COMM 360 Chapter 1: Comm Theory - Chapter 1

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Chapter 1
Theory:
- An umbrella term for all careful, systematic, and self-conscious discussion and analysis
of communication phenomena (Bormann’s definition)
- A set of systematic, informed hunches about the way things work (Burgoon’s
definition)
Systematic theories specify the relationships between the act of communication and
surrounding circumstances
Informed in order to make a theory, you must be familiar with alternative explanations and
interpretations of the type of communication studied
Hunches theories always involve speculation; a developed theory has an explanation and will
give an indication of the scope of the situation
Communication:
- the relational process of creating and interpreting messages that elicit a response
Relational communication is a process of relating; can have an effect on the nature of
relationships with people
Process of creating content and form of the text are constructed, invented, planned, crafted,
constituted, selected or adopted by the communicator
Process of interpreting words don’t mean things, people mean things; humans act toward
people or things on the basis of the meanings they assigned to those people or things
Messages the core of communication study
Elicit a response communication must stimulate cognitive, emotional, or behavioral reactions
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