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Tell me more: The effects of expressed interest on receptiveness during dialog

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Abstract

Two studies investigated the effect of expressed interest on individuals’ openness to opposing viewpoints and perceptions of debate counterparts. Participants in Study 1 engaged in an online conversation with a purported debate counterpart who did or did not express interest in the participants’ viewpoint by asking an elaboration question—that is, a question geared at soliciting additional information. Compared to control participants, participants who received a question rated their debate counterpart more favorably, were more willing to engage in future interaction with their counterpart, and acted in a more receptive manner. Study 2 tested the effects of instructions to prepare elaboration questions on listeners’ responses to a speaker offering counter-attitudinal arguments. Preparing questions caused participants to be more open to the idea of having a conversation with the speaker, to make more positive attributions about typical proponents of the speaker’s viewpoint, and to judge the conclusions of the speech as more valid. Theoretical and practical implications of this research are discussed.

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... Fortunately for individuals and organizations who wish to persuade, prior work in psychology has also documented several lab-based strategies that are able to reduce individuals' resistance to persuasion by seeking to elude or assuage these self-image concerns (e.g., Chen, Minson, and Tormala 2010;Cohen, Aronson, and Steele 2000;Itzchakov, Kluger, and Castro 2017;Slater and Rouner 2002;Steele, Spencer, and Lynch 1993). However, it is not immediately clear how individuals and organizations seeking to persuade could practically deploy many of these lab-based strategies in the real world, such as in interpersonal conversations between colleagues or with voters as part of a political campaign. ...
... Outside of lab settings, it may not be readily feasible to reduce threat to the self by prompting individuals to engage in strategies such as writing self-affirming essays. However, listening in a "non-judgmental, empathic, and respectful" manner (Itzchakov, Kluger, and Castro 2017, 105) has been found to limit defensive reactions and increase openness to alternative viewpoints by reducing perceived threat to the self and providing affirmation (Chen, Minson, and Tormala 2010;Itzchakov, Kluger, and Castro 2017; see also Bruneau and Saxe 2012;Voelkel, Ren, and Brandt 2019). Itzchakov, Kluger, and Castro (2017) call this "high-quality listening," and we summarize it as "non-judgmental listening." ...
... In typical political exchanges where a persuader argues that one side of an issue or one candidate is superior to another, individuals' self-image may be threatened by the persuader's implicit or explicit negative judgments about individuals' existing views, and they therefore may be motivated to rebut or ignore the persuader's message. However, if a persuader shows respect by seeking out an individuals' point of view and refraining from expressing any negative judgments of it, this may affirm individuals' self-esteem and decrease the perceived threat to the self from also acknowledging the persuader's viewpoint in reciprocation (Chen, Minson, and Tormala 2010;Itzchakov, Kluger, and Castro 2017). In this way, creating a non-judgmental conversational context in which to persuade provides "a safe space" for political opponents to acknowledge alternative viewpoints (Itzchakov, Kluger, and Castro 2017, 106). ...
Article
Exclusionary attitudes—prejudice toward outgroups and opposition to policies that promote their well-being—are presenting challenges to democratic societies worldwide. Drawing on insights from psychology, we argue that non-judgmentally exchanging narratives in interpersonal conversations can facilitate durable reductions in exclusionary attitudes. We support this argument with evidence from three pre-registered field experiments targeting exclusionary attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants and transgender people. In these experiments, 230 canvassers conversed with 6,869 voters across 7 US locations. In Experiment 1, face-to-face conversations deploying arguments alone had no effects on voters’ exclusionary immigration policy or prejudicial attitudes, but otherwise identical conversations also including the non-judgmental exchange of narratives durably reduced exclusionary attitudes for at least four months (d = 0.08). Experiments 2 and 3, targeting transphobia, replicate these findings and support the scalability of this strategy (ds = 0.08, 0.04). Non-judgmentally exchanging narratives can help overcome the resistance to persuasion often encountered in discussions of these contentious topics.
... Studies have also examined interpersonal behaviors that communicators engage in that can affect the openness and receptivity of their audience (Minson & Chen, 2021). For example, communicators who express interest in learning about their recipients' viewpoints elicited more open-minded (or less defensive) responses from their audiences (Chen et al., 2010). Although not typically enacted in interpersonal paradigms, evidence indicates that other behaviors by communicators that signal their own receptivity to their audience's viewpoint, such as delivering a two-sided message (Xu & Petty, 2021), can similarly impact the receptivity of their audience (see Hussein & Tormala, 2021). ...
... This process can increase openness to attitude change. Chen et al. (2010) found that when individuals engaged in an online conversation that involved a disagreement, asking an elaboration question increased the favorability of their conversants towards them and their willingness to engage in future conversations with them. Their conversants also reciprocated by acting more receptive. ...
