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Journal of Language and Social Psychology

Impact factor: 1.49 5-Year impact factor: 1.349 Print ISSN: 0261-927X Publisher: Sage Publications

Subjects: Social Psychology, Communication, Linguistics

Most recent papers:

  • Interpretation of Care Guidelines for Obese Women in Labor: Intergroup Language and Social Identity.
    Eley, V., Callaway, L., van Zundert, A., Lipman, J., Gallois, C.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. September 13, 2016

    The hospital-based care of pregnant women who are obese is complex. Current guidelines recommend early epidural analgesia, but there is disagreement about the guidelines and their implementation by anesthesiologists. In this study, we conducted semistructured interviews with 42 specialist anesthesiologists about their experiences implementing the "early epidural" recommendation. We examined the impact of intergroup identity and system factors on the language used by anesthesiologists to express their experiences, framing the work by social identity and communication accommodation theory. Leximancer text mining was used to elicit the dominant theme "epidural" in the interviews, and discourse analysis aided in exploring selected extracts. Findings indicated that anesthesiologists expressed their role primarily as technical experts, along with the core value of accommodating patients’ wishes. Furthermore, the extent to which they were prepared to accommodate the perspective of other health professionals was a key indicator of the intergroup climate.

    September 13, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16668564   open full text
  • Language Style Matching in Romantic Partners Conflict and Support Interactions.
    Bowen, J. D., Winczewski, L. A., Collins, N. L.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 31, 2016

    This study examined the association between language style matching (LSM), subjective perceptions of interaction quality (perceived responsiveness and affect), and partner behavior in two communication contexts: conflict and social support. Romantic couples (N = 91) engaged in a video-recorded discussion of either a relationship stressor or one partner’s personal stressor (a social support discussion). LSM was associated with unique outcomes in each communication setting. Higher LSM was associated with lower subjective perceptions of responsiveness and less positive emotion for partners discussing relationship stressors but more positive emotion for partners in social support discussions. Furthermore, higher LSM was associated with more critical and negative interpersonal behavior and less responsive and caring behavior during discussions of relationship stressors but was unrelated to behavior in support discussions. Findings suggest that LSM does not uniformly signal interpersonal rapport (as often assumed) and may instead amplify the positive or negative tone of an interaction.

    August 31, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16666308   open full text
  • Evidence of Linguistic Intergroup Bias in U.S. Print News Coverage of Immigration.
    Dragojevic, M., Sink, A., Mastro, D.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 31, 2016

    This study content analyzed all print newspaper articles addressing U.S. immigration from Mexico appearing in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas during a 1-year period for presence of linguistic intergroup bias. Across all four states, negative statements outnumbered positive statements; this negativity bias was more pronounced for out-group than in-group statements in all states except California. Consistent with the linguistic intergroup bias, positive in-group and negative out-group statements were encoded using more abstract language than negative in-group and positive out-group statements.

    August 31, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16666884   open full text
  • Empowering Questions Affect How People Construe Their Behavior: Why How You Ask Matters in Self-Attributions for Physical Exercise and Healthy Eating.
    Daly, J. A., Glowacki, E. M.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 31, 2016

    Subtle manipulations of wording can significantly affect behavior. We examine differences in how people respond to empowering questions (e.g., "What could you do to exercise more?") compared with disempowering questions (e.g., "Why aren’t you exercising more?"). Responding to two different topics (exercise and eating behavior), participants in empowering question conditions offered more solutions in their responses, placed more responsibility on themselves rather than on external factors, were more optimistic, and referred more to the future. Participants in disempowering conditions gave more excuses, placed more responsibility on situational factors, were more pessimistic, and focused more on obstacles.

    August 31, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16668219   open full text
  • The Mind Versus the Body in Political (and Nonpolitical) Discourse: Linguistic Evidence for an Ideological Signature in U.S. Politics.
    Robinson, M. D., Boyd, R. L., Fetterman, A. K., Persich, M. R.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 31, 2016

    Ideological liberals may focus on mental operations to a greater extent than bodily operations, whereas this pattern may be reversed among conservatives. Although there are suggestive sources of evidence, prior research has not directly examined relations between political ideology and this mind–body distinction. The present investigation did so by content-coding texts using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program and its cognitive and bodily process categories. Three studies involving posts to political news websites (Study 1), presidential State of the Union addresses (Study 2), and writing samples by laypersons (Study 3) converged on the hypothesis that texts produced by those with liberal ideologies would score positively in mind–body terms (reflecting a greater relative mental focus), whereas texts produced by those with conservative ideologies would score negatively in mind–body terms (reflecting a greater bodily focus), a novel linguistic signature of political ideology.

    August 31, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16668376   open full text
  • Adult Attachment Predicts Advice, Exemplar Sharing, and Questions to Acquaintances Recently Diagnosed With Cancer.
    Ruscher, J. B.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 29, 2016

    This study examined how adult attachment patterns influence communication to acquaintances with cancer diagnoses. Adults completed Brennan et al.’s measures of attachment anxiety and avoidance, then reported their likelihood of expressing various comments to a recently diagnosed acquaintance. Anxiety predicted expressions of admiration, sharing cancer exemplars, and questions about the cancer (i.e., all potentially intimacy-enhancing), as well as advice (i.e., attempted caregiving). Avoidance predicted aversion to asking questions or offering help. These findings provide insight into nonintimates’ attempts at support.

    August 29, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16667435   open full text
  • The Language of Science and Social Licence to Operate.
    Gallois, C., Ashworth, P., Leach, J., Moffat, K.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 17, 2016

    Social licence to operate (SLO) is an informal agreement that infers ongoing acceptance of an industrial or energy project by a local community and the stakeholders affected by it. Negotiation of SLOs centrally implicates language and communication, including scientific language and concepts. We first review the literature about the definition and communicative features of SLOs, and their relation to scientific communication. We describe communication accommodation theory and the ways that it can help understand (un)successful SLO negotiation, and describe examples of texts that show accommodative or nonaccommodative language around SLOs. We summarize some results which help indicate different ways of accommodating communities in the negotiation of SLOs. Finally, we describe a research agenda on communication accommodation and SLOs, in the service of improving their impact on energy, the environment, and the transfer of science.

    August 17, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16663254   open full text
  • Exploring the Impact of Age, Race, and Stereotypes on Perceptions of Language Performance and Patronizing Speech.
    Atkinson, J. L., Sloan, R. G.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 16, 2016

    Two experiments tested whether age and racial stereotypes influence communication. Specifically, both studies sought to understand if older African American targets would experience a communicative double jeopardy. In the first experiment, participants assessed targets’ language performance and beliefs about their own speech style (i.e., patronizing speech style). Age (participant and target) interacted with stereotype to influence ratings of language competence, and an interaction of target race, stereotype, and participant age influenced the elicitation of patronizing speech. In the second experiment, participants assessed communication competence and patronizing speech. Age groups of the targets and the participants, rather than racial groups, significantly influenced perceptions of both ratings of communication competence and the adoption of a patronizing speech style. Implications for the Age Stereotype in Interaction Model of intergenerational communication and future research on intersectionality are discussed.

    August 16, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16662967   open full text
  • Innovation or Inconsistency? Framing Colorectal Cancer Guidelines to Improve Public Perceptions of Updated Screening Recommendations.
    Neil, J. M., Krieger, J. L., Kalyanaraman, S., George, T. J.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 11, 2016

    Effectively communicating how findings from population science inform patient-level decision-making about cancer prevention remains a challenge. Despite the substantial benefits associated with early detection of colorectal cancer, patient compliance with screening guidelines is suboptimal. One potential barrier to compliance is the language used by organizations to frame screening recommendations. Drawing on theory and research on verbal immediacy, the current study examines whether linguistically framing screening messages as being temporally immediate makes them more effective than non-immediate messages for encouraging people to adopt state-of-science screening recommendations. An online message design experiment was conducted with a sample of older adults (N = 305). Results show temporally immediate frames are more effective at increasing behavioral intention to follow updated screening guidelines than temporally non-immediate frames. In addition, both response efficacy of a screening modality and perceived susceptibility to cancer moderate the relationship between message strategy and intention to screen.

    August 11, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16663258   open full text
  • Discord in the Communication of Forensic Science: Can the Science of Language Help Foster Shared Understanding?
    Howes, L. M., Kemp, N.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 11, 2016

    The criminal justice system is one arena in which nonscientists use scientific findings and expert opinions to aid decision making. Forensic science is a standard feature of criminal investigations, out-of-court settlements, and trials. Yet forensic science may be poorly understood by those who use it as a decision aid, with a consequent risk of contributing to miscarriages of justice. In this article, we discuss some of the contentious aspects of communicating expert opinion, and consider how research suggests that scientists might balance the competing concerns of scientific correctness and comprehensibility for nonscientists. Highlighting both research and theory, we argue that modifying language is a necessary component of ensuring understanding. However, the aim of transferring knowledge from a forensic scientist to a nonscientist is a complex task. Language modification alone is not sufficient; the practices and processes of communication require consideration. We argue that the dialogue and participation models of communication have much to offer to foster understanding of forensic science and enhance its value in the criminal justice system. We acknowledge some practical challenges to dialogue and participation approaches, and provide an example of how innovative organisational practices can help to facilitate effective interprofessional communication.

