Equilibrium Theory – Argyle & Dean

July 8th, 2010

Argyle, M., & Dean, J. (1965). Eye contact, distance, and affiliation. Sociometry, 28, 289- 304.

Argyle, M., & Cook, M. (1976). Gaze and mutual gaze. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Uni- versity Press.

Another example of the discussion on whether there is a certain level of interchangeability of verbal and non-verbal cues of immediacy in the realm of online (or CMC) communication is Argyle and Dean’s 1965 affiliative conflict (or equilibrium) theory. As Joseph Walther explains, “Equilibrium theory posits that communicators dynamically adapt levels of gaze, physical proximity, and other behaviors indicative of intimacy to normative levels based on culture and need for affiliation (Argyle & Cook, 1976).” (41).

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