Examples Of Interpersonal Communication Theories

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CMM: Pearce and Cronen
Persons in conversation co-construct their own social realities
Episode: sequence of speech acts
Relationship, identity, culture

CMC: Walther
Text messages
Computer communication
Verbal cues

Symbolic Interactionism: Mead
The looking glass self
I vs. Me
Generalized other: composite mental image a person has of him/herself
Self-fulfilling prophesy

EVT: Judee Burgoon
Personal space
Threat threshold: the hypothetical boundary of intimate space
Expectancy: what people predict will happen, rather than what they desire.
Violation Valence:+ or – value assigned to a breach of expectations.
Reward valence: potential reward or punishment of the future
Interaction adaption theory: How people adjust their behavior when theirs doesn’t mesh with what is needed

Social Penetration Theory: Altman and Taylor
Breadth and depth
Process of developing deeper intimacy.
Personality structure: onion-like layers of beliefs and feelings about self, others, and the world
Self-disclosure: sharing of oneself
Law of reciprocity: openness in one person leads to openness in another

Social Exchange Theory: Kelly and Thibeault
Exchange of rewards/costs to quantify the value of outcomes

Relational Dialects: Baxter and Montgomery
Internal dialectic: within relationship

External Dialectic: between couple and community

Dialogic chain- the building block of meaning. An utterance chain
S.I: switching back and forth between two contrasting voices
Segmentation: compartmentalizing tactic by which partners isolate different aspects of their relationship

ELM: Petty and Cacioppo
Central route
Peripheral route
Message elaboration: the extent to which a person actually think about the issue

Social Judgement Theory: Sherif
Perception and evaluation of an idea by comparing it with current attitudes
Boomerang effect: attitude change in different direction of what message advocates
Latitude of rejection: the range of ideas that a person sees as unreasonable or objectionable
High-ego involvement: importance or centrality of an issue to a person’s life, often demonstrated by membership in a group with a known stand
Latitude of non-commitment

Dogmatic people have a very small latitude


Critical Theory: Deetz
Managerialism: systematic logic, set of routine practices, and ideology that values control over all other concerns.
Consent: employees unknowingly accomplish managerial interests in a faulty attempt to fulfill their own.


Aristotle: logos, pathos, ethos
Logos: logic
Pathos: emotional
Ethos: ethical
Invention, Arrangement, Style, Delivery
Memory added later

Burke: dramatistic
Victimage, mortification, purification, redemption

Devil term: the word speakers use that sums up all that is regarded as bad, wrong, or evil
God Term: the word speakers use to which all other words are subservient

Fisher: Narrative as basis of all human communication
People are storytellers
Make decisions on basis of good reasons.
The world is a set of stories from which we choose

Coherence: internal consistency with characters acting in a reliable fasion; the story hangs together
Fidelity: congruence between values embedded in a message and what listeners regard as truthful and humane


McLuhan: Media Ecology
Symbolic environment: the socially constructed, sensory world of meanings
Media: generic term for all human invented technology
Medium: specific type of media
Media ecology: the study of different personal and social environments created by the use of different communication technologies.
Tribal age, literate age, print age, electronic age