Fink Co-Authors Study of Compliance Dynamics

Professor Edward L. Fink is the co-author of a study published in the March 2010 issue of Human Communication Research. Entitled "Compliance Dynamics within a Simulated Friendship Network I: The Effects of Agency, Tactic, and Node Centrality," the study is also authored by Rachel A. Smith of Penn State University.

Smith & Fink's 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.

HCRCitation: Smith, R.A., & E.L. Fink. (2010). Complicance 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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