    August 11, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16663589   open full text
  • The Language of Dementia Science and the Science of Dementia Language: Linguistic Interpretations of an Interdisciplinary Research Field.
    Wray, A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 10, 2016

    Language is a balance of precision and flexibility, and scientific dialogue across disciplines faces challenges in how terms are used and how phenomena, including language itself, are described and explained. Taking dementia as its focus, this article offers linguistic perspectives on causes of inherent difficulty with terminological exactness. Attention is paid to the interface between the positivist imperatives of clinical evaluation and the relativist interpretations that help make sense of uses of terms across contexts. Two types of reason are examined for why the language produced by people with dementia is sometimes hard to characterize and predict: the theoretical challenges inherent in analyzing the language of dementia and the social variables that affect how that language is manifested. The article concludes with the vision of linguistic research using corpus-based discourse analysis to underpin and catalyze communication-bridging activities in interdisciplinary projects, within and beyond the dementia context.

    August 10, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16663591   open full text
  • The Contexts and Dynamics of Science Communication and Language.
    Rice, R. E., Giles, H.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 09, 2016

    This final contribution to this special Journal of Language and Social Psychology issue on "using the science of language to improve translation of the language of science" places the articles in the context and nature of the broader literature on science communication, particularly as it relates to the media. This framework is crafted with a view to identifying the complex factors and processes that create translation problems, highlighting models and approaches that can improve science communication. Throughout, we propose a parsimonious set of research agenda items. Scholars wishing to move between different models of science communication should take into consideration the processes of formative evaluation, intergroup accommodation, and message design logics.

    August 09, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16663257   open full text
  • Translating Science: Using the Science of Language to Explicate the Language of Science.
    Krieger, J. L., Gallois, C.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 09, 2016

    The articles in this special issue highlight the ways in which science communication, and in particular translational communication, implicates the nuances of language. This issue is the report of the Task Force on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) language set up by the International Association of Language and Social Psychology. The articles raise issues about the multiple stakeholders in science and their characteristic language and concepts, in contexts as diverse as health, energy production, forensic science, and science education. They point to the consequences of getting communication wrong, and to the important role of linguistics and language and social psychology in understanding this process. The articles point to a research agenda for language and social psychology researchers in this increasingly important and salient area, as we address major problems in society through the sciences.

    August 09, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16663256   open full text
  • I Understand How You Feel: The Language of Empathy in Virtual Clinical Training.
    Strekalova, Y. A., Krieger, J. L., Neil, J., Caughlin, J. P., Kleinheksel, A. J., Kotranza, A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 09, 2016

    Effective communication is one of the most fundamental aspects of successful patient care, and it frequently depends on the nurses’ ability to empathize with patients while finding effective ways to translate medical science into personally relevant health information. Skilled nurses are expected to understand the patient’s experiences and feelings and be able to communicate this understanding to the patient, but language strategies used to achieve the goal of empathic communication can vary. In this article, we employed the model of message design logics to evaluate what strategies nursing students (N = 343) used to express empathy during a simulated health history training. The results of this study advance our understanding of what constitutes a high-quality response to the disclosure of personal health history facts. In addition to providing a general framework for understanding empathic responses during health history assessment, the message design logic perspective highlights the differences in linguistic choices in simulated patient–provider conversations.

    August 09, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16663255   open full text
  • How Positive Framing May Fuel Opposition to Low-Carbon Technologies: The Boomerang Model.
    de Vries, G.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 09, 2016

    Low-carbon technologies are necessary to combat global warming. However, they are often opposed by members of the general public, causing costly delays and cancellations. In this article, I argue that language may be a relevant cause of such opposition. I introduce a theoretical model describing a boomerang effect in which positively framed communication about low-carbon technologies may actually lead to opposition in the long run. An example of positive framing is emphasising the climate benefits of a technology while neglecting to mention associated safety risks. I predict that, over time, people begin to perceive positive framing as an attempt to manipulate them into supporting a technology. In turn, this perceived manipulation may make them feel that their freedom to make their own decision to support or oppose the technology is under threat. To counter this behavioural threat, people may begin to oppose low-carbon technologies. My boomerang model further describes how certain characteristics of the source of information as well as of the recipient may influence both the direct and indirect effects of positive framing. I then discuss the model’s implications for effective communication and indicate directions for future research.

    August 09, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16663590   open full text
  • Student Identity and Aversions to Science: A Study of Translation in Higher Education.
    Brooks, C. F.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 08, 2016

    Biodiversity informatics (BDI) is a science focused on biodiversity data management, and BDI courses cast students’ attention to matters related to the physical environment, global change, translating data collections across multiple sciences, and also to the translation needed to bring BDI findings from the scholarly community to the public. Even as students learn about science communication in BDI courses, they struggle to translate their studies into their own identities and lives. Based on an examination of student talk in a course on BDI and Science Communication, this research illustrates how students linguistically frame science and their science identity. The data show that obstacles barring the taking up of a science identity are plentiful, and that those barriers often relate to issues of identity and language. Interventions for addressing this translational problem, the disruptions to sharing scientific information, are discussed.

    August 08, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16663259   open full text
  • Thats Not What I Meant: How Misunderstanding Is Related to Channel and Perspective-Taking.
    Edwards, R., Bybee, B. T., Frost, J. K., Harvey, A. J., Navarro, M.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 04, 2016

    Misunderstanding is an integral and unavoidable element of communication. This article links misunderstanding theoretically to message interpretation and conflict, then presents the results of a study that examined relationships among misunderstanding, channel of communication, and three forms of perspective-taking. Participants (n = 98) responded to scaled items and described experiences of misunderstanding. Results showed that face-to-face misunderstandings are more serious than those that occur in computer-mediated communication. Dispositional perspective-taking, situational perspective-taking, and partner’s situational perspective-taking were correlated with features such as frequency of misunderstanding, use of integrative strategies, open communication, humor, personal offense, and communication satisfaction. In about two thirds of the reported misunderstandings, the problem occurred because of the tone of the message, an interlocutor took personal offense, and open communication was used to resolve it. The findings are consistent with predictions concerning perspective-taking and extend understanding of misunderstanding. Recommendations include examining misunderstanding, especially in CMC, in greater depth.

    August 04, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16662968   open full text
  • Conflict Initiating Factors and Management Styles in Family and Nonfamily Intergenerational Relationships: Young Adults Retrospective Written Accounts.
    Wiebe, W. T., Zhang, Y. B.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. July 22, 2016

    Using a content analytic approach, this study examined young adults’ retrospective written accounts about their perceived communication with family and nonfamily elders in conflict situations to uncover conflict initiating factors and management styles. Results revealed that old-to-young criticism (especially in nonfamily contexts) and competition were the most frequently reported conflict initiating factor and management style in intergenerational relationships. Also, results indicated that family elders’ use of the competing and avoiding styles were reciprocated by young adults.

    July 22, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16660829   open full text
  • The A(ffective) B(ehavioral) C(ognitive) of Taboo Words in Natural Language: The Relationship Between Taboo Words Intensity and Frequency.
    Rosenberg, P., Sikström, S., Garcia, D.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. July 22, 2016

    We investigated the relationship between the affective component (A: the level of offensiveness/intensity) and the behavioral component (B: the frequency of usage) of taboo words that are part of an individual’s natural language (C: the cognitive component). In Study 1, 900 U.S. residents generated the 10 most common taboo words they use in their daily lives (C). In Study 2, 1,000 U.S. residents were presented with the 30 most common taboo words (C) from Study 1 and asked to rate how offensive they perceived the words (A) and how often they used these words (B). This relationship was controlled for self-reported trait affectivity. We found a slight change in which taboo words people use in everyday life. The results suggest that the level of offensiveness of taboo words (A) predicts the usage of the words (B) that are part of a person’s natural language (C): the ABC-hypothesis of taboo words.

