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93 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
goals of a theory
waht is a theory?
explanation or representation of a phenomenon (littlejohn)