[COM CM 380] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (37 pages long!)

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COM CM 380
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Chapter 1 Launching Your Study of Communication
Theory 8/31/2016 3:36:00 PM
What is a theory and what does it do?
“an umbrella term for all careful, systematic, and self-conscious
discussion and analysis of communication phenomena” (pg.2)
o Ernest Bormann
Judee Burgoon most frequently cited female scholar in
communication “theory is nothing more than a set of systematic
hunches about the way things operate”
o 3 key features of her theory
1. a set of hunches
2. informed hunches
3. hunches that are systematic
A set of hunches not sure we have the answer yet
o Not just one inspired thought or an isolated idea
Informed hunches
o Hunches should be informed or at least familiar with
alternative explinations or interpretations
Hunches that are systematic
o Theories lay out multiple ideas and specifies relationships
among them
Connects the dots
Images of theory
o Theories as nets Karl Popper “theories are nets to cast to
catch what we call ‘the world…we endeavor to make the mesh
ever finer and finer’”
o Theories as lenses lens imagery highlights idea that
theories shape our perception by focusing attention on some
features of communication while ignoring others (push to
background)
o Theories as maps theory to guide us through unfamiliar
territory
Static theory EX: still photograph
What is communication?
There is no single or absolute definition
Working definition “communication is the relational process of
creating and interpreting messages that elicit a response”
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5 Key Features
o 1. Messages doing anything that involves messages in any
medium
crossroads discipline meetings of different areas
o 2. Creation of messages implies that the communicator is
making conscious choice of message form and substance
o 3. Interpretation of messages words don’t mean things –
people mean things (Herbert Blumer)
o 4. A relational process “communication is a process of
relating. This means it is not primarily or essentially a process
of transferring information or of disseminating or circulating
signs (though these things can be identified as happening
within the process of relating)”
o 5. Messages that elicit a response effect of the message
upon people who receive it and their response
An Arrangement of Ideas to Aid Comprehension
Organization of book
People respond to stories and dramatic imagery to which they can
relate
Chapter Features to Enliven Theory
Connection of theories to real life situations will imbed into brain
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