Article
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Interpersonal contexts can be complex since they can involve two or more people who are interdependent, each of whom is pursuing both individual and shared goals. Interactions consist of individual and joint behaviors that evolve dynamically over time. Interactions are likely to affect people’s attitudes because the interpersonal context gives the conversation partners a great deal of opportunity to intentionally or unintentionally influence each other. However, despite the importance of attitudes and attitude change in interpersonal interactions, this topic remains understudied. We briefly review the features of interpersonal contexts and build the case that understanding people’s sense of psychological safety is key to understanding interpersonal influences on people’s attitudes. Specifically, feeling psychologically safe can make individuals more open-minded, increase reflective introspection, and decrease defensive processing. Psychological safety impacts how individuals think, make sense of their social world, and process attitude-relevant information. These processes can result in attitude change, even without any attempt at persuasion. We review the literature on interpersonal threats, receiving psychological safety, providing psychological safety, and interpersonal dynamics. We then detail the shortcomings of current approaches, highlight the unanswered questions, and suggest avenues for future research that can contribute to developing this field.
... Leaders' receptiveness, in this regard, refers to leaders' willingness and motivation to gain a greater understanding of the voiced creative input (cf. Chen, Minson, & Tormala, 2010). ...
... Receptiveness to subordinates' creative input (α = .81) was assessed using a three-item scale based on Chen et al. (2010). The items were adapted to fit the research context: "How likely is it that you will let Anne know that: (1) You would like to discuss the input together? ...
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We identified leaders’ achievement goals and composition of creative input as important factors that can clarify when and why leaders are receptive to, and supportive of, subordinates’ creative input. As hypothesized, in two experimental studies, we found that relative to mastery goal leaders, performance goal leaders were less receptive to subordinates’ voiced creative input. In Study 1, we further showed that image threat appraisal and learning opportunity appraisal mediated this effect. In Study 2, we demonstrated that when merely creative ideas were expressed by the subordinate, performance goal leaders responded like mastery goal leaders. However, as in Study 1, performance goal leaders were less receptive to, and less supportive of, subordinates’ creative input than mastery goal leaders when the composition of subordinates’ creative input included both problem identifications and creative ideas.
... Studies have also examined interpersonal behaviors that communicators engage in that can affect the openness and receptivity of their audience (Minson & Chen, 2021). For example, communicators who express interest in learning about their recipients' viewpoints elicited more open-minded (or less defensive) responses from their audiences (Chen et al., 2010). Although not typically enacted in interpersonal paradigms, evidence indicates that other behaviors by communicators that signal their own receptivity to their audience's viewpoint, such as delivering a two-sided message (Xu & Petty, 2021), can similarly impact the receptivity of their audience (see Hussein & Tormala, 2021). ...
... This process can increase openness to attitude change. Chen et al. (2010) found that when individuals engaged in an online conversation that involved a disagreement, asking an elaboration question increased the favorability of their conversants towards them and their willingness to engage in future conversations with them. Their conversants also reciprocated by acting more receptive. ...
Article
Interpersonal contexts can be complex since they can involve two or more people who are interdependent, each of whom is pursuing both individual and shared goals. Interactions consist of individual and joint behaviors that evolve dynamically over time. Interactions are likely to affect people’s attitudes because the interpersonal context gives the conversation partners a great deal of opportunity to intentionally or unintentionally influence each other. However, despite the importance of attitudes and attitude change in interpersonal interactions, this topic remains understudied. We briefly review the features of interpersonal contexts and build the case that understanding people’s sense of psychological safety is key to understanding interpersonal influences on people’s attitudes. Specifically, feeling psychologically safe can make individuals more open-minded, increase reflective introspection, and decrease defensive processing. Psychological safety impacts how individuals think, make sense of their social world, and process attitude-relevant information. These processes can result in attitude change, even without any attempt at persuasion. We review the literature on interpersonal threats, receiving psychological safety, providing psychological safety, and interpersonal dynamics. We then detail the shortcomings of current approaches, highlight the unanswered questions, and suggest avenues for future research that can contribute to developing this field.
... People who feel understood also experience higher positive affect (Oishi, Koo, & Akimoto, 2008), daily well-being (Lun, Kesebir, & Oishi, 2008), and satisfaction with their lives (Seder & Oishi, 2009) compared with people who do not feel understood. Moreover, speakers judge their communication counterpart more positively when this counterpart asks questions implying the intention to understand the speakers' reasoning (Chen, Minson, & Tormala, 2010). In sum, several findings from different areas stress the importance of being understood. ...