    July 22, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16660830   open full text
  • Development and Examination of the Linguistic Category Model in a Computerized Text Analysis Method.
    Seih, Y.-T., Beier, S., Pennebaker, J. W.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. July 01, 2016

    The linguistic category model (LCM) seeks to understand social psychological processes through the lens of language use. Its original development required human judges to analyze natural language to understand how people assess actions, states, and traits. The current project sought to computerize the LCM assessment based on an idea of language abstraction with a previously published data set. In the study, a computerized LCM analysis method was built using an LCM verb dictionary and a part-of-speech tagging program that identified relevant adjectives and nouns. This computerized method compared open-ended texts written in first-person and third-person perspectives from 130 college students. Consistent with construal-level theory, third-person writing resulted in higher levels of abstraction than first-person writing. Implications of relying on an automated LCM method are discussed.

    July 01, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16657855   open full text
  • The Impact of Homophobic Labels on the Internalized Homophobia and Body Image of Gay Men: The Moderation Role of Coming-Out.
    Bianchi, M., Piccoli, V., Zotti, D., Fasoli, F., Carnaghi, A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. June 16, 2016

    This study investigates whether homophobic labels and category-neutral terms are differently appraised as a function of levels of coming-out. After reporting their coming-out status, participants were exposed to either homophobic or category labels and reported their semantic associations, level of internalized homophobia, and body perceptions. Results show that labels were more positively evaluated as participants’ coming-out increased. High–coming-out individuals reported higher internalized homophobia and body concerns in the homophobic rather than category labels condition. Low–coming-out individuals displayed the reverse pattern.

    June 16, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16654735   open full text
  • Creating the Sound of Sarcasm.
    Peters, S., Almor, A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. June 15, 2016

    The study of spoken language requires controlling multiple aspects of the speech signal. Here we report a procedure to create a sarcastic version of sincerely spoken audio stimuli by changing aspects of prosody relevant to sarcasm (pitch, pace, and loudness) while controlling all other acoustic differences. Two rating experiments validated the efficacy of this procedure for spoken conversations ("Maybe they are more delicate than you realized") and descriptions ("Angie thanked John for doing such a great job"; emphasis indicates manipulation).

    June 15, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16653640   open full text
  • How the Language Style of Small-Claims Court Judges Does Ideological Work.
    Tracy, K., Caron, M.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. June 05, 2016

    Small-claims courts were created to help ordinary people settle "small" disputes quickly and cheaply and were designed to be relatively informal. A consequence of the justice system’s commitment to informality is that small-claims trials exhibit significant variation. After overviewing the different ways language/discourse styles and ideology have been conceptualized, we provide background on small-claims court and describe the data. The centerpiece of this article is an analysis of three cases taken from judges in different small-claims courts. We show that judges vary in how they (a) open a trial and frame what they will be doing, (b) announce and justify their decision, and (c) question litigants and solicit their stories. In concluding, we suggest how the style manifested by a judge accomplishes ideological work, instantiating different understanding of justice and what a reasonable relationship between ordinary disputants and the state should be.

    June 05, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16652191   open full text
  • Multilingual Accommodation in Namibia: An Examination of Six Ethnolinguistic Groups Language Use in Intra- and Intergroup Interactions.
    Stell, G., Dragojevic, M.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 23, 2016

    This study examined how six different ethnolinguistic groups in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, adjust their language use during intergroup encounters. Invoking communication accommodation theory, we predicted that relatively low-vitality groups (high-vitality groups) would be inclined towards linguistic convergence (maintenance), but that these general patterns would be moderated by prevailing sociocultural norms and each group’s language proficiency. These hypotheses were largely supported. Relatively low-vitality groups tended to linguistically converge (typically via lingua francas), whereas relatively high-vitality groups tended to engage in linguistic maintenance. This resulted in two distinct patterns of adjustment: (a) symmetrical accommodation in interactions involving groups of relatively equal vitality, typically consisting of mutual convergence to lingua francas or mutual maintenance of a shared heritage language and (b) asymmetrical accommodation in intergroup interactions involving groups of relatively unequal vitality, typically consisting of upward convergence among lower vitality groups, and maintenance among higher vitality groups.

    May 23, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16650718   open full text
  • Denying Psychological Properties of Girls and Prostitutes: The Role of Verbal Insults.
    Rubini, M., Roncarati, A., Ravenna, M., Albarello, F., Moscatelli, S., Semin, G. R.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. April 27, 2016

    This study examines the negative stereotypes of the category of women and their subcategories through the language of insults. Participants produced a list of epithets induced by the same hypothetical scenario in which the protagonist was presented either as a "prostitute" or as a "girl" (i.e., nonprostitute). Findings showed that the prostitute was addressed with taboo-related insults exaggerating sexual behavior, whereas the girl was mainly given warnings and intellectual insults. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to the underlying processes.

    April 27, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16645835   open full text
  • Political and Linguistic Identities in an Ethnic Conflict.
    Smirnova, A., Iliev, R.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. April 20, 2016

    Language is a powerful marker for social discrimination, often associated with stereotypes and prejudices against various social groups. However, less is known about the psychological role of language during ethnolinguistic conflicts. In such conflicts, the political rivalry is closely intertwined with language ideology. We consider two independent paths through which language might trigger social discrimination. The first one is related to linguistic identity, where a person could favor those who speak like her. The second one is related to political identity, where a person could favor those who use the language associated with the person’s political views. In the context of the conflict in Ukraine, we find empirical support only for the political identity explanation and no support for the linguistic identity one.

    April 20, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16643559   open full text
  • Developing Latent Semantic Similarity in Initial, Unstructured Interactions: The Words May Be All You Need.
    Ta, V. P., Babcock, M. J., Ickes, W.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. March 14, 2016

    We investigated how same-sex strangers develop latent semantic similarity (LSS)—that is, how they come to use words in the same way—in their initial interactions. In a previous study, Babcock, Ta, and Ickes found evidence suggesting that dyad members’ talking, looking, and acknowledging are important behaviors for the development of dyad-level LSS. Using a different sample of initial interactions, we replicated the major findings of Babcock et al., but found that, in both data sets, only those behaviors that introduced words into the conversation were uniquely predictive of LSS. These findings suggest that "the words may be all you need," and that LSS might develop as effectively in non–face-to-face (i.e., computer-mediated) conversations in which only words are exchanged as in face-to-face conversations in which nonverbal behaviors are exchanged as well.

    March 14, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16638386   open full text
  • Ideologically Motivated Perceptions of Complexity: Believing Those Who Agree With You Are More Complex Than They Are.
    Conway, L. G., Houck, S. C., Gornick, L. J., Repke, M. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. March 01, 2016

    While prior research has found linguistic complexity to be predictive across multiple domains, little research has examined how people perceive—or misperceive—linguistic complexity when they encounter it. Drawing from a model of the motivated ideological lens through which people view linguistic complexity, two studies examined the hypotheses that (a) participants are more likely to overestimate the complexity of political candidates when they believe they align with their own political views and (b) this complexity overestimation effect will be particularly strong for political liberals. Both studies presented participants with paragraphs from political candidates that varied in their actual integrative complexity levels and asked them to estimate the complexity of the paragraph. Consistent with expectations, Study 1 found that participants were significantly more likely to overestimate complexity levels for political candidates with whom they shared ideological beliefs and that this effect was particularly in evidence for political liberals. Study 2 replicated this basic pattern and further demonstrated that this effect was dependent on participants’ knowledge of their ideological agreement with the paragraph author. Because people misperceive linguistic complexity, researchers should move beyond thinking solely about how complex political rhetoric is; we have to also consider the degree that the intended audience may over- or underestimate complexity when they see it.

    March 01, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16634370   open full text
  • A Higher-Than-Average Female Voice Can Cause Young Adult Female Listeners to Think About Aggression More.
    Zhang, J.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. February 26, 2016

    Previous research found that speakers with more attractive voices receive more favorable evaluations (aka the vocal attractiveness stereotype). But sexual selection theory predicts that, to the extent that men perceive women with higher pitched voices as more attractive, women will be more hostile toward those women because they make more threatening mate rivals. Supporting this hypothesis, Study 1 (N = 102) showed that female participants higher in trait dominance displayed heightened aggressive cognition after being primed with a romantic (but not a control) feeling and listening to a higher- but not lower-than-average female voice. Study 2 (N = 111) showed that this heightened aggressive cognition was activated by a long-term but not a short-term mating motive. These findings supported sexual selection theory, challenged the vocal attractiveness stereotype, and suggested a mechanism that helps maintain the honesty of female voice pitch as a mate attraction signal.

