Reactions to communications under conditions of source responsibility and source coercion

N. T. Feather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Subjects taking the role of receiver (R) in a hypothetical communication situation were given information about the stand taken by the communication (C) towards the issue (I), R's attitude towards I, and R's opinion about the credibility of the source (S). They were required to predict R's attitude towards C, S's attitude towards I, and S's attitude towards C. In one condition (Responsibility) S was represented as willingly presenting C; in another condition (Coercion) as induced by money to present C. These different communication situations were mapped into the structural balance model of communication effects. Results show that R perceives the attitude of S to I as congruent with the attitude of C to I and S as agreeing with C. Results also imply that R sees S as initially responsible for C in both Responsibility and Coercion conditions of the experiment. The study is discussed in terms of Heider's fourth and fifth levels of attribution of responsibility. 1965 Australian Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-194
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1965
Externally publishedYes


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