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In two experiments, we provide evidence for a fundamental discussion asymmetry, namely, preference-consistent information sharing. Despite being in a dyadic situation requiring open information exchange and being given no incentive to do so, participants communicated more information that supported their individually preferred decision alternative than information that contradicted it. Preference-consistent information sharing was not caused by biased recall and occurred in written as well as in face-to-face communication. Moreover, we tested whether preference-consistent information sharing was influenced by statements by bogus discussion partners indicating that they held a congruent versus incongruent preference to the participants' preference and that they understood versus did not understand the participants' preference. We found that when partners stated that they understood the participants' preference, subsequent preference-consistent information sharing was considerably reduced. This indicates that a motivation to be understood by others might be an important driving force underlying preference-consistent information sharing.
... Moreover, questions about the other party's interests signal and may be interpreted as interest in and concern for the other party (cf. Chen, Minson, & Tormala, 2010;Curhan & Brown, 2012). To more often achieve (fully) integrative outcomes, negotiators could be trained to systematically ask different types of interestrelated questions, such as questions about differences in priorities between issues, differences in preferences within issues, or differences in expectations about the future. ...
Article
Existing research on integrative negotiation assumes higher outcomes for teams than for individual negotiators due to team- specific processes (e.g., increased information processing and problem-solving capabilities). Accordingly, previous theorizing suggests that teams outperform even their best members in integrative negotiations (i.e., strong synergy, cf. Larson, 2009). In contrast, we assume that the only advantage of teams in integrative negotiations result from a higher number of persons that eventually ask the counterparty questions about its interests, and thereby detect the integrative potential of the negotiation. Accordingly, we hypothesize that teams only perform at the level of their best members (i.e., weak synergy, cf. Larson, 2009). The two predictions were contrasted in a longitudinal experiment with three consecutive integrative negotiations (N = 354). Results support our approach: First, teams performed at the level of—but not better than—their best member in all negotiations. Second, the frequency of interest- related questions did not differ between teams and the level of their best members. Third, team members who only observed that another team member asked interest-related questions learned to apply this strategy in consecutive individual negotiations, which helped them to achieve better outcomes than negotiators without prior team negotiation experience (i.e., team-to-individual transfer).
... By asking questions, you acknowledge that the partner's perspective is valuable enough that you want to know more. By soliciting more information from the partner, asking a question expresses interest in the partner's viewpoint (Chen, Minson, & Tormala, 2010). Indeed, previous research suggests that effective validation in marital communication can be successfully conveyed by asking open-ended questions (Notarius & Markman, 1981). ...
Article
Conversation is a fundamental human experience that is necessary to pursue intrapersonal and interpersonal goals across myriad contexts, relationships, and modes of communication. In the current research, we isolate the role of an understudied conversational behavior: question-asking. Across 3 studies of live dyadic conversations, we identify a robust and consistent relationship between question-asking and liking: people who ask more questions, particularly follow-up questions, are better liked by their conversation partners. When people are instructed to ask more questions, they are perceived as higher in responsiveness, an interpersonal construct that captures listening, understanding, validation, and care. We measure responsiveness with an attitudinal measure from previous research as well as a novel behavioral measure: the number of follow-up questions one asks. In both cases, responsiveness explains the effect of question-asking on liking. In addition to analyzing live get-to-know-you conversations online, we also studied face-to-face speed-dating conversations. We trained a natural language processing algorithm as a "follow-up question detector" that we applied to our speed-dating data (and can be applied to any text data to more deeply understand question-asking dynamics). The follow-up question rate established by the algorithm showed that speed daters who ask more follow-up questions during their dates are more likely to elicit agreement for second dates from their partners, a behavioral indicator of liking. We also find that, despite the persistent and beneficial effects of asking questions, people do not anticipate that question-asking increases interpersonal liking. (PsycINFO Database Record
... Drawing on literature on epistemic motivation (an individual's desire to develop a thorough understanding of a situation) in social and organizational psychology (e.g., Van Kleef et al., 2009) and on receptiveness in cross-cultural and communication research (e.g., Chen et al., 2010;Leung and Chiu, 2010), we conceptualize environmental receptiveness as the ability and willingness to receive environmental information, such as information about the thoughts and behaviors of significant others, what is needed and expected to function on a job (referent information), the extent to which role requirements are met (appraisal information), and information about the quality of the relationships with others (relational information: Miller and Jablin, 1991;Bauer et al., 2007). ...
