The Cognitive Bases of Interpersonal Communication

By Dean E. Hewes | Go to book overview

MOPs are overlaid and how scenes are selected. Wilensky ( 1983) formulated one account of how actions participate in scenes and scenes participate in episodes in his work on planning. However, more work needs to be done on how instrumental goals (of scenes) are organized for the attainment of higher level goals (of MOPSs). Similarly, intact MOPs are "fossilized plans" ( Schank & Leake, 1990, p. 359) and must be interfaced with other principles of on-line adaptation that are also simultaneously guiding behavior.

Second, clearer principles that permit the perspective to be more easily put to the test must be developed. Although it is possible to derive tests that permit the theory to be determined to be false, some of the theory's claims are sufficiently unclear so that any reported finding could be explained. For example, the perspective permits variations in the ambiguity of topical content in the pursuit of various goals (e.g., evasiveness, deception, privacy, etc.), although it is silent about how that variation is achieved. Similarly, although presumptions of local and global coherence are hinted at in the perspective, mechanisms by which such outcomes are achieved within the framework of the conversation MOP are not at all clear. Nonetheless, the perspective is heuristically provocative and potentially powerful in its ability to account for a wide range of communication behavior. Further exploration of its possibilities will certainly alter the perspective and even, perhaps, ultimately lead to its rejection. The outcome of this exploration is bound to be positive, however, regardless of the final judgment of the MOP perspective and dynamic memory theory; what emerges will be a more accurate explanation of conversational behavior.


REFERENCES

Abelson R. P. ( 1976). Script processing in attitude formation and decision-making. In J. S. Carroll & J. W. Payne (Eds.), Cognition and social behavior (pp. 33-45). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Abelson R. P. ( 1981). Psychological status of the script concept. American Psychologist, 36, 715- 729.

Bell R. A. ( 1987). Social involvement. In J. C. McCroskey & J. A. Daly (Eds.), Personality and interpersonal communication (pp. 195-242). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Benoit W., & Benoit P. ( 1987, May). Conversational memory employing cued and free recall. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Montreal, Canada.

Berger C. R., & Kellermann K. ( 1983). To ask or not to ask: Is that a question? In R. Bostrom (Eds.), Communication Yearbook 7 (pp. 342-368). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Berger C. R., & Kellermann K. ( 1989). Personal opacity and social information gathering: Explorations in strategic communication. Communication Research, 16, 314-351.

Berger C. R., & Kellermann K. ( 1994). Acquiring social information. In J. Daly & J. Weimann (Eds.), Strategic interpersonal communication (pp. 1-31). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Bower G. H., Black J. B., & Turner J. T. ( 1979). Scripts in text comprehension and memory. Cognitive Psychology, 11, 177-200.

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