ERIC Number: ED239327
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Perceptions of Unresponsive Others: Attributions, Attraction, Understandability, and Memory of Their Utterances.
Davis, Deborah; Holtgraves, Thomas
To examine the consequences of responsiveness in dyadic interaction, explore the effects of irrelevant response on listener processing and retention of content, and determine the impact of irrelevant responses on listener perception of speaker attributes, 108 college students were asked to read a debate between two fictitious political candidates on the MX missile. While the two debators' answers remained the same, the questions were manipulated so that for half the subjects, candidate A's answers were responsive; for the other half, candidate B's were responsive. In two replications of the test emphasizing either recall or recognition of debate content, subjects answered questions on their perceptions of the candidates' understanding of the issue, their personal preference between the two debators, and the debators' apparent honesty and competence. As expected, response relevance was shown to facilitate processing and retention of response content. In addition, the unresponsive speaker was perceived to have a poorer understanding of the questions asked, to be less knowledgeable about the issues, and to be both less motivated and less competent to discuss the issues raised. Finally, the unresponsive candidate was perceived as less attractive than the responsive candidate. (Debate question and answer sets and questionnaire results are appended.) (MM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (San Francisco, CA, April 27-30, 1983).