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COMM 1040
Bruce Morrison

Interpersonal Communications Reading  Notes Chapter 1 • Communication: A process involving both deliberate and accidental transfer of meaning. • Communication is also accidental or unintentional. • Interpersonal communication occurs when two people form a dyad, also known as two people communicating with one another. • There is intimate communication at one end and impersonal communication at the opposite end. • The more personal a relationship becomes, the more interdependent the two people become, sharing thoughts and feelings with each other. • Intrapersonal communication: communication requiring only a single communicator; communication with oneself. • Interpersonal communication: the ongoing ever-changing process that occurs when one person interacts with another forming a dyad; communication occurring within a relationship. • Dyad: two individuals interacting; a two-person relationship. • Interpersonal competence: the ability to use appropriate communication to build and maintain an effective relationship. • There are seven key elements that influence interpretation of this act. o The people involved o The message that each person sends and/or perceives. o The channel in use o The amount of noise present o The communication context o The feedback sent in response o The acts effect(s) on the individuals involved • Communication between any two people ranges from impersonal at one end of an imaginary continuum to “intimate” at the other end. • Once a relationship grows you can accurately predict how a person will behave facing a certain citation. • The Essential Elements of Interpersonal Communication • People - The senders and receivers of communication messages o Messages - The content of communication o Channels - The medium through which messages travel 1 o Noise - Interference with the ability to send or receive messages o Feedback - Information received in exchange for messages o Context - The environmental, situational, or cultural setting in which communication takes place o Effect - The result of a communication episode • The way you engage with others is subject to change because what worked at one point in time may not work at another point in time. • Role duality: The simultaneous performance of the roles of sender and receiver by the members of a dyad. • Message: The content of communication. • We negotiate the meaning we derive from interpersonal communication by sending and receiving verbal and nonverbal messages. • Messages can be conveyed through any one of our five senses: auditory, visual, gustatory, olfactory, or tactile. • Channel: A medium or passageway through which a message travels. • Consider a first date: to prepare, you make sure you look and smell nice; you choose a quiet setting to ensure you can hear each other; and you generally put your best face forward in both verbal and nonverbal ways in order to say, “I like you and I hope you like me too.” • If you find yourself consistently tuning in on just one channel, you might miss the most salient parts of a message. • Noise: Anything that interferes with or impedes the ability to send or receive a message. • Noise distracts communicators by focusing their attention on something extraneous to the communication act. • As the level of noise increases, it becomes more and more unlikely that we will be successful at negotiating or sharing meaning. • Feedback: Information received in exchange for a message sent. • Positive feedback: Responses that enhance behavior in progress. 2 • Negative feedback: Responses that stop behavior in progress. TABLE 1.2 Types of Noise o Semantic noise - Noise due to the failure to understand the intended meaning of one or more words or the context in which the words are being used (persons speaking different languages, using jargon and “technicalese”) o Environmental noise - Noise due to the sound, smell, sight, and feel of the environment or physical communication space that distracts attention from what is being said or done (cars honking, garbage rotting, people talking at once, cellular or computer interference) o Physiological noise - Noise due to personal illness, discomfort, or a physical problem including speech, visual, auditory, or memory impairment (difficulty articulating, hearing or sight loss, fatigue, disease) o Psychological noise - Noise due to anxiety, confusion, bias, past experience, or emotional arousal that interferes with communication (sender or receiver prejudice, closed- mindedness, rage) o Intellectual noise - Noise due to information overload or underload (over- or underpreparedness) • Internal feedback: A person’s response to his or her own performance. • External feedback: Responses received from others. • Low-monitored feedback: Feedback that is sincere and spontaneous; feedback delivered without careful planning. • High-monitored feedback: Feedback offered to serve a specific purpose; feedback that is sent intentionally. • Feedforward: A variant of feedback sent prior to a message’s delivery as a means of revealing something about to follow. • Phatic communication: Superficial interaction designed to open the channel between individuals. • Context: The setting in which communication takes place. • Effect: The result of a communication episode. 