When Communication Accommodation Backfires

Interpersonal Effects of Social Power and Linguistic Style Accommodation in Computer-Mediated-Communication

Kate Muir, Adam Joinson, Rachel Cotterill, Nigel Dewdney

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event66th International Communication Association Annual Conference - Japan, Fukuoka, Japan
Duration: 9 Jun 201613 Jun 2016

Conference

Conference66th International Communication Association Annual Conference
CountryJapan
CityFukuoka
Period9/06/1613/06/16

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computer-mediated communication
accommodation
linguistics
communication
communication medium
great power
Social Norms
conversation
language

Cite this

Muir, K., Joinson, A., Cotterill, R., & Dewdney, N. (2016). When Communication Accommodation Backfires: Interpersonal Effects of Social Power and Linguistic Style Accommodation in Computer-Mediated-Communication. Paper presented at 66th International Communication Association Annual Conference, Fukuoka, Japan.

When Communication Accommodation Backfires : Interpersonal Effects of Social Power and Linguistic Style Accommodation in Computer-Mediated-Communication. / Muir, Kate; Joinson, Adam; Cotterill, Rachel; Dewdney, Nigel.

2016. Paper presented at 66th International Communication Association Annual Conference, Fukuoka, Japan.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Muir, K, Joinson, A, Cotterill, R & Dewdney, N 2016, 'When Communication Accommodation Backfires: Interpersonal Effects of Social Power and Linguistic Style Accommodation in Computer-Mediated-Communication' Paper presented at 66th International Communication Association Annual Conference, Fukuoka, Japan, 9/06/16 - 13/06/16, .
Muir K, Joinson A, Cotterill R, Dewdney N. When Communication Accommodation Backfires: Interpersonal Effects of Social Power and Linguistic Style Accommodation in Computer-Mediated-Communication. 2016. Paper presented at 66th International Communication Association Annual Conference, Fukuoka, Japan.
Muir, Kate ; Joinson, Adam ; Cotterill, Rachel ; Dewdney, Nigel. / When Communication Accommodation Backfires : Interpersonal Effects of Social Power and Linguistic Style Accommodation in Computer-Mediated-Communication. Paper presented at 66th International Communication Association Annual Conference, Fukuoka, Japan.
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