Journal of Communication

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1460-2466
Publications
Article
A well-controlled experiment finds that the messages decrease rather than increase negative attitudes toward potentially dangerous drugs.
 
Article
Subjects were 118 students in Human Behavior and Development classes at State University College at Buffalo. Two lectures, which represented part of the course content, were recorded by the Ss’regular professor. Ss were divided into three groups. Lecture number one was presented to Group A (control) at normal word speed (21 minutes duration). The same lecture was presented to Group B (experimental), but at increased word speed (14 minutes duration). Group C (non-treatment) was not exposed to the tape recorded lecture. Rotational design was used for the second lecture presentation to adjust for possible inter-group differences. A thirty item recall test was administered to groups A and B immediately after presentation, and to the non-treatment group. Two to three weeks after each lecture a twenty item retention test was administered to groups A and B. Analysis of variance was computed on the raw test scores of control, experimental, and non-treatment groups for Recall Test I and II. A significant F-ratio (p
 
Article
An experiment investigated emotional reactions to news on policy support. Stimuli were selected from a nationally representative sample of local crime/accident news, and a nationally representative online panel of U.S. adults. Stories were manipulated to mention or not mention the role of alcohol. Anger elicited by stories increased blame of individuals, whereas fear increased consideration of contributing societal factors. Mention of alcohol increased likelihood of different emotional responses dominating--greater anger when alcohol was mentioned and greater fear when not mentioned. Such emotions influence policy support: enforcement of existing laws controlling individual behavior in addition to new laws when anger predominated, and, indirectly, support for new laws changing social context in which alcohol is promoted and sold when fear predominated.
 
Article
The plan of this paper is to demonstrate that human language is a complex phenomena which is unique to man and that the properties of human language represent a new level of cognitive organization vis-a-vis evolutionary theory. The linguistic continuities and discontinuities between man and other species on the phylogenetic scale are described and it is postulated that given the present state of knowledge, traditional learning theory extrapolations cannot adequately account for the discontinuous nature of human language. Man's linguistic discontinuity is discussed in a speculative way to determine what laws of organization and neurosensorimotor mechanisms might account for the human acquisition of language. The implications of evolutionary theory for behavior modification techniques are discussed.
 
Article
Acquaintance, encoding ability, and decoding ability were related to the accuracy of vocal communication of ten emotions. A sample of twenty-five students served as subjects in a design that measured degrees of acquaintance between communicators. Experimentally measured was the accuracy of communication of emotions using content-free messages. Ability measures were derived from the accuracy measure. Results showed no relationship of accuracy and acquaintance but substantial relationship with ability measures.
 
Article
The tendency for childand adult listeners to label vocal communications as reflecting an excess of either positive or negative emotion was investigated by using tapes of child and adult speakers. Adult and child subjects were asked to identify which of six emotions each of the speakers was attempting to communicate. It was found that: (a) listeners do not tend to label vocal communications with an excess of either positive or negative emotion; (b) no differences were found between child and adult listeners with regard to the number of positive and negative labels given to vocal communications; and, (c) child and adult speakers do not tend to elicit an excess of positive or negative emotional labels from either child or adult speakers. The significance of this research is discussed.
 
Article
Affective, Cognitive, and Behavioral dimensions have been hypothesized to be separate manifestations of a common mediating process that makes up the total attitude structure. This hypothesis was tested for attitudes about communication, showing that the affective dimension is strongly related to the behavioral but that the tests that are usually used as measures of these dimensions may not be as sensitive as they should be.
 
Article
“The massive threats to human welfare are generally brought about by deliberate acts…, It is the principled resort to aggression that is of greatest social concern but most ignored in psychological theorizing and research.”
 
Article
Within the scarce literature concerning verbal aggression, there is some indication that verbal and physical aggression may have similar inhibitions conditioned to each. Two experiments were carried out to explore this possible relationship. In the first, middle and lower socioeconomic status (SES) adolescent boys were exposed to televised physical aggression with and without consequences to the victim shown. In the second experiment, middle and lower SES adolescent boys were exposed to televised verbal and physical aggression. For both studies, intensity of post-viewing verbal and physical aggression was measured. The hypothesized relationship between physical and verbal aggression was minimally supported. In only the second study was the previously well documented stimulative effect of viewing television violence clearly shown. Several questions are raised and research directions are suggested to better understand verbal aggression as it is related to physical aggression and televised violence.
 
