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Ch 8 Summary

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Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Chapter 8- Interpersonal Communication The Process of Interpersonal Communication  Communication can be defined as the process of sending and receiving messages that have meaning  Intrapersonal Communication- when you “talk to yourself”  Interpersonal communication is an interactional process in which one person sends a message to another o At least two people must be involved o It is a process (involves a series of actions) o This process is interactional  The sender is the person who initiates the message  The receiver is the person to whom the message is targeted  The message refers to the information or meaning that is transmitted from the sender to the receiver o Speakers encode or transform their ideas and feelings into symbols and organize them into a message; receivers decode or translate a speaker`s message into their own ideas and feelings  The channel refers to the sensory means through which the message reaches the receiver o The messages in the various channels may be consistent or inconsistent with each other, making their interpretation more or less difficult o Facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, etc.  Noise refers to any stimulus that interferes with accurately expressing or understanding a message  Context is the environment in which communication takes place o Includes the physical environment, nature of the relationship, history, current mood, and their cultural background  People are selective in initiating or responding to communications  They have a systemic quality because of time, situation, social class, education, culture, personal histories, and other influences that are beyond individual`s control but that nonetheless affect how they interact with each other  Communications within a given relationship are unique  Communications are processual (part of a continuous and evolving process that becomes more and more personal as people interact with greater frequency  Electronically mediated communication is interpersonal communication that takes place via technology  Face-to-face communication relies on the spoken word, while Internet communication depends on the written word Maintaining Privacy in the Digital Age  Based on their analyses of a social networking site dataset composed of user profiles, researchers claim that students are likely to act to maintain their online privacy based on two factors: social influence and personal incentives  Where social influence is concerned, students follow the lead of those close to them  Women are more likely to maintain private profiles than men  People with private profiles are online with greater regularity than those with public profiles Nonverbal Communication  Nonverbal communication is the transmission of meaning from one person to another through means or symbols other than words  General principles 1. Nonverbal communication conveys emotions 2. Nonverbal communication is multi-channeled o It is ambiguous  Actions can mean different things to different people 3. It may contradict verbal messages  When someone is instructed to tell a lie, deception is most readily detected through nonverbal signals 4. Nonverbal communication is culture-bound  Proxemics is the study of people’s use of interpersonal space  Personal space is a zone of space surrounding a person that is felt to “belong” to that person  The amount of interpersonal distance people prefer depends on the nature of the relationship and the situation  Also regulated by social norms and varies by culture  Women seem to have small personal-space zones than men do  People generally stand farther away from high-status communication partners versus partners of lower power  It is the prerogative of the most powerful person in an interaction to set the “proper” distance  Six distinctive facial expressions that correspond with six basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise  Observers are better at recognizing emotions in photographs from their own cultural groups than from other cultural groups  A few basic facial expressions are universally recognizable, but other expressions vary from culture to culture  Display rules are norms that govern the appropriate display of emotions in a culture  Men typically show less facial expression than women do  People high in self-monitoring are better than low-self monitors at managing their facial expression  Older individuals are less able to identify angry expressions on either younger or older faces. Once the older participants categorized the faces they viewed, they remembered angry faces less well than happy ones  People are better at sending deceptive messages with their faces than with other areas of their bodies  People who engage in high levels of eye contact are usually judged to have effective social skills and credibility  Speakers, interviewers, and experimenters receiver higher ratings of competence when they maintain high rather than low eye contact with their audience  People engage in more eye contact when they’re listening than when they’re talking  People are more likely to make eye contact with others when making sincere statements  Speakers making sarcastic or derisive comments become gaze aversive (avoid eye contact with listeners)  Gaze also communicates the intensity (but not positivity or negativity) of feelings  Unpleasant interactions, embarrassing situations, or invasions of personal space usually trigger reduced eye contact  Culture strongly affects patterns of eye contact  Women tend to gaze at others more than men do  Higher-status individuals look at the other person more when speaking than when listening, while lower-status people behave just the opposite  Women usually show the lower-status visual pattern because