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Interpersonal Communication/Social Influence

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Interpersonal Communication/Social Influence

Interpersonal communication focuses on examining the interactions between individuals, which may take the form of dyadic relationships (e.g., romantic partners, or provider/patient) as well as individuals within a social network (e.g., work, church, family and supportive others). Faculty members in our department have examined how interpersonal communication can be influenced by (a) the medium, such as computer-mediated communication and social media, (b) the process, such as deception, conflict, and psychological factors influencing persuasion and argumentation processes, and (c) the dynamics of interpersonal coordination, such as identity construction, self-presentation, and social support.

The social influence domain includes persuasion, compliance gaining, interpersonal influence, and societal change effects that may involve risk, crisis, political, and/or health campaigns within social and/or mass mediated contexts. Research typically investigates theory-driven approaches to various cognitive, affective, and motivational processes associated with how people think of, feel about, and respond to a range of influence experiences. Study within the department often focuses on the methods sources employ to manipulate targets in various contexts, as well as the means by which those targets resist, adapt to, and respond to such influence.

Typical Graduate Level Course Offerings

Comm 5113 Nonverbal Communication
Comm 5213 Interpersonal Communication
Comm 5233 Communication and Social Change
Comm 5243 Language Perspectives of Communication
Comm 5353 Conflict Management
Comm 5393 Risk and Crisis Communication
Comm 5453 Social Influence
Comm 5553 Persuasive Communication Campaigns
Comm 5810 Special Topics in Communication
Comm 6233 Small Group Processes
Comm 6453 Seminar in Social Influence
Comm 6023 Communication Research Task Groups
Comm 6960 Directed Readings

Current Faculty with Research and/or Teaching Interests

Recent Dissertations in Interpersonal Communication/Social Influence

Zachary B. Massey (2019). The solace of extremism: An examination of existential motivation and the persuasiveness of extreme groups.

Eryn N. Bostwick (2018). The influence of storytelling on the identity of children of adolescent parents. 

Kathryn Lookadoo (2017). The Addition of valence and narrative endings’ influence on the risk convergence model. 

Shr-Jie Liu (2017). Reactance Theory and Self-Construal in the East and West.

Haiying Kong (2016). Finding peace in life’s unexpected journey: The processes of grieving and identity transformation for mothers of children with down syndrome.

Recent Faculty and Graduate Student Publications in Interpersonal/Social Influence

Adame, B., & Miller, C. H. (2018). Risk perception and earthquake preparedness motivation: Predicting responses to a Cascadia Subduction Zone catastrophic event. In V. Fletcher & J. Lovejoy (Eds.), The really big one: Risk, health, and environmental communication. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. (pp. 49-86)

Adame, B. & Miller, C. H. (2016) Vested interest: Developing scales for assessing flooding preparedness, Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 25, pp. 282–297.

Banas, J. A., & Richards, A. (2017). Apprehension or motivation to defend attitudes? Exploring the underlying threat mechanism in inoculation-induced resistance to persuasion. Communication Monographs, 84, 164-178. 10.1080/03637751.2017.1307999

Bessarabova, E., & Massey, Z. B. (2019). Testing terror management health model and integrating its predictions with the theory of psychological reactance, Communication Monographs. doi:10.1080/03637751.2019.1626992

Bessarabova, E., & Miller, C. H., Russell, J. (2017) A further exploration of the effects of restoration postscripts on reactance, Western Journal of Communication81, 385-403.

Bessarabova, E., Piercy, C., King, S., Vincent, C., Dunbar, N. E., Burgoon, J. K., Miller, C. H., Jensen, M., Elkins, A., Wilson, D., Wilson, S. N., & Lee, Y.-H. (2016). Mitigating bias blind spot via a serious video game. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 452–466.

