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Individuals communicate to achieve a number of gratifications, including pleasure, affection, inclusion, escape, relaxation, and control (Rubin, Perse, & Barbato, 1988). Research examining the message features that most effectively produce these benefits has produced well-established literatures on communication effects such as persuasion (Dillard & Pfau, 2002), conflict management (Oetzel & Ting-Toomey, 2006), and group decision making (Hirokawa & Poole, 1996). Although the aforementioned scholarship provides useful insights, researchers have also studied the processes by which individuals construct messages intended to achieve these ends. These studies have focused on skills that might facilitate or hinder the construction of effective messages (e.g., Greene & Burleson, 2003). This research paper defines message construction and then examines the theory, methods, applications, and future directions associated with this important research area.
Defining Message Construction
Message construction is the process by which individuals compose and revise messages intended to accomplish their interaction goals. Although messages are enacted with nonverbal cues, message construction theory and research primarily focus on how the linguistic features of a message are produced. Hence, for much of the research conducted in this area, a message constitutes linguistic elements (i.e., words) organized in some fashion (e.g., phrases, sentences, paragraphs) to achieve objectives. The length of a message may vary considerably, ranging from a single word to an elaborated tome, and may be presented via a variety of channels (i.e., face-to-face, written, electronic).
Although messages are composed of linguistic cues, not all researchers are interested in studying the specific elements in the message (e.g., verbs, nouns) but instead focus their attention on the features attributed to them. Hence, researchers may analyze the linguistic elements in a message so as to identify how they reflect ideas, topics, strategies, and arguments. Additionally, scholars may analyze these elements to examine how they embody stylistic features, such as the degree to which the message is listener adapted, direct, or face supportive/threatening.
Construction implies that individuals assemble linguistic elements into a message. In some cases, individuals create alternative message versions of which some may call for the revision, enactment, or even rejection of the message (Meyer, 1997). For example, individuals who want to tell a lie in response to a question may consider a truthful response as well as various forms of lies (Walczyk, Roper, Seemann, & Humphrey, 2003). In such cases, individuals may be quite strategic and mindful of how they are constructing the message and may even rehearse it mentally or out loud before delivery (Stutman & Newell, 1990). However, when a communication exchange begins, the message construction process may be very short and occurs when individuals pause before responding to another’s statement. During these nonresponsive periods, the ability to process information can be taxed as individuals attempt to make sense of what was just said, control their emotional reaction to it, reconsider and perhaps revise their interaction goals, and formulate an appropriate response. In effect, they monitor their own actions and make adjustments while listening to their partners to assess reactions (Clark & Krych, 2004).
Early research on message construction was primarily concerned with cataloging message types (e.g., Miller, Boster, Roloff, & Seibold, 1977; Shenck-Hamlin, Wiseman, & Georgacarakos, 1982) and refining methods to study them (e.g., Burleson et al., 1988). Limited theorizing occurred, with most research focused on the degree to which message features were related to individual-difference variables such as Machiavellianism (Roloff & Barnicott, 1978), cognitive complexity (Delia & Clark, 1977), and situational features (Cody & McLaughlin, 1980). With time, researchers started focusing more broadly on the cognitive processes associated with message construction.
Although there are many theories focused on aspects of message construction and each has it nuances, they share several principles. First, messages are constructed to achieve interaction goals. The objective is to induce some state in another (e.g., helpfulness, guilt, liking, respect, compliance). Interaction goals serve broader functions. For example, interpersonal influence is often motivated by a need to provide lifestyle advice, gain assistance, share activities, change another’s political stance, give health advice, and change a relationship (Dillard, 1989). Social confrontations allow individuals to exert influence, reach catharsis, maintain their relationships, create understanding, and gain retribution (Stutman & Newell, 1990). Disclosing personal information to another may arise from a need for self-expression, self-clarification, social validation, relational development, or social control (Derlega & Grzelak, 1979).
Goals can be arranged hierarchically, and hence, to achieve a primary goal such as persuasion an individual may need to achieve subgoals, such as overcoming obstacles to compliance (Francik & Clark, 1985; Roloff & Janiszewski, 1989). Often individuals have a primary goal in mind that commits them to engaging another person. For example, a decision disclosure model developed by Omarzu (2000) posits that individuals go through several steps before deciding to self-disclose. These steps can include assessing whether their need to disclose requires action, whether an appropriate person is present to whom one might disclose, and whether disclosure would be appropriate in the situation and balancing the possible risks and benefits that may result from disclosure.
