Support providers' interaction goals: The influence of attributions and emotions

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72 Scopus citations


The current study examines cognitive and emotional influences on the formation of interaction goals. Specifically, it develops and assesses an extension of Weiner's attribution-emotion-intention model of helping (e.g., Weiner, 1995) to the prediction of support providers' goals. 608 college students read situations manipulating attributions of responsibility, stability, and effort with regard to a friend who was seeking support. They subsequently responded to measures of emotional response (anger, sympathy), interaction goals, and attributions. Attributions were found to influence goals both directly and through the mediation of emotion, though the character of this influence depended strongly on the goal. The results suggest that at least some variability in the effectiveness and sensitivity of supportive communication can be explained by support providers' goals. They also indicate the need for continued, closer examination of cognitive and emotional influences on interaction goals and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-97
Number of pages26
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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