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Economic pressures on companies, technological developments, and less stable career paths pose potential threats to the well-being of employees (e.g., stress, burn-out) and require constant adaptation. In the light of these challenges, it is not surprising that employees often seek the support of a coach. The role of a coach is to foster change by facilitating a coachees’ movement through a self-regulatory cycle with the ultimate aim of stimulating sustained well-being and functioning. While meta-analytic research indicates that coaching interventions can be effectively applied to assist employees in dealing with change, the current literature on coaching lacks solid theoretical frameworks that are needed to build a cumulative knowledge-base and to inspire evidence-based practice. In this conceptual analysis, we examine the coaching process through a temporal lens. By doing so, we provide an integrated theoretical framework: a temporal map of coaching. In this framework, we link seminal concepts in psychology to the coaching process, and describe which competencies of coachees are crucial in the different stages of change that coaching aims to bring about. During the preparatory contemplation stage, targeting coachees’ awareness by enhancing their mindfulness and environmental receptiveness is important. During the contemplation stage, coachees’ willingness and perceived ability to change are central competencies. We propose that coaches should therefore foster intrinsic goal orientation and self-efficacy during this stage. During the planning stage, coaches should focus on goal-setting and implementation intentions. Finally, during the maintenance/termination stage, stimulating coachees’ reflection is especially important in order to help them to integrate their learning experiences. The framework delineated in this paper contributes to the understanding of coaching as a tool to assist employees in dealing with the challenges of an increasingly dynamic work-environment and yields concrete suggestions for future theory development and research on coaching.
... Moreover, questions about the other party's interests signal and may be interpreted as interest in and concern for the other party (cf. Chen, Minson, & Tormala, 2010;Curhan & Brown, 2012). To more often achieve (fully) integrative outcomes, negotiators could be trained to systematically ask different types of interestrelated questions, such as questions about differences in priorities between issues, differences in preferences within issues, or differences in expectations about the future. ...
Article
When negotiations are complex and consequential, organizations usually send teams rather than individuals to the negotiation table because teams are expected to provide additional beneficial negotiation processes and, thus, generate superior outcomes. Similarly, theoretical accounts of integrative negotiations assume higher outcomes for teams than for individual negotiators as a consequence of team-related advantages (e.g., increased information processing and problem-solving capabilities). In this study, we challenge this established assumption and across three negotiations and various empirical tests, we show that the advantages of teams are merely the result of individual-level processes (i.e., one person asking interest-related questions). Moreover, Bayesian estimation supported our claim and rejected the extant account: The probability of the teams achieving better outcomes than the best individuals in commensurate nominal groups (i.e., strong synergy) was up to four times smaller than the probability of the teams not achieving better results than the best individuals in commensurate nominal groups. Finally, in the majority of our analyses, individual negotiators generated better relationship outcomes than teams even though the economic outcomes were comparable. On the basis of these results, we revise the assumption of team-related advantages in integrative negotiations. We discuss the implications of our results for future negotiation research and for the practical assignment of teams or individuals to negotiations.
... Even when the information a question asker gleans from asking a question is slight, the act of asking may still influence relational outcomes. For instance, questions can be used to express interest in others (Brooks, Gino, & Schweitzer, 2015;Chen, Minson, & Tormala, 2010), which in turn can improve interpersonal impressions and the quality of future interactions. Questions also create opportunities to share information, both by communicating information about a question asker's level of interest and expertise (Minson et al., 2018) and by triggering reciprocal questions (Hauser, Yeomans, Brooks, & Norton, in preparation). ...
Article
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3437468 ********************* Within a conversation, individuals balance competing concerns, such as the motive to gather information and the motives to avoid discomfort and to create a favorable impression. Across three pilot studies and four experimental studies, we demonstrate that individuals avoid asking sensitive questions, because they fear making others uncomfortable and because of impression management concerns. We demonstrate that this aversion to asking sensitive questions is both costly and misguided. Even when we incentivized participants to ask sensitive questions, participants were reluctant to do so in both face-to-face and computer-mediated chat conversations. Interestingly, rather than accurately anticipating how sensitive questions will influence impression formation, we find that question askers significantly overestimate the interpersonal costs of asking sensitive questions. Across our studies, individuals formed similarly favorable impressions of partners who asked non-sensitive (e.g., “Are you a morning person?”) and sensitive (e.g., “What are your views on abortion?”) questions, despite askers’ reticence to ask sensitive questions.
... Attractiveness is shaped by many influence factors. For instance, psychological theories lend themselves to the prototypes of beauty and body ideals individuals are compared to (Cunningham, 1986;Langlois & Roggman, 1990;Singh, 1993) and to the similarity of individuals to the self (Newcomb, 1961;Byrne, 1971). However, psychological theories have also taken into account factors that arise from the social situation. ...