Furthermore, individual characteristics and situational features may prompt secondary goals to emerge that can affect the form of the message. When preparing for an argument, these secondary goals can be reflected in editing standards such as effectiveness, truth/honesty, self-image, other-image, and relational concerns (Hample, 2000; Hample & Dallinger, 1990). Influence messages can also be intended to reflect a person’s true identity, create a positive conversation, maintain a valued relationship, and control arousal (Dillard, Segrin, & Harden, 1989). When planning for a confrontation, individuals report performance goals that include the desire to be argumentatively complete and to remain on the offensive (Stutman & Newell, 1990). On a basic level, these goals may reflect general conversational restraints (Kellermann, 2004) that require individuals to communicate in an efficient manner (e.g., express as few words as necessary) and to do so in a socially appropriate manner (e.g., do not impose on another’s decision-making autonomy).
Although researchers have uncovered a variety of interaction goals, not all of them may be activated in a given encounter. Something must make them salient. However, activation does not necessarily mean that a person is aware of the goal. There is evidence that interpersonal goals can be nonconsciously activated by exposure to linguistic terms such as family or friends (Fitzsimons & Bargh, 2003). Furthermore, a secondary goal may be activated when the current situation is similar to other situations in which it has been previously pursued (Meyer, 2007).
Second, because messages are often designed to achieve multiple goals, individuals often find ways to incorporate several objectives into their message features. Hence, when rejecting a request from someone they like, individuals may include linguistic softeners such as apologies or explanations with their rejection and thereby preserve a positive relationship and maintain desirable social images. In some cases, multiple goals may promote sequences of messages that increase the likelihood of achieving a primary goal. So if uncertain about whether a person has the time to provide assistance, a communicator may first ask if the person is busy and, if the answer is no, then proceed to ask for help (Jordan & Roloff, 1990).
Third, message construction is influenced by information contained in memory. Several theories have been used to examine the role of memory in message construction. Kellermann (1997) focused on how conversational knowledge is organized in memory. She posits that individuals have conversation memory organization packets (MOPs) that are composed of scenes that contain generalized actions that lead to certain goals (e.g., complimenting someone stimulates liking). MOPs may focus on culturally shared information, such as physical settings in which a type of conversation takes place (e.g., it is more appropriate to confront someone about their negative behavior in private than in front of others) and the conversational elements that typically occur (e.g., when confronting someone, it is best to offer solutions for the problem). MOPs may also reflect an individual’s own personal experiences with this type of conversation (e.g., the last time I confronted my partner, she became angry). More than one type of MOP may be activated at the same time, and therefore, a person’s message may be a composite of both cultural expectations and personal experience. Also, individuals may have a universal scene that indicates how individuals in communication roles should act in most situations (e.g., when talking to someone, one should establish rapport before turning to other topics). Hence, it is possible that individuals have a general understanding of how they should go about acquiring information and choose to follow this routine in most conversations, sometimes repeating these routines as new issues emerge within a given conversation.
Greene’s action assembly theory (1984, 1997) provides another account of how memory influences a message. He argues that action assembly is guided by three types of information contained in memory. First, procedural records contain a symbolic representation of an action, outcomes associated with the action, and situations that are related to the action and outcome (e.g., polite requests typically gain compliance from strangers). Although procedural records are often independent, if they are frequently activated together, they may combine into a second type of informational structure called a unit assembly. Unit assemblies contain portions of more than one procedural record (e.g., complimenting others makes them feel good, and people are more likely to comply with a request when they are in a good mood). Finally, individuals possess outcome representations that specify the typical features of an action, the sequence in which the features are enacted, and their timing (e.g., when making a request of a stranger, one should wait until the person is not too busy, apologize for interrupting the person, and then make a request rather than a demand).
According to Greene, when formulating messages, individuals draw on information contained in memory about similar encounters. In doing so, they momentarily consider alternative conceptions of the event and the messages associated with them. After choosing one conception, the others may no longer be activated. The activated conception of the event will guide how the message features are organized (i.e., the grammar used), its content (i.e., the words), and how it will be spoken (i.e., paralinguistic cues). Moreover, the features of the conception are hierarchically organized such that those that are most abstract constrain the more concrete forms (e.g., in this situation, I must be polite, hence I should say, “I hate to interrupt, but I would be grateful if you could help me.). In situations in which a particular record has been frequently or recently activated and practiced, message construction may be quick, perhaps nonconscious, and the resulting behavior becomes a routine way of acting. When individuals encounter a situation of which they have no prior experience or knowledge, they often create plans that combine or adapt actions that they have used in the past.