Bessarabova, E., Banas, J. A., & Bernard, D. R. (in press). Emotional appeals in message design. In D. O’Hair & M. J. O’Hair (Eds.), Handbook of Applied Communication Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Bessarabova, E. (2017). One-way analysis of variance. In M. Allen (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Bessarabova, E. (2017). Normal curve distribution. In M. Allen (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Bostwick, E. N., & Johnson, A. J. (2018). Family secrets: The influences of family communication patterns and parent-child conflict styles in the likelihood of telling a secret. Communication Reports.

Cionea, I. A., Johnson, A. J., & Bostwick, E. N. (2019). Argument interdependence and its effects on serial argument goals and tactics in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36, 1975-1995. doi:10.1177/0265407518774933.  

Cionea, I. A., Wilson-Mumpower, S. V., & Bassick, M. (2019). Serial argument goals, tactics, and outcomes in long distance and geographically close romantic relationships. Southern Communication Journal, 84, 1-16. doi:10.1080/1041794X. 2018.1531915

Cionea, I. A., Hoelscher, C. S., & Ileş, I. A. (2017). Arguing goals: An initial assessment of a new measurement instrument. Communication Reports, 30, 51-65. doi:10.1080/08934215.2016.1184695

Cionea, I. A., Richards, A. S., & Straub, S. K. (2017). Factors predicting the intent to engage in arguments in close relationships: A revised model. Argumentation, 31, 121-163. doi: 10.1007/s10503-016-9400-z

Dunbar, N. E., Jensen, M. L., Miller, C. H., & Bessarabova, E., et al. (2017). Mitigation of cognitive bias with a serious game: Two experiments testing feedback timing and source. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 7, 86-100. DOI: 10.4018/IJGBL.2017100105

Dunbar, N. E., Miller, C. H., Lee, Y-. H., Jensen, M. L., Anderson, C., Adams, A. S., Elizondo Cecena, F. J., Thompson, W., Massey, Z., Nicholls, S. B., Ralston, R., Donovan, J., Mathews, E., Roper, B., & Wilson, S. (2018). Reliable deception cues training in an interactive video game. Computers in Human Behavior.

Hsieh, E. (2018). Reconceptualizing language discordance: Meanings and experiences of language barriers in the U.S. and Taiwan. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 20, 1-4.

Hsieh, E. (2017). The Model of Bilingual Health Communication: Theorizing interpreter-mediated medical encounters. In E. A. Jacobs & L. C. Diamond (Eds.), Providing health care in the context of language barriers: International perspectives (pp. 35-55). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Hsieh, E. (2017). Cross-cultural care: When providers and patients do not share the same language. In B. F. Sharf, J. Yamasaki, & P. Geist-Martin (Eds.), Storied health and illness: Personal, cultural & political complexities (2nd ed., pp. 69-71). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

Hsieh, E. (2017). Surviving violence in everyday life: A communicative approach to the homelessness. Social Work in Public Health, 2, 110-121.

Hsieh, E. (2016). Bilingual health communication: Working with interpreters in cross-cultural care. New York, NY: Routledge.

Hsieh, E. (2016). Voices of the homeless: An emic approach to the experiences of health disparities faced by people who are homeless. Social Work in Public Health, 31, 328-340.

Hsieh, E., Bruscella, J., Zanin, A., & Kramer, E. M. (2016). “It’s not like you need to live 10 or 20 years”: Challenges to patient-centered care in gynecologic oncologist-patient interactions. Qualitative Health Research, 26, 1191-1202.

Hu, J. &  & Hsieh, E. (2018). Supportive relationships: Caring for our loved ones in cultural contexts. In A. du Pré & E. B. Ray &  (Eds.), Real-life scenarios: A case study perspective on health communication (pp.79-84). Oxford University Press.

Jensen, M., Lee, Y.-H., Piercy, C. W., Dunbar, N. E., Elizondo, J., Bessarabova, E., Twyman, N. W., Burgoon, J. K., Valacich, J. S., Adame, B., Miller, C. H., Wilson, S. (2016). Failure and engagement in a complex digital training game: A multi-method examination. AIS Transactions on Human Computer Interaction8, 1-19.

