Communication and Social Influence Processes by Charles R. Berger, Michael Burgoon

By Charles R. Berger, Michael Burgoon

Communications and Social impact Processes examines the relationships among verbal and nonverbal communicative task and social impact strategies in a brand new mild. The authors of the 8 essays contained during this paintings have deserted the slender constraints of the normal experimental paradigm, and circulate towards redefining the relationships among conversation and social impression procedures. This quantity doesn't examine the social impression venue as one during which a unmarried resource disseminates a message to an audience—as anyone proposing a public speech. as a substitute, social impact is seen from a huge array of views, together with individual-level procedures like cognition, language, and character; interplay- dependent tactics like deception, compliance-gaining, and social alternate; and macro social community interactions. 
 

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This linear conception of the persuasion process and the simpatico ANOVA designs held out to eager scholars of that time the promise of developing a reliable set of causal laws or law-like generalizations linking persuasive outcomes to antecedent communication variables. However, by the early 1970s it became apparent that such robust, causal statements would not be forthcoming. Instead, highly complex and somewhat ephemeral interaction effects were more the rule than the exception. Attempts to accommodate this welter of conflicting and sometimes paradoxical findings under a single theoretical rubric became exercises in futility.

Consider, for example, the case of people who receive telephone calls meant for others in which the caller is seeking to inform the intended recipient of the call that a close relative of theirs has been killed in an automobile accident. It then falls upon the third party, who just happened to be present when the telephone call arrived, to inform the intended recipient of the death. For most individuals, except those who have to deliver such news to others on a regular basis, the construction of messages designed both to provide the necessary information to Page 4 the intended recipient and to do so in such a way that the amount of emotional distress experienced by the recipient is minimized involves careful choice among numerous communicative alternatives and is, thus, an exercise in decision-making under uncertainty.

Furthermore, among those who planned before engaging in the persuasion task, individuals who included more specific arguments for their position in their plans were less fluent than those who included fewer arguments in their pre-interaction plans. Another experiment in this series showed that the process of questioning individuals about their persuasion plans had the effect of increasing the number of specific arguments in subsequent plans. Apparently, then, individuals with more specific arguments in their plans also were more uncertain of which specific arguments they should deploy as they failed to persuade their partners.

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