More Shared Responsibility for “More Appropriate Communication” The term “more appropriate communication” appears in more than 400 scholarly articles (according to Google Scholar). I examined the first 100 scholarly articles that pertained to communication between humans (rather than communication between computer networks). The question I sought to answer was who, according to the scholarly literature, bears responsibility ... Article
Article  |   April 27, 2018
More Shared Responsibility for “More Appropriate Communication”
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Morton Ann Gernsbacher
    Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Morton Ann Gernsbacher has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Morton Ann Gernsbacher has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Morton Ann Gernsbacher has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Morton Ann Gernsbacher has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Autism Spectrum / Older Adults & Aging / Part 2
Article   |   April 27, 2018
More Shared Responsibility for “More Appropriate Communication”
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, April 2018, Vol. 3, 58-67. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG1.58
History: Received October 24, 2017 , Revised February 12, 2018 , Accepted February 28, 2018
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, April 2018, Vol. 3, 58-67. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG1.58
History: Received October 24, 2017; Revised February 12, 2018; Accepted February 28, 2018

The term “more appropriate communication” appears in more than 400 scholarly articles (according to Google Scholar). I examined the first 100 scholarly articles that pertained to communication between humans (rather than communication between computer networks). The question I sought to answer was who, according to the scholarly literature, bears responsibility for achieving “more appropriate communication?” Of the 100 scholarly articles examined, only a slim minority (N = 7) imply that more appropriate communication is a responsibility shared among two or more communication partners, and most of these articles address more appropriate communication between literal peers, such as undergraduate students with other undergraduate students. The majority of scholarly articles (N = 61) imply that the responsibility for more appropriate communication lies with the more powerful communication partners (i.e., people who have more status, experience, or resources). The remaining third of the scholarly articles (N = 32) imply that responsibility for more appropriate communication lies with the less powerful communication partners, and these less powerful communication partners are frequently children with developmental disabilities. I conclude by suggesting that the responsibility for more appropriate communication, particularly with developmentally disabled children, either should be assumed by the more powerful communication partners or should be shared.

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