In an earlier era, the communication field was dominated by the study of mediated and unmediated message effects during which considerable research focused on the attitudinal and action consequences of exposure to messages. A more catholic purview of the communication process exists today. This more encompassing perspective does not deny the importance of studying message effects, but raises the additional question of how individuals generate messages in the first place. While the earlier era of communication research was dominated by studies that focused on attitude and behavior change as primary dependent variables, such variables as message comprehension have begun to emerge in this new era. The focus on communication and cognition has led, paradoxically, to a more intense focus on social interaction processes.
The theory and research presented in this volume seeks to strike a balance between the internal workings of the individual cognitive system on the one hand and the outer world of social interaction on the other. Whether or not the theory and research stands the test of time, it is clear that complete cognitive accounts of social interaction cannot confine themselves to mere descriptions of the cognitive structures and processes that are responsible for message production and comprehension. Explicit links must be made between these cognitive structures and processes and the workings of social interaction. This work takes a modest step in that direction.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Introduction. A Plan-Based Theory of Strategic Communication. Plan Complexity. The Hierarchy Principle. Plan Effectiveness and Communicative Performance. Message Planning Theory and Communication Theory. Message Planning and Communicative Praxis.
Charles R. Berger