Civic & Non-profit Organizations

June 17, 2016

Rational and Social Theories as Complementary Explanations of Communication Media Choices: Two Policy-Capturing Studies

  1. Jane Webster1 and
  2. Linda Klebe Trevino2

+ Author Affiliations

  1. 1University of Waterloo

  2. 2The Pennsylvania State University


Recent media choice research has focused on attempts to determine what theory best explains people’s choices of communication media. Two within-subject policy-capturing studies support the notion that media richness and social influence theories are complementary rather than competing and that the relative importance of choice factors depends on the medium. A comparison of policy-capturing and survey findings points to policy capturing as a useful research methodology. Results also suggest that rational and social factors should be included in comprehensive models of media choice that address both traditional and new media.