doing so, she suggested that these findings are at odds with assertions made by Shrum and O'Guinn (1993) concerning the lack of attention that people pay to source characteristics when constructing their social reality judgments. The purpose of this comment is to clarify some of the findings of Mares (1996) that have implications for the heuristic model of cultivation effects (Shrum, 1995) and to show that Mares's findings are, in fact, fully compatible with, and can be integrated into, the heuristic processing model. Implications of Mares's findings for refining and extending Ms model are also discussed.
This study investigated patterned distribution of communication across time in an effort to assess temporal development in T-groups through the use of verbal interaction measures. Two groups conducted with a “meaning-attribution” facilitation style had their verbal interaction recorded as contiguous units of communication. Factor analysis of interaction categories produced nine dimensions labeled: Antagonistic, Assertive-Supportive, Dominant Assertive, Aggressive-Assertive, Assertive, Reactions to Group Laughter, Task-Determining Activity, Reactions to Group Tension, and Supportive-ness. Analysis of the cell means indicated three separate stages of group life could be extrapolated from the sequential distribution of interaction: Boundary-seeking, Ambivalence, and Actualization.
The study assessed the extent to which a speaker's visible body movements can improve verbal comprehension for listeners. Subjects responded to multiple-choice items designed to test their comprehension of 12 videotaped spoken utterances which had been obtained by asking speakers to describe either objects in motion (e.g., a tennis ball, a car, spraying water) or abstract concepts. The 60 subjects each responded to stimuli in one of three presentation conditions (audiovisual, audiovisual without lip and facial cues, and audio-alone) over four signal-to-noise ratios. The results indicated that: (1) visual cues can at times significantly improve comprehension scores, even with lip and facial cues not present; (2) visual cues are increasingly useful as noise is introduced; (3) visual cues assist the comprehension of certain grammatical types of verbal segments regardless of semantic content expressed in those type segments.
This article analyzes two telephone calls from citizens to a 911 center in a large city in the Western United States in which call-takers became angry and attacked the face of the callers. After reviewing past theoretical conceptualizations of face and face attack, the authors analyze the calls using a facework lens. Through a close study of the discourse, the authors show the subtle and blatant ways in which vocal delivery, substance and type of selected speech acts, second pair parts, and selected stance indicators do face attack. Then, they consider how context may contribute to the call-takers' usage of these problematic conversational strategies. The article concludes by assessing how notions of face and face attack would be reconceptualized if future research adopted the grounded practical theory frame that informs this 911 case study.
This study investigated role-taking and referential communication abilities in children. The effects of age, sex, and IQ on both abilities were tested, and the effect of age of receiver on referential communication ability was also examined. Multiple regression analyses were utilized to determine how well the independent variables predict the measures of role-taking and referential communication. Finally, the relationship between role-taking and referential communication was assessed. The participants were 32 first-graders and 32 third-graders. At each grade level, there were equal numbers of boys and girls. Age was found to affect performance on role-taking and communication tasks. Both sex of the child and IQ were found to affect referential communication performance. The relationship between role-taking and referential communication abilities was low. Interpretation of significant results is given, and testing procedures are discussed.
Conversations with visibly disabled strangers entail unequivocally higher uncertainty and relatively more negative predicted outcome values compared to conversations with able-bodied strangers. Contrasting derivations from uncertainty reduction and predicted outcome value theories were tested by comparing observations associated with respondents’ separate conversations with able-bodied and visibly disabled partners. Four hypotheses were cast to favor predicted outcome value interpretations with respect to information seeking, three global features of the respondent's awareness of the partner's behavior, and the association of information seeking with nonverbal affiliative expressiveness and amount of verbal communication. Statistically significant differences in information seeking and awareness of the partner's behavior favored the predicted outcome value interpretation. Implications for predicted outcome value theory and interaction with visibly disabled conversational partners are discussed.