    February 26, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16635219   open full text
  • Linguistic Sexism in the News Coverage of Women Ministers From Four Italian Governments: An Analysis From a Social-Psychological Perspective.
    Sensales, G., Areni, A., Dal Secco, A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. February 15, 2016

    The study, a descriptive type, is focused on the role of language in confirming or changing stereotypical feminine representations through a linguistic analysis of Italian newspaper communication concerning women politicians. It explored sexism/nonsexism in political communication on 20 female ministers from four different Italian governments (2006, 2008, 2011, and 2013). It was conducted by textual analysis of 1,244 press headlines with the Spad-t statistical package. Results showed an overutilization of sexist language and variations in the degree of linguistic sexism with respect to different periods (less sexism in the headlines of the last two governments). In this way, findings underlined the conservative role of newspapers that eclipses women’s active contribution, maintains their secondary role, and preserves politics as essentially alien to the female universe. This trend appears sensitive to the cultural and political context showing an increase of linguistic nonsexism in the time paralleled to an increase in the number of women parliamentarians.

    February 15, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16629787   open full text
  • The Language of Extremity: The Language of Extreme Members and How the Presence of Extremity Affects Group Discussion.
    Van Swol, L. M., Prahl, A., Kolb, M. R., Lewis, E. A., Carlson, C.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. February 15, 2016

    Using the linguistic software Linguistic Inquiry Word Count, we analyzed transcripts of group discussions of whether the words "under God" should be in the Pledge of Allegiance. We hypothesized that members with an extreme opinion would use less complex language and more you pronouns than other members. Furthermore, extreme members would have less influence when they used you pronouns or more complex language consistent with the illusion of understanding. Extreme members were more confident and perceived themselves as more knowledgeable, but they did not use less complex language than other members. When extreme members did use complex language, they were less influential. Extreme members used more you pronouns and use of you pronouns reduced their influence in the group. Groups containing at least one extreme member had a much lower level of complexity in their discourse than groups without extreme members. Results are situated within research in integrative complexity, illusion of understanding, and attitude extremity.

    February 15, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16629788   open full text
  • Excluded From All Humanity: Animal Metaphors Exacerbate the Consequences of Social Exclusion.
    Andrighetto, L., Riva, P., Gabbiadini, A., Volpato, C.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. February 12, 2016

    Past research suggested that—from the perspective of perpetrators—animal metaphors are a powerful means to reinforce social exclusion and to foster hostile behaviors against the targets of social exclusion. In the current work, we focus on the consequences of this dehumanizing form of social exclusion from the perspective of victims. In two studies, we manipulated the presence of animal metaphors in a variety of contexts of interpersonal social exclusion. Our results showed that when social exclusion is associated with animal metaphors, its consequences are exacerbated. In particular, labelling targets of social exclusion as animals indirectly caused them to display more aggressive tendencies compared with when they are labelled with corresponding offending, but nondehumanizing, attributes. Crucially, this increased aggressiveness was mediated by higher perceptions of being treated (Study 1) or viewed (Study 2) by others as animal-like. Overall, our research showed the detrimental effects of the interplay between social exclusion and animal metaphors from the perspective of victims.

    February 12, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16632267   open full text
  • No Space for Others? On the Increase of Students Self-Focus When Prodded to Think About Many Others.
    Hellmann, J. H., Adelt, M. H., Jucks, R.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. February 09, 2016

    In the present experiment, participants read about the presence of many versus few others in typical student-life situations. They subsequently wrote an essay about their perspectives on learning in groups. Using the program Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count to analyze these essays signified that participants who read prompts that involved many (vs. few) other students used more first-person singular pronouns and fewer words related to others. We interpret this increase in self-focus as a consequence of induced social crowding.

    February 09, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X16629521   open full text
  • Altering Male-Dominant Representations: A Study on Nominalized Adjectives and Participles in First and Second Language German.
    Sato, S., Gabriel, U., Gygax, P. M.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. January 19, 2016

    The generic use of masculine plural forms in grammatical gender languages has been criticized for activating unequal gender representations that are male dominant. The present study examined whether the recently introduced gender-neutral forms of nominalized adjectives and participles in German provide references that induce more balanced representations. We used cross-linguistic differences as a means to illustrate the flexibility of the gender representation system and investigated both native and nonnative (French–German bilinguals) speakers of German. Although a masculine bias persisted when participants read role nouns in the masculine plural form, the study suggests that the usage of nominalized forms can attenuate this male bias, even for nonnative speakers. The results of the study provide further support for the use of gender-neutral language.

    January 19, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15625442   open full text
  • As in the Question, So in the Answer? Language Style of Human and Machine Speakers Affects Interlocutors Convergence on Wordings.
    Linnemann, G. A., Jucks, R.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. January 05, 2016

    People adapt their word choice to both humans and computers. In this study, language style (elaborated vs. restricted) and perceived conversational partner (human vs. spoken dialogue system) were varied. Convergence was greater when reacting to a restricted language style. Participants preferred human partners and an elaborated language style. In line with communication accommodation theory, results suggest that considering restricted capabilities (cognitive organization) constitutes a central motive for convergence. Implications for spoken dialogue system design are discussed.

    January 05, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15625444   open full text
  • Conflict Between Ethnolinguistic Groups: Language Traitors, Language Loyalists, and the Influence of Uncertainty.
    Belavadi, S., Hogg, M. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. December 09, 2015

    Ethnolinguistic competition in India was chosen to examine how group member uncertainty affects evaluations of deviant in-group members. Participants (N = 155) from Bengaluru completed ethnolinguistic vitality and identification measures, were primed with high/low uncertainty, heard an antinorm (linguistically close to competing out-group) or a pronorm speaker (linguistically removed from competing out-group). High ethnolinguistic identifiers who perceived high vitality preferred pronorm to antinorm speakers under low but not high uncertainty. Uncertainty’s implications for intragroup relations within troubled intergroup relations are discussed.

    December 09, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15621104   open full text
  • The Words for Disgust in English, Korean, and Malayalam Question Its Homogeneity.
    Han, D., Kollareth, D., Russell, J. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. November 29, 2015

    Native speakers of English, Korean, and Malayalam (N = 30 in each group) rated their emotional reactions to stories describing events leading to anger, fear, sadness, and disgust. Speaker’s language had no significant effect for anger, fear, and sadness stories, but did for disgust stories. The category named by the English word disgust includes emotional reactions to distaste, pathogen-containing substances, blood, sex, and moral violations. The category named by disgust’s translations into Korean and Malayalam were narrower, a result that challenges translation equivalence. Lack of equivalence across languages is consistent with the argument that the English word disgust refers to a heterogeneous mix of similar but different emotional reactions.

    November 29, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15619199   open full text
  • Accountable Preferences? Discourse, Identity, and the Anti-Prejudice Norm.
    Stapleton, K.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. November 15, 2015

    There is, today, a powerful social norm against the expression of prejudice. Hence, as shown in many discursive studies, speakers treat prejudice as an accountable matter and use various strategies (e.g., disclaimers, mitigation, denials, and reformulations) to avoid being seen as personally prejudiced. Analysts have identified this practice as a "new" form of discriminatory discourse, which allows expression of prejudice without negative identity repercussions. Relevant studies are generally undertaken from a critical perspective and focus on structural inequalities (particularly race and gender). However, speakers may also demonstrate sensitivity around unexpected issues which lack overt prejudice connotations. This article examines one such example of unexpected sensitivity to the anti-prejudice norm. It analyses how five young female academics problematise and resolve their preference for an "intelligent" romantic partner. Their preference is uncontroversial in relationship terms, but here, in the academic context, it is clearly treated as accountable and as possibly inviting negative attributions. The data show functional and lexical features of "new" discriminatory discourse. The speakers orient towards attributions of intellectual elitism and use various means to deflect these, while ultimately upholding their stated preference for an intelligent partner. The analysis demonstrates how the anti-prejudice norm extends across settings/topics and how accountability is occasioned and context specific. This has implications for how prejudice itself, as a discursive construct, may be identified and evidenced. Specifically, it might be argued that analysts only have empirical access to accountability (occasioned in specific contexts), rather than to exclusionary or prejudiced ideologies per se.

    November 15, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15615635   open full text
  • Linguistic Obfuscation in Fraudulent Science.
    Markowitz, D. M., Hancock, J. T.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. November 08, 2015

    The rise of scientific fraud has drawn significant attention to research misconduct across disciplines. Documented cases of fraud provide an opportunity to examine whether scientists write differently when reporting on fraudulent research. In an analysis of over two million words, we evaluated 253 publications retracted for fraudulent data and compared the linguistic style of each paper to a corpus of 253 unretracted publications and 62 publications retracted for reasons other than fraud (e.g., ethics violations). Fraudulent papers were written with significantly higher levels of linguistic obfuscation, including lower readability and higher rates of jargon than unretracted and nonfraudulent papers. We also observed a positive association between obfuscation and the number of references per paper, suggesting that fraudulent authors obfuscate their reports to mask their deception by making them more costly to analyze and evaluate. This is the first large-scale analysis of fraudulent papers across authors and disciplines to reveal how changes in writing style are related to fraudulent data reporting.

