Support Seeking Behavior During Supportive Conversations: The Role of Impression Management Concerns and the Communication Medium

Stephen A. Rains, Corey A. Pavlich, Eric Tsetsi, Bethany R. Lutovsky, Anjali Ashtaputre, Katerina Nemcova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to better understand how impression management concerns and the communication medium influence the messages produced by support seekers during supportive conversations. Support seekers were primed to anticipate a positive face threat (or not primed) and then completed a supportive conversation with a peer either face-to-face or using instant messaging. Seekers primed to anticipate a face threat were more likely to use avoidance behaviors and less likely to use incriminating justifications as conversations persisted compared to the no prime condition. Seekers in the instant messaging condition were less likely to use exonerating justifications as conversations persisted compared to participants who communicated face-to-face. A three-way interaction for approach behaviors showed that the decreased likelihood of approach behaviors over the course of a conversation was strongest in the face threat prime condition among participants using instant messaging. The implications of these findings for supportive communication theory are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCommunication Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • communication technology
  • face
  • impression management
  • social support
  • support seeking
  • supportive communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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