Rachel Smith a Featured Scientist at Methodology Center

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Rachel Smith, assistant professor of Communication Arts & Sciences, was a visting scholar and featured scientist this spring at the Penn State Methodology Center. Here's a story from their online news section about a recent article by Professor Smith.

Smith, R. A., & Fink, E. (2010). Compliance dynamics within a simulated friendship network I: The effects of agency, tactic, and node centrality. Human Communication Research, 36, 232-260.

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Abstract:  This study investigated the structural causes of perceptions of power and the way that these perceptions create expectations regarding influence attempts. It applied measures derived from dynamic social impact theory to model predictions of target compliance and agent response to an influence attempt. Sociograms provided the structure within which compliance dynamics were investigated. Results from an experiment (N = 458) showed that structural positions with greater eigenvector and betweenness centrality generated stronger perceived power, and that observers' attributions regarding responses to a compliance request follow a systematic three-step process--agent acts, target responds, and agent reacts. The model, reflecting agency, influence tactic, and power, formalizes the attributional process that observers employ when evaluating compliance requests.

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