Within Communication Accommodation Theory, social power is an important influence upon the likelihood of accommodation in communicative behaviours. Across two studies, we explore if the influence of power extends to a non-conscious aspect of accommodation, linguistic style, and to computer mediated forms of communication. We manipulated social power experimentally to create a series of instant messaging conversations between high and low power participants. Low power induced greater likelihood of linguistic style accommodation, whilst in a low versus high power role (study 1) and when participants undertook both roles (study 2). Notably, linguistic style accommodation by individuals in a high power role ‘backfired’: greater accommodation was associated with a negative impression formed by their conversational partner. The results show robust effects of power in shaping language use across CMC. Further, the interpersonal effects of linguistic accommodation depend upon a complex interplay of social context, social norms, and the communication medium.
|Conference||66th International Communication Association Annual Conference|
|Period||9/06/16 → 13/06/16|