CAT is used to explain the adjustments in speech, vocal patterns, and gestures that people make to accommodate others. 1. Focus is primarily on accommodations made when conversing with members of culturally diverse groups 2. Interactants may have a variety of reasons for accommodating the communication (to elicit approval, maintain a positive social identity, achieve communicative efficiency) 3. Accommodation is defined as the ability to adjust, modify, or regulate one’s behavior in response to another. It is typically done unconsciously.
Assumptions of CAT A. Speech and behavioral similarities and dissimilarities exist in all conversations. B. The manner in which we perceive the speech and behaviors of another person will determine how we evaluate a conversation.
Assumptions cont. C. Language and behaviors impart information about social status and group belonging. D. Accommodation varies in its degree of appropriateness, and norms guide the accommodation process.
Ways to Adapt A. Convergence: merging thoughts together B. Divergence: viva la difference C. Overaccommodation: miscommunication with a purpose