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Previous research has shown that approaching a stimulus makes it more positive, while avoiding a stimulus makes it more negative. The present research demonstrates that approach-avoidance behaviors have the potential to charge stimulus attributes such as color with evaluative meaning. This evaluation carries over to other stimuli with that feature. We address the latter point by assessing the influence of colors that were approached or avoided on the perceived attractiveness of persons wearing those colors. We show that wearing a certain color makes people appear more attractive when this color is associated with approach rather than avoidance. In line with a self-perception account of these effects, we obtained approach-avoidance effects on stimulus attributes only when participants carried out approach-avoidance behaviors towards these colors or imagined doing so. This set of experiments adds to the evaluative learning literature by demonstrating approach-avoidance effects on stimulus attributes and that these effects carry over to new classes of stimuli and new tasks. Moreover, we systematically investigated boundary conditions for these effects. Finally, with this research we introduce an ontogenetic perspective to research into colors and their influence on psychological functioning.
... If so, this would suggest that question-asking could serve as an effective conflict de-escalation strategy. Individuals infer that question-asking signals open-mindedness (Chen, Minson & Tormala, 2010). Prior research has identified follow-up questions as particularly relevant because they signal responsiveness in conversation (Huang, Yeomans, Brooks, Minson & Gino, 2017). ...
... Even when the information a question asker gleans from asking a question is slight, the act of asking may still influence relational outcomes. For instance, questions can be used to express interest in others (Brooks, Gino, & Schweitzer, 2015;Chen, Minson, & Tormala, 2010), which in turn can improve interpersonal impressions and the quality of future interactions. Questions also create opportunities to share information, both by communicating information about a question asker's level of interest and expertise (Minson et al., 2018) and by triggering reciprocal questions (Hauser, Yeomans, Brooks, & Norton, in preparation). ...
Article
Within a conversation, individuals balance competing objectives, such as the motive to gather information and the motive to create a favorable impression. Across five experimental studies (N = 1427), we show that individuals avoid asking sensitive questions because they believe that asking sensitive questions will make their conversational partners uncomfortable and cause them to form negative perceptions. We introduce the Communication Motives and Expectations Model and we demonstrate that the aversion to asking sensitive questions is often misguided. Question askers systematically overestimate the impression management and interpersonal costs of asking sensitive questions. In conversations with friends and with strangers and in both face-to-face and computer-mediated conversations, respondents formed similarly favorable impressions of conversational partners who asked sensitive questions (e.g., “How much is your salary?”) as they did of conversational partners who asked non-sensitive questions (e.g., “How do you get to work?”). We assert that individuals make a potentially costly mistake when they avoid asking sensitive questions, as they overestimate the interpersonal costs of asking sensitive questions.
... Communicating and engaging with the public early on in the development of technologies with environmental gains is essential to the responsible science paradigm (Ancillotti et al., 2016). Effective public engagement does not necessitate public endorsement of the new technology, instead a meaningful outcome of public engagement is the public being 'heard' and its input taken seriously (Chen et al., 2010). Furthermore, early and transparent two-way public engagement may reduce emotional and polarized public conversations, as has observed with other technologies such as stem cell research (Nisbet, 2005), which often results in conflict. ...
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... Structured conversations between groups in conflict can offer a potential though difficult path to improving intergroup relations (Chen, Minson, & Tormala, 2010;Harrell & Bond, 2006;Hendriks, Ercan, & Duus, 2019;Yeomans et al., 2020). For instance, in a qualitative study of a globally distributed technology consulting teams (in India and the US), explored how team members in the US could improve their deteriorating working relationships with their teammates in India. ...
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We conducted an integrative review of research on listening relevant to work and organizations, published from 2000 to 2021, and across three disciplines (management, psychology, and communication studies). We found that listening research is fragmented across three perspectives: (1) perceived listening, (2) listeners’ experience, and (3) listening structures. We discuss how integrating these perspectives highlights two major tensions in listening research. First, there is a tension between speakers’ perceptions and listeners’ experience, which reveals a listening paradox – while listening is perceived to be beneficial for speakers, it can be experienced as costly and depleting for listeners. This paradox reveals why people struggle with listening when it is needed the most. Second, listening structures in organizations can create tensions between organizational goals and listeners’ experiences. While organizations use listening structures to enable and signal listening, these efforts can impose greater costs on listeners, reinforce existing power structures, and create opportunities for unwanted surveillance. Managing these tensions provides fertile ground for future research, in part because recent advances in communication technologies are changing the dynamics and structure of listening in organizations.
... Recent research by Chen, Minson, and Tormala (2010) demonstrated that asking and receiving "elaboration questions" in the context of contentious debate led to more positive interpersonal inferences and greater receptiveness to the other party's views than did the exchange of counterarguments. Also, earlier work done in the context of work on overconfidence in judgments (Heath & Gonzalez, 1995) and belief perseverance (Ross, Lepper, Strack, & Steinmetz, 1977) showed that discussion of a particular outcome or decision makes people more confident in it. ...