Berger (1997, 2007) has proposed a theory of communication plans that has implications for message construction. Plans constitute mental representations of action sequences aimed at achieving goals. After deciding to pursue goals, individuals initially search their long-term memory for plans that have been effective in the past. On failing to find one, they create a new one that is a composite of older plans and information from the current situation. When strongly desiring to fulfill a goal, individuals create plans that are complex (i.e., they often have a number of specific steps, and they may include alternative sequences that may be enacted should an obstacle be encountered). In addition, to create complex plans, individuals must have a high degree of strategic knowledge about how to achieve a goal as well as knowledge about how to do so in the current situation.
Fourth, individuals construct messages that anticipate the goals, needs, and reactions of those with whom they communicate. To accomplish one’s interaction goals, it is often useful to incorporate the views of another into one’s message, or, in effect, engage in listener-adapted or person-centered communication. Hence, individuals take into consideration another’s needs when constructing messages that comfort others (Burleson, 2003) and requests that overcome obstacles to compliance (Roloff & Janiszewski, 1989).
To facilitate understanding, speakers are thought to engage in audience design. In audience design, individuals access from memory the shared information they have with their intended target(s) and reference that information in their message (Clark & Marshall, 1981). The ability to access common ground varies with the prior history between a speaker and his or her partner (Horton & Gerrig, 2005). For example, when communicating with someone with whom they have a history, individuals may have a detailed set of experiences from which to access common ground, and their communications can be highly efficient (i.e., they do not have to fully explain details). However, when interacting with someone with whom they have little history, individuals have to create more detailed initial messages (Lau & Chiu, 2001), or they have to monitor and adapt their messages as they establish commonality during the interaction (Horton & Gerrig, 2005). In addition, time pressure to prepare a message may limit the ability to access common ground, and consequently, individuals have to correct for errors during the conversation (Horton & Keysar, 1996).
Fifth, when encountering resistance, individuals adapt their messages to overcome problems (e.g., Ifert & Roloff, 1996), and when unsuccessful, they disengage. Messages sometimes fail to accomplish the goals for which they were designed. Hence, individuals monitor and adapt their messages so as to accommodate the responses of others. For example, individuals who are trying to deceive another are sensitive to the degree to which the person is acting skeptical and then adjust their messages so as to increase their believability (Buller & Burgoon, 1996).
Berger (1997) posits that when encountering failure, individuals initially repeat their message but on further failure they alter their message elements without altering the higher-level interaction goal. For example, instead of abandoning a persuasive attempt, the person tries to clarify the basis for influence or uses a different argument. Regardless, failure can result in negative affect (e.g., frustration), which may cause individuals to choose to disengage from the conversation.
Sixth, messages that effectively achieve interaction goals are retained in memory and repeated. When such messages are shared within a community of speakers, they become conventionalized ways of speaking (Gibbs, 1986). Conventional speech allows people to recognize the intent of speech acts without having to understand the literal meaning of the words. Hence, conventional speech is a highly efficient way of communicating and can be used in a manner that is socially appropriate. For example, when making requests, individuals may be conversationally indirect (Blum-Kulka, 1989). Instead of using directives (e.g., “Pass the salt.”), which can be impolite, they use hints (e.g., “This food needs salt.”), indirect requests (e.g., “Could you pass the salt?”), or need statements (e.g., “I need the salt.”), which are conventionally recognized as requests.
Although ethnographic and conversational analytic methods have provided useful descriptions of discourse features and patterns, most researchers interested in message construction use variable analytic techniques. This approach requires them to measure their variables and to assess the degree to which they are correlated. To do so, they must measure message characteristics, assess the process by which messages are created, and observe variation.
Assessing Message Characteristics
Message characteristics are the final product of message construction. Although messages can have a variety of characteristics (e.g., length, organization, content), most researchers focus on only a few at a time. Several different methods have been used to measure these characters.
