1st Edition

Social Communication

Edited By Klaus Fiedler Copyright 2007
    456 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Psychology Press

    454 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Psychology Press

    456 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Psychology Press

    This volume is devoted to the fascinating topic of social communication - fascinating because communication is ubiquitous, in that one cannot not communicate. And yet, the art of effective communication can be extremely demanding and elusive, because a tricky trade-off problem has to be solved. For communication to be successful, it must be at once informative - somehow indicating an intended direction of thought or action - as well as subtle - somehow concealing intentions and instrumental goals. Failure to meet the former criterion renders communication uncontrolled and haphazard; failure to meet the latter raises suspicion and reactance.

    The chapters in this volume focus on the tools and repertoires evolved by social communication in order to deal with this demanding trade-off. They represent prominent paradigms of current research at the interface of communication and social psychology, presented by leading scholars who have played crucial roles in the development of those paradigms.

    The sixteen chapters are grouped into four major sections: communication within and between groups and cultures; strategic communication; social communication, affect, and behaviour regulation; and social communication and adaptive behaviour regulation. Individual chapters are devoted to such intriguing topics as stereotypes and intergroup affairs, language and culture, deception and lie detection, persuasion, discussions in groups, logic of conversation, nonverbal cues, conversational implicatures, the impact of conversation situations and social distance, and the evolution of verbal communication. The volume is framed by an introduction and an epilog.

    Social Communication is essential reading for senior undergraduates, graduates, and researchers working in the field of social communication, language and social psychology, and related areas in social science such as communication science, linguistics, and gender studies.

    Fiedler, Frontiers of Research on Social Communication: Introduction and Overview. Section I: Communication Within and Between Groups and Cultures. Kashima, Klein, Clark, Grounding: Sharing Information in Social Interaction. Wigboldus, Douglas, Language, Stereotypes, and Intergroup Relations. Conway III, Schaller, How Communication Shapes Culture. Giles, Willemyns, Gallois, Chernikoff Anderson, Accommodating a New Frontier: The Context of Law Enforcement. Stahlberg, Braun, Irmen, Sczesny, Representation of the Sexes in Language. Section II: Strategic Uses of Social Communication. Erb, Bohner, Social Influence and Persuasion: Recent Theoretical Developments and Integrative Attempts. Wänke, What is Said and What is Meant: Conversational Implicatures in Natural Conversations, Research Settings, Media, and Advertising. Hollingshead, Jacobsohn, Beck, Motives and Goals in Context: A Strategic Analysis of Information Sharing in Groups. Section III: Social Communication, Affect, and Behavior Regulation. Bavelas, Gerwing, Conversational Hand Gestures and Facial Displays in Face-to-Face Dialogue. Vrij, Deception: A Social Lubricant and a Selfish Act. Chung, Pennebaker, The Psychological Functions of Function Words. Section IV: Social Communication and Adaptive Behavior Regulation. Snyder, Stukas Jr., Interpersonal Processes in Context: Understanding the Influence of Settings and Situations on Social Interaction. Semin, Linguistic Markers of Social Distance and Proximity. Corballis, The Evolution of Language. Schober, Epilogue: Language at the Heart of Social Psychology.


    Klaus Fiedler is Professor of Psychology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. His major research interests are in social cognition, judgment and decision making, language, affect and cognition, and – connecting all these interests – in the interplay of intrapersonal and environmental factors in the regulation of social behavior. He has made original contributions to these domains, published and edited various books, and served editorial functions for several journals, such as Psychological Review, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and European Journal of Social Psychology. His academic awards include the Gottfried-Willheim-Leibniz-Price 2000 and Theodor-Heuss-Professorship at the New School in New York in 2004.

    "This thoroughly modern collection of essays, written by masters in the field, is a decisive contribution to the social psychology of language and communication.  It represents some of the most productive and generative research frontiers which, though necessarily diverse, have been superbly integrated by Fiedler.  It is a landmark publication and truly deserves the title Social Communication."

    —Sik Hung Ng, PhD, FRSNZ, Professor and Chair of Social Psychology, City University of Hong Kong

    "Why should social psychologists take an interest in communication? The essays in Social Communication offer a range of thoughtful and persuasive answers. These make the book essential reading for anyone interested in either social psychology or communication."

    —Herbert H. Clark, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

    "With luck, social psychologists will take note of… the solid contributions in Social Communication, thereby renewing their interest in the social psychology of language." – Dana S. Dunn, PsycCRITIQUES