3 • Linear or unidirectional model: A representation of communication that depicts it as going in only one direction. o Ex: souce: encodes message channel  message  noise receiver: decodes the message • Interaction model: A representation of communication as a back-and- forth process. (see text for model) • Transactional model: A representation of communication that depicts transmission and reception occurring simultaneously, demonstrating that source and receiver continually influence one another. (see text for model) • Advantages and limitations of communications models: Model Communications Advantages Limitations Examples Linear Television and radio Simple and Not useful for E-mail and texts Direct most face-to- Packaged face presentations that encounters do not allow for modifications Interaction Instant messaging Wider Still discounts Class presentations applicability receiver’s where content is active role in adjusted based on creating feedback meaning Transactional Any encounter in Most realistic Does not apply which meaning is depiction of to texting, cocreated interpersonal tweeting, and communication posting • Interpersonal communication is necessary for both physical and psychological well-being. It fulfills our social functions: • Our need for affection—to express or receive fondness 4 • Our need for inclusion—to be included or include others as full partners • Our need for control—to direct or exert influence over the self and others so that we feel we are able to deal with and manage our lives and environment. • Interpersonal communication similarly fulfills our need to be friended and to friend others. (Notice how friend has also become a verb.) – It increases our personal satisfaction. • We use interpersonal communication to influence others—sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly. • It is a mutually reinforcing activity we engage in together. - We mutually influence each other. 1.Key characteristics: descriptions of the communication that are common across different situations or contexts 2.Core communication principles: identifiable behavioral patterns and motivations. 3.Axioms: the fundamental rules by which communication may be analyzed or explained. T ABLE 1.4 Characteristics of Interpersonal Communication Communication Is . . . In Other Words . . . A dynamic process It is ongoing, continuous and in a constant state of flux. Unrepeatable and irreversible It is unique Learned We find out over time what works for us and what does not work if we remain conscious of the communication. Characterized by wholeness and It operates as a complete entity, much nonsummativeity like a team functions. 5 • Once we have said or done something to another, we cannot erase its impact. • Dynamic process: A process that is ongoing, continuous, and in a state of constant flux. • Reasoned sense making: The ability to predict and account for the behavior of a particular person. • Retrospective sense making: The ability to make sense of one’s own behavior once it has occurred. • Axioms of communication: A paradigm of universally accepted principles used for understanding communication. TABLE 1.5 Axioms of Communication 1. You cannot not communicate. 2. Interactions have content and relationship dimensions. 3. Interactions are defined by how they are punctuated. 4. Messages are verbal symbols and nonverbal cues. 5. Exchanges are symmetrical or complementary. • Complementary relationship: A relationship based on difference in which the parties engage in opposite behaviors. • Cultural awareness: The ability to understand the role cultural prescriptions play in shaping communication. • Cultures that are more individualistic in nature, such as those of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Germany, stress individual goals. • Cultures more collectivistic in nature, such as those represented by many Muslim, African, Asian, and Latin American countries, stress group goals. • Individualist cultures nurture individual initiative and achievement, collectivist cultures nurture loyalty to a group. In an individualist culture, you are responsible for yourself and maybe your immediate family. • High-context cultures are tradition bound; cultural traditions guide members’ interactions, causing them to appear to outsiders as overly polite and indirect in relationships. 6 • Members of low-context cultures, in contrast, usually exhibit a more direct communication style, one that is verbally explicit. • Gender: The socially constructed roles and behaviors that the members of a given society believe to be appropriate for men and women. • As we become more conscious of arbitrarily created gendered meanings, we are able to work to reconstruct and broaden our understanding of what is appropriate behavior and what we accept as “normal.” • Technology makes it increasingly possible for us to watch and listen to, introduce ourselves to, and have continuing contact with individuals across the country and around the world without ever leaving our homes. • Technology makes it possible to connect without such fear. • Real life falls short of the lives we encounter either online or via television and film. • Machines are transforming how we communicate with one another by increasing connection opportunities. Chapter 2 • Our concept of self—that relatively stable set of perceptions each of us attributes to ourselves—becomes our most important possession. • Self-awareness: Personal reflection on and monitoring of one’s own behavior. • Self-concept: The relatively stable set of perceptions one attributes to oneself. • Self-esteem: One’s appraisal of one’s own self-worth. • Self-image: The mental picture one has of oneself. • Self-concept affects behavior, including what we think possible • The words you use to express your self-perceptions reveal what you think you are like. • Self-concept is not necessarily the same as the self. 7 • Self-concept is more highly structured and difficult to change. • A portion of the self-concept may not actually be included in the self; this area represents the part of ourselves that we invent. • Self-concept is a “map” that we create to chart the “territory” that is the self. • Our reluctance to let go of set ideas allows outmoded notions about the self to persist. By rejecting such information, we deny ourselves a chance for growth and self-renewal. • Refuting new information that could lead us to change only limits us and obscures our view of how others see us. • When we achieve or acquire new competencies, our self-esteem grows. In other words, we build self-esteem when we overcome obstacles, acquire specific skills or achievements, or are given increased responsibilities. • When we perceive ourselves as failures, we are more likely to behave in ways that cause us to fail. When we perceive ourselves as successes, we are more apt to act confidently and in ways that bring about success. • When self-esteem is not connected to performance, it can be self- defeating. • High self-esteem may actually increase