Hope, Compliments, and Well-being in Interpersonal Relationships

Sponsor: Interpersonal Communication Division
Sun, 11/22: 8:00 AM  - 9:15 AM 
Asynchronous Event  
Room: Asynchronous Session 
This session examines how hope, apologies, creating shared realities, compliments, and communication content can improve interpersonal interactions.


Anuraj Dhillon, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo  - Contact Me


Interpersonal Communication Division


Pathways to Connection: An Intensive Longitudinal Examination of State and Dispositional Hope, Day Quality, and Everyday Interpersonal Interaction

Building on hope theory, this study demonstrates that state and trait hope are consequential to daily interpersonal and emotional experiences. Analysis of daily diary data indicated that state hope-within-person pathways thinking, in particular-negatively predicted amount of daily interpersonal conflict, positively predicted constructive conflict management (when conflict occurred), and negatively predicted challenges in maintaining relationships. Further, and consistent with central tenets of hope theory, state pathways and agency thinking became increasingly robust predictors of day quality on days when individuals experienced high-than-usual within-person levels of relational maintenance challenges. Finally, in an extension of hope theory, dispositional pathways and state agency positively predicted momentary feelings of connection, as captured by experience sampling over a seven-day period. Overall, the findings contribute to the continued expansion of hope theory into the study of social and personal relationships. 


Andy J. Merolla, University of California, Santa Barbara  - Contact Me


Quinten Shenk Bernhold, University of Tennessee Knoxville  - Contact Me

The Role of Hopeful Apology in the Forgiveness Process Model: Forgiveness and Relational Continuance

Hope, as disposition, has received exhaustive attention in the interpersonal communication and conflict resolution literature. However, hope is not only something that is felt, but may also take a linguist form. Thus, communicative messages with elements of hope coupled with an apology, or hopeful apologies, may be effective during conflict resolution post hurt-evoking interactions. Guided by the forgiveness process model (Gordon & Baucom, 1998), the present study investigated how hopeful apologies may impact injured partners' cognitive, emotional, and behavioral response post hurt-evoking interactions. Results from the study (N = 256) revealed that hopeful apologies ultimately produced more outcomes of forgiveness in comparison to standalone apologies. Additionally, hopeful apologies were also more effective at reducing the amount of intense affect and generating increased empathy toward transgressors relative to apologies without hope. 


Abdullah Sayem Salehuddin, California State University Long Beach  - Contact Me


Stacy L. Young, California State University Long Beach  - Contact Me

Causal Evidence that Communication Content Can Increase Daily Well-Being

The associations among the frequency and quality of social interactions and in-the-moment and global well-being have been well-documented. Few studies have explored whether the content of social interactions is causally connected to increased well-being. The present investigation utilizes the communicate bond belong theory to identify candidate communication episodes and behaviors that may increase well-being. Participants (Nfinal = 347) were randomly assigned to engage in one of eight communication episodes or behaviors throughout the day and then completed measures of well-being at the end of the day. A control group was instructed to interact with others as usual. Results suggest that compared to the control, candidate communication behaviors were associated with increased well-being (i.e., less stress, less anxiety, more social connection) and the frequency of engaging in the behavior was uniquely associated with increased well-being (i.e., less loneliness, less anxiety, better general affect, more social connection, higher quality of the day). 


Jeffrey A. Hall, University of Kansas  - Contact Me


Amanda J. Holmstrom, Michigan State University  - Contact Me

Compliments at the Crossroads: A Discursive Analysis of Compliment Interactions between Opposing Forensics Competitors

The current study explored how individuals make sense of ingratiatory messages (Jones, 1964) in the competitive context of intercollegiate forensics. Specifically, a discursive approach (Tracy & Robles, 2013) was used to investigate forensics participants' (n = 34) qualitative accounts of their experiences with receiving compliments from competitors of opposing forensics teams. A series of open-ended survey questions asked participants to describe a compliment interaction they previously experienced with a competitor of an opposing team, their initial reactions and response to the compliment, and the reasons for their particular response. Thematic analysis revealed four themes identifying the primary factors to which participants attributed their reactions and responses: the speaker's nonverbal behaviors, distal factors outside of the immediate context of the compliment interaction, in-the-moment experiences, and the participant's own feelings. Further, while Herbert's (1986, 1989) typology of compliment responses was used to code subjects' initial reactions to receiving compliments, the typology was insufficient for categorizing a number of responses that included both agreement and nonagreement towards the compliment message in one singular account. Despite the current study finding that compliment interactions appear to be a common communicative phenomenon in the intercollegiate forensics community, previous research providing a contextualized understanding of interpersonal competitor interactions is scarce. The current study takes a step in filling this scholarly gap. 


Benjamin L. Davis, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee  - Contact Me