ERIC Number: EJ833499
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Reference Count: 15
Response to Hewes's "The Influence of Communication Processes on Group Outcomes: Antithesis and Thesis"
Gouran, Dennis S.
Human Communication Research, v35 n2 p279-285 Apr 2009
This article presents the author's response to Professor Hewes's "The Influence of Communication Processes on Group Outcomes: Antithesis and Thesis." The author believes that Hewes could have been more helpful to the reader and to those who are apt to find inspiration in the steps he has taken in his essay to promote a "return to basic theorizing in the study of group communication" if he had given some more direction in how to conduct the sorts of research to which he points. Two areas in particular seem to the author to have needed this sort of attention. First, the author would like to have seen Hewes offer some definitions (both conceptual and operational) of the outcomes on which he would like to see researchers focus in their efforts to illuminate the ways in which communication may contribute to their achievement. Second, the author thinks that Hewes needed to say something concerning how one can capture the cognitive processes (which are covert and, therefore, not subject to direct observation) in studies so as to provide confirmation of whether or not the overarching process subsuming cognition and interaction is functioning in the manner one would anticipate either on the basis of socioegocentric theory or the dual-level connectionist models perspective. Despite the preceding observation, as well as some minor disagreements and points at which the author believes Hewes's discussion would have profited from more extensive elaboration, the author is very favorably impressed with the mission Hewes has taken upon himself in his latest examination of the communication/outcome relationship as applied to decision-making groups. As is typically the case in his theoretical excursions, in this particular one, the author contends that Hewes's insights are clear, his arguments fundamentally sound (not to mention difficult to refute), and his challenges to think differently from how many people are accustomed well founded. [For the original article by Dean E. Hewes, see EJ832779.]
Descriptors: Group Dynamics, Communication (Thought Transfer), Influences, Cognitive Processes, Models, Theories, Communication Research, Decision Making
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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