Table of Contents
Last updated February 14, 2001
SPRING 2001 THEORY WORKBOOK
Social Judgement Theory
Explanation of Theory:
Social Judgement theory states that you have a statement or message and you accept it or reject it based on your cognitive map. You accept or reject a message based on one's own ego-involvement and if it falls within their latitude of acceptance.
Theorist: Muzafer Sherif, Carolyn Sherif, Carl Hovland
Sherif, M., & Hovland, C.I. (1961). Social Judgement. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
My interpretation of this theory is that when people receive messages (verbal or nonverbal) they immediately judge where the message should be placed on a scale in their mind through comparing the message with currently held views.
Social Judgement theory
is a scientific theory. Epistemologically there is one universal
interpretation (one truth) in that people judge the messages they receive.
Ontologically, this theory is deterministic in that an individuals behavior
can be predicted. Axiologically, Social Judgement theory is value-neutral
in that the theoretical propositions are objective and not biased.
This theory explains how individuals judge the messages they receive.
It predicts that individuals accept, or reject specific attitudes and messages.
Social Judgement theory has relative simplicity in that it is a fairly
simple study. It can be tested and proved false in that an individual
can test the theory through reflecting on statements, which evoke various
opinions. The theoretical propositions within the theory are consistent
with one another. Social Judgement theory generates new hypotheses,
expanding the range of knowledge, and it also has organizing power through
organizing our existing knowledge about attitudes in our mind.
Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:
Anderson, R., & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 126-128, 134.
Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. p. 12
Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. p. 49,109,177,179-188,193,476-477,481
Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. p.195-205, 218,377,476,477,484,494.
Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. p. 164-167.
Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. p. 148
West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. N/A
Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A