Communication: A systematic process in which people interact with and
through symbols to create and interpret meanings
Communication is a process. It’s ongoing and dynamic.
Communication takes place within a system. A system consists of
interrelated parts that affect one another.
● Openness: The extent to which a system affects and is affected by
outside factor and processes
● Homeostasis: A state of equilibrium. No living system can sustain
absolute balance or equilibrium.
Communication is Symbolic. We rely on symbols, which are abstract,
arbitrary, and ambiguous representations of other things, to communicate.
Communication is about meanings
● Content level of meaning contains the literal message
● Relationship level of meaning expresses the relationship between
Linear Model of Communication
● Howard Laswell (1948)
● Shannon & Weaver (1949)
● Sender COM 111
Interactive Model of Communication
Wilbur Schamm (1995)
Builds on linear model
● Include feedback (verbal or nonverbal)
● Captures the dynamism of human communication: People often
communicate simultaneously as both receiver and sender
● Portrays communication as changing over time COM 111
Careers in Communication
● Training and communication
● Broadcasting, public relations, and advertising
● Human relations and management
● Mass communication
Journalism: How to listen carefully and critically when conducting an
interview. How to write reports and news clearly
Advertising: “Advertising is a field that demands good listening and written
communication skills. Someone who plans a career in advertising should
be a good people person.”
HR & Management: Public relations, personnel management, negotiation,
customer relations, and development and fundraising all require strong and
solid understandings of communication skills. COM 111
Perception: Step 1
1. Intensity of experience
2. Self concepts
3. Needs and motives-selective exposure
Perception: Step 2
● We organize our perception in a meaningful way
● Theory of how we organize and interpret our experiences by applying
Prototype: What you want to perceive people as
Stereotype: What you predict people will be like
Personal Construct: Beautiful or not beautiful, boring o interesting
Script: Ex: saying good morning to people in the morning COM 111
Interpretation: The subjective process of creating explanations for what we
observe and experience
Interpretation can be based on
1. Your personal experience
● Were past experiences positive or negative?
2. Your knowledge
● What do you know of the person
3. The closeness of your relationship
● Is your relationship such that the behavior is expected?
Attributions: The act of explaining why a person acts a certain way or
Dimensions of Attributions
● Locus: Where is the cause of the behavior “located”? Such as:
internal psychological factors vs external context factors
● Stability: Is the cause of a behavior stable? Such as: Is she a nervous
person? Vs is she nervous bc of the exam
● Specificity: Is the cause of a behavior specific? Such as: She’s
intelligent vs she’s good at math
● Responsibility: Is the behavior within the person’s control? Such as:
walking in front of a car vs a car crashing into your home
The Self Serving Bias: We tend to construct attributions that serve our
Ex: You explain a success in internal and stable attributes “I am a
dedicated person and worked hard”
Ex: You explain a failure in external and unstable attributes “I would have
done better if my car had not broke down” COM 111
Communication is a mosaic, each part of which contributes to the whole
Rebus Principle: The mapping of pictographic symbols to phonetic values.
Both egyptians and the mesopotamians understood this.
The Art of Rhetoric was born in the mid-400’s BC, highly influenced by
Aristotle. Corax and Tisias taught citizens how to use speech to recover
their property taken by the former government in law courts.
Rhetoric: The art of identifying and using the best available means in a
given situation to ethically persuade an audience.
In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, Rhetoric was taught as a practical art that
prepared people for responsible participation in civic life. In the early 20th
century, John Dewey championed progressive thinking.
Beginning in the 1960’s communication becomes the prominent tool for
power in cultural life. Helped the civil rights and women’s movement.
Michel Foucault: Studied who is and who is not allowed to speak in society.
Dominant groups shape our roles and positions in culture and society. COM 111
History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault: Repressive hypothesis: The
discourse of sex was controlled and manipulated by the dominated groups.
The Breadth of the Communication Field:
● Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Intercultural
● Group & Team, Public
● Organizational, Mass Media
Intrapersonal: Communication with ourselves, self talk. Similar to thinking.
Interpersonal: Communication between people. The more we interact with
a person as a distinct individual, the more interpersonal the communication
Group & Team: Focuses on leadership, member roles, group dynamics,
agendas for achieving group goals, and managing conflict.
Public: Focuses on public speaking. An argument, or political
Organizational: Focuses substantial attention on organizational culture,
which is an understanding of identity and codes of thought and action that
are shared by members of an organization.
Mass Media: How media represents and influences cultural values.
Computer Mediated Communication (CMC): Focuses on how newer
technologies and the accompanying acceleration of the pace of interaction
influences our lives.
Intercultural: Focuses on different culture’s communication styles and
meanings. (Ex: engaging in classroom discussion). COM 111
Additional Areas of Study: Ethics, Health communication, Journalism,
Performance Studies, Religious Communication, Speech and Hearing
Unifying Themes in the Comm