the tendency to bully. • The nature of your self is affected by the nature of the situation in which you are interacting. And your interactions shape your view of your self. • In a way, you become different selves as you adapt to perceived changes. • Reflected appraisal theory: A theory that states that the self a person presents is in large part based on the way others categorize the individual, the roles they expect him or her to play, and the behaviors or traits they expect him or her to exhibit. • We use the views of others to develop our view of ourselves. • Your perceived self is the image you have of yourself, not the self you aspire to be. • We are most comfortable interacting with others we perceive to be like us. • Our accuracy in assessing our self-concept and self-esteem depends on 8 how successful we are at processing experience and receiving feedback. • Social comparison theory: A theory affirming that individuals compare themselves to others to develop a feel for how their talents, abilities, and qualities measure up. • Face-work is what you do to protect your self-image by reducing the negative aspects of yourself that are visible to others. • Perceived self: A reflection of one’s self- concept; the person one believes oneself to be when one is being honest with oneself. • Ideal self: The self one would like to be. • Impression management: The exercising of control over one’s behaviors in an effort to make the desired impression. • Possible self: The self that one might become someday. • Expected self: The self that others assume one will exhibit. • Dramaturgical approach to human interaction: A theory, originated by Erving Goffman, that explains the role that the skillful enacting of impression management plays in person-to-person interaction. • Framing- specifically defining a scene or situation in a way that helps others interpret its meaning in the way we desire. • Scripting- the identification of each actor’s role in the scene. In effect, we convince others on the stage with us to play their roles. • Dialogue—storytelling together with colorful and descriptive language and effective use of nonverbal cues—to guide the responses of the other players. • Exemplification- we serve as an example or act as a role model for others • Promotion- we elucidate our personal skills and accomplishments and/or a particular vision. • Face-work- We take steps to protect our image by reducing the negative aspects of ourselves visible to others • Ingratiation- we employ techniques of agreement to make others believe us to be more attractive and likable and less threatening, harmful, or 9 pernicious. • It is as if when we think of our future self we are seeing someone other than ourselves. • Confirmation: A communication that tells another person that his or her self-image is affirmed. • If you believe yourself to be intelligent, confirmers might reflect this by asking you to tutor them. • Rejection: The negation of or disagreement with a self-appraisal. • Disconfirmation: Communication that denies another person’s significance. • Someone who disconfirms you ignores you and goes about her business as if you were not present. • Those around us help shape our self-concepts in both positive and negative ways. • Self-efficacy: A positive belief in one’s own abilities, competence, and potential. • Self-fulfilling prophecy: A prediction or expectation that comes true simply because one acts as if it were true. • Optimists believe they will succeed and persevere; pessimists tend to give up when confronted with challenges. • Our behavior increases the likelihood of an outcome. Figure 2.2 The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Story 1. We develop expectations of people or events. 2. We express those expectations verbally and/or nonverbally. 3. Others adjust their behavior to match our verbal and/or nonverbal messages 4. Our expectation becomes reality. 5. The confirmation of our expectation strengthens our original belief. • Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson in their classic study Pygmalion in 10 the Classroom the way the teachers behaved influenced the students’ perceptions of their own abilities. • A positive Pygmalion is a person whose positive expectations for you influence your behavior; the positive expectations you have for yourself act similarly and are known as the Galatea effect. • Positive Pygmalion: An individual who positively influences one’s perceptions of one’s own abilities. • Negative Pygmalion: An individual who negatively influences one’s perceptions of one’s own abilities. • If we wish to change our self-concept, we need to do our part to break with old ways of thinking. • When we focus on ourselves, however, we are less likely to notice others’ reactions to us, and we may miss feedback cues revealing how they really see us. • Just as we can view ourselves more favorably than others do, we can also be our own worst critics and view ourselves more harshly than is warranted. • Individualistic culture: A culture in which individual identity is paramount. • Collectivistic cultures: Cultures in which group goals are given a higher priority than individual goals. • For the members of collectivistic cultures, the self is not the center of the universe. For them, the group—not the individual—is the primary social unit. Where individualistic cultures link success with personal achievement, collectivistic cultures link it to group cohesion and loyalty. • Idiocentric orientation: An orientation displayed by people who are primarily individualistic in their ways of thinking and behaving. • Allocentric orientation: A perspective displayed by people who are primarily collectivistic in their thinking and behaving. • High-context cultures: Cultures in which people tend to be very polite and indirect when interacting with others. • Low-context culture: A culture in which people typically exhibit a direct communication style. 11 • Power distance: The extent to which individuals are willing to accept power differentials • Persons in low-power positions are very apt to defer automatically to persons in au
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