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Teacher Affinity Seeking

Linda L. McCroskey

Subject Psychology
Communication and Development » Instructional Communication

Key-Topics emotion, teaching

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


McCroskey and Wheeless , the first to introduce the concept of “affinity” in the communication literature, defined it as “a positive attitude toward another person” (1976, 231). Bell and Daly expanded research in the area of affinity seeking in interpersonal communication. They defined “affinity seeking” as “the active social communicative process by which individuals attempt to get others to like and feel positive toward them” (1984, 91). These pioneers pursued this research stream as it gained momentum, clearing, defining, and redefining a swath so significant that not only did their efforts spawn decades of affinity research, but these early efforts appeared to support the idea that gaining “affinity” may be the single most important reason why we engage in →  Interpersonal Communication (→  Interpersonal Attraction ). That the fledgling discipline could assert a simple explanation for what motivates communication interaction is impressive. A more far-reaching impact was felt as interpersonal communication research shifted focus to specialized contexts such as the classroom or workplace. Because the seminal affinity research was conducted by scholars interested in communication education and instruction, affinity research in the instructional context set the agenda for its application to other interpersonal contexts. Drawing from Bell and Daly, McCroskey and McCroskey (1986) ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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