The Relationship between an Immediate Communicator Style and Relational Outcomes: An Investigation of Communication Technologies
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between an immediate communicator style, the use of technologies, and relational outcomes. To communicate, individuals now make phone calls on their computers, video conference on their handheld devices, and connect to social networks through a vast array of hardware. Communication technology refers to how people communicate, including the hardware and software individuals use to process information and communicate with each other. Many individuals use these technologies to connect and communicate with their romantic partners, but there is no clear understanding of how this technology affects relationships. The researcher believed the style of communication was more important than the use of various types of technology. When researchers investigated interpersonal communication and instructional communication without considering technology, aspects of an immediate communication style improved affective and relational outcomes. The researcher believed an immediate communication style would have similar results when investigating the use of technologies. The present study surveyed 314 individuals who were involved in romantic relationships. Participants completed an online questionnaire designed to assess perceptions of the relational outcomes of satisfaction and commitment, perceptions of partners’ immediate communicator style, and frequency of use for various communication technologies to maintain their romantic relationships. Results suggest that there is a significant main effect for perceptions of immediacy and the use of personal electronic communication such as text messaging on relational outcomes. However, the effect of amount of use of personal electronic communication on relational outcomes was minimal. Other technologies had no main effect on relational outcomes, and there were no interaction effects between immediacy and any of the technologies.