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January 2022

When hearing's not believing - Perceived differences between public and private explanations for two compliance failures

Author(s): Manusov, V., Cody, M. J., Mclaughlin, M. L.

Journal/Book: J Lang Soc Psychol. 1996; 15: 2455 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Sage Publ Inc. 27-39.

Abstract: This article compares respondents' beliefs about others' private and public explanations for failure to fulfill true compliance-gaining goals: providing assistance and accepting advice. Participants generated open-ended responses that were either acceptable accounts (public explanations) or probable causes (private attributions) for another's noncompliance. Data analysis showed that attributions and accounts tend to vary in form, and, as expected, public explanations perceived as likely to be communicated were more unintentional, uncontrollable, unstable, and external than were private explanations for both failure types. People's reports for both attributions and accounts, however, were influenced by the nature of the compliance goal, with means for scenarios depicting failures to take advice consistently more intentional and controllable than the responses for failing to provide assistance.

Note: Article RE Dickson, Calif State Coll San Bernardino, Dept Commun Studies, San Bernardino, CA 92407 USA


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