Experiential and Physiological Responses to Interpersonal Influence

Authors

  • JAMES PRICE DILLARD,

    1. James Dillard is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison.Terry Kinney is a doctoral candidate at the same institution.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • TERRY A. KINNEY

    1. James Dillard is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison.Terry Kinney is a doctoral candidate at the same institution.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • We are grate#ful to Esther Thorson, Brian Deith, and Terry Ward for helping to make this research possible, to two anonymous reviewers for their careful critiques of an earlier version of this manuscript, and to Kat Cooklin and Debra Greenberg for their assistance with data collection. This work was supported by grants #135–3176 and #135–3398 to the first author from the Graduate School, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Abstract

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.

Ancillary