In the context of Aboriginal–Anglo Australian relations, we tested the effect of framing (multiculturalism versus separatism) and majority group members' social values (universalism) on the persuasiveness of Aboriginal group rhetoric, majority collective guilt, attitudes toward compensation, and reparations for Aboriginals. As predicted, Anglo Australians who are low on universalism report more collective guilt when presented with a multiculturalist than a separatist Aboriginal frame, whereas those high on universalism report high levels of guilt independent of frame. The same pattern was predicted and found for the persuasiveness of the rhetoric and attitudes toward compensation. Our data suggest that (a) for individuals low in universalism, framing produces attitudes consonant with compensation because it produces collective guilt and (b) the reason that universalists are more in favor of compensation and reparation is because of high collective guilt. We discuss the strategic use of language to create power through the manipulation of collective guilt in political contexts.
The impact of normative and informational influence was examined with respect to research on hidden profiles, which occur when the members of a group individually hold information favoring a low-quality decision but collectively have the information necessary to make a high-quality decision. Participants were presented with information relevant to a decision and a transcript of a group discussing that decision. The information was either a complete or an incomplete set that instantiated a hidden profile. The transcripts contained the complete set of information but varied the initial preferences of group members and the direction of their noninformational comments. Although extant research indicates that informational pressure should outweigh normative pressure in this context, this study found that when normative and informational influence are in conflict, participants' decisions conformed to normative pressures. The presence of norms and information also had consequences for participants' perceptions of task difficulty, task attractiveness, and decision quality.
In three experiments with difficult stimuli, it was found that the addition of a representative picture to a news item improves recall of that item. Second, as predicted by dual-coding theory (DCT), concrete news items were recalled better than abstract news items (Experiments 2 and 3). Furthermore, concrete news items benefited more from the addition of a news picture than did abstract news items (Experiment 3). In Experiment 4, it was found that news concreteness was strongly correlated with various picture attributes, including visual-verbal overlap, which might in part explain the differential gain in recall from the addition of pictures to concrete and abstract news. The results are explained using Paivio's DCT.
A model of program choice focusing on the decision-making process is developed and applied to cable television viewing. The process concepts of orienting search (becoming aware of alternatives to watch) and revaluation (reconsidering a choice) are found to be positively correlated with channel familiarity (awarensss of available cable channels) and channel repertoire (use of cable channels). Viewers appear to have their own routine means of choosing what to watch that vary according to personality characteristics and demographics. Young, male adults with a high need for stimulation engage in more active choice processes.
This paper discusses several decisions that researchers must make in their application of factor analysis to data related to communication phenomena. Several suggestions are provided to aid researchers in reaching appropriate decisions.
A growing body of research suggests that peer-related communication skills and experiences may facilitate academic achievement, especially in the college environment. However, there is substantial evidence that men and women differ in peer-related interaction skills and patterns, suggesting that there may be gender differences in the relationship between academic performance and interaction with peers. Thus far, only one study has systematically examined this gender difference: that of Nezlek, Wheeler, and Rets. In their 1990 work, they reported data that they interpreted as supporting the existence of gender differences in the relationship between the scholastic performance of college students and aspects of their social interactions. The current article presents a reanalysis of their data, snowing that there are no gender differences in the relationship between academic achievement and social participation. This article also reports a study assessing gender differences in relationships between academic performance and loneliness, communication skills, and social acceptance. Participants (208 college students) completed the revised UCLA loneliness scale, tasks assessing five communication skills, and sociometric measures providing multiple indices of social acceptance. Cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) were obtained from the university registrar. Although several significant associations were detected between CPA and the loneliness and communication skill measures, no gender differences in the associations were found. The results are discussed in terms of relationships between the orientations that students exhibit toward peers and their studies.
A series of studies are reported which indicate that high communication apprehensives have lower academic achievement in traditional interaction-oriented educational systems than low communication apprehensives, but that no similar relationship exists in a communication-restricted educational system. Data are also reported indicating that high communication apprehensives prefer mass lecture classes over small classes while moderate and low communication apprehensives' preferences are the reverse. The implications of these results for choosing or designing instructional systems are discussed.
