SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Atkinson, J. L., & Sloan, R. G. (2017). Exploring the impact of age, race, and stereotypes on perceptions of language performance and patronizing speech. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 36, 287–305. doi:10.1177/0261927X16662967

Abstract: Two experiments tested whether age and racial stereotypes influence communication. Specifically, both studies sought to understand if older African American targets would experience a communicative double jeopardy. In the first experiment, participants assessed targets’ language performance and beliefs about their own speech style (i.e., patronizing speech style). Age (participant and target) interacted with stereotype to influence ratings of language competence, and an interaction of target race, stereotype, and participant age influenced the elicitation of patronizing speech. In the second experiment, participants assessed communication competence and patronizing speech. Age groups of the targets and the participants, rather than racial groups, significantly influenced perceptions of both ratings of communication competence and the adoption of a patronizing speech style. Implications for the Age Stereotype in Interaction Model of intergenerational communication and future research on intersectionality are discussed.

Journal Article 2: Burgers, C., & Beukeboom, C. J. (2016). Stereotype transmission and maintenance through interpersonal communication: The irony bias. Communication Research, 43, 414–441.

Abstract: In interpersonal communication, stereotypes are predominantly transmitted through language. Linguistic bias theory presupposes that speakers systematically vary their language when communicating stereotype-consistent and stereotype-inconsistent information. We investigate whether these findings can be extended to verbal irony use. The irony bias posits that irony is more appropriate to communicate stereotype-inconsistent than stereotype-consistent information. Three experiments support this hypothesis by showing that irony is found more appropriate (Experiments 1-2) and used more often (Experiment 3) in stereotype-inconsistent than in stereotype-consistent situations. Furthermore, linguistic biases have important communicative consequences, because they implicitly serve to maintain stereotypic expectancies. Experiment 4 shows that irony shares this characteristic with other linguistic biases, in that irony—compared to literal language—leads to more external attribution. Taken together, these results indicate that stereotypic expectancies are subtly revealed and confirmed by verbal irony, and that verbal irony plays an important role in stereotype communication and maintenance.

Journal Article 3: Edwards, R., Bybee, B. T., Frost, J. K., Harvey, A. J., & Navarro, M. (2017). That’s not what I meant: How misunderstanding is related to channel and perspective-taking. Journal of Language & Social Psychology, 36, 188–210. doi:10.1177/0261927X16662968

Abstract: Misunderstanding is an integral and unavoidable element of communication. This article links misunderstanding theoretically to message interpretation and conflict, then presents the results of a study that examined relationships among misunderstanding, channel of communication, and three forms of perspective-taking. Participants (n = 98) responded to scaled items and described experiences of misunderstanding. Results showed that face-to-face misunderstandings are more serious than those that occur in computer-mediated communication. Dispositional perspective-taking, situational perspective-taking, and partner's situational perspective-taking were correlated with features such as frequency of misunderstanding, use of integrative strategies, open communication, humor, personal offense, and communication satisfaction. In about two thirds of the reported misunderstandings, the problem occurred because of the tone of the message, an interlocutor took personal offense, and open communication was used to resolve it. The findings are consistent with predictions concerning perspective-taking and extend understanding of misunderstanding. Recommendations include examining misunderstanding, especially in CMC, in greater depth.

Journal Article 4: Xu, Q., & Shrout, P. E. (2018). Accuracy and bias in perception of distress level and distress change among same-sex college student roommate dyads. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 899–913. doi:10.1177/0146167217754192

Abstract: University students often experience high levels of stress and, in some cases, the stress leads to tragic outcomes. An important question is whether roommates can perceive the level and change in distress in their peers. We examined self- and other-reports of 187 same-sex undergraduate dyads at two times in a spring semester. Using the truth and bias model, we found that roommates tended to underestimate their partner’s distress at both time points, and that ratings were equally influenced by truth and self-focus bias forces. For change, however, there was no evidence of directional (average) bias, and perceived change was only significantly related to the truth force. There were no consistent moderation effects by closeness or gender. These findings are interpreted in the context of person perception theory and the practical need for early warning about extreme distress in college students.