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Theory Wiki 1

Page history last edited by camacho.17@osu.edu 14 years, 11 months ago

Theory Name: Altercasting

Main Author: Weinstein, Eugene A., and Deutschberger, Paul (1963)



Brief Description: A tactic for persuading people by forcing them in a social role, so that they will be inclined to behave according to that role.


When a person accepts a certain social role, a number of social pressures are brought to bear to insure that the role is enacted. The social environment expects the person to behave in a manner that is consistent with the role; the role also provides the person with selective exposure to information consistent with the role.


There are two basic forms of altercasting:

·           Manded altercasting means that we ‘tell’ people who they are (or are supposed to be) by making an existing role salient (‘You as a Christian should....’), by placing others in a particular role (‘You as a young abitious person should ....’), by attributing a new identity or role to someone, or by asking people to play a role.

·           Tact altercasting means that we put ourselves as senders in a role that ‘evokes’ a natural counter-role for the other. Some common role sets are for instance expert-unknowing public, fool - normal, helper - dependent, scapegoat - sinners, etc.  


Altercasting in Use

Hogg, M.A., Terry, D.J. (2000). Attitudes, behavior and social context. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Philadelphia, PA.



Relation to Agricultural Communications

I think that the Altercasting theory relates to agricultural communications easily because we as communicators try to relate our message to the general public, we need to persuade the general public that our message of responsible agriculture is what they need to believe about agriculture in America. As communicators, we need to help lay people, uninformed about current agricultural practices in America, realize the truth before alternative messages reach them. However, we also might have to sometimes use our persuasion more forcefully to help them realize the purpose of agriculture in America, and if we show them that they are uninformed about their relation to 2% of the population that ultimately affects their lives in every aspect, then maybe we can encourage learning and develop a basis for understanding of agricultural practices and methods. We can also use altercasting as a way to reach the general public by showing them what agriculture looks like and how closely related and associated to it they are, even though they may not be an active participant in the agricultural industry. 







Communication Competence

Main Author: Spitzberg & Cupach (1984)


Brief Description: Communication competence is the ability to choose a communication behavior that is both appropriate and effective for a given situation. Interpersonal competency allows one to achieve their communication goals without causing the other party to lose face. The model most often used to describe competence is the component model (Spitzberg & Cupach, 1984) which includes three components: 1) knowledge, 2) skill, and 3) motivation. Knowledge simply means knowing what behavior is best suited for a given situation. Skill is having the ability to apply that behavior in the given context. Motivation is having the desire to communicate in a competent manner.


Primary Article:

Spitzberg, B. H., & Cupach, W. R. (1984). Interpersonal communication competence. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.



Relation to Agricultural Communications:

I think that Communication Competence relates to agricultural communications well, because as communicators in an applied area, we have to consider all of the factors that relate to the overall message we are trying to send to our audience, agricultural or not. By understanding that we should have the knowledge, skill and motivation to deliver our message appropriately is important. By being competent of the way that we reach our audiences and the messages that we are putting out there, we can only improve our ability to reach designated audiences with the messages we deem important and pertinent to promoting a positive face for current agricultural practices and techniques. 







Congruity Theory

Main Author: Osgood, C. & Tannenbaum, P. (1955).


Theory Description:

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. 


Congruity Theory in Use:

Eagly AH, Karau SJ. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychol Rev. 2002 Jul; 109 (3) :573-98.



Relation to Agricultural Communication:

I think that the majority of issues in today’s agricultural community offer pressure for a decision for all people faced with the issues. Currently, there are plenty of issues facing citizens of America that involve decision making for agricultural issues with two sides. One of the most prevalent (especially in our class) is the issues of HSUS. As we combat HSUS’ demolition of Ohio’s current agricultural practices, we are constantly faced with their congruity theory. We, agricultural communicators and HSUS together, are offering two very different viewpoints on this topic of animal rights/welfare. WE are giving the public two very different viewpoints and want them to decide how best to vote for Ohio’s agriculture. By doing this, we are creating confusion for the public, however, we are also forcing them to make a decision. By creating a succinct, relatable message, we should be able to help the citizens of Ohio make a better informed decision on the way that agriculture in Ohio should be performed and have them help the agricultural community defeat HSUS’ opposition to current agricultural practices. 

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