Relational uncertainty and relational information processing questions without answers?

Leanne K. Knobloch, Denise Haunani Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article seeks to understand how relational uncertainty coincides with people's ability to process relational information. The general premise is that individuals experiencing relational uncertainty should have difficulty deriving inferences because they lack the knowledge necessary to identify and interpret relational cues. The authors use this reasoning to deduce hypotheses about how relational uncertainty may correspond with people's perceptions of relationship talk, judgments of relational messages, and evaluations of the difficulty of interaction. They conducted a study of conversations between romantic partners (N= 120 couples). As predicted, relational uncertainty was negatively associated with people's perceptions of relationship talk after controlling for the perceptions of third-party observers. Relational uncertainty was negatively associated with the extremity of people's judgments about relational messages. Furthermore, relational uncertainty was positively associated with people's perceptions of the difficulty of interaction. They conclude by discussing how these findings illuminate the connection between relational uncertainty and relational information processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-388
Number of pages40
JournalCommunication Research
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005

Keywords

  • Courtship
  • Message processing
  • Relational messages
  • Relational uncertainty
  • Relationship talk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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