CMN 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Social Cognitive Theory

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Published on 9 Nov 2016
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Lecture 5 - 10/6 - Theories of Goals and Plan
- similarities between Constructivism and AAT = both talk about cognitive processes
before the message was produced and that communication is goal-oriented (there’s an
objective)
- communication is instrumental, used to achieve that objective (persuading,
entertaining, informing others)
Goals-plans-action model of message production (GPA Model) -- not a theory
- goals = future states an individual desires to attain or maintain
- interaction/communication goals = goals that require communication/coordination
with others to accomplish
- cognitive in nature; cannot be directly observed
- often multiple goals operating at the same time
Primary Goals “Push Goals”
- “push” goals = central motivations for speaking; “defines” the situation
- different primary goals associated with different schemas
- relate to procedural records in Action Assembly Theory
Secondary Goals “Pull Goals”
- “pull” goals = impose constraints on pursuit of primary goals (ex: set boundaries that
delimit verbal choices, communication channel)
- common secondary goals:
- maintain a valued relationship with the other
- manage a self image
- being true to your values
- manage emotional arousal
- a secondary goal can become “primary”
- secondary goals are not necessarily less important than primary goals
Planning Theory = social-cognitive theory that identifies and describes the cognitive
structures and processes that make possible both the understanding of others’ actions
and discourse, and the generation of purposive, goal-directed action, including verbal
discourse
- aim: how mental plans influence communication
- propositions: organisms seek to satisfy goals in order to survive; ability for
humans to think has grown out of the need for us to satisfy goals; ppl use language to
achieve goals; goals are desired end states toward which ppl strive
- plans = hierarchically organized cognitive representations of action sequences used to
achieve goals
- a course of action to achieve the goal (a desired objective)
- goals motivate action; plans guide action
- hierarchy because long-term memory with abstract goals at the tops of
hierarchies and subgoals nested below them
- planning = process that produces a plan/plans as its product, including assessing the
situation and deciding what goal or goals to pursue, creating or retrieving plans, and
then executing them
- ‘canned’ vs. new plans
- compare with action assembly theory; canned is pre-existing
- plans complexity = a characteristic of a message plan based on:
1) the degree to which details of the plan are worked out (how specific they are)
- abstract plan vs. detailed, more concrete plan = outcome/reward
2) the number of distinct actions in the plan, including “contingent actions”
- contingent = subject to chance; preparing for any risk/outcome other than the
expected
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