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Communication Accomodation Theory Essay

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The Communication Accommodation Theory states when people interact they alter their speech to fit in or accommodate for other. CAT describes the psychological, social, and linguistic behaviors that people exhibit when communicating with each other (Coupland, Coupland, Giles, Henwood, 1988). Each individual has his or her own personality and motivation when involved in a conversation, this attribute are reflected in how the individual speaks, listens and then responds to the other person involved in the conversation. According to this theory, communication between two people can at any time be adjusted by either party in response to actual, perceived, or stereotyped expectations of the other person (Coupland, et al., 1988). This means that either party can change their communication style based on what they feel or pick up on during the conversation. The CAT theory can help understand how humans interact with one another while communicating.
CAT is based on the premise that speakers and listeners unconsciously and mutually modify their linguistic (e.g., language choice, vocabulary) and/or paralinguistic (e.g., dialect, tone of voice, speech rate) behaviors to become more similar to (convergence) or different from (divergence) their interactional partners (Giles, Mulac, Bradac, & Johnson, 1987). Convergence strategies signal interactants' positive attitudes toward each other, such as increasing attractiveness and approval or showing solidarity, whereas divergence strategies accentuate differences between interactants (Giles et al., 1987). CAT is based on the idea that people with unknowingly modify their language to become more similar or from the person they are communicating with. Convergence usually occurs when the sp...


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....), Language and social psychology. (pp.45-65)
Hordila - Vatamanescu, E., & Pana, A. (2010). The Application of the Communication Accommodation Theory to Virtual Communities: A Preliminary Research on the Online Identities. International Journal Of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 5(4), 279-290.
Jones, E., Gallois, C., Callan, V., & Barker, M. (1999). Strategies of accommodation:
development of a coding system for conversational interaction. Journal of Language and
Social Psychology, 18(2), 123-152.
Krippendorff, Klaus (2004). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Myers, P., Giles, H., Reid, S. A., & Nabi, R. L. (2008). Law Enforcement Encounters: The Effects of Officer Accommodativeness and Crime Severity on Interpersonal Attributions are mediated by Intergroup Sensitivity. Communication Studies, 59(4), 291-305.



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