    November 08, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15614605   open full text
  • Is the Marker the Message? The Role of Some Scalar Adverbs in the Processing of a Public Health Appeal and Its Effectiveness.
    Coppola, V., Girandola, F.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. November 02, 2015

    In this study, we argue that studies in persuasive communication have been undertaken until now without considering enough the main ideas of pragmatics as regards the communication process and the use of language. In particular, we suggest that in this area of research, it could be relevant to ponder the processes involved in the message processing by taking into account the "inferential" and "intentionalist" paradigm of communication. To support our claim, we propose an experimental study designed in the area of health communication which consists in investigating the impact of some linguistic items defined as scalar adverbs on some attitudinal outcomes and the message elaboration. It shows that the introduction of such adverbs in an epidemiological information message increases the self-risk perception, the perceived relevance of the prevention programs, and as regards the message processing, reduces the cognitive elaboration of its content for the benefit of its communicative intention. The persuasiveness of such linguistic items in a preventive message as well as the conditions under which they are likely to act as peripheral cues are addressed in the conclusion of the study.

    November 02, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15614343   open full text
  • Paths of Resistance: An Interpretive Analysis of Trajectories in Less Satisfying Advice Interactions.
    MacGeorge, E. L., Guntzviller, L. M., Branch, S. E., Yakova, L.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. October 13, 2015

    Social scientists and conversation analysts have both focused on advice as a key form of support and influence, but neither have adequately connected patterns of verbal behavior in advice interactions to recipients’ reduced satisfaction with advice. We address this concern with an interpretive discourse analysis of naturalistic "troubles talk" between college student friends. Transcripts (N = 48) were selected for analysis from a larger study of supportive interactions because the recipients in these interactions reported the advice as less satisfying on one or more dimensions, relative to the other advice recipients in the study. Our analysis explicates four trajectories of advice and resistance that characterize these interactions: sustained resistance, advisor persistence, irrational resistance, and contesting the problem. We discuss theoretical and pragmatic implications of these trajectories, including probable influences of the "friend" role on advising interactions, and the responsibility of both advisors and recipients for producing and preventing dissatisfaction with advice.

    October 13, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15611920   open full text
  • "Homosexual Marriage" or "Marriage for All"? Social Lexical Markers' Effects on Persuasion.
    Sanrey, C., Teste, B., Mange, J.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. October 13, 2015

    In 2013, the French parliament legalized marriage between same-sex persons. One issue of debate was to define whether people were debating about "marriage for everybody" as claimed by the supporters of the law or about "homosexual marriage" as the opponents labeled it. This research aims to analyze the effects of social lexical markers (SLM) reflecting social groups of opinions elicit when embedded in a persuasive message. A first study showed that SLM are explicitly identified by people but only when embedded in a low-quality arguments persuasive message. SLM also increased identification certainty when they are concordant with arguments’ orientation. A second study demonstrated that, whatever the quality of argumentation, argument orientation guides both cognitive responses and attitude change. Furthermore, SLM reinforced effects of argumentation orientation when they are concordant with arguments orientation. These results are discussed in light of the elaboration likelihood model and intergroup processes.

    October 13, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15612197   open full text
  • Lexical Profile of Emotional Disclosure in Socially Shared Versus Written Narratives.
    Balon, S., Rime, B.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. September 01, 2015

    To disclose emotional experiences, people can either talk or write. Our research was intended to address content differences between social sharing of emotion and expressive writing. In the first study, 92 participants either talked to an experimenter or wrote alone about an emotional experience. In the second study, after watching an emotion-inducing film, 112 participants were asked to disclose their emotions by either writing, talking alone to a recorder, talking with an unknown peer, or talking with someone close to them. Computerised lexical analyses were conducted on all material collected with a central focus on affective and cognitive processes as well as on narrative style indices like personal pronouns. Consistently, results showed a higher proportion of emotion words in writing than in oral conditions. Personal pronoun use, emotional tone, and proportion of cognitive words also appeared to vary depending on disclosure mode and type of narrative target.

    September 01, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15603425   open full text
  • Interaction Dynamics Predict Successful Negotiation in Divorce Mediation.
    Donohue, W. A., Sherry, J. L., Idzik, P.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 26, 2015

    Though communication is a process that unfolds over time, it has been difficult to study it as a dynamic process. This article examines the process of real-life divorce mediations as a dynamic system. First, the article sets out a paradigm of an interaction dynamic, revealing underlying dynamic patterns of frame coordination and how those patterns predict successful negotiation. Second, the article details a methodology for studying communication features dynamically. Finally, an analysis of 15 anonymous divorce mediations is conducted. Results largely support the predictions of relational order theory.

    August 26, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15603090   open full text
  • The Influence of Responses to Self-Disclosure on Liking in Computer-Mediated Communication.
    Dai, Y., Shin, S. Y., Kashian, N., Jang, J.-w., Walther, J. B.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 23, 2015

    The relationship between self-disclosure and liking another person is well-known, as is the prevalence and importance of self-disclosure in computer-mediated interactions. The effects of conversation partners’ responses to disclosures are an overlooked issue, implicated but not examined in most previous research. An original experiment examined whether different forms of response to self-disclosure in computer-mediated communication affect liking differently. Participants engaged in dyadic online chat with either their friend or a stranger. An interviewer communicated one of three types of response to another individual’s self-disclosures: reciprocal self-disclosures, compliments, or neutral deflections. Both reciprocal self-disclosure and compliments generated greater liking than did deflection. The effects of response types on attraction did not differ between friends and strangers. The findings indicate the importance of different forms of response to self-disclosure in interpersonal attraction online and the role of responsiveness to disclosure in initial as well as established relationships.

    August 23, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15602515   open full text
  • The Conversational Chameleon: An Investigation Into the Link Between Dialogue and Verbal Mimicry.
    Kulesza, W., Dolinski, D., Wicher, P., Huisman, A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 21, 2015

    Verbal mimicry research claims that repeating words spoken by another makes people more eager to comply with requests made by the mimicker (e.g., fulfilling a request to donate to charity). Instead, another mechanism might explain these results. Recent studies found that when a request was preceded by engaging a participant in dialogue (defined as a short conversation), the participant was more willing to fulfill the request. Thus, verbal mimicry might be perceived in the same way as dialogue. If this is the case, a theoretical confound would be revealed. To test whether the mechanisms are different of the same, two field studies were conducted using a 2 (dialogue: yes/no) x 2 (mimicry: yes/no) design. The study results revealed two main effects and no interaction effects, which means that verbal mimicry and dialogue are two distinct mechanisms. Interestingly, additive effects for these mechanisms were found.

    August 21, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15601460   open full text
  • Playing the Man, Not the Ball: Personalisation in Political Interviews.
    Waddle, M., Bull, P.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. July 05, 2015

    A challenging question can prompt a variety of responses from politicians in their attempt to save face. Criticising the interviewer is one such tactic identified in previous research. The focus here was on this form of personalisation: responses directed personally at the interviewer, often used as a substitute for a straight answer (i.e., playing the man, not the ball). Sampling online interview videos, our analysis revealed a broad range of personalisations: many critical, but also non-critical, including flattery, banter, and advice to calm down. These tactics are discussed as effective responses, which can disarm, wrong-foot, neutralise, or beguile interviewers, often shifting control towards the politician. Furthermore, personalised rhetoric appears more widespread than previously suggested—featuring in the communicative style of many mainstream British politicians. A new typology of personalisation is proposed, designed to fit within the existing overall equivocation typology for the benefit of future empirical research.

    July 05, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0261927X15592443   open full text
  • An Introduction to Advances in Deception Theory.
    Levine, T. R., McCornack, S. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 27, 2014
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    May 27, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14536050   open full text
  • Just Looking Around.
    Greene, J. O.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 27, 2014

    Information Manipulation Theory 2 (IMT2) is an example of the broad class of cognitive functionalist theories of message production. That is, IMT2 seeks to explicate message production (and in particular, deceptive message production) by recourse to the functional (rather than material) architecture of the system(s) that give rise to such messages. IMT2 is a welcome addition to theorizing in this area and certainly merits careful consideration and discussion. This essay examines the theory’s underlying architecture (particularly with respect to functionalist concerns of parsimony/elegance), formalisms that may not be sufficiently explicated, and aspects of deceptive-message production not explicitly addressed in the current version of IMT2. A final section of this essay invites a contrast between IMT2 and second-generation Action Assembly Theory.

    May 27, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14536051   open full text
  • Reconsidering the Role of Intentionality in Deceptive Communication: A Commentary on IMT2 and TDT From a Relational Science Point of View.
    Cole, T.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 23, 2014

    Traditional models of deceptive communication approach message production from a top-down, conscious-centric point of view. Information Manipulation Theory 2 and Truth Deception Theory challenge this assumption by arguing that the intent to deceive can occur during and after attempts to mislead have been enacted. I argue that this conceptual shift in our understanding of deceptive message production may be helpful to scholars studying the use of deception in relational contexts.