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Four studies examined dyadic collaboration on quantitative estimation tasks. In accord with the tenets of "naïve realism," dyad members failed to give due weight to a partner's estimates, especially those greatly divergent from their own. The requirement to reach joint estimates through discussion increased accuracy more than reaching agreement through a mere exchange of numerical "bids." However, even the latter procedure increased accuracy, relative to that of individual estimates (Study 1). Accuracy feedback neither increased weight given to partner's subsequent estimates nor produced improved accuracy (Study 2). Long-term dance partners, who shared a positive estimation bias, failed to improve accuracy when estimating their performance scores (Study 3). Having dyad members ask questions about the bases of partner's estimates produced greater yielding and accuracy increases than having them explain their own estimates (Study 4). The latter two studies provided additional direct and indirect evidence for the role of naïve realism.
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This chapter outlines the two basic routes to persuasion. One route is based on the thoughtful consideration of arguments central to the issue, whereas the other is based on the affective associations or simple inferences tied to peripheral cues in the persuasion context. This chapter discusses a wide variety of variables that proved instrumental in affecting the elaboration likelihood, and thus the route to persuasion. One of the basic postulates of the Elaboration Likelihood Model—that variables may affect persuasion by increasing or decreasing scrutiny of message arguments—has been highly useful in accounting for the effects of a seemingly diverse list of variables. The reviewers of the attitude change literature have been disappointed with the many conflicting effects observed, even for ostensibly simple variables. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) attempts to place these many conflicting results and theories under one conceptual umbrella by specifying the major processes underlying persuasion and indicating the way many of the traditionally studied variables and theories relate to these basic processes. The ELM may prove useful in providing a guiding set of postulates from which to interpret previous work and in suggesting new hypotheses to be explored in future research. Copyright © 1986 Academic Press Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Coded the behavior of 52 couples during an oral history interview and during an interaction task to determine what qualities predicted divorce or marital stability. Ss completed follow-up questionnaires 3 yrs later. Time 1 variables were able to significantly predict which couples would be separated, divorced, or intact at follow-up. At Time 1, couples who eventually divorced were low in fondness for their partners, high in negativity, low in "we-ness," high in chaos, low in glorifying the struggle, and high in disappointment of the marriage. Gender differences in these variables were found. In the behavioral coding of the marital interaction, these dimensions also were consistently related to negativity and the absence of positivity in problem solving as well as to negative affect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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People who hold strong opinions on complex social issues are likely to examine relevant empirical evidence in a biased manner. They are apt to accept "confirming" evidence at face value while subjecting "disconfirming" evidence to critical evaluation, and, as a result, draw undue support for their initial positions from mixed or random empirical findings. Thus, the result of exposing contending factions in a social dispute to an identical body of relevant empirical evidence may be not a narrowing of disagreement but rather an increase in polarization. To test these assumptions, 48 undergraduates supporting and opposing capital punishment were exposed to 2 purported studies, one seemingly confirming and one seemingly disconfirming their existing beliefs about the deterrent efficacy of the death penalty. As predicted, both proponents and opponents of capital punishment rated those results and procedures that confirmed their own beliefs to be the more convincing and probative ones, and they reported corresponding shifts in their beliefs as the various results and procedures were presented. The net effect of such evaluations and opinion shifts was the postulated increase in attitude polarization. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Applied a cognitive response analysis to the use of rhetorical questions in persuasion. 160 college students heard a counterattitudinal message in which the major arguments were summarized in either statement or rhetorical forms. The personal relevance of the issue and the quality of the arguments employed in the message were also varied. The use of rhetorical questions was found to either increase or decrease the cognitive elaboration of a message depending on the personal relevance of the communication. When the message was of low personal relevance and recipients were not naturally processing the statement form of the message diligently, the use of rhetoricals enhanced thinking: A message with strong arguments became more persuasive, and a message with weak arguments became less persuasive with rhetoricals. However, when the message was of high personal relevance and recipients were already highly motivated to process the statement form of the message, the use of rhetoricals disrupted thinking: A message with strong arguments became less persuasive, and a message with weak arguments became more persuasive with rhetoricals. This 3-way interaction was expected from the cognitive response analysis, but not from competing formulations. (29 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In 1989, Gottman and Krokoff introduced the Specific Af- fect Coding System (SPAFF) for the purpose of systemati- cally observing affective behavior in the context of marital conflict. The original SPAFF conferred a host of advantages over earlier “microanalytic” coding strategies, the primary innovation being the ability to code affect at the construct level instead of at the level of extremely discrete bits of be- havior, such as specific gestures or facial movements (Gott- man, McCoy, Coan, & Collier, 1995).
