ERIC Number: ED235527
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Culture and the Attribution Process: Techniques for Tapping the Cognitive Bases of Culture.
How people organize sensory data is influenced not only by their role as actor observer; the extent of their empathy for other actors; and the vividness, availability, representativeness, and negative impact of the data; but also by the culture from which it springs. To determine how the attributions people make are affected by culture, which can be viewed as fixed expectations determining responses or rough guidelines helping people to interpret experience, a tape recording of a 5-minute conversation was played for nine subjects. Subjects were then asked what information they used, or what additional information they would need, to interpret the conversation. Analysis of the interviews suggested that evaluations were influenced by an ideal of social conversation that included requirements for topical continuity and commitment to maintain involvement in the conversation. In another perceptual organization task, 28 respondents were shown transcripts of the conversation and asked to draw conclusions about such things as the gender of the speakers and conversational motivations. Although the respondents were consistent in seeing one of the conversants as controlling the talk, they varied widely in their judgment of the gender of the speakers and the number of conversational exchanges. Approaching culture as a cognitive construct appears useful both in understanding culture as it exists in communication and in the interpretation of communication. (MM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conversation; Cultural Content
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Dallas, TX, May 26-30, 1983).