    May 23, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14534843   open full text
  • Truth-Default Theory (TDT): A Theory of Human Deception and Deception Detection.
    Levine, T. R.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 23, 2014

    Truth-Default Theory (TDT) is a new theory of deception and deception detection. This article offers an initial sketch of, and brief introduction to, TDT. The theory seeks to provide an elegant explanation of previous findings as well as point to new directions for future research. Unlike previous theories of deception detection, TDT emphasizes contextualized communication content in deception detection over nonverbal behaviors associated with emotions, arousal, strategic self-presentation, or cognitive effort. The central premises of TDT are that people tend to believe others and that this "truth-default" is adaptive. Key definitions are provided. TDT modules and propositions are briefly explicated. Finally, research consistent with TDT is summarized.

    May 23, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14535916   open full text
  • The Truth Comes Naturally!: Does It?
    Verschuere, B., Shalvi, S.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 19, 2014

    Does the truth come naturally? And by implication, does this mean that a lie may not come as naturally as the truth? Truth-Default Theory and the Information Manipulation Theory 2 diverge in their opinion on whether people’s natural response is to lie or tell the truth. In line with Truth-Default Theory, cognitive psychology research supports the notion that the truth is the default in human communication. Information Manipulation Theory 2 holds that lying may come as naturally as, or even more naturally than, truth telling, and recent social psychology research supports this possibility. We suggest that motivation may explain the divergence between the two theories and the two lines of research. We raise the hypothesis that truth telling may be the natural response absent clear motivations to lie (hence, most human communication) and that lying may prevail as the automatic reaction when it brings about important self-profit. We hope that this hypothesis will stimulate new research that will allow for bridging the theoretical and empirical findings that seem discrepant at first and show when the truth (vs. the lie) comes naturally.

    May 19, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14535394   open full text
  • A Commentary on Information Manipulation Theory 2: Its Place in Deception Research and Suggestions for Elaboration.
    Walczyk, J. J.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 16, 2014

    Information Manipulation Theory 2 is a powerful, expansive account of deception, drawing on several models and theories, with potential to revolutionize how deception is understood and researched. In this commentary, Information Manipulation Theory 2’s most important contributions are reviewed. For instance, the theory debunks the myth that deception is intrinsically more cognitive load inducing than honesty. I also offer several suggestions for the refinement, elaboration, and expansion of the theory, including the need for specification of the processing modules crucial to deception as well as the need to clarify what is meant by "efficiency."

    May 16, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14535395   open full text
  • Influence of Communication Partner's Gender on Language.
    Hancock, A. B., Rubin, B. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 11, 2014

    Forty participants (20 male) had 3-minute conversations with trained male and female communication partners in a repeated-measures, within-subject design. Eighty 3-minute conversations were transcribed and coded for dependent clauses, fillers, tag questions, intensive adverbs, negations, hedges, personal pronouns, self-references, justifiers, and interruptions. Results suggest no significant changes in language based on speaker gender. However, when speaking with a female, participants interrupted more and used more dependent clauses than when speaking with a male. There was no significant interaction to suggest that the language differences based on communication partner was specific to one gender group. These results are discussed in context of previous research, communication accommodation theory, and general process model for gendered language.

    May 11, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14533197   open full text
  • Acquisition of Spanish as a Foreign Language Through the Socioeducational Model: A Cross-Cultural Analysis.
    Bernardo, A., Amerigo, M., Garcia, J. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 08, 2014

    This study analyzes the learning of Spanish as a foreign language from a perspective based on Gardner’s socioeducational model. Two different studies are presented. The first study verifies the viability of the socioeducational model in Chinese university students who are learning either in linguistic and cultural immersion (Spain) or in their original culture (China). The results show that Gardner’s model is appropriate but some of the variables are restructured. Based on this, the second study includes some variables specifically linked to Chinese culture. The model is tested through cross-cultural analysis in two samples from China and the United States. The findings are interpreted in relation to the cultural characteristics of the sample studied. Theoretical, empirical, and practical implications are also discussed.

    May 08, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14534243   open full text
  • Easy Lies.
    Harwood, J.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 08, 2014

    The article discusses a distinction between easy, small lies versus difficult, big lies. It suggests some different processes underlying the production of these different types of lies, suggesting that certain discursive challenges facing liars only manifest for difficult lies that have to be produced unexpectedly. The article also explores the strengths of the two articles at the center of this special issue, focusing on them as examples of theory building in the discipline of communication.

    May 08, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14534657   open full text
  • Swearing in Political Discourse: Why Vulgarity Works.
    Cavazza, N., Guidetti, M.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 01, 2014

    An experimental study investigated the effect of politicians’ profanity and gender on their perceived and actual persuasiveness. Results showed that a candidate’s use of swear words increased the perception of language informality and improved the general impression about the source. The latter effect was particularly strong for male candidate, as female candidate was already evaluated positively, irrespective of her cursing. In addition, though the manipulation of the politician’s vulgarity did not directly affect participants’ self-reported likelihood of voting for him or her, an indirect effect through language informality and impression about the candidate emerged. On the contrary, profanity use reduced perceived persuasiveness of the message, suggesting that the influence of swearing could be automatic and unaware. Theoretical implications are discussed.

    May 01, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14533198   open full text
  • A Few Prolific Liars: Variation in the Prevalence of Lying.
    Serota, K. B., Levine, T. R.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. April 04, 2014

    It has been commonplace in the deception literature to assert the pervasive nature of deception in communication practices. Previous studies of lie prevalence find that lying is unusual compared to honest communication. Recent research, and reanalysis of previous studies reporting the frequency of lies, shows that most people are honest most of the time and the majority of lies are told by a few prolific liars. The current article reports a statistical method for distinguishing prolific liars from everyday liars and provides a test of the few prolific liars finding by examining lying behavior in the United Kingdom. Participants (N = 2,980) were surveyed and asked to report on how often they told both little white lies and big important lies. Not surprisingly, white lies were more common than big lies. Results support and refine previous findings about the distinction between everyday and prolific liars, and implications for theory are discussed.

    April 04, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14528804   open full text
  • Individual Sensitivity to the Frequency of Socially Meaningful Linguistic Cues Affects Language Attitudes.
    Wagner, S. E., Hesson, A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. March 27, 2014

    In forming an impression of a speaker, listeners are attentive to the frequency of nonstandard language features, using it to calibrate their judgments. We show that the ability to track and socially evaluate nonstandard variant frequency is subject to individual differences. Listeners judged an aspiring newscaster on the standardness of her speech in a series of read-aloud passages that had been manipulated for proportional frequency of a nonstandard pronunciation. Judgments of conditions at the poles of the frequency continuum were predicted by listener sociodemographic factors. For conditions in the middle of the frequency continuum, listener judgments were predicted by Broader Autism Phenotype Questionnaire scores for communication skills. Language attitudes may therefore be affected by both social and cognitive listener attributes, where cognitive attributes are most relevant for ambiguous inputs.

    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14528713   open full text
  • Questioning the Assumptions of Deception Research.
    Van Swol, L. M.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. March 27, 2014

    This article responds to Truth Default Theory (TDT) and Information Manipulation Theory II (IMT2). First, I discuss assumptions made by previous research on deception that TDT or IMT2 question. For example, TDT questions the assumption that nonverbal behaviors are important for detecting deception, and IMT2 questions the assumption that deception requires additional cognitive effort. Given TDT’s emphasis on context, I note that additional research is needed to identify antecedents of truth and lies. Furthermore, more research is needed to identify the characteristics of transparent liars. One suggestion is to integrate transparent liar research with IMT2’s proposition IM6. Further suggestions are offered about integrating research on prolific liars with IMT2 and integrating research on cognitive load and deception with IMT2.

    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14528914   open full text
  • The Role of Victim Embarrassment in Explaining Why Apologies Affect Reported (But Not Actual) Forgiveness.
    Struthers, C. W., Santelli, A. G., Khoury, C., Pang, M., Young, R. E., Kashefi, Y., Marjanovic, Z., Phills, C., Nash, K., Vasquez, N. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. February 05, 2014

    This research examines the mediating role of victims’ embarrassment in explaining why apologies from transgressors sometimes affect victims’ reported forgiveness, but not actual forgiveness toward transgressors. Victims sometimes insincerely communicate forgiveness following a transgressor’s apology because they feel put on the spot and embarrassed and try to escape the awkwardness of such situations. The results of an online experiment supported our hypothesis by showing that victim embarrassment mediated the relation between a transgressor’s apology and victims’ reported forgiveness but not between a transgressor’s apology and victims’ experienced forgiveness.

