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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 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

Haijing Ma (2021). The effects of controlling language, fear, and disgust on responses to COVID-19 vaccination promotion messages.

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.

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)

Banas, J. A. (2020). Inoculation theory. In D. R. Ewoldsen (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology.

Banas, J. A., & Bessarabova, E., (accepted). Employing inoculation theory to mitigate conspiratorial beliefs. In M. Miller (Ed.). The social science of QAnon: Understanding a new social and political phenomenon. Cambridge University Press.

Banas, J. A., Dibble, J. L., Bessarabova, E., & Drouin, M. (2021). Simmering on the back burner or playing with fire? Examining the consequences of back burner digital communication among ex partners. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24, 473-479. 

Banas, J. A., Bessarabova, E., & Massey, Z. B. (2020). Reducing prejudice via mediated contact: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 46, 120-160. doi:10.1093/hcr/hqaa004 

Banas, J. A., Bisel, R. S., Kramer, M. W., & Massey, Z. (2019). The serious business of instructional humor outside the classroom: a study of elite gymnastic coaches’ uses of humor during training. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 47, 628–647. 

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

Barbati, J. L., Rains, S. A., Ivanov, B., & Banas, J. A. (2021). Evaluating classic and contemporary ideas about persuasion resistance in inoculation theory: Argument strength, refutation strength, and forewarning. Communication Research Reports38, 272-281. 

Bessarabova, E., & Banas, J. A. (accepted). Emotions and the QAnon conspiracy theory. In M. Miller (Ed.). The social science of QAnon: Understanding a new social and political phenomenon. Cambridge University Press. 

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.

Bessarabova, E., Banas, J. A., & Bernard, D. R. (2020). 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., & Massey, Z. B. (2020)Testing terror management health model and integrating its predictions with the theory of psychological reactance, Communication Monographs87, 25-46, 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.

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.

Chang, D. F., Hsieh, E., Somerville, W. B., Diamond, J., Thomas, M., Nicasio, A., Boiler, M., & Lewis-Fernández, R. (2021). Rethinking interpreter functions in mental health services. Psychiatric Services, 72(3), 353-357.

Cionea, I. A., & Johnson, A. J. (in press). Trumpers, sheeples, and covidiots: Conflict management on Facebook during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Summer 2020. In Jameson, J., & Hannah, M. F. (Editors), Contemporary trends in conflict and communication: Technology and social media. De Gruyter.

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., Piercy, C. W., Bostwick, E. N., & Wilson Mumpower, S. (2019). Argumentative competence in friend and stranger dyadic exchanges. Argumentation, 33, 465-487. doi:10.1007/s10503-019-09487-x

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., & Kramer, E. M. (2021). Rethinking culture in health communication: Social interactions as intercultural encounters. Wiley.

Hsieh, E. (forthcoming). The Politics of Translation and Interpretation in International Communication. In J. Nussbaum (Ed.), Oxford research encyclopedia of communication. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.701

Johnson, A. J., & Bostwick, E. N. (2021). Arguing with family members about the 2016 Presidential Election. In D. Hample (Ed.), Local theories of argument (pp. 204-211). Routledge

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., 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., Bostwick, E. N., & Morrisey, B. (in press) Arguing about social distancing and family relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

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. (2020). An exploratory mixed-method analysis of interpersonal arguments on Twitter. In J. Rosenbaum-Andre & G. Bouvier (Eds.), Twitter, the public sphere and the chaos of online deliberation (pp. 205-231). Palgrave Macmillan.

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 (pp. 446-452). Routledge. 

Keating, D. M., Richards, A. S., Palomares, N. A., Banas, J. A., Joyce, N., & Rains, S. A. (2019). Titling practices and their implications in communication research 1970-2010: Cutesy cues carry citation consequences. Communication Research, 46, 1-22. (online)

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. (2021). 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 University Press.

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

Ma, H. & Miller, C. H. (2021). The effects of agency assignment and reference point on responses to COVID-19 messages, Health Communication, 36(1), 59-73,

Ma, H., & Miller, C. H. (2020). Trapped in a double bind: Chinese overseas student anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Communication.

Ma, H., Miller, C. H., & Wong, N. (2020). Don't let the tornado get you! The effects of agency assignment and self-construal on responses to tornado preparedness messages. Health Communication. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2020.1712038

MacDonald, R. A., & Cionea, I. A. (in press). Does the rhyme chime?: Evaluating the persuasiveness of a rhyming weather message. In D. Hample (Ed.), Local theories of argument. Routledge.

Massey, Z. & Miller, C. H. (2018). Case studies on interethnic conflict: A theoretical integration. International Journal of International Relations, 66, 130-147.

Massey, Z., Wong, N., & Barbati, J. (2021). Meeting the trans(parent): Test of parasocial contact with transgender characters on reducing stigma toward transgender people. Communication Studies, 72(2), 232-250.

Miller, C. H., & Ma, H. (2021). How existential anxiety shapes communication in coping with the coronavirus pandemic: A terror management theory perspective. In H. D. O’Hair and M. J. O’Hair (Eds.), Communication Science in Times of Crisis. Wiley. (pp. 54-80).

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. (2020) 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. (2020) Psychological reactance and persuasive message design. In H. D. O’Hair and M. J. O’Hair (Eds.), Handbook of applied communication research. NY: Wiley

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).

Rains, S. A., Keating, D. M., Banas, J. A., Richards, A., & Palomares, N. A. (2020). The state and evolution of communication research: A topic modeling analysis of 20,000 journal article abstracts from 1918-2015. Computational Communication Research.

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, 245-255. doi: 10.1080/1041794X.2018.1498909

Richards, A. S., Bessarabova, E., Banas, J. A., & Bernard, D. R. (2021). Reducing psychological reactance to health promotion messages: Comparing preemptive and postscript mitigation strategies. Health Communication, doi: 10.1080/10410236.2020.1839203. Online ahead of print.

Richards, A. S., Bessarabova, E., Banas, J. A., & Larsen, M. (2021). Freedom-prompting reactance mitigation strategies function differently across levels of trait reactance. Communication Quarterly Communication Quarterly, 69, 238-25.

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., Huang. J., Goldsmith, J., Blackard, D., Yang, Y., & Miller, C. H. (2020). Promoting transformative community change for equitable health: Peer education and intervention for pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis. Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.

Terui, S., & Hsieh, E. (2020). Managing communicative challenges and interactional dilemma: Native speakers’ responses to non-native speakers’ lack of understanding. Discourse Processes, 57(1), 48-65.

Turner, M. M., Richards, A. S., Bessarabova, E., & Magid, Y. (2020). The effects of anger appeals on systematic processing and intentions: The moderating role of efficacy. Communication Reports, 33, 14-26, doi:10.1080/08934215.2019.1682175

Wong, N. C. H. (2019). Injunctive and descriptive norms and theory of planned behavior: Influencing intentions to use sunscreen. Women’s Health and Complications, 2(1), 1-7. 

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.

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.


Recent Funding in Interpersonal/Social Influence

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

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

Claude Miller, Co-PI, “Peer Training and Intervention for Pre-exposure HIV Prophylaxis,” Waterhouse Family Institute, 2018-2020, ($10,000) – Funded