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Developing group perceptions through communication: Extensions of the Saying-is-Believing effect

Hausmann, Leslie R. M. (2005) Developing group perceptions through communication: Extensions of the Saying-is-Believing effect. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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When people communicate to an audience about a target, they tune their message to the audience's opinion. Moreover, their memory for and impressions of the target conform to the audience's opinion, and these effects are mediated by the degree of tuning. This "saying-is-believing" (SIB) effect has been explained in terms of communicators developing a shared reality about the target with their audience. The current research extends the SIB effect by (1) demonstrating that the SIB effect occurs when the topic of communication is a group rather than an individual, and (2) exploring the effect of audience size on the SIB effect. In Experiment 1, participants communicated about a target group to audiences consisting of either one person or three people who either liked or disliked the target group. Audience opinion about the target group affected participants' subsequent memories and impressions of the group through different paths, depending on audience size. In the one-person case, the effects of audience opinion on participants' memories and impressions of the target group were mediated by the favorability of participants' messages to the audience (the SIB effect). In contrast, in the three-person case, audience opinion had direct (i.e., unmediated) effects on participants' memories and impressions. The goal of Experiment 2 was to test whether the SIB effect would occur with a three-person audience under conditions designed to maximize emphasis on communicators' own messages and decrease the influence of the audience. When communicators received validation for their message from the three-person audience, the SIB effect occurred for impressions, but not for memories. When communicators received validation for their message and the three-person audience consisted of an interdependent group rather than three individuals, however, the SIB effect occurred for both memories and impressions. Implications of these findings for a shared reality interpretation of the SIB effect are discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hausmann, Leslie R. M.mleslie@pitt.eduMLESLIE
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLevine, Johnjml@pitt.eduJML
Committee MemberSchofield, Janet W.schof@pitt.eduSCHOF
Committee MemberDavis, Larry E.ledavis@pitt.eduLEDAVIS
Committee MemberGreenberg, Martingreenber@pitt.eduGREENBER
Date: 4 October 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 May 2005
Approval Date: 4 October 2005
Submission Date: 21 June 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: communication; informational influence; persuasion; shared reality; social validation; stereotypes
Other ID:, etd-06212005-130041
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:48
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:44


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