Tests of a theory of communicative responsibility

Academic Article


  • Two studies are presented that provide the first empirical tests of a theory of communicative responsibility. The theory posits that individuals in communicative situations make systematic judgments of the extent to which each party is responsible for contributing to the process of creating understanding in a communicative event. These judgments affect the extent to which communicators engage in implicature and inference-making during the communicative event. The first study demonstrates that judgments of communicative responsibility affect communicative performance. Respondents' judgments of their personal communicative responsibility in a direction-giving task were positively associated with the length of their directions. The second study showed that a communicator's failure to behave in a communicatively responsible manner was associated with negative perceptions of the communicative behavior. Communicative responsibility theory would be useful in a number of areas of communication research, including natural language processing, relational communication, misunderstandings and conversational repair, communication competence, and deception. © 2005 Sage Publications.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kelly Aune R; Levine TR; Park HS; Asada KJK; Banas JA
  • Start Page

  • 358
  • End Page

  • 381
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 4