    February 05, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0261927X14520983   open full text
  • Words Won't Fail: Experimental Evidence on the Role of Verbal Proficiency in Mate Choice.
    Lange, B. P., Zaretsky, E., Schwarz, S., Euler, H. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. December 19, 2013

    Applying sexual selection theory to language, it can be assumed that high verbal proficiency increases attractiveness, but male more than female attractiveness, because women have higher costs regarding reproduction and are thus more selective in mate choice. These predictions were tested experimentally. In the first study, videos were used as the stimuli for opposite-sex participants where an actor/actress performed verbal self-presentations. The content was alike but was delivered with three levels of verbal proficiency with respect to lexical, grammatical, and fluency features. The main effect of verbal proficiency on attractiveness was supported, but the interaction effect was not supported between verbal proficiency and sex according to which male more than female attractiveness is affected by verbal proficiency. In the second study, only audio tracks from the videos were used. Both effects were significant, supporting the assertion that language plays a significant role in mate choice, especially for male attractiveness.

    December 19, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13515886   open full text
  • Effects of Verbal Aggression and Party Identification Bias on Perceptions of Political Speakers.
    Nau, C., Stewart, C. O.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. December 04, 2013

    Two experiments investigated the effects of verbal aggression, specifically character and competence attacks, on perceptions of political speakers. Verbally aggressive political speakers were perceived as less communicatively appropriate and credible than nonaggressive speakers, and were less likely to win agreement with their messages. Some evidence was found that perceptions were biased in favor of those who share a political party identification with the message recipient, and that more strongly Republican Party–identified participants perceived more verbal aggression in messages with no character and competence attacks and considered verbally aggressive Republicans more tactful.

    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13512486   open full text
  • Alignment Is a Function of Conversational Dynamics.
    Riordan, M. A., Kreuz, R. J., Olney, A. M.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. December 02, 2013

    Two prominent theories of alignment (priming and grounding) are tested in human–human text-only computer interactions. In two experiments, dyads of strangers and dyads of friends conducted conversations using Instant Messenger. These conversations were either neutral in nature or interlocutors were told to disagree on a particular topic. Conversations were assessed for paralinguistic, linguistic, semantic, affective, and typographical alignment. Results show distinct differences in alignment patterns dependent on conversational dynamics. Grounding theory is supported and discussion includes examining how nonverbal cues are translated into text-only conversation.

    December 02, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13512306   open full text
  • Latent Semantic Similarity and Language Style Matching in Initial Dyadic Interactions.
    Babcock, M. J., Ta, V. P., Ickes, W.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 05, 2013

    In the present study, we examined two indices of semantic similarity (i.e., latent semantic similarity [LSS], language style matching [LSM]) to determine their respective roles in initial, unstructured dyadic interactions. Transcripts of the dyad members’ conversations were used to compute the LSS and LSM indices, which were then correlated with various dyad-level behaviors and perceptions. The results suggest that LSS develops out of a highly involving interaction between mutually attentive and acknowledging partners in which a lot of verbal information is exchanged. On the other hand, LSM appears to be a behavior that is not associated with interactional involvement per se but may occur when dyad members are in the grip of a strong emotion and tend to repeat each other’s words and phrases in a relatively thoughtless and automatic manner.

    August 05, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13499331   open full text
  • When Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Preventing Discrimination of Nonstandard Speakers.
    Hansen, K., Rakic, T., Steffens, M. C.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. August 05, 2013

    Prejudice against a social group may lead to discrimination of members of this group. One very strong cue of group membership is a (non)standard accent in speech. Surprisingly, hardly any interventions against accent-based discrimination have been tested. In the current article, we introduce an intervention in which what participants experience themselves unobtrusively changes their evaluations of others. In the present experiment, participants in the experimental condition talked to a confederate in a foreign language before the experiment, whereas those in the control condition received no treatment. Replicating previous research, participants in the control condition discriminated against Turkish-accented job candidates. In contrast, those in the experimental condition evaluated Turkish- and standard-accented candidates as similarly competent. We discuss potential mediating and moderating factors of this effect.

    August 05, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13499761   open full text
  • Selection Bias in Choice of Words: Evaluations of "I" and "We" Differ Between Contexts, but "They" Are Always Worse.
    Gustafsson Senden, M., Lindholm, T., Sikstrom, S.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. July 22, 2013

    In everyday life, people use language to communicate evaluative messages about social categories. A selection bias in language across two social dimensions not previously integrated was examined: a self-inclusive/self-exclusive dimension and an individual/collective dimension. Pronouns as markers for social categories were adopted (I, We, He/She, and They), and a new measure was developed (the Evaluative Sentence Generating task) to investigate the evaluative context selected for the pronouns. Results demonstrate that individuals select a more positive context for self-inclusive than self-exclusive pronouns and a more positive contexts for individual than collective pronouns. However, in an interpersonal context, evaluative differences between I and We diminished, whereas in an intergroup condition the evaluative gap between self-inclusive and self-exclusive pronouns was magnified.

    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13495856   open full text
  • Effects of Conversation Partners' Gender-Language Consistency on References to Emotion, Tentative Language, and Gender Salience.
    Ye, Z., Palomares, N. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. July 15, 2013

    The study examined how a conversation partner’s gender and gender-language consistency influence communicators’ gender-based language (i.e., references to emotion and tentativeness) and gender identity salience. In an email exchange, an experiment manipulated an ostensible conversation partner’s gender and use of references to emotion in ways stereotypically consistent or inconsistent with the partner’s gender. The conversation partner’s gender and gender-language consistency affected communicators’ references to emotion in ways that generally confirmed hypotheses. Participants’ references to emotion were congruent with the conversation partner’s use of references to emotion regardless of participants’ own gender. Results pertaining to tentative language and gender salience demonstrated no substantive differences.

    July 15, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13494832   open full text
  • The Strategic Use of Counterfactual Communication in Politics.
    Catellani, P., Covelli, V.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. July 15, 2013

    While counterfactual thinking has been widely investigated, we know much less about how counterfactual ("If . . . then") statements are employed in political communication. We analysed statements made by politicians during pre-electoral televised broadcasts, to assess whether politicians employ counterfactuals in facework. Counterfactuals were coded according to their direction, controllability, and structure. Log-linear analysis revealed that upward, controllable, and additive counterfactuals were more frequent than downward, uncontrollable, and subtractive counterfactuals, respectively. A significant three-way interaction between target, direction, and controllability also emerged. While politicians more often employed upward controllable counterfactuals when speaking about targets other than themselves, they more often used downward controllable and upward uncontrollable counterfactuals when referring to themselves. These findings advance our knowledge of how counterfactuals are employed by politicians to promote their positive face and aggravate the face of adversaries.

    July 15, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13495548   open full text
  • Giving Radon Gas Life Through Language: Effects of Linguistic Agency Assignment in Health Messages About Inanimate Threats.
    Dragojevic, M., Bell, R. A., McGlone, M. S.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. July 15, 2013

    Health messages that linguistically assign agency to a threat (e.g., HIV infects people) tend to evoke more fear and elevate perceptions of threat severity and susceptibility relative to those that assign agency to humans (e.g., people contract HIV). The present experiment (N = 843) extended these findings to a nonliving health threat, radon gas, and compared nonsentient (e.g., radon gas is seeping . . .) and sentient (e.g., radon gas is invading . . .) threat agency language. Sentient threat agency language elevated perceptions of threat severity compared to both nonsentient threat and human agency language, which did not differ from each other. Furthermore, sentient threat agency language evoked more fear than nonsentient agency language when the advocated recommendations were moderately (but not completely) effective.

    July 15, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13495738   open full text
  • Review of The Handbook of Intergroup Communication.
    Ray, G. B.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 28, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    May 28, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13488774   open full text
  • Laughing at Adversity: Laughter as Communication in Domestic Helper Narratives.
    Ladegaard, H. J.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. May 17, 2013

    This article analyses excerpts from narratives told by foreign domestic helpers in a Hong Kong church shelter. The stories are trauma narratives about physical assault, sexual abuse, starvation, and other forms of exploitation, and the women also suffer the pains of being separated from their families. Therefore, it is to be expected that crying is a salient paralinguistic feature, but it is more surprising that laughter is equally salient. The article analyses selected excerpts from foreign domestic helper narratives focusing on the functions of laughter. Theories of laughter are reviewed and it is argued that existing theoretical frameworks do not adequately account for the examples identified in these narratives. Here, laughter has little to do with humour but is used to express "the seriousness of social life". A model expressing the tragi-comic span of life experiences is proposed as the way forward in further in-depth studies of laughter in discourse.

