Accomodating differences

This idea of "salient social membership" negotiation is well illustrated in the situation of an interview as the interviewee usually makes all efforts to identify with the interviewer by accommodating the way he speaks and behaves so that he can have more chance to secure the job.

The last assumption puts emphasis on social appropriateness and norms. expectations of behaviors that individuals feel should or should not occur in a conversation".

Imagine the encounter of two strangers, they may have a random small talk and simply say goodbye.

In this case, neither of them is likely to evaluate the conversation since they have little possibility to meet again.

Perception is the process of attending to and interpreting a message When someone enters a conversation, usually he first observes what takes place and then decides whether he should make adjustment to fit in.

However, the decision about accommodation is not always necessary.

Like speech accommodation theory, communication accommodation theory continues to draw from social psychology, particularly from four main socio-psychology theories: similarity-attraction, social exchange, causal attribution and intergroup distinctiveness.

These theories help to explain why speakers seek to converge or diverge from the language, dialect, accent and behavior of their interlocutors. This latter theory argues that a person's self-concept comprises a personal identity and a social identity, and that this social identity is based in comparisons people make between in-groups (groups they belong to) and out-groups (groups they do not belong to).

The second assumption is concerned with how people perceive and evaluate a conversation.

However, when this same behavior was attributed to pressures in the situation forcing the other to converge, positive feelings were not so strongly evoked." The process of intergroup distinctiveness, as theorized by Tajfel argues, "...

when members of different groups are in contact, they compare themselves on dimensions that are important to them, such as personal attributes, abilities, material possessions and so forth." Because speech style and language is an important factor in defining social groups, divergence in speech style or language is often used to maintain intergroup distinctiveness and differentiate from the out-group, especially when group membership is a salient issue or the individual's identity and group membership is being threatened.

Communication accommodation thus, becomes a tool to emphasize group distinctiveness in a positive way, and strengthen the individual's social identity.

There are four main socio-psychological theories: The similarity-attraction theory posits that "The more similar our attitudes and beliefs are to those of others, the more likely it is for them to be attracted to us." An individual on the receiving end of high level of accommodation is likely to develop a greater sense of self-esteem and satisfaction than being a receiver of low accommodation. states that prior to acting, we attempt to assess the rewards and costs of alternate courses of action", and that we tend to choose whatever course of action will bring greater rewards and less costs.

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According to social identity theory, people strive to maintain a positive social identity by either joining groups where they feel more comfortable or making a more positive experience of belonging to the groups they already belong to.

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  1. They suddenly think they're "too old." They'll feel strange, uncomfortable... And as much as they try to ignore it, there's always that constant nagging, lingering feeling that "something's just not right." Maybe they feel they're not "hip" or "cool" enough to keep up and date these sweet young things. It's not as complicated as most guys make it to be.