THE STRANGER AND THE SPOUSE AS TARGET PERSONS FOR COMPLIANCE-GAINING STRATEGIES: A SUBJECTIVE EXPECTED UTILITY MODEL1

Authors

  • ALAN L. SILLARS

    1. Alan Sillars (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1980) is assistant professor of speech communication at West Virginia University. This study accepted for publication August 8, 1979.
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Abstract

This study examines the use of compliance-gaining message strategies in “interpersonal” versus “noninterpersonal” relationships. Subjects were asked how likely they would be to use persuasive strategies in a hypothetical situation involving either a spouse (interpersonal situation) or new neighbors (noninterpersonal situation). A subjective expected utility model is proposed to account for subjects' choice of strategies. According to the SEU model, subjects weigh the expected advantages and disadvantages of strategies both in terms of their persuasiveness and their effects on the relationship with the persuadee. Regression analysis supported the use of the SEU model to predict subjects' choice of strategies. Situational comparisons of SEU indicated that most strategies are rated more persuasive, less likely to damage the personal relationship, and more likely to be used in the spouse situation than in the neighbor situation.

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