Strategic Interpersonal Communication

By John A. Daly; John M. Wiemann | Go to book overview

partner, more difficult strategic patterns may be ineffective because they decrease sensitivity to the partner.

Underlying this relationship between the encoding, or behavioral production processes, and the decoding, or impression formation processes, is the assumption that the cognitive resources required for attention to and processing of both the encoding and decoding of behavior come from a common pool ( Patterson , 1992). Thus, as more attention to and monitoring of a strategic display is required, fewer cognitive resources are available for attention to and processing of information about the partner. In general, anything that directs attention toward the self or towards the monitoring of one's own strategic behavior is likely to affect sensitivity to the partner adversely. For example, socially anxious and depressed individuals are more self-focused than their normal counterparts. Furthermore, strategic patterns that are not well learned or scripted require closer monitoring than more automatic patterns. Again, the result is a decrease in cognitive resources available for social inference processes. It is also possible that closely managed and monitored strategic displays will appear less spontaneous and, consequently, lose some of their impact.

Finally, the issues addressed here point to the importance of going beyond a simple classification of strategic behavior to relating parallel, but related, processes in social influence. Such a perspective may be useful, not only in understanding strategic behavior but, more generally, in pursuing the complexities of social interaction.


REFERENCES

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Altman I. ( 1975). The environment and social behavior. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Argyle M. ( 1972). Non-verbal communication in human social interaction. In R. A. Hinde (Ed.), Non-verbal communication (pp. 243-269). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Argyle M., & Dean J. ( 1965). Eye-contact, distance, and affiliation. Sociometry, 28, 289-304.

Argyle M., & Kendon A. ( 1967). The experimental analysis of social performance. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 55-91). New York: Academic Press.

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Bull R., & Gibson-Robinson E. ( 1981). The influences of eye-gaze, style of dress, and locality on the amounts of money donated to charity. Human Relations, 34, 895-905.

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