This study examines obstacles preventing influence goal achievement by investigating the obstacles requesters anticipate will be present and/or expressed by targets. Findings indicate that requesters expect that obstacles based on the target's inability to provide the resource are more frequent in the discourse of refusals than are obstacles grounded in the target's unwillingness to assist. When the relationship between perceived intimacy and the type of obstacles present is examined, a greater number of inability obstacles are expected to be present as intimacy increases while fewer unwillingness obstacles are expected to be present as intimacy increases. These relationships do not hold for the types of obstacles expected to be expressed in refusals. The discussion explores how expressed and unexpressed obstacles may affect the creation of request discourse.
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