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Although negotiation experiences can affect a negotiator’s ensuing attitudes and behavior, little is known about their long-term consequences. Using a longitudinal survey design, we test the degree to which economic and subjective value achieved in job offer negotiations predicts employees’ subsequent job attitudes and intentions to turnover. Results indicate that subjective value predicts greater compensation satisfaction and job satisfaction and lower turnover intention measured one year later. Surprisingly, the economic outcomes that negotiators achieved had no apparent effects on these factors. Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
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Assigned 76 undergraduates to 3 groups: role playing, vicarious role playing, and control. The role playing consisted of traveling about the campus in a wheelchair for 1 hr. Compared to the control experience, both direct and vicarious emotional role playing led to more positive responses (a) to a specific disabled person (the E), (b) to a series of issues concerning disabled students in general, and (c) to a disguised attitudinal measure given by telephone 4 mo. later. The concept of empathy appeared more adequate than dissonance for understanding the results. The potential of role playing and vicarious experience for increasing tolerance and social maturity is considered.
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Using 3 experiments, the authors explored the role of perspective-taking in debiasing social thought. In the 1st 2 experiments, perspective-taking was contrasted with stereotype suppression as a possible strategy for achieving stereotype control. In Experiment 1, perspective-taking decreased stereotypic biases on both a conscious and a nonconscious task. In Experiment 2, perspective-taking led to both decreased stereotyping and increased overlap between representations of the self and representations of the elderly, suggesting activation and application of the self-concept in judgments of the elderly. In Experiment 3, perspective-taking reduced evidence of in-group bias in the minimal group paradigm by increasing evaluations of the out-group. The role of self-other overlap in producing prosocial outcomes and the separation of the conscious, explicit effects from the nonconscious, implicit effects of perspective-taking are discussed.
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Important asymmetries between self-perception and social perception arise from the simple fact that other people's actions, judgments, and priorities sometimes differ from one's own. This leads people not only to make more dispositional inferences about others than about themselves (E. E. Jones & R. E. Nisbett, 1972) but also to see others as more susceptible to a host of cognitive and motivational biases. Although this blind spot regarding one's own biases may serve familiar self-enhancement motives, it is also a product of the phenomenological stance of naive realism. It is exacerbated, furthermore, by people's tendency to attach greater credence to their own introspections about potential influences on judgment and behavior than they attach to similar introspections by others. The authors review evidence, new and old, of this asymmetry and its underlying causes and discuss its relation to other psychological phenomena and to interpersonal and intergroup conflict.
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Four studies support the development and validation of a framework for understanding the range of social psychological outcomes valued subjectively as consequences of negotiations. Study 1 inductively elicited and coded elements of subjective value among students, community members, and practitioners, revealing 20 categories that theorists in Study 2 sorted into 4 underlying subconstructs: Feelings About the Instrumental Outcome, Feelings About the Self, Feelings About the Negotiation Process, and Feelings About the Relationship. Study 3 proposed a new Subjective Value Inventory (SVI) and confirmed its 4-factor structure. Study 4 presents convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity data for the SVI. Indeed, subjective value was a better predictor than economic outcomes of future negotiation decisions. Results suggest the SVI is a promising tool to systematize and encourage research on subjective outcomes of negotiation.
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Research is presented on the prospective longitudinal prediction of marital dissolution. First, a cascade toward marital dissolution is described. Second, the cascade is predicted with variables from a balance theory of marriage. Third, there are process and perception (the distance and isolation cascades) cascades related to the cascade toward dissolution. The importance of "flooding" is discussed, as well as a mechanism through which negative perceptions (which are 2 dimensional) become global and stable and through which the entire history of the marriage is recast negatively. The role of physiology is outlined. A theory is presented in which a "core triad of balance" is formulated in terms of 3 weakly related thermostats (connected by catastrophe theory) and related to the distance and isolation cascade. Implications for a minimal marital therapy are discussed.