Johnson, A. J., Cionea, I. A., Bostwick, E. N., Bassick, M. A., & Lindsey, N. J. (2019). Writing about serial arguments: The effects of manipulating argument perspective. In C. Winkler (Ed.), Networking argument. Taylor and Francis.

Johnson, A. J., Bostwick, E. N., & Cionea, I. A. (2019). Talking turkey: Effects of family discussions about the 2016 election over the Thanksgiving holiday. Journal of Family Communication, 19, 63-76. doi:10.1080/15267431.2018.1543688

Johnson, A. J. (2016). Communication in stepfamilies. In C. Berger and M. Roloff (Eds.), International encyclopedia of interpersonal communication. Hoboken, N. J.: Wiley.

Johnson, A. J., Bostwick, E., & Anderson, C. (2016). How do computer-mediated channels negatively impact existing interpersonal relationships? In E. G. Petty & S. D. Long (Eds.), Contexts of the dark side of Communication, Peter Lang.

Johnson, A. J., Bostwick, E. N., & Bassick, M. (2017). Long-distance versus geographically close romantic relationships: The effects of social media on the development and maintenance of these relationships. In N. Punyanunt-Carter & J. S. Wrench (Eds.), Swipe right for love: The impact of social media in modern romantic relationships.Lexington Books.

Johnson, A. J., & Cionea, I. (2016). Serial arguments in interpersonal relationships: Current knowledge and future directions. In J. A. Samp (Ed.), Communicating interpersonal conflict in close relationships: Contexts, challenges, and opportunities (pp. 111-127). New York: Routledge.

Johnson, A. J., & Cionea, I. A. (forthcoming 2018). A new measure for argument topic interdependence in serial arguments. In R. Lake (Ed.), Recovering argument.

Johnson, A. J., Cionea, I. A., Bostwick, E. N., Bassick, M. A., & Lindsey, N. J. (in press). Writing about serial arguments: The effects of manipulating argument perspective. In C. Winkler (Ed.), Networking argument. Taylor and Francis.

Kramer, E. M. & Hsieh, E. (2019). Gaze as embodied ethics: Homelessness, the Other, and humanity. In Dutta, M. and Zapata, D. (Eds.), Communicating for social change: Meaning, Power, and Resistance (pp. 33-62). Singapore: Palgrave-MacMillan.

Lee, Y., Dunbar, N., Miller, C. H., Bessarabova, E., Jensen, M., Wilson, S. N., Elizondo, J., Burgoon, J., & Valacich, J. (in press). Mitigating bias and improving professional decision-making through digital game play. In J. Raessens, B. Schouten, J. Jansz, T. De la Hera Conde-Pumpido, M. Kors, & R. Jacobs (Eds.), Persuasive Gaming in Context. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press.

Lee, Y-H., Dunbar, N. E., Miller, C. H., Lane, B. L., Jensen, M. L., Bessarabova, E., Burgoon, J. K., Adame, B. J., Valacich, J. J., Adame, E. A., Bostwick, E., Piercy, C. W., Elizondo, J., &Wilson, S. N. (2016). Training anchoring and representativeness bias mitigation through a digital game. Simulation & Gaming 47, 751–779, doi:10.1177/1046878116662955

Lookadoo, K., & Wong, N. C. H. (2016). Kickstarting Veronica Mars: Rekindling a parasocial relationship. In D. M. Macey, K. M. Ryan, & N. J. Springer (Eds.), Friends, lovers, co-workers, and community: Everything I know about relationships I learned from television. Langham, MD: Lexington Books (pp. 211-228)

Meirick, P. C. (2016). Motivated reasoning, accuracy, and updating in perceptions of Bush’s legacy. Social Science Quarterly. Published online, May 31, 2016. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12301

Meirick, P. C. & Bessarabova. E. (2016). Epistemic factors in selective exposure and political misperceptions on the right and left. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy. Published online, November 25, 2015. DOI:10.1111/asap.12101