This study examines the relationship between exposure to various types of television programs and measures of achievement, both of knowledge and skills. The results support a differential viewing hypothesis and a displacement of time hypothesis as explanations for the relationship. Furthermore, a threshold effect resulted that indicates that television viewing does not adversely affect achievement until viewing exceeds about 10 hours per week.
This study draws on the tenets ofstructuration theory and the methodological prescriptions of Archer to examine how theoretical and paradigmatic differences among interdisciplinary faculty are reflected in the ongoing work of their school. It uses network analyses of Ph.D. committee participation from 1984 to 1995 among 29 faculty members of a school with departments of communication, journalism, and library and information science to assess how organizational and cognitive structures serve to constrain or pattern the cohesion of faculty members. The analyses presented here are used to develop a “snapshot” of a scholarly community undergoing incremental change over time. Analysis reveals the presence of two groups of faculty whose members coparticipate more cohesively within themselves than between groups. The sources of the division include the structure of departments within the school as well as the levels of analysis and research traditions enacted by faculty. The study constructively replicates similar analyses.
This study tested whether the accessibility of information in memory mediates the cultivation effect (i.e., the effect of television viewing on social perceptions), consistent with the availability heuristic (Tversky & Kahneman, 1973). Accessibility was operationalized as the time needed to generate frequency estimates of the real-world prevalence of crime, marital discord, and particular occupations. The independent variable was amount of soap opera viewing, and the study used only very heavy (5 or more hours per week) and very light (zero hours per week) viewers. Heavy viewers gave significantly higher frequency estimates (cultivation effect) and responded significantly faster (accessibility effect) than did light viewers, replicating the findings of Shrum and O'Gunn (1993). Soap opera viewing also had an indirect effect on the frequency estimates of crime and occupational prevalence through its effect on response latency, supporting the notion of accessibility as a mediating variable. No such mediating effect was noted for marital discord estimates.
Predicted Model: Process of Resistance 
Final Structural Model for the Process of Resistance NOTE: Path diagram of the combined topics inoculation model with standardized estimates. Latent variables appear in upper case within ellipses. Indicator variables appear in lower case within rectangles. Higher scores of all of the exogenous variables in the model indicate greater levels of these variables. Higher scores on the endogenous variable, attitude toward the counterattitudinal attack, indicates greater influence of the attack. Hence, resistance to the influence of persuasive attacks is signified by negatively-valenced relationships of the various exogenous variables and attitude toward the persuasive attack. χ 2 (df = 12, N = 443) = 18.16, p = .11, CFI = 0.97, AGFI = .97, RMSEA = .03. * p < .05.
This investigation compared the traditional explanation for the way inoculation confers resistance to influence with an alternative rationale for resistance based on attitude accessibility. Four hundred forty-three participants took part in the investigation in four phases spanning 54 days. The combined multiple regression and structural equation modeling results suggest that the traditional and alternative explanations for the way that inoculation confers resistance involve separate processes; counterarguing and accessibility appear to be distinct tracks en route to resistance, but the two explanations also are overlapping processes in which elicited threat plays an integral role.
This research examined the influence of negative political advertising frames on the thoughts and feelings people generate in response to campaign advertising. Preparing and conducting this investigation involved the use of a multiple-method strategy. Content analysis identified two advertising frames (i.e., candidate theme and ad hoc issue advertisements) and two experiments separately induced political cynicism and politician accountability. Three hundred and sixty people participated in the experimental studies, in which they read and responded, using a thought-listing technique, to candidate theme or ad hoc issue negative advertisements. Results demonstrated that participants were more likely to generate cynical comments and hold politicians accountable for the country's ills when reading candidate theme advertisements than ad hoc issue advertisements. The results indicate that this contributes to a political climate of cynicism and may function to erode the electorate's overall trust in government.
