CMN 120 Midterm: CMN 120 - Exam 1 Reading Note Study Guide

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8 Mar 2017
Questions from readings
Chapter 1 -
1. What are the three broad approaches to interpersonal communication theory?
Interpersonal communication as:
1. Individually centered (Gerald Miller, 1975)
o Centers around how individuals plan, produce and process interpersonal
communication messages
o Interpersonal communication occurs when people make predictions about
others based on perceiving person as an individual rather than based on a social
role (teacher, store clerk)
Focus on mental representations that influence how people interpret
info and how they behave
1. Discourse or interaction centered
o Understanding interpersonal communication as a message or joint action
behaviorally enacted b/w persons
o Moves focus away from individual
Focus on content, forms and functions of messages & behavioral
interactions b/w interacting parties
o The ways our understandings, meanings, norms, roles and rules are worked out
interactively in communication
1. Relationship centered
o Focus on understanding role of communication in developing, sustaining, and
terminating social and personal relationships
o Diverse, interdisciplinary approaches to studying relational communication
o Relational perspective of interpersonal comm - focus on messages within close
relationships that influence or constitute those relationships
2. What are the broad approaches to interpersonal communication research used by scholars?
Whih approah does eah theor e’e oered in the ook so far fall under?
Post-Positivist Perspective
o Scientific approach to research - "logical-empirical tradition"
o Goal: advance predictions and offer generalized, law-like cause and effect
explanations about how variables/structures are interdependent w/ one
o A good theory = accurate, testable, logically consistent, parsimonious,
appropriate in scope and useful in generating predictions and explanations
o Researcher's task: d
Identify theory relevant to phenomenon they want to explain and
deduce testable hypotheses from a theory
Interpretive Perspective
o Rejects single objective view of reality --> Social world consists of multiple
o Humans act in light of subjective positions
o Value "native's point of view"
Perspectives and language choices of individuals being studied
o Value context/situation-specific research
o Theories valued are those focused on meanings and meaning-making
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