Video Assignment: Social Information Processing Theory

Video created by Sydney Browne on Nov 1, 2017

    Social Information Processing Theory

    Watch the video below to see social information processing theory in action. To review this topic, go to the section, “Media Richness and Naturalness” in Chapter 2 of Real Communication: An Introduction by Dan O'Hair.


    In-Class Activity:

    After watching the video, have your students consider the questions below, either as an individual writing assignment or a group activity.


    1. How does Janelle convey her anger toward James through text? How does James use social information processing theory to notice Janelle’s feelings and respond?

     One possible answer might be Janelle’s use of all capital letters and numerous question marks invites James to use social information processing theory to interpret Janelle’s anger. James responds by considering Janelle’s potential anger and saying “I love you” with an emoji, hoping that the combination will help ease the situation.

    2. Based on what you’ve learned so far in this chapter about mediated communication, why do you think Janelle said “Call me.” rather than continue the conversation over text?

    One possible answer might be that Janelle realizes that the texting doesn’t allow for a high degree of richness or naturalness in her communication with James. Since this is a serious situation, Janelle may prefer to talk over the phone so that their communication can be synchronous.