The article examines how the goals of maintaining and reaffirming interpersonal relationships are accomplished through the details of talk during closing sections of social encounters. On the basis of Russian language telephone conversations between close familiars, the article explicates ways in which interactions may be reopened and, more specifically, the role of the Russian discourse particle –to on utterances that raise new issues in closing environments. The analysis shows that although many kinds of new matters are commonly raised in conversation closings, only those that deal with the addressee—and only those raised by the person who initiated the closing—are marked so as to indicate the speaker’s accountability for raising the matter late. This suggests that ways in which new topics are introduced in conversation closings reflect the speaker’s orientation to displaying concern for and interest in the addressee.
This paper reports the theoretical development and testing of a causal model of communication patterns of foreign immigrants in the process of acculturation. Communication patterns are conceptualized on two levels: cognitive and behavioral. The cognitive level is observed by the complexity of an immigrant's perception of the host society; the behavioral level by the immigrant's involvement in the host society through interpersonal and mass communication. Three causal factors are identified as major determinants of the immigrant's communication patterns: language competence, acculturation motivation, and accessibility to host communication channels. The theory consists of nine propositions which explain the relationship among the three causal factors, behavioral participation in host communication channels, and cognitive structure in perceiving the host society. The theory was tested and supported by a survey among 400 randomly selected Korean immigrants in the Chicago area.
Research evidence is presented to support a new and simple theory of attitude formation and change. This theory posits that the attitude of any individual converges over time on the arithmetic mean of the attitude-pertinent information received by the individual. Consequently, the stability of an attitude is dependent on the number of messages out of which that attitude was formed. This formulation also implies that the emotional state or feelings of an individual and the degree of heterogeneity of influences to which he or she was exposed are unrelated to attitude change. Using a multi-stage, multi-time procedure, and instruments designed to detect and measure interpersonal influence, data provided by 135 high school students over a six-month interval support these hypotheses.
One explanation for the finding of slightly above-chance accuracy in detecting deception experiments is limited variance in sender transparency. The current study sought to increase accuracy by increasing variance in sender transparency with strategic interrogative questioning. Participants (total N = 128) observed cheaters and noncheaters who were questioned with either indirect background questions or strategic questioning. Accuracy was significantly below chance (44%) in the background questions condition and substantially above chance (68%) in the strategic interrogative questioning condition. The results suggest that transparency can be increased by strategic question asking and that accuracy rates well above chance are possible even for untrained judges exposed to only brief communications.
Comparison of Managerial and Nomanagerial Employees on Grunig Variables and Accuracy Scores
Correlations of Communication Situation Variables with Accuracy Scores
Regression of Accuracy Scores on Communication Situation Variables
Multiple R of Each Independent Variable with Other Independent Variables and Correlation Matrix of Independent Variables
Partial Correlations of Communication Situation Variables and Internal-External Accuracy Scores, Controlling for Correlation with Predicted Scores
As publics of organizations become larger, better organized and more powerful, communication from these publics into organizations becomes essential if the organization is to adapt to this portion of its environment. This article uses Grunig's multisystems theory of organizational communication and McLeod and Chaffee's coorientation paradigm to conceptualize which employees of an organization will achieve the highest level of accuracy with an external public and then uses data from a study of a large business firm to test the conceptualization. Results show that accuracy occurs only when special combinations of conditions are present. The article concludes that organizations cannot leave external communication to the initiative of individual employees but must form a unit to do “systemic” research on the organization's relationship with its environment.
Absent a perceived motive for deception, people will infer that a message source is honest. As a consequence, confessions should be believed more often than denials, true confessions will be correctly judged as honest, and false confessions will be misjudged. In the first experiment, participants judged true and false confessions and denials. As predicted, confessions were judged as honest more frequently than denials. Subsequent experiments replicated these results with an independent groups design and with a sample of professional investigators. Together, these three experiments document an important exception to the 50%+ accuracy conclusion, provide evidence consistent with a projected motive explanation of deception detection, and highlight the importance of the content-in-context in judgmental processes.
