Communication Theory (Linking Theories)


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  • Significant features: Engine that drives theory, common characteristic of messages, variable that’s related to the process of communication, outcome of symbolic interactionism
    What are the traditions?
    Communication Contexts: Interpersonal, group and public, mass, cultural
  • Communication Theory (Linking Theories)

    1. 1. Common Threads in Communication Theories Tara Wilkinson-McClean Media & Communication Lecturer
    2. 2. 10 Reoccurring Principles Motivation Self-Image Credibility Expectation Audience Adaptation Social Construction Shared Meaning Narrative Conflict Dialogue
    3. 3. 3 Principles of Thread It must be a It must be a significant significant feature in at feature in at least 5 least 5 different different theories theories It must span It must span 2 different 2 different traditions traditions It must apply It must apply to at least 2 to at least 2 communicatio communicatio n contexts n contexts
    4. 4. # 1 - Motivation Communication is motivated by our basic social need for affiliation, achievement, and control as well as our strong desire to reduce our uncertainty and anxiety.
    5. 5. Cause for Pause If we are driven by these forces, are we incredibly selfish and do we have any responsibility or free will?
    6. 6. # 2 - Self Image Communication affects and is affected by our sense of identity, which is strongly shaped within the context of our culture.
    7. 7. Cause for Pause Humans naturally commit a fundamental attribution error by being less stringent on themselves and more judgmental of others
    8. 8. # 3 - Credibility Our verbal and nonverbal messages are validated or discounted by others’ perception of our competence and character.
    9. 9. Cause for Pause Credibility may cause us to loose sight of the intrinsic value of what’s being said.
    10. 10. # 4 - Expectation What we expect to hear or see will affect our perception, interpretation, and response during an interaction.
    11. 11. Cause for Pause Expectations are projections of those perceptions into the future we anticipate a repeat performance.
    12. 12. # 5 - Audience Adaptation By mindfully creating a person-centered message specific to the situation, we increase the possibility of achieving our communication goals.
    13. 13. Cause for Pause Too much adaptation may mean we lose the authenticity of our message or the integrity of our own beliefs.
    14. 14. # 6 - Social Construction Persons-in-conversation co-construct their own social realities and are simultaneously shaped by the worlds they create.
    15. 15. Cause for Pause Is there a foundational reality that language can describe, however poorly? Are you willing to give up the notion of a Truth you can count on for a linguistically created social reality that has no existence apart from how it’s talked about?
    16. 16. # 7 - Shared Meaning Our communication is successful to the extent that we share a common interpretation of the signs we use.
    17. 17. Cause for Pause Shared interpretation is an accomplishment of the audience rather than the clarity of the message.
    18. 18. # 8 - Narrative We respond favorably to stories and dramatic imagery with which we can identify.
    19. 19. Cause for Pause There are bad stories that can effectively lead people astray or destroy others.
    20. 20. # 9 - Conflict Unjust communication stifles needed conflict; healthy communication can make conflict productive.
    21. 21. Cause for Pause Cultural considerations must be made. In societies where giving face to others is the cultural norm, straight talk creates great embarrassment.
    22. 22. # 10 - Dialogue Dialogue is transparent conversation that often creates unanticipated relational outcomes due to parties’ profound respect for disparate voices.
    23. 23. Cause for Pause Dialogue is hard to describe and even more difficult to achieve.