One of the earlier methods employed was labeled strategy selection (Burleson et al., 1988). Typically, researchers provide research participants a hypothetical scenario and ask them how likely it is that they would use each strategy contained in a preselected list (e.g., Roloff & Barnicott, 1978). In some cases, the listed strategies were deduced from existing theories, and in other cases, they were inductively derived from actual descriptions of compliancegaining attempts. The latter approach had the advantage of allowing researchers to test theories but, at the same time, overlooked some frequently used strategies unrecognized by current theory. In some studies, the listed strategies were stated in broad terms (e.g., “I would threaten the person.”), and in other studies, they were phrased in a specific manner (e.g., “I would tell the person that if he doesn’t lend me the class notes I will never again talk to him.”). The former allowed researchers to investigate categories of influence strategies but overlooked their linguistic nuances. The latter approach could not inform as to whether any results generalize to alternative ways of phrasing the same strategy. Perhaps the greatest weakness of the strategy selection approach stemmed from an item desirability bias. Individuals overreport the likelihood that they would use socially appropriate strategies while underreporting the likelihood they would use inappropriate ones (Burleson et al., 1988).
As an alternative to strategy selection, some researchers use a message construction approach (Burleson et al., 1988). Research participants are provided with a hypothetical scenario; then, they write what they would say, or in some cases, their message is audio recorded. The features of the messages are then categorized by trained coders. This approach produces actual discourse and is less biased by item desirability than is the strategy selection method (Burleson et al., 1988). However, like the message selection method, the message construction method is not interactive. Typically, it assesses what individuals initially would do and provides little information about how messages might change as the conversation progresses.
Perhaps the most realistic method is to have individuals engage in an interaction. After being provided with instructions, their interaction is recorded. In some cases, the individuals may have an existing relationship (e.g., spouses), and in other cases, they are asked to adopt a specific role. In addition, one of the conversationalists may be a confederate in the study and is programmed to respond in a given fashion.Although yielding a rich variety of message characteristics, this method is formidable to use. Conversations can be messy. Individuals often interrupt and talk over each other. Grammatical rules are strained. Comments are often incomplete or change in focus before they are completed. Hence, researchers often struggle when deciding which behaviors to code and what categories to be used. Moreover, because conversationalists are influenced by each other’s actions, there is dependency in the data, which complicates the statistical analysis. Statistics assume that all data points are independent observations, but because data from interactions are correlated (e.g., “How are you?” and “Not so well today,” are related to each other), they are not entirely independent. So statistical tests that assume independence will be inaccurate to some degree when used to analyze messages. This inaccuracy may or may not be substantial enough to provide wrong answers to the questions the researchers are asking, so it is important to verify results in these studies through replication (i.e., Do the findings hold when the study is conducted with another group of people?).
Although measures of message characteristics are important, they only provide indirect information into the processes that occurred while they were constructed. To more directly gain insight into those processes, a number of approaches have been used.
First, some researchers access the process by testing for statistical mediation. This approach examines the degree to which the relationship between two variables arises from a third variable that reflects a process. Hence, when requesting assistance from another, intimates often create shorter messages than do strangers. This relationship is thought to be mediated by relational obligations that specify that intimates should volunteer to help in a time of need and, hence, require no explanations or incentives for helping. To assess this relationship, statistics are used to determine whether the intimacy influences message length through relational obligations (Roloff et al., 1988).Although this approach is useful, it does not provide detailed information about when and how obligations were used when forming the message. Rather, the approach merely indicates that intimates generate brief messages because they feel that they are obligated to help.
Second, other researchers have looked for behavioral indicators of message construction. One such assessment is response latency (see Monahan & Roskos-Ewoldsen, 2007). Response latency is the length of time it takes an individual to respond to another’s statement. Presumably, the longer the response latency, the greater the amount of thinking that is going into constructing the response. One limitation to this measure is that it does not include detailed information about the content of the thoughts, nor does it inform as to other factors that may influence response latencies.
Finally, some researchers have used a “think-aloud” approach (e.g., Hample, 2000). This involves asking individuals to talk aloud while they are preparing a message for another or to review tapes of their interactions and describe what they are thinking at various points. Such an approach provides a direct description of the process. However, it is unclear as to the degree to which such a method might portray message construction as being more deliberative, rational, and focused than is actually the case when individuals are not accounting for their actions. Moreover, it is unclear whether post hoc (after the fact) analyses of thoughts actually reflect the processes occurring during the interaction.
