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M ILLER C HAPTER S EVEN Theories of Message Production Adapted to: COM 422 Proseminar in Communication School of Communication Illinois State University.

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Presentation on theme: "M ILLER C HAPTER S EVEN Theories of Message Production Adapted to: COM 422 Proseminar in Communication School of Communication Illinois State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 M ILLER C HAPTER S EVEN Theories of Message Production Adapted to: COM 422 Proseminar in Communication School of Communication Illinois State University

2 B ACKGROUND Encoding research Goals research (ex: compliance-gaining) Traits research (ex: comm apprehension) Theories in this chapter move beyond this to consider explanations linking “what’s in the head” with “messages produced”

3 G ENERAL P RINCIPLES OF M ESSAGE P RODUCTION (T ABLE 7.1) Speakers draw on vast stores of knowledge pursue a wide range of goals coordinate their own behavior with that of interactional partners produce messages within time constraints produce messages with little conscious awareness

4 C ONSTRUCTIVIST T HEORY : B ACKGROUND Developed by: Jesse Delia and colleagues ontology is largely social constructionist epistemology :?? Emphasizes coding of open-ended responses from research participants But is guided by theory So constructivism is between objective and subjective (theory is link between knower and known)

5 T HE C ONSTRUCT S YSTEM Construct system = an interpretive scheme for understanding the world (construct=opposites like tall-short) Construct systems differ in Levels of differentiation Organization Abstraction If a person has a construct system high in these qualities, he/she is cognitively complex


7 C ONSTRUCT S YSTEMS ARE D OMAIN S PECIFIC Domains can be cooking, cars, health, etc. For constructivists, the most critical domain is the interpersonal construct system Constructivists measure the complexity of the interpersonal construct system by using the Role Category Questionnaire (RCQ)

8 W HAT THE RCQ IS LIKE … Write the initials of a friend on a blank piece of paper. Take 3 minutes to describe the friend in as much detail as possible. Look at your answer in terms of Number of constructs Level of abstraction Organization of ideas What are some possible underlying biases that this research might include?

9 P ERSON -C ENTERED C OMMUNICATION Constructivists consider messages produced in terms of the extent to which they are person-centered. Person-centered people Adapt to the needs of listeners (e.g., social support) Account for the situation Attend to multiple goals (e.g., conflict)

10 L INKING C ONSTRUCTS AND M ESSAGES The link between what is in the head and messages produced is clear: People who are more cognitively complex will produce more person-centered messages Why? The most promising suggests that cognitively complex individuals are better at attending to multiple goals in interaction i.e., instrumental and relational goals

11 M ESSAGE D ESIGN L OGICS Designed by B.J. O’Keefe Main Point: Different ways of managing multiple goals in interaction (instrumental & face needs) 3 Message Design Logics: (Table 7.2) Expressive Design Logic Conventional Design Logic Rhetorical Design Logic


13 C RITIQUE OF C ONSTRUCTIVISM & D ESIGN L OGICS Metts: (not in Miller) Critiques note that these approaches have not yet assessed the extent to which motivation mediates the effect of cognitive structures. Just because someone is cognitively complex or capable of rhetorical design logic does not necessarily mean that he or she will use those abilities.

14 A CTION A SSEMBLY T HEORY : B ACKGROUND Developed by John Greene Post-positivistic ontology of generative realism emphasizes the interaction of social, physiological, and psychological components in the scientific explanation of human behavior Epistemology is objectivist

15 S TRUCTURES I N AAT : P ROCEDURAL R ECORD The cognitive component in AAT Part of an individual’s memory system Contains information that links action, outcomes, and situations Ex.: “If I yell at my roommate for being messy, she will refuse to cooperate.” Describe the procedural record for ordering at a restaurant

16 S TRUCTURES IN AAT: O UTPUT R EPRESENTATION Behaviors produced from procedural Output representations exist at four hierarchical levels (1) interactional representation (2) ideational representation (3) utterance representation (4) sensorimotor representation

17 P ROCESSES IN AAT: A CTIVATION P ROCESSES Activation is the process by which particular procedural records are selected Activation is a function of matches between the current situation and goals and information on the procedural record Activation speed will depend on the strength of the procedural record ( recency and frequency of activation)

18 P ROCESSES IN AAT: A SSEMBLY P ROCESSES Once particular procedural records are activated, they must be assembled into coherent behavioral representation AAT sees assembly as a process of “ coalition formation ” of similar records. “momentary assemblages of activated behavioral features that could be said to ‘fit’ together” Process not always conscious, but takes time Sets of procedural records can be efficient Preparing in advance

19 A CTION A SSEMBLY T HEORY : E VIDENCE AND E XTENSION Tests of AAT have been based on the tenet that “assembly takes time.” whether or not more complex message tasks take more time. There has been general support for AAT from these tests. AAT has also been developed further to deal with conceptual and empirical concerns

20 T HEORIES OF P LANNING AND G OALS : T HE G OAL C ONSTRUCT Primary goals in interaction define what a person is trying to accomplish Secondary goals are typically concerned with relational issues in interaction Identity goals Interaction goals Relational resource goals Personal resource goals Arousal management goals

21 B ACK TO THE DATING SCENE … What Primary and Secondary Goals might be active when asking for a date?

22 T HE G OAL C ONSTRUCT, CONT. Can also consider “ meta-goals ” Efficiency (or effectiveness) How to meet primary goals without wasting time or resources Appropriateness Avoid offending or casting bad image of self Politeness theory and face theory

23 E FFECTIVENESS AND A PPROPRIATENESS How might effectiveness and appropriateness play out in correcting an employee (or grading a student’s speech)?

24 T HEORIES OF P LANNING AND G OALS : P LANNING P ROCESSES Interaction plans provide the road map for achieving interaction goals Plans are hierarchical and mental representations of goal- directed action sequences The “ hierarchy principle ” suggests that when plans are thwarted, adjustments are made at low levels of plan abstraction

25 B ERGER ’ S P LANNING T HEORY AS A MODEL OF A SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC COMMUNICATION THEORY Units/Concepts Propositions/Laws of Interaction System States Boundaries IN THE STUDY Operationalization  variables Hypotheses

26 O VERALL COMPARISON AND CRITIQUE What are some ways in which the theories in this chapter are alike? What are some comparative strengths and limitations, in terms of theory evaluation terms or conceptual strength, of the theories presented in this chapter? How might knowing some of the theories in this chapter make you a better teacher/ friend / parent / worker/ social change agent/ etc.?

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