Meirick, P. C., Nisbett, G. S., Harrison, K. J., Harvell, L. A., Jefferson, M. D. Kim, T-S. & Pfau. M. W. (2018). To tell the truth: Ad watches and the accuracy, tone, and focus of political advertising. Political Communication, 35 (3), 450-69. DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2017.1414089

Miller, C. H., Dunbar, N. E., Jensen, M. L., Massey, Z., Lee, Y-. H., Nicholls, S. B., Anderson, C., Adams, A. S., Elizondo Cecena, F. J., Thompson, W., & Wilson, S. N. (2019). Training law enforcement officers to identify reliable deception cues with an interactive digital game. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 9, (3), 1-23.

Miller, C. H., & Massey, Z. B. (2019). Meaning-making, communication, and terror management processes. In C. Routledge & M. Vess (Eds.), Handbook of terror management theory. San Diego: Elsevier (pp. 577-611).

Miller, C. H., Massey, Z. B. Terror Management Theory Perspectives on Interpersonal and Social Influence. (in press) In H. D. O’Hair and M. J. O’Hair (Eds.), Handbook of applied communication research. NY: Wiley

Miller, C. H., Massey, Z. B., & Ma, H. Psychological Reactance and Persuasive Message Design. (in press) In H. D. O’Hair and M. J. O’Hair (Eds.), Handbook of applied communication research. NY: Wiley

Miller, C. H., (2016). Hedonic relevance and outcome relevant involvement. In D. K. Kim & J. Dearing (Eds.) Health Communication Measures. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 99-106.

Miller, C. H., (2016). Sensation seeking scales for adolescents and emerging adults. In D. K. Kim & J. Dearing (Eds.) Health Communication Measures. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 213-222.

Miller, C. H., & Cortes Quantip, R. J. (2017). Anger in health and risk messaging. In R. Perrott (Ed.) Encyclopedia of health and risk message design and processing, New York: Oxford University Press (pp. 117-128).

Miller, C. H., & Adame, B.J. (2016). Scales for measuring the dimensions of vested interest. In D. K. Kim & J. Dearing (Eds.) Health Communication Measures. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 265-278

Richards, A., & Banas, J. A. (2018). The Opposing Mediational Effects of Apprehensive Threat and Motivational Threat When Inoculating Against Reactance to Health Promotion. Southern Communication Journal, 83, 11. 10.1080/1041794X.2018.1498909

Roper, R., Johnson, A. J., & Bostwick, E. N. (2017). A target’s perspective: Verbal aggressiveness, coping strategies, and relational harm. Communication Research Reports, 34, 21-28.

Terui, S. & Hsieh, E. (in press). Managing communicative challenges and interactional dilemma: Native speakers’ responses to non-native speakers’ non/misunderstanding. Discourse Processes.

Turner, M. M., Richards, A. S., Bessarabova, E., & Magid, Y. (in press). Does anger facilitate or debilitate persuasion? A test of the Anger Activism Model. Communication Reports.

Wong, N. C. H., & Bostwick, E. (2017). #WhyITold: A pilot test of Twitter messages aimed at promoting bystander intervention against domestic violence. Studies in Media and Communication, 5(2), 166-175. doi: 10.11114/smc.v5i2.2763.

Wong, N. C. H. (2018). Well that was unexpected: Effect of intimacy and commitment on responses to an interpersonal expectancy violation. Studies in Media and Communication, 6(2), 45-56.


Recent Funding in Interpersonal/Social Influence

Teaching Bias Mitigation through Training Games with Application in Credibility Attribution, NSF Division Of Information & Intelligent Systems. Co-PI, Claude Miller, 2015-2017, $549,000.

Elena Bessarabova -- Research Collaboration Partner, Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics, research consortium at Jyväskylä University; interdisciplinary project “#Agents-Young People’s Agency in Social Media” funded by Academy of Finland (Vilma Luoma-aho, JSBE PI, 2019-2022) – €1,000,000