5.7 chapter 1


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5.7 chapter 1

  1. 1. Chapter 1Introduction to Communication Theory
  2. 2. Definitions of Communication Everyday view of communication is the flowof information from one person to another. Communication: the process by which peopleinteractively create, sustain, and managemeaning.
  3. 3. As a group, set courseGround Rules
  4. 4. Communication Competence Communication competence: balancingeffectiveness and appropriateness. Effectiveness: extent to which you achieveyour goals in interaction. Appropriateness: fulfilling social expectationsfor a particular situation. Understanding theory will allow for a properbalance of effectiveness and appropriateness
  5. 5. What is Theory? Abstract understanding of communication process. Move beyond describing a single event by providing ameans by which all like events can be described. Defined: systematic summary about the nature of thecommunication process. Functions include: Focusing attention on particular concepts Clarifying our observations Predicting communication behavior Generating personal and social change
  6. 6. Types of Theory Commonsense theory Theories-in-use Created through personal experiences Are often the basis for our decisions on howto communicate E.g.: Never date a colleague; it always endsup badly
  7. 7. Types of Theory Working theory Generalizations made in particular professionsabout the best technique for doing something More systematic than commonsense theoryrepresent agreed-on ways of doing things inprofessions. E.g.: Audience analysis should be done priorto presenting a speech.
  8. 8. Types of Theory Scholarly theory Has undergone systematic research Provide more thorough, accurate, and abstractexplanations for communication Typically more complex and difficult tounderstand E.g.: The media do not tell us what to think,but what to think about (agenda-setting theory)
  9. 9. Criteria for Evaluating Theory Accuracy Correctly summarizes the way communicationactually works Look at research studies that use the theoryand see whether the research supports thetheory or fails to support it.
  10. 10. Criteria for Evaluating Theory Practicality How well the theory can be used to addressreal-world communication problems A theory with more applications is better thana theory without practical uses Look for how the theory has been used in theresearch literature as well as a theory’sprofessional application
  11. 11. Criteria for Evaluating Theory Succinctness Is the theory formulated as simply aspossible? Compare how much of communication isexplained by the theory versus how manyconcepts are being used to explain it
  12. 12. Criteria for Evaluating Theory Consistency The most useful theories have internal andexternal consistency Internal consistency means that the ideas ofthe theory are logically built on one another External consistency refers to the theory’sconsistency with other widely acceptedbehaviors
  13. 13. Criteria for Evaluating Theory Acuity The ability of a theory to provide insight into anotherwise intricate issue You need to think, “Wow, I never realizedthat!”
  14. 14. Application: Case Study Case Study 1: Evaluating Groupthink How accurate is groupthink? How practical is groupthink? Is the theory appropriately succinct? Or is itoverly simple or overly complex? Is groupthink consistent with other theoriesabout group communication? Does itdemonstrate internal consistency? Does groupthink demonstrate acuity?
  15. 15. Criteria for Evaluating TheoryAccuracyAcuityPracticalitySuccinctness Consistency