Communication Assumptions in Consumer Research: An Alternative Socio‐cognitive Approach

Torsten Ringberg, Markus Reihlen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Although communication appears natural to most people, the successful act of transferring meaning relies on an alignment of intricate interpretive processes between the sender and receiver. Yet the full range of these intricate processes is often oversimplified, homogenized, and molded according to each paradigm’s narrow epistemological assumptions, leading to contradictory representations across paradigms. For example, within cognitivist and structuralist research the communicative act is portrayed as unproblematic as it engages objectified meaning structures embedded in the structures of texts, symbols, and social practices, which remain independent of (i.e., disembodied from) the interpreting mind. In contrast, in postmodernist research, communication is regarded as implausible as meaning is uniquely created by the receiver (regardless of what is intended by the sender). Although each major perspective provides some insights to the communicative act, the elegance of each camp’s reasoning is undone by it not addressing the full complexity of communication as it actually exists. To provide a more comprehensive and internally consistent understanding of meaning transfer (i.e., communication) we introduce a socio‐cognitive model that accounts for apparent objectivist and subjectivist outcomes. This framework situates meaning production within the mind, driven by the interaction between mental (private and/or cultural) models, cognitive (reflective and/or categorical) processing, and environmental feedback mechanisms.
Although communication appears natural to most people, the successful act of transferring meaning relies on an alignment of intricate interpretive processes between the sender and receiver. Yet the full range of these intricate processes is often oversimplified, homogenized, and molded according to each paradigm’s narrow epistemological assumptions, leading to contradictory representations across paradigms. For example, within cognitivist and structuralist research the communicative act is portrayed as unproblematic as it engages objectified meaning structures embedded in the structures of texts, symbols, and social practices, which remain independent of (i.e., disembodied from) the interpreting mind. In contrast, in postmodernist research, communication is regarded as implausible as meaning is uniquely created by the receiver (regardless of what is intended by the sender). Although each major perspective provides some insights to the communicative act, the elegance of each camp’s reasoning is undone by it not addressing the full complexity of communication as it actually exists. To provide a more comprehensive and internally consistent understanding of meaning transfer (i.e., communication) we introduce a socio‐cognitive model that accounts for apparent objectivist and subjectivist outcomes. This framework situates meaning production within the mind, driven by the interaction between mental (private and/or cultural) models, cognitive (reflective and/or categorical) processing, and environmental feedback mechanisms.
LanguageEnglish
JournalConsumption, Markets & Culture
Volume11
Issue number3
Pages173-189
ISSN1025-3866
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

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title = "Communication Assumptions in Consumer Research: An Alternative Socio‐cognitive Approach",
abstract = "Although communication appears natural to most people, the successful act of transferring meaning relies on an alignment of intricate interpretive processes between the sender and receiver. Yet the full range of these intricate processes is often oversimplified, homogenized, and molded according to each paradigm’s narrow epistemological assumptions, leading to contradictory representations across paradigms. For example, within cognitivist and structuralist research the communicative act is portrayed as unproblematic as it engages objectified meaning structures embedded in the structures of texts, symbols, and social practices, which remain independent of (i.e., disembodied from) the interpreting mind. In contrast, in postmodernist research, communication is regarded as implausible as meaning is uniquely created by the receiver (regardless of what is intended by the sender). Although each major perspective provides some insights to the communicative act, the elegance of each camp’s reasoning is undone by it not addressing the full complexity of communication as it actually exists. To provide a more comprehensive and internally consistent understanding of meaning transfer (i.e., communication) we introduce a socio‐cognitive model that accounts for apparent objectivist and subjectivist outcomes. This framework situates meaning production within the mind, driven by the interaction between mental (private and/or cultural) models, cognitive (reflective and/or categorical) processing, and environmental feedback mechanisms.",
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Communication Assumptions in Consumer Research : An Alternative Socio‐cognitive Approach . / Ringberg, Torsten; Reihlen, Markus .

In: Consumption, Markets & Culture, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2008, p. 173-189.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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PY - 2008

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