Predicted Outcome Value and Uncertainty Reduction Theories A Test of Competing Perspectives


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This research tests several contrasting predictions from uncertainty reduction and predicted outcome value theories. Pairs of college classmates engaged in initial conversations with one another on the first day of classes. Research participants then reported on each pair's behavior during these conversations and their reactions to their partner and relationship. With few exceptions, predicted outcome value theory proposals were consistently supported by the results of this investigation. However, results failed to support uncertainty reduction theory's original axioms and theorems when predicted outcome value was taken into account. These findings are interpreted as strongly supporting the predicted outcome value perspective and its claim that uncertainty reduction processes are subservient to outcome maximization goals in initial interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-103
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1990


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