ERIC Number: EJ833502
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Reference Count: 10
Elaborations on the Socioegocentric and Dual-Level Connectionist Models of Group Interaction Processes
Hewes, Dean E.
Human Communication Research, v35 n2 p304-308 Apr 2009
The purpose of the author's contribution to this colloquy was to spark conversation on the theoretical nature of communication processes and the evidentiary requirements for testing their relationship to group outcomes. Co-discussants have raised important issues concerning the philosophical basis of the socioegocentric model (SM) and dual-level connectionist models (DLCMs), their theoretical assumptions, and the epistemological requirements for testing these. In this article, the author comments and elaborates on the epistemological concerns expressed by several participants in this discussion. The common thread running through all these is the belief that testing cognitive processes embedded in social interaction may prove too difficult, making both the SM and DLCMs untestable--a worthy concern, but premature. The author contends that any plausible theory stated clearly enough could be tested empirically. In fact, the DLCMs can be tested via simulations without sampling cognitive processes moment by moment, while the SM can be tested from sequential interaction data alone if one assumes: (a) that comments in a discussion reflect individuals' mental states; and (b) that those states remain stable relative to the number of turns taken by each individual within them. In other words, if there are a large number of turns within a given mental state, state transitions can be estimated directly from sequential data of interaction without sampling mental states directly.
Descriptors: Communication (Thought Transfer), Group Dynamics, Influences, Theories, Models, Epistemology, Cognitive Processes, Simulation, Interaction Process Analysis, Communication Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A