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Assessed the persuasive effect of the rhetorical elicitation of agreement responses under various conditions of initial attitude toward the attitudinal position advocated, using a total of 90 undergraduates as Ss. The resulting resistance to counterpersuasion was also measured. A significant increase in the effectiveness of persuasion was obtained, especially under conditions of initially opposed attitude. No facilitation of effectiveness was found under conditions of initially neutral attitude. Resistance to counterpersuasion was not differentially affected by treatments. Results indicate that enhancement of cognitive involvement is an insufficient explanation. It is suggested that findings reflect either (a) operant learning of the connotations of significance and certainty associated with verbal constructs, e.g., rhetorical agreement question; or (b) a lowering of the communicatee's defenses as a consequence of changes in source perception brought about by the style of language used. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Research is presented on the prospective longitudinal prediction of marital dissolution. First, a cascade toward marital dissolution is described. Second, the cascade is predicted with variables from a balance theory of marriage. Third, there are process and perception (the distance and isolation cascades) cascades related to the cascade toward dissolution. The importance of "flooding" is discussed, as well as a mechanism through which negative perceptions (which are 2-dimensional) become global and stable and through which the entire history of the marriage is recast negatively. The role of physiology is outlined. A theory is presented in which a "core triad of balance" is formulated in terms of 3 weakly related thermostats (connected by catastrophe theory) and related to the distance and isolation cascade. Implications for a minimal marital therapy are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In 2 experiments, 84 and 162 undergraduates listened to a discrepant communication while they were distracted by having to call out a series of lights which flashed with systematically manipulated frequency. Rate of flash increased acceptance of the communication and decreased postcommunication production of counterarguments. Removal of the effect of counterarguing by covariance analysis eliminated the relationship between distraction and acceptance thus suggesting that the present distraction increased yielding to propaganda by inhibiting counterarguing. The major result was independent of the extent of threat conveyed by the communication and of perceived personal influence with respect to the communication issue. 5 conditions were proposed for the successful replication of the distraction-acceptance relationship. (27 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This is a report on what predicts the deterioration of affective marital interaction over a 4-year period. Four models were compared for their ability to predict Time-2 dysfunctional marital interaction (a set of reliable predictors of marital dissolution). These four models were: (1) baseline physiology at Time-1; (2) interaction physiology at Time-1; (3) a balance model based on the ratio of positivity to negativity at Time-1; and, (4) cognitions about the relationship operationalized from our coding of the Oral History Interview. All four models predicted Time-2 dysfunctional marital interaction. All four models were also able to predict change, operationalized as predicting Time-2 interaction, controlling for Time-1 interaction, that is, using a covariance regression analysis. The most powerful model in predicting change was the balance ratio model.
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In a negotiation study, we investigated the efficacy of acknowledging an opponent's role in securing a concession made to that opponent. The study featured a face-to-face, one-shot bargaining session between a student favoring marijuana legalization and a confederate playing the role of a legalization opponent. When the confederate acknowledged the student's putative influence in producing a concession by the confederate, the student perceived the magnitude of the concession to be greater and was more likely to accept it. The student negotiators also reported that they liked the other party more following acknowledgement, and our mediational analysis suggested that enhanced interpersonal sentiments played a role in facilitating agreement. In this article, in addition to documenting these findings, we also discuss their implications, both for theoretical analyses of conflict and negotiation and for the practical problem of settling disputes.
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Research in impression formation and persuasion has considered use of tag questions as part of a powerless speech style. However, little research has examined how contextual factors, such as characteristics of the communicator, moderates whether tag questions act “powerless”. The present study manipulated source credibility, tag question use, and argument quality. When the source was low in credibility, tag question use decreased persuasion and biased message processing relative to a control message. However, when the source was credible, tag questions increased message processing in a relatively objective manner. Therefore, it appears that tag questions can have different effects on information processing, depending on who uses the tag questions.
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This article described three heuristics that are employed in making judgements under uncertainty: (i) representativeness, which is usually employed when people are asked to judge the probability that an object or event A belongs to class or process B; (ii) availability of instances or scenarios, which is often employed when people are asked to assess the frequency of a class or the plausibility of a particular development; and (iii) adjustment from an anchor, which is usually employed in numerical prediction when a relevant value is available. These heuristics are highly economical and usually effective, but they lead to systematic and predictable errors. A better understanding of these heuristics and of the biases to which they lead could improve judgements and decisions in situations of uncertainty.
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A THEORY OF SELF-PERCEPTION IS PROPOSED TO PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATION FOR SEVERAL OF THE MAJOR PHENOMENA EMBRACED BY FESTINGER'S THEORY OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE AND TO EXPLICATE SOME OF THE SECONDARY PATTERNS OF DATA THAT HAVE APPEARED IN DISSONANCE EXPERIMENTS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE ATTITUDE STATEMENTS WHICH COMPRISE THE MAJOR DEPENDENT VARIABLES IN DISSONANCE EXPERIMENTS MAY BE REGARDED AS INTERPERSONAL JUDGMENTS IN WHICH THE O AND THE OBSERVED HAPPEN TO BE THE SAME INDIVIDUAL AND THAT IT IS UNNECESSARY TO POSTULATE AN AVERSIVE MOTIVATIONAL DRIVE TOWARD CONSISTENCY TO ACCOUNT FOR THE ATTITUDE CHANGE PHENOMENA OBSERVED. SUPPORTING EXPERIMENTS ARE PRESENTED, AND METATHEORETICAL CONTRASTS BETWEEN THE "RADICAL" BEHAVIORAL APPROACH UTILIZED AND THE PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH TYPIFIED BY DISSONANCE THEORY ARE DISCUSSED. (2 P. REF.)