Cogent Communication: Overcoming Reading Overload

By Charles L. Bernier; A. Neil Yerkey | Go to book overview

15
The Source in Cogency

Scientific writings are usually not thought of as being intentionally persuasive. Usually they are considered to be vehicles for the presentation of data in a rather rigid format. However, we argued in chapter 14 that most scientists want to influence opinion and action by their presentations, and would be disappointed if they did not. Most papers are unread by those who should read them, and only a few directly influence decision makers. Solving reading overload will allow the conclusions and essential data of many more papers to be read, integrated, and remembered, but even then, many papers and surrogates will not influence action. What are some of the things that affect the cogency of messages? This chapter attempts to identify the variables that intervene along the way from reading to doing.

It must be pointed out that chapters 15 through 17 deal more with political, popular, and social than with scientific communication. The authors believe that the lack of cogency is most serious in the popularization and interpretation of scientific discoveries to the Jay public and decision makers. Popularization and interpretation lend themselves most clearly to the persuasion process described in chapter 14, because there is a greater opportunity to vary the form and content of the communication so as to enhance cogency. By and large, this is the thrust of chapters 15 through 17, to examine the credibility

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Cogent Communication: Overcoming Reading Overload
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Librarianship and Information Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 3
  • 2 - Problems of Information Science 18
  • 3 - Reading Overload Awareness 31
  • 4 - Overcoming Reading Overload 45
  • 5 - Indexing 57
  • 6 - Condensed Surrogates 64
  • 7 - Organization of Surrogates 81
  • 8 - Selective Dissemination of Surrogates 92
  • 9 - Assimilating, Remembering, and Integrating 99
  • 10 - Complex Terse Literatures and Ultraterse Literatures 109
  • 11 - Message Diffusion 118
  • 12 - The Research and Development Helix 129
  • 13 - Access 140
  • 14 - The Psychological Basis for Cogency 149
  • 15 - The Source in Cogency 167
  • 16 - The Message in Cogency 180
  • 17 - The Receiver in Cogency 196
  • 18 - Reading and Doing 208
  • Appendix: Collectanea of Terse Conclusions 221
  • Bibliography 243
  • Index 255
  • About the Authors 281
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