Table of Contents
Last updated February 19, 2001
SPRING 2001 THEORY WORKBOOK
Explanation of Theory:
The Congruity theory predicts that if there are two contradicting people, sets of information, or concepts on which a judgment must be made by a single observer, the observer will experience pressure to change his or her judgment on one of the sides. However, if the two sets of information are similar or congruent, then there will be no problem, and the observer will not experience pressure of any form.
Theorist: Osgood, C., & Tannenbaum, P.
Osgood, C., & Tannenbaum, P. (1955). The principle of congruity in the prediction of attitude change. Psychology Review, 62, 42-55.
My interpretation of the Congruity theory is that only the observer will determine whether or not they will feel pressure. The observer alone must decide the level of congruence between the two sides, before doing one of two things: (1) taking a stance in the middle and viewing the exchange as one without problem, or (2) changing their viewpoint of one of the sides.
Scholars Who Have Used This Theory:
Kerrick, J. (1958). The effect of relevant and non-relevant sources on attitude change. Journal of Social Psychology 15-20.
Stachowiak, J. & Moss, C. (1965). Hypnotic alterations of social attitudes. Journal of Social Psychology 77-83.
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. N/A
Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. N/A
Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. N/A
Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. N/A
Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. N/A
Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A
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