When I Call you Up and you're not there: Application of Communication Accommodation Theory to Telephone Answering Machine Messages

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This investigation extends Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) to an everyday situation in which non‐simultaneous, temporally limited, and less information rich communication occurs. Specifically, this study explores whether callers converge to structural (script and message features) and relational (verbal immediacy cues) message aspects found in recorded answering machine messages. After comparing recorded answering machine messages and caller messages, we found that callers exhibited greater convergence to relational than to structural aspects. Both female and male callers converged with levels of immediacy in answering machine messages. Implications for future research in CAT are outlined.

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Western Journal of Communication, v. 60, issue 4, p. 310-336