ERIC Number: ED192389
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
Social Actors and Their Relationship to the Social Order: A Test of Two Theoretical Views.
Harris, Linda; And Others
A study was conducted to compare the validity of two theories of interpersonal communication: (1) uncertainty reduction theory, based on the assumption that communication consists of attempts to reach a cognitive state of balance, and (2) coordinated management of meaning theory (CMM), based on the assumption that persons attempt to create a coordinated conversation coherent to each person and under their mutual control. Nine dialogues were developed to represent a first social meeting of two persons. Three types of information sequencing (derived from uncertainty reduction theory) and three levels of aligning actions (derived from CMM research) were manipulated in the dialogues. Each of 180 college students was asked to read one dialogue and rate the conversants on scales measuring six factors related to communication. The results did not support the hypothesized relationship between socially normative performance and positive evaluations derived from uncertainty reduction theory. They did support the perspective of CMM theory, which predicts a preference for conversants who show the ability to coordinate extranormative patterns of interaction. The data suggested a reciprocal relationship in which communication creates patterns of social order that may in turn be used by conversants to guide talk. (GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (30th, Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).