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CAS 597 - Advice

Asso. Professor: Erina L. MacGeorge
Office: Sparks 221
Phone: (814) 865-1948
Email: elm26@psu.edu

A comprehensive overview of the interdisciplinary research literature on the seeking, giving, evaluation and utilization of advice.

Advice, defined as a recommendation for action in response to a problem, is a common form of interpersonal support and influence. The advice we give and receive from others can be highly consequential, not only affecting us as recipients and advisors, but shaping outcomes for relationships, groups, and organizations. Some of those consequences are positive, as when advice promotes individual problem-solving, or enhances workgroup productivity. Yet advice can also hide ulterior motives, threaten identity, and promote inappropriate action. This course will provide a broad perspective on how advice succeeds and fails, systematically reviewing and synthesizing theory and research on advice from multiple disciplines, such as communication, psychology, applied linguistics, business, law, and medicine. Advice will be explored at different levels of analysis, focusing on advisor and recipient roles, advising interactions and relationships, and advice as a resource and connection in groups and networks. It will also be examined in particular types of personal relationships (romantic, family) and contexts (workplace, health, education, therapy, online).

Course Objectives

  • Build knowledge of theory, research methods, and empirical findings relevant to advice.
  • Explore the value of approaching the “same” behavior from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
  • Develop a research proposal that connects with course content and builds your research agenda.

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