they are typically accorded lower status than men  African Americans use more continuous eye contact than European Americans when speaking, but less when listening  Kinesics is the study of communication through body movements  Leaning back with arms or legs arranged in an asymmetrical or “open” position conveys a feeling of relaxation  Posture can also indicate someone’s attitude toward you  A higher status person will look more relaxed, a lower-status person will tend to exhibit a more rigid body posture, often sitting up straight with feet together, flat on the floor and arms close to the body (a “closed” position)  Men are more likely to exhibit the high-status “open posture and women the lower- status “closed” posture  People use hand gestures to describe and emphasize the words they speak, as well as to persuade  The meaning of gestures is not universal  People typically “touch downward” ie higher-status individuals are freer to touch subordinates than vice versa  Higher-status people who touch others while making requests actually increase compliance rates  How people interpret the possible messages communicated by touch depends on the age and gender of the individuals involved, the setting in which the touching takes place, and the relationship between the toucher and recipient, among other things  Adult women use touch to convey closeness or intimacy, whereas men use touch as a means to control or indicate power in social situations  Female-female pairs touch each other significantly more than male-male pairs  In younger pairs men touched women more, but in older pairs the pattern was reversed. Comparable ages were not found for same-gender pairs  Intimate interactions- those in which people touch others they know very well- can convey as much emotion as facial expressions  Paralanguage includes all vocal cues other than the content of the verbal message itself  Variations in vocal emphasis can give the same set of words very different meanings  Aspects of vocalization can also communicate emotions o Rapid speech may mean that a person is happy, frightened, or nervous  Capital letters are used for emphasis, however, using capital letters throughout a message is viewed as shouting and considered rude behaviour  People typically tell one or two lies a day  Professionals whose work involves detecting lies are more accurate judges of liars than non-experts are o Accuracy rates around 57% (not much better than chance- 50%)  The face is the least revealing channel  Lying is not associated with slow talking, long pauses before speaking, or lack of eye contact  Liars say less, tell less-compelling stories, make a more negative impression, are more tense, and include less unusual content in their stories than truth tellers do  The polygraph is a device that records fluctuations in physiological arousal as a person answers questions o It is an “Emotion detector” o Measures galvanic skin response (GSR) (perspiration), heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate o Claim that they are 85%-90% accurate o Evidence available is not very impressive o When people respond to incriminating questions, they may experience emotional arousal even when they are telling the truth o Some people can lie without experiencing physiological arousal  Brain-imaging technology can separate liars from those who are telling the truth with a higher degree of success than the conventional polygraph  Drawbacks include the practicality of implementing such technology, the costs involved, and ethical issues surrounding the ability to peer inside people’s heads  Nonverbal sensitivity is the ability to accurately encode (express) and decode (understand) nonverbal cues  Nonverbal sensitivity was correlated with relationship well-being  People who identified fear more accurately than others were more likely to offer some form of aid, such as donating money or time for some cause  Recognizing such nonverbal cues of fear proved to be a better predictor of helping behaviour than gender, mood state, or empathy  Women are more motivated than men to exert effort at these skills Toward More Effective Communication  Give to others what you would like to receive from them  Focus on the other person instead of yourself  Use nonverbal cues to communicate your interest in the other person  Five steps for making successful small talk: 1. Indicate that you are open to conversation by commenting on your surroundings 2. Introduce yourself  Early in the conversation and use specifics 3. Select a topic others can relate to 4. Keep the conversation ball rolling 5. Make a smooth exit  Self-disclosure is the act of sharing information about yourself with another person o Nonverbal communication plays an equally important role in self-disclosure  Nonverbal behaviours can determine whether interactions have positive, neutral, or negative outcomes  Sharing fears and problems (as well as good news) with others who are trustworthy and supportive plays a key role in mental health  Self-disclosure is a way to build relationships with friends and co-workers  Emotional (but not factual) self-disclosures lead to feelings of closeness, as long as disclosers feel that listeners are understanding and accepting  Self-disclosure in romantic relationships correlates positively with relationship satisfaction  While individuals may disclose some emotional events, they are less likely to do so if the events are social transgressions  Only certain types of disclosures lead to feelings of closeness o For instance, emotional-evaluative self-disclosures (ex how you feel about your sister) do, but factual-descriptive self-disclosures (ex that you have 3 siblings) do not  Self-disclosure alone doesn’t lead to intimacy – how listeners respond matters, too  At the beginning of a relationship, high levels of mutual disclosur
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