It is commonly recognized that interpersonal messages function in the service of multiple social goals. Despite this, relatively little is known of the encoding processes underlying the production of such messages. One possible account of these encoding processes is found in action assembly theory. This article explicates the production of multiple‐goal messages from the perspective of action assembly theory and reports an experimental investigation of this account. In this study, the speech of participants assigned the task of pursuing multiple social goals was contrasted with that of people assigned a single task. Consistent with the theory, the results revealed that participants pursuing multiple goals had longer onset latencies than their counterparts given a single goal. Similarly, multiple goals were associated with greater pause/phonation ratios after the onset of speech. The effects of opportunity for advance message preparation were also examined. As expected, participants given the opportunity for advance planning exhibited shorter response latencies than those who spoke spontaneously. In keeping with previous research in this area, filled‐pause rate was not significantly affected by either number of goals or the opportunity for advance preparation.
Human Communication Research – Oxford University Press
Published: Sep 1, 1989
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