Toward a Theory of Motivated Information Management


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The relationship between uncertainty and information has long been at the forefront of the social scientific study of human behavior. The last decade has seen increased attention among communication scholars to the information-management process. The result has been significant widening of ideological lenses and an impressive growth of knowledge. However, a review of the literature shows that there is the need for a framework that integrates and extends these efforts. We advance the theory of motivated information-management to fill that need. The theory proposes a 3-phase process of information-management in interpersonal encounters, emphasizes the role of efficacy, and brings attention to the interactive nature of information-management in this context. We explicate the theory's propositional structure and present a graphical model intended to capture some of the overarching principles detailed in that structure.