Variable analytic approaches observe variance in the constructs. Hence, a study that investigates how perspective taking influencesmessage construction cannot be analyzed unlessthe study includes both individuals who vary in perspective taking and those whose messages vary in content. Researchers typically employ two methods of finding variance.
First, some researchers create variance through experimental methods. Often, research participants are given hypothetical scenarios and asked to select a strategy (i.e., Imagine that you want to go out on a date with someone; how likely is it that you would ask them to go out with you?), construct a message (i.e., Imagine that your friend is feeling bad and you want to make him or her feel better; write what you would say to him or her.), or enact a message (i.e., In the upcoming negotiation, you will play the role of a student who is selling a text, and your counterpart will play the role of a buyer.). These methods provide a great deal of control in that the researcher can focus the attention of participants primarily on key aspects of the study. However, such a strong focus may not generalize well to actual interactions. Moreover, the hypothetical nature of the stimuli may not create the same involvement as when interactions are natural rather than contrived.
An alternative method relies on capitalizing on existing variance. In this case, the researcher does not produce variance but seeks instances that may naturally vary. One method of doing this is to interview or survey individuals about actual instances when they constructed messages. Hence, a researcher may ask participants to describe what happened when they asked someone out on a date. This approach samples actual rather than contrived events. However, such recollections can suffer from a variety of selection biases. Individuals may have forgotten details of the event, may present them in a socially desirable fashion, or may select an atypical event (i.e., one that easily comes to mind). Moreover, rarely are both parties to an interaction interviewed or surveyed, and hence, it is not known if they would recall or report the event in a similar fashion.
As noted earlier, messages are a means of accomplishing one’s goals, and hence, the study of message construction has pragmatic value. Several applications are paramount. First, research on message construction has provided insight into the development of effective communication skills (Berger, 2003). Indeed, some view message construction as a component of being a competent communicator (Wilson & Sabee, 2003). Considerable efforts have been made with regard to how to assess these skills (Spitzberg, 2003) and effectively provide instruction in them (e.g., Natalle, 2008).
Second, message construction research provides insight into the role of communication in determining a person’s well-being. For example, individuals who suffer from chronic loneliness construct messages that include general or negative information about themselves that proves to be unattractive to others (Bell & Roloff, 1991; Berger & Bell, 1988). Some individuals who are highly sensitive to interpersonal rejection create a self-fulfilling prophecy by constructing negative messages that prompt others to reject them (Downey, Freitas, Michaelis, & Khouri, 1998). Research also suggests that deficiency in skills may prompt individuals to construct messages that are counterproductive to their well-being. For example, depressed individuals often lack the social skills that would improve their mental state (Segrin, 1990, 2000), and verbally aggressive individuals often engage in counterproductive communication such as insults in part because they lack the ability to construct logical arguments (Infante & Rancer, 1996). Because of these patterns, clinical applications may be designed so as to improve communication and individual well-being (e.g., Segrin & Givertz, 2003).
Third, message construction also provides insight into relationship problems. Often, individuals in unhappy marriages construct messages that lead to counterproductive sequences such as demand-withdraw patterns, in which an individual demands that his partner change and the partner subsequently withdraws from the conversation (e.g., Caughlin, 2002). Additionally, an individual’s criticism of a partner’s behavior can stimulate a sequence of defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling (Gottman, 1994). Both traditional and integrative behavioral therapies focus on helping couples construct positive messages and have been shown to be effective in treating marital problems (Christensen et al., 2004).
Fourth, some message construction researchers have conducted studies that have implications for communication in applied contexts. For example, there is a growing body of research focused on how health care providers and patients can communicate in a fashion that is informative, sensitive, and builds partnerships (e.g., Street, Krupat, Bell, Kravitz, & Haidet, 2003). In fact, some medical schools have begun incorporating such skills into their curriculum (Makoul, 2003) and continuing-education programs (e.g., Van Dulmen & Holl, 2000). Organizational researchers have focused on how superiors and subordinates can establish high-quality working relationships by providing constructive and supportive feedback (e.g., Mueller & Lee, 2002), and many MBA programs have incorporated communication training into their curriculum (Knight, 1999) as a result. Education and instructional communication research also focuses on the importance of constructive feedback. Communication research also informs as to student compliance-gaining attempts, even between students and instructors of different status levels (e.g., graduate teaching assistants and professors) (see Golish, 1999). The increasing use of online technologies in educational contexts via teacher-student e-mail exchanges, computerized discussion groups, and distance learning has made computer-mediated communication an area of particular interest as well. To this end, research informs as to a variety of issues, including the impact of teachers’e-mail strategies on students’ willingness to communicate online (e.g., Waldeck, Klearney, & Plax, 2001).
