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University of Delaware Faculty

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Charles Pavitt
University of Delaware


My research activities lie in three distinct areas.  For more than a decade, I have been examining the factors that lead people to cooperate with one another in small decision-making groups.  That examination has primarily been performed in group discussion tasks in which group members have to share a slowly-regenerating valued resource, analogous to resources such as fresh water, forests, or fish reserves.  My second area of research lies in communication theory.  I am involved in classifying scientific communication theories based on the dimensions of form and content. Finally, I have begun a research project relevant to the ethics of transgressions in interpersonal relationships, at this time in the specific area of deception.

I teach a variety of courses in the general area of interpersonal communication.  I have a personal goal of integrating research into my teaching.  This has led me to include statistical-analytic research projects in all of my 400-level courses, and to involve students in my research as much as possible.  All my recent studies of small-group discussion have been done as part of “research practicum” courses in which students have conducted the data collection and experienced all stages in subsequent data analysis.  Although those data analyses are just for “practice,” several students have gone on to perform “real” data analyses intended for publication as independent study experiences.

Click here to Link to Small Group Communication: A Theoretical Approach (3rd Edition).

Courses Regularly Taught
COMM341: Theories of Interpersonal Communication

COMM442: Small Group Communication
COMM442: Communication and Negotiation
COMM490: Communication Honors Capstone


Pavitt, C. (2014). A literature review and interactive input-process-output model of group social influence.  Small Group Research, 45, 704-730..

Pavitt, C. (2013). Social influence in decision making groups.  In C. Liberman (Ed.), Casing persuasive communication (pp. 99-110).  Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Pavitt, C. (2011). An estimate of how hitting, pitching, fielding, and basestealing impact team winning percentages in baseball. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 7(4), Article 13.

Pavitt, C. (2011). Communication, performance, and perceptions in experimental simulations of resource dilemmas. Small Group Research, 42, 283-308 (previously presented at the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research convention, Arlington, Virginia, 2010). ​

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