Article
Application of the performing arts as social change agents is illustrated and discussed. Motivations and effectiveness of various groups are exposed and challenged. A review of communication goals and results of the “problem-solving theater” is drawn from recent studies sponsored by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Based upon this review, the author poses some characteristics of those enterprises with the greatest promise of effectiveness in the area of resocialization: (1) clients become involved in creative artistic achievement, (2) there are exercises in cooperation and communal activity, (3) there are opportunities for public view and criticism of artistic products, and (4) activities center around adult leadership of stature. The author conclitdes that application of available communication theory calls for programs which change members of “andiences” into participants in meaningful experience.
 
Article
One application of the concepts and principles of information theory to psychiatry and psychotherapy is shown. It is argued that students of information theory and of psychiatry and psychology can work together to elucidate the phenomenon of ambiguity tolerance and to begin approaching a “theory” of disordered communication arising from low levels of ambiguity tolerance. After a brief review of the key concepts of information theory, the thinking of psychiatrists, psychologists and information theorists with regard to the phenomenon of ambiguity tolerance is integrated. It is shown that by utilizing concepts and approaches gleaned from both fields it is possible to predict an individual's responses to ambiguity. These include shielding oneself from information by withdrawal, by making formal and informal commitments to social institutions, by subscribing to an ideology, and by utilizing linguistic devices (e.g., oversimplification in the form of stereotypes and clichés, literalness and two-valued thinking) as information shields. Further, it is possible to predict the consequences of these responses to ambiguity, including self-containment, inhibition, affective frigidity, redundancy-dependence, avoidance of intimacy and personal rigidity. The origins of low ambiguity tolerance in family settings and under conditions of psychological stress are discussed. Finally, it is shown that by utilizing knowledge and concepts from both fields, it is possible to sketch broad approaches to therapeutic treatment of disordered communication arising from low levels of ambiguity tolerance.
 
Article
A study of proxemics and tactility in three large cities shows that the image of Latinos as members of one large "contact" culture may not always hold true.
 
Article
This study will seek to encourage communication scholars to take a more active interest in insuring optimum health care for society to the extent that communication can contribute to that accomplishment. It will seek to specify the kinds of communication taking place in physician-patient relationships, identify the major variables relating to the communication process of that relationship and suggest possible directions the relationship and the research may be taking. Three basic statements emerge. First, in seeking to successfully deal with a persistent health care problem, we must come to grips with communication as a significant variable. Second, although we know something about communication in the patient-physician arena, we need to know much more. Third, communication researchers can make important contributions in the ongoing struggle of a modern generation to cope with its medical ills.
 
A forest plot of effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals for each study.
Article
Although numerous media literacy interventions have been developed and delivered over the past 3 decades, a comprehensive meta-analytic assessment of their effects has not been available. This study investigates the average effect size and moderators of 51 media literacy interventions. Media literacy interventions had positive effects (d=.37) on outcomes including media knowledge, criticism, perceived realism, influence, behavioral beliefs, attitudes, self-efficacy, and behavior. Moderator analyses indicated that interventions with more sessions were more effective, but those with more components were less effective. Intervention effects did not vary by the agent, target age, the setting, audience involvement, the topic, the country, or publication status.
 
Article
This paper describes a program of group counseling for speech anxiety (sometimes called “stage fright”) which is based upon theory and research in the general area of group counseling and therapy. The suggested approach is supported by a rationale based upon existing research on the problem of speech anxiety.
 
Top-cited authors
Robert M. Entman
  • George Washington University
Dietram A. Scheufele
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
Lance Bennett
  • University of Washington Seattle
Patti M. Valkenburg
  • University of Amsterdam
Holli Semetko
  • Emory University