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Information Manipulation Theory

 

Explanations > Theories > Information Manipulation Theory

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

In order to persuade or deceive, a person deliberately breaks one of the four conversational maxims:

  • Quantity: Information given will be full (as per expected by the listener) and without omission.
  • Quality: information given will be truthful and correct.
  • Relation: information will be relevant to the subject matter of the conversation in hand.
  • Manner: things will be presented in a way that enables others to understand and with aligned non-verbal language.

Example

A student is late handing in an essay. They approach the lecture trembling and weeping, saying how they have just been dumped by their long-term partner and forgot to hand in the essay (they had done it in time, honestly!).

So what?

Using it

Persuade by omitting information, telling untruths, going off the subject and confusing the other person. Use excuses. Be economical with the truth. Woffle.

Defending

Question what you are told, especially you find yourself changing your mind as a result. Probe for detail. Seek corroborating evidence. Watch the body language.

See also

Persuasion, Non-Verbal Behavior, Theories about trust, Expectancy Violations Theory

References

Dawson and Brashers (1996), McCornack, Levine, Solowczuk, Torres and Campbell (1992)

 

 

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