This article examines how physicians and patients interactionally accomplish the transition from the activity of history taking to that of physical examination. Prior research focuses on participants' reliance on overt verbal resources (e.g., physicians' requests for permission to examine patients or explanations that foreshadow examination). Using the methodology of conversation analysis, this article draws on a corpus of 40 primary-care encounters to demonstrate that: (a) In addition to verbal behavior, nonverbal behavior is integral to the accomplishment of transitions; and (b) patients' understandings of physicians' verbal and nonverbal behavior as communicating transitions are achieved through situating those behaviors in other contexts of embodied action, talk, activity, and social structure (i.e., the phase structure of encounters). Findings have implications for: (a) the theoretic relationship between verbal and nonverbal behavior in terms of social meaning, (b) what it means to explain transitions and reduce patients' uncertainty, (c) the organization of physician-patient interaction, and (d) the relationship and interface between macro- and microconceptualization of context.
In a large-scale field experiment, data were collected on proximity, demographic and attitudinal similarities, and frequency of interaction of strangers and acquaintances in a situation of free choice. The results of the log linear analysis show that while previous acquaintance and proximity have a strong effect on frequency of interaction, demographic and attitudinal similarities have only a small effect. All these factors together do not account for the observed frequencies of interaction. Future models of early periods of interaction must utilize other factors in addition to those common in research on interpersonal attraction.
This research examines the effectiveness of indirect requests in attaining assistance from intimate and nonintimate others. Prior research indicates that people are inclined to make requests using indirect forms. However, help-seeking research has neglected to consider request forms, and research on indirect requests has focused mainly on issues of interpretation. The results of this study indicate that the directness of a request increases request force and also interacts with relational intimacy to influence verbal compliance. Directness is more effective at eliciting verbal compliance at higher levels of intimacy. The experimental findings highlight issues concerning the definition of indirectness and also the utility of merging interpretation and compliance in language research.
The ability of 119 children (mean ages 6.2, 8.2, 10.1, and 12.3) to perform rule learning and subsequent transfer tasks was observed utilizing three experimental conditions: overt-verbal, covert-verbal, and control. The performance of the subjects suggests that the child who is forced to verbalize his conceptual strategies will reach criterion faster in the rule acquisition task, and will also be more successful in his attempts to transfer the acquired rule. With regard to the transfer tasks specifically, it was found that overt-verbal learning was significantly more effective than covert-learning, and that the covert-verbal condition yielded significantly higher scores than did the control condition. These results point to the effectiveness of verbal strategies in the acquisition and transfer of learning.
Communication researchers routinely assume that information seeking is a strategic, goaldirected process; however, several domains of theory and research suggest that potentially consequential information may be acquired nonstrategically. Dual-process theories and research concerned with automaticity and the role conceptual short-term memory (CSTM) plays in visual information processing are used to illustrate both the ubiquity of nonstrategic information acquisition and its potential consequences on judgments and behavior. Theoretical and methodological implications of nonstrategic information acquisition for the study of information seeking are discussed.
This study examined pilots' (N at T1 = 140; N at T2 = 126; N at T3 = 104) reactions to communication and uncertainty during the acquisition of their airline by another airline. Quantitative results indicate that communication helped to reduce uncertainty and was predictive of affective responses to the acquisition. However, contrary to expectations, reductions in uncertainty did not lead to more positive affective responses. In addition, while pilots felt more job security over time, they developed less positive attitudes toward the acquisition. Qualitative data indicated that this occurred because the pilots felt more secure about having a job since the acquiring organization was more financially solvent, but that they were dissatisfied with how their seniority was credited. These results contribute to an increased understanding of the complex relationships among communication, uncertainty, and outcomes in organizational contexts.
This study attempts to trace children's acquisition of understanding of projective size (e.g., getting closer to and farther away from an object) as depicted on television through two distinctive techniques—zooming in/out and multiple edits. Unlike previous research in this area, this investigation applied aspects of cognitive processing that have been identified as untapped through gross Piagetian measures—Level 1 and Level 2 knowledge of visual perception (Pillow & Flavell, 1986). Findings suggest that children classified as “preoperational” by Piagetian standards, but possessing Level 1 knowledge of visual perception—the ability to infer what objects can or cannot be seen from another person's viewpoint—are capable of understanding the more simple form of projective size; children possessing Level 2 knowledge—the ability to infer the nature, as well as the content, of another person's visual experience—have a better comprehension of the more complex, edited presentation of projective size. Level of television consumption plays a role in children's acquisition of understanding of television information.
