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Title: An examination of information processing in initial interaction through linking input, structure and outcome: effects of preinteraction expectancies on interpersonal attraction and interaction structure
Author(s): Honeycutt, James Michael
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Hewes, Dean
Department / Program: Communication
Discipline: Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): preinteraction beliefs
communication
Abstract: An area of concern for communication researchers has been with the linking of preinteraction beliefs about another to outcome measures such as affiliation. This leads to the speculation by Cappella and Greene (1982) that if conversational behaviors depend solely on the beliefs and perceptions which interactors make about an other's behavior, then controlling interaction would ultimately depend on controlling attribution (Cappella & Greene, 1982). Communication process would be relatively unimportant in affecting affiliation. Another point of view argues that expectations affect how each person influences the other in the course of interaction as well as affecting outcome evaluations. In addition, the way one responds during an encounter may affect how the person evaluates an interaction partner aside from the effect of preinteraction expectancies. This represents the link between the structure of interaction and outcome. The interplay among expectancies, structure and outcome is poorly understood. Literature exists on the link between expectancies as a type of input and outcome, but the other links have not been examined. No study in the area of initial interaction and social cognition has examined the separate and combined effects of input and structure on outcome. In order to examine these links, a 3 x 2 between-within factors design was used. The first factor represented three conditions of preinteraction expectancy: friendly, unfriendly and no-expectancy. The no-expectancy condition was a baseline condition in which subjects were given no information about their interaction partner. The within-factor was experimental role in which subjects were designated as perceivers or targets. Targets were not given any information about their interaction partner. Perceivers and targets were videotaped having a short conversation. After a five-minute time period, interactors privately filled out measures reflecting interpersonal attraction toward their partner. Results representing the input-outcome link revealed that on many attraction dimensions (e.g., warmth), there were no differences between perceiver expectancies. Examination of the input-structure link revealed unfriendly expectancy perceivers initiated talk and had longer average duration per occurrence of gaze and talk. There was evidence for the accommodation of preinteraction expectancies to fit with the situational observation of an other displaying friendliness behaviors. For unfriendly and no­ expectancy perceivers, there was a positive correlation between the duration of friendliness behaviors (e.g., verbalizations, gaze, smiling/laughter, gestures) and ratings of attraction. Results are discussed in terms of Ickes and his colleagues speculation on unfriendly-expectancy perceivers discounting situational behavior because of their approaching the target. Along this line, Hilton and Darley's {1985} interaction goals analysis in which interactors in initial interaction try to facilitate having a smooth and friendly encounter by approaching the other and hoping the other will match the approaching behaviors is discussed.
Issue Date: 1987-05
Genre: Dissertation / Thesis
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/28594
Rights Information: Copyright 1979 by James Michael Honeycutt
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-12-19


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