    May 17, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13489301   open full text
  • Content Analysis of Expressive Writing Narratives About Stressful Relational Events Using Interpersonal Decentering.
    Jenkins, S. R., Austin, H. L., Boals, A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. March 04, 2013

    This study used secondary analysis of data from two studies of expressive writing about stressful relational events to first describe the relations of word use to social-cognitive maturity of role-taking using Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scoring system and then to test hypotheses about active processing of relational information versus event closure. This scoring system for imaginative Thematic Apperception Test stories was adapted for expressive writing protocols and related to proportions of cognitive and emotional words used, relationship characteristics, and the subjective experience of writing. Relational events included relationship breakups (including divorce), loved one’s illness or death, and abuse. Decentering maturity was positively correlated with cognitive and insight words and with positive emotion words in both studies’ narratives, and also with self-rated experiences of emotional intensity in the low closure group only. Gender differences were consistent with gender theories applied to relational stressors.

    March 04, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13479188   open full text
  • Predicting Final Course Performance From Students' Written Self-Introductions: A LIWC Analysis.
    Robinson, R. L., Navea, R., Ickes, W.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. February 13, 2013

    Using a sample of 363 participants, we tested whether differences in the use of linguistic categories in written self-introductions at the start of the semester predicted final course performance at the end of the semester. The results supported this possibility: Course performance could indeed be predicted by relative word usage in particular linguistic categories—predominantly by the use of punctuation (commas and quotes), word simplicity, first-person singular pronouns, present tense, details concerning home and social life, and words pertaining to eating, drinking, and sex. Our interpretation of the findings emphasizes the egocentric "narrowed focus" of low-performing students and therefore stands in contrast to a previous interpretation that characterized these students as being "dynamic thinkers."

    February 13, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X13476869   open full text
  • Language and Emotion: Certain EnglishArabic Translations Are Not Equivalent.
    Kayyal, M. H., Russell, J. A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. February 07, 2013

    Happiness, sadness, and anger are translated into Arabic as farah, huzn, and ghudub, respectively, by the translation–back translation method. But are these translations equivalent? To be equivalent, they must have the same referents, specifically, show a high correlation between profiles of endorsement and a similar breadth of endorsement when used to refer to emotions. Here, English-speaking Americans, English-speaking Palestinians, and Arabic-speaking Palestinians (N = 60, 60, and 42, respectively) rated the extent to which each of 12 words referred to the various emotions conveyed by 22 facial expressions. Only one translation (happiness–farah) passed both tests of equivalence. All others differed with culture or language.

    February 07, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X12461004   open full text
  • Emotional Language and Political Aggression.
    Matsumoto, D., Hwang, H. C., Frank, M. G.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. February 07, 2013

    We examined how leaders’ expressions of emotion and emotion-related appraisals in their speeches were associated with subsequent political aggression by their groups. We obtained records of speeches anchored to identified acts of aggression and selected for analysis those speeches that were available at three points in time prior to those acts. We then coded the speeches for their expressions of emotion and emotion-related appraisals and tested the differences in that content separately for groups that committed acts of aggression and those that did not, which we labeled acts of resistance. Leaders’ expressions of contempt and disgust and the appraisals related to them differentiated the two groups. We discuss the unique potential contributions of expressions of contempt and disgust to aggression and violence.

    February 07, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X12474654   open full text
  • "What's Wrong With That?" Legitimating and Contesting Gender Inequality.
    Hastie, B., Cosh, S.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. January 25, 2013

    While there are generally strong cultural norms against discrimination based on individual characteristics, there is a dearth of research on exactly how people understand a particular act to be an instance of (non)discrimination. This research examines 285 online posts discussing differential pricing of health insurance by gender to see how this is constructed, and disputed, as an instance of discrimination. Arguments legitimating differential pricing are based on statistical rhetoric and the invocation of a norm of differential pricing across insurance contexts. These arguments are contested by undermining the constructions of "risk" that statistics are based on, and disputing equivalence of insurance contexts. These findings suggest that straightforward claims about what is and what is not discrimination are difficult to make in practice. Highlighting the various ways that gender differentiated treatment can be legitimated and contested provides insight into the ways in which inequality is maintained and resisted within everyday situations.

    January 25, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0261927X12473989   open full text
  • Cognitive Responses in Advice Planning: An Examination of Thought Content and Its Impact on Message Features Under High Versus Low Effortful Thinking Modes.
    Shi, X.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. December 26, 2012

    This study reports a cognitive-response-based analysis of advice planning. Through an examination of full-time employees’ thought generation pattern when they plan to offer suggestions to their supervisor (Study I), this study identifies five distinct types of thoughts involved in advice planning and provides evidence of the association between thoughts (e.g., assessment, goal-oriented, and caution) and message qualities. These results are replicated in Study II when the same data collection procedure is used to examine advice planning in a friendship context. While advice message qualities are determined to a certain extent by advice givers’ thought content, results from Studies I and II also suggest that such a process is further moderated by people’s cognitive elaboration. That is, heightened degree of effortful thinking in deciding how to give advice, as compared with low effortful thinking, results in a greater number of caution thoughts and advice messages that contain a larger number and more diverse set of reasons.

    December 26, 2012   doi: 10.1177/0261927X12470112   open full text
  • The Archeology of Emotion Concepts: A Lexicographic Analysis of the Concepts Shame and Verguenza.
    Hurtado-de-Mendoza, A., Molina, C., Fernandez-Dols, J.-M.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. November 19, 2012

    Changes in dictionary definitions over time reflect the way in which the degree of centrality of the features of the everyday concepts shame and vergüenza has changed, hence presenting different degrees of overlap between the categories at different times. We present a lexicographic analysis of the concepts shame and vergüenza in English and Spanish synchronic and diachronic dictionaries. Our results support Hurtado de Mendoza, Fernández-Dols, Parrott, and Carrera’s findings of differences between the contemporary everyday concepts of shame and vergüenza and they contradict the widespread idea that emotion concepts are classical, universal, and static notions. We warn about important inaccuracies of one-to-one translations in cross-cultural research.

    November 19, 2012   doi: 10.1177/0261927X12465610   open full text
  • Linguistic Biases and Persuasion in Communication About Objects.
    Schellekens, G. A. C., Verlegh, P. W. J., Smidts, A.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. November 19, 2012

    Research on language abstraction has primarily been focused on the language that is used to describe (intergroup) behaviors, while limited attention has been given to communication about objects. This article aims to fill this gap and studies biases in language abstraction in the descriptions of interactions with objects. Study 1 demonstrated a linguistic expectancy bias in this setting: People described expectancy-congruent experiences with objects more abstractly than incongruent experiences. Study 2 examined a mediator, and provides data suggesting that expectancy-congruent (vs. incongruent) experiences were more likely attributed to the object (vs. the situation/user), and this causal inference mediated the effect of expectancy-(in)congruence on language use. Study 3 examined the impact of communication goals, and found that the goal to convince a receiver of the high quality of a product (vs. no persuasion goal) led to more abstract descriptions of positive experiences with objects and to more concrete language for negative experiences.

    November 19, 2012   doi: 10.1177/0261927X12466083   open full text
  • The Communication of Wisdom: The Nature and Impact of Communication and Language Change Across the Life Span.
    Nussbaum, J. F.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. October 23, 2012

    Wisdom has played a central role in the attempt to understand the positive nature of human behavior for more than 4,000 years. Neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, and life span developmental scholars have joined this discussion in recent years to empirically investigate the physical and mental nature of wisdom. The social dimension of wisdom has not received as much scientific attention and is rather disjointed. I propose that communication scholars enter into this multidisciplinary discussion by placing communication and language at the core of the scientific study of wisdom and by investigating wisdom as enacted in our changing communication and language behaviors across the life span. An understanding and exploration of the communication of wisdom can significantly advance the positive role wisdom plays at both the individual and societal levels.

    October 23, 2012   doi: 10.1177/0261927X12463009   open full text
  • The Language of Political Aggression.
    Matsumoto, D., Hwang, H. C.
    Journal of Language and Social Psychology. October 08, 2012

    We examined the relationship between language and political aggression by examining the words used by world leaders and leaders of ideologically motivated groups when talking about their despised opponent out-groups in their speeches. We searched the archives for records of such speeches, anchoring them to an identified act of aggression or nonaggressive resistance, and analyzed speeches at three points in time prior to those acts. We tested three hypotheses about linguistic differences in speech content separately for groups that committed an act of aggression and those that did not. Support was found for all three hypotheses, indicating that speeches associated with aggression had different linguistic markers than speeches associated with nonaggression. These findings highlighted the function of speech in providing glimpses into the mind-set of the speech makers as their groups ramp up to violence or not.

    October 08, 2012   doi: 10.1177/0261927X12460666   open full text