Experiential and Physiological Responses to Interpersonal Influence


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In this study, we examined the linkages between two important features of influence messages, explicitness and dominance, and emotional response. Two positions were considered. From politeness theory, we deduced that judgments of the politeness of the message would mediate the effects of message form on emotional response. Consideration of cognitive appraisal theories suggested judgments of goal blockage and legitimacy would assume the role of mediators. Participants took part in two role‐plays in which they adopted the role of the influence target and listened to an audiotape of a request to change their behavior. Self‐report and physiological data were gathered as indicators of their emotional responses to the influence messages. The findings indicated some support for both politeness and appraisal theories, but also suggested that neither one constituted a thorough explanation of the effects of influence messages on emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-528
Number of pages27
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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