Fifth, with the growing interest in and use of information technologies, some researchers have attempted to use the findings of message construction research to create computer software that can communicate with humans. Given the tendencies of human beings to anthropomorphize (attribute human qualities to nonhumans), such software could allow for human-machine communication. For example, some research indicates that humans mindlessly use interaction norms such as politeness and reciprocity when communicating with computers (see Nass & Moon, 2000). Moreover, some researchers have created embodied conversational agents that are computer interfaces containing humanlike characters that can enact messages as well as integrate nonverbal cues with them (Cassell, Sullivan, Prevost, & Churchill, 2000). There is evidence that individuals can engage in rudimentary dialogue with these agents, and as they do so, they come to expect the agents to communicate like humans (Bickmore & Cassell, 2005).
Finally, with the increasing opportunities for members of different cultures to interact, researchers have been interested in identifying cross-cultural communication skills. Cross-cultural encounters can have a high degree of anxiety and uncertainty that, if not handled effectively, can create miscommunication (Gudykunst, 1993). Hence, individuals in intercultural settings must be aware of the messages they are sending, understand alternative ways by which they might be constructed, and verify how their messages are perceived. Hence, cross-cultural training programs are designed to include information about how to construct messages that allow individuals to initiate conversations, carry on meaningful discussions, and clear up misunderstandings (e.g., Eschbach, Parker, & Stoeberl, 2001).
Two trends are apparent in message production research. First, with the increasing use of communication technology, researchers are increasingly interested in the relationship between channel characteristics and message production. Several theories have developed that focus on channel characteristics associated with computer-mediated communication versus face-to-face conversation (e.g., Daft & Lengel, 1984) and how individuals choose media based on their interaction goals (Sheer & Chen, 2004) and conform their messages to norms associated with an Internet community (Lea & Spears, 1995; Wilkins, 1991) or adjust their messages to overcome channel characteristics (Walther, 1996). With the rapid advancements in information technologies, it is likely that new insights will emerge, and theory will need to be adjusted (Soukup, 2000).
Second, researchers continue to be interested in the degree to which the principles of message construction are universal or culturally bound. Although the concrete features of messages vary with cultures (e.g., different languages), some aspects of message production are thought to be universal. For example, identity implication theory assumes that regardless of culture, individuals want to gain approval and autonomy from others, realize that others have the same needs, and, hence, act in ways that support the face needs of themselves as well as others (Wilson & Feng, 2007). Hence, individuals from different cultures share rules about the types of face attacks that may arise from a particular type of conversational move (e.g., a directive), but the likelihood that a face attack will occur in a given situation depends on cultural norms. Moreover, the influence of culture may vary with the context. Some psychologists argue that culture provides a shared cognitive tool or frame that can be used to guide behavior. However, these cultural cognitions are not always activated, and consequently, behaviors across cultures are sometimes similar (Hong & Chiu, 2001). Hence, cultural differences are most likely to be seen when individuals must act quickly or when culture has been primed, such as when communicating with others from the same culture. Indeed, individuals who are members of more than one culture (e.g., Asian Americans) may engage in cultural frame switching when they communicate with others from the different cultures to which they belong (Hong, Morris, Chiu, & Benet-Martinez, 2000).
Over the past three decades, message construction theory and research have grown in volume, methodological sophistication, and focus. Researchers have moved from descriptive studies often focused on identifying features and patterns of messages to more specific accounts of the cognitive process that influences message construction. Message construction research has implications for understanding both well-being and how humans are able to communicate with computers. Furthermore, there is increased recognition that new technologies may influence message construction, and with increasing globalization, researchers are investigating how culture influences message construction. The study of message construction is a multidisciplinary effort carried out by scholars from anthropology, communication, computer science, linguistics, psychology, and sociology. This pattern has produced models that span disciplinary boundaries and reflects a useful model of interdisciplinary approaches.
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