Prof. Dr. Rainer Bromme
PD Dr. Regina Jucks
Dr. Anne Runde (bis 3/2005)
Dipl.-Psych. Bettina-Maria Becker
This project investigates the communication between experts and laypersons in net-based, asynchronous hotline scenarios. Experts (medical doctors or pharmacists) are asked to respond to laypersons’ health-related and potentially other questions. In such hotline scenarios, experts usually have little information about the pre-existing knowledge background of the recipient(s). Based on the communication theory by Herbert H. Clark, the conditions of successful communication are investigated. On a theoretical level, the project focuses on the question of whether the structures and processes of everyday communication described by Clark can be identified in web-based communication between partners with systematic knowledge divergences. The goal is to contribute to the formulation of a psychological theory on web-based communication. On a practical level the project strives for empirically based recommendations for the improvement of net-based interaction among experts and laypersons.
Starting point for our analysis is the heuristics that interlocutors use to estimate the knowledge level of the respective other and to adapt to this level. The initial phases of the project dealt with graphic illustrations/depictions and their effect on the use of such heuristics. Additional analysis addressed the question under which conditions graphic representations can be useful in helping the expert to formulate answers that not only contain behaviour-related tips but also subject matter explanations which aid the layperson in developing a basic understanding of this medical problem. Also, in the second phase of the project, an analysis of the use of medical technical language on expert-layperson-communication was started. Currently, in the third phase, the project is dealing with errors and misunderstandings arising from the use of technical terms in net-based communication. On a theoretical level, the project aims at a pedagogical-psychological enhancement of communication psychology theories.
Last update: 04/06/2006
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