A FIRST LOOK AT
INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
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CHAPTER TOPICS
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Why We Communicate
The Process of Communication
Communication Principles and Misconceptions
The Nature of Interpersonal Communication
What Makes an Effective Communicator
Looking Out/Looking In
Thirteenth Edition
Why We Communicate
• Physical Needs
• Identity Needs
• Social Needs
• Practical Goals
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Why We Communicate
• Physical Needs
• Social isolation increases risk of:
• Coronary disease
• Rivals cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and lack of
physical activity
• Catching the common cold
• Premature death
• Positive communication and strong social ties
lead to better health
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Why We Communicate
• Identity Needs
• Identity comes from how we interact with
others
• Acting human is a learned process
• Messages influence our identity throughout
our lives
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Why We Communicate
• Social Needs
• Communication is used to:
• Obtain pleasure, affection, companionship,
relaxation, escape and control
• Create happier relationships and social lives
• Theorists argue that positive relationships
may be the most important source of human
satisfaction and emotional well-being
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Why We Communicate
• Practical Goals
• Getting others to behave in ways we want
• Communication is the tool that:
• Lets you explain your needs to the hair stylist
• Helps you negotiate household duties
• Is essential in virtually every career
• Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
• Physical, Safety, Social, Esteem and SelfActualization
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The Process of Communication
• A Linear View
• Communication is “done to” a receiver
Figure 1.1 Page 10
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The Process of Communication
• Linear Communication
• The model
• Suited to radio and television
• Created by scientists interested in electronic media
• Affected the way we think and talk about
communication
• Is there really only one sender and one
receiver?
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The Process of Communication
• A Transactional View
• Communication as a uniquely human process
Figure 1.2 Page 11
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The Process of Communication
• Transactional Communication
• The model
• Messages are sent and received at the same time
• Sender/Receiver become communicators
• Environments
• Physical location
• Personal experiences and cultural backgrounds
• Noise
• Internal as well as external noise is represented
• Channels retain significant role
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Principles and Misconceptions
• Principles
• Some communication is clearly intentional
• Communication can be unintentional
• Overhearing another's conversation
• How does the meaning change?
• Nonverbal Communication
• Unaware of your expressions
• Sour face, restlessness, sighs of boredom
• Unknowingly being observed
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Principles and Misconceptions
• Principles
• Communication is irreversible
• It is impossible to “unreceive” a message
• Think about “unsqueezing” a tube of toothpaste
• Words said and deeds done are irretrievable
• It’s impossible not to communicate
• Intentional and unintentional behaviors send a
message
• People who decode your message may not
interpret it accurately
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Principles and Misconceptions
• Principles
• Communication is unrepeatable
• Communication is an ongoing process
• It is impossible to repeat the same event
• If attempted, the act of repetition will change the intended
meaning
• Both communicators have changed because they have
lived longer
• The “same” words and behaviors are different
each time they are spoken or performed
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Principles and Misconceptions
• Principles
• Content and relational dimension
• Content dimension
• Involves the information being explicitly discussed
• Relational dimension
• Involves how you feel about the other person
• Like or dislike
• In control or subordinate
• Comfortable or anxious
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Principles and Misconceptions
• Misconceptions
• More communication is not always better
• Excessive communication can be unproductive
and can also backfire
• Pestering a potential employer about a job prospect
• Texting too many “call me” messages
• Meanings are not in the words
• Saying something is not the same as
communicating it
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Principals and Misconceptions
• Misconceptions
• Communication and shared understanding
• Successful communication doesn’t always involve
shared understanding
• Being deliberately vague
• Sacrificing clarity to spare another's feelings
• More satisfying relationships can sometimes come
from less-than-perfect understanding
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Principals and Misconceptions
• Misconceptions
• People/Events do not cause another’s
reaction
• Communication is transactional, ongoing and
collaborative
• Communication does not occur in a vacuum
• Communication will not solve all problems
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The Nature of Interpersonal
Communication
• Two Views of Interpersonal
Communication
• Quantitative Communication
• Any interaction between two people, usually face
to face
• Can be considered routine or impersonal
• Qualitative Communication
• Occurs when we treat others as unique individuals
regardless of context or the number of people
involved
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The Nature of Interpersonal
Communication
• Aspects of Qualitative Communication
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Uniqueness
Irreplaceability
Interdependence
Disclosure
Intrinsic Rewards
The scarcity of quality interpersonal
communication contributes to its value
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The Nature of Interpersonal
Communication
• Mediated Interpersonal Communication
• Mediated Channels
• Instant Messaging, emailing, blogging, Twittering
• Social networks
• Facebook
• MySpace
• The difference between face-to-face and
virtual relationships is eroding
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The Nature of Interpersonal
Communication
• Mediated Interpersonal Communication
• Benefits
• Internet users have more social networks than
nonusers
• Computer-based communication encourages
offline interaction by keeping relationships active
• Text-only messages can:
• Bring people closer by minimizing the perception of
differences
• Stimulate both self-disclosure and direct questioning
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The Nature of Interpersonal
Communication
• Mediated Interpersonal Communication
• Challenges
• Leaner Messages
• Face-to-face messages are rich with nonverbal cues
• Without nonverbal cues, online communicators can
create idealized images of one another
• Disinhibition
• Sending messages without considering the consequence
• Messages tend to be more direct and often critical
• Permanence
• Messages can be archived virtually forever
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What Makes an Effective
Communicator
• Communication Competence
• There is no ideal way to communicate
• A variety of communication styles can be effective
• You can always learn new styles of communication
• Competence is:
• Situational
• Relational
• Competence varies from one situation and
person to another
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What Makes an Effective
Communicator
• Competent Communicator Characteristics
• Behaviors
• Possessing a wide range of behaviors
• Ability to chose appropriate behavior based on:
• Context
• Goals
• Knowledge of the other person
• Skill at performing behaviors
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What Makes an Effective
Communicator
• Competent Communicator Characteristics
• Cognitive Complexity
• The ability to construct a variety of frameworks for
viewing an issue or situation
• Empathy
• Feeling and experiencing another's situation
• Self-Monitoring
• High Self-Monitoring
• Low Self-Monitoring
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What Makes an Effective
Communicator
• Competent Communicator Characteristics
• Intercultural Communication
• National Differences
• Ethnic Differences
• Co-cultures
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Age
Occupation
Sexual orientation
Religion
Physical disability
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What Makes an Effective
Communicator
• Competent Communicator Characteristics
• Motivation
• The desire to communicate successfully
• Tolerance and Open-mindedness
• Communicating across cultures can be confusing
• Knowledge and Skill
• Passive observation
• Active strategies
• Self-disclosure
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Chapter Review
• Why We Communicate
• The Process of Communication
• Communication Principles and
Misconceptions
• The Nature of Interpersonal
Communication
• What Makes an Effective Communicator
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