Previous research has demonstrated that opinion leaders consistently have more information on the topic of their leadership than do non-opinion leaders. This study tested two theoretical explanations for this phenomenon: selectivity in exposure to information, and differential attention to information. The results provide support for both explanations. Opinion leaders were found to acquire more information than non-opinion leaders under conditions of both voluntary and forced exposure to a mediated message. Both opinion leaders and non-opinion leaders acquired more information under forced exposure than under voluntary exposure.
The general purpose of the study was to construct a precise explanation of the communication patterns of Korean immigrants in Hawaii and the subsequent impact of these communication patterns on their level of information. A general pattern of communication diversity was conceptualized on two levels: (1) whether an immigrant uses diverse channels of communication rather than depending upon one dominant channel, and (2) whether his communication behavior cuts across ethnic boundaries rather than remaining restricted to just one ethnic group. It was hypothesized that for immigrants to be engaged in diverse communication patterns requires both a greater social capacity and a greater cognitive capacity. The cognitive structure with which immigrants process information from their new environment, and their perceived locus of control over the environment, were used as measures of cognitive capacity. Education, occupational status, length of residence in the United States, and English fluency were used as measures of social capacity. All of the hypothesized relationships were tested and supported by face‐to‐face interviews in a sample survey of 401 randomly selected Korean immigrants in Hawaii.
Differences in the conversational characteristics of mothers of two-year-old twins and mothers of two-year-old singletons with older siblings were investigated. Three maternal conversational characteristics were examined: discourse features, illocutionary force features, and style parameters. The twins' and singletons' language skills were also compared and the relationship between the maternal conversational characteristics and language development scores was explored. The mothers of twins were found to differ significantly from the mothers of singleton children in their conversational behavior. The twin children were found to score significantly lower than the singleton children on measures of language expression and comprehension. Significant correlations were found between the maternal input features and the children's language scores. It is proposed that twins receive less responsive and less conversation-eliciting maternal speech. The possibility is offered that this style of speech may play a role in their slower rate of language development.
Reliability of Measures
Among Measurements
Operating from a model derived from research on the attitude-behavior relationship, a conceptualization is presented which indicts current attempts to select a specific behavior and examine its relationship with a personality characteristic relevant to the field of communication. Evidence is presented demonstrating that the characteristic should predict well a multiple act criteria but not a single act criterion. In addition, an empirical distinction is predicted between apprehension and attitude and a comparison is made between three self-report measures of apprehension.
Traffic crashes remain an important cause of injury and death among young people. The aim of the current study was to examine whether adolescents' viewing of particular television genres predicted later risky driving. Data were collected with a two-wave panel survey (N = 426); structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships between television viewing and self-reported risky driving. Theoretically, the study was framed within cultivation theory and the theory of planned behavior. In line with the hypotheses, more news viewing appeared to be an indirect negative predictor of reckless driving, whereas more exposure to action programs was associated with more risk taking in traffic. This relationship was mediated by risk-taking attitudes and intentions. The implications for prevention are discussed.
Research reported here replicates Greene and Sparks (1983a, 1983b) and their re-conceptualization of communication apprehension (CA). Noting the limited empirical evidence in support of a trait/structure link with physiological output, this study applies action assembly theory to the problem. Differential heart rate curves are predicted for high and low trait CA based on Greene's (1984) action assembly theory. The study confirms a hypothesized cubic heart rate function for low trait CA subjects and a quadratic heart rate function for high trait CA subjects. Results are interpreted as empirical support for an action assembly approach to communication anxiety.
Top-cited authors
Judee K Burgoon
  • The University of Arizona
Joseph B. Walther
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
Cheryl Campanella Bracken
  • Cleveland State University
Timothy Levine
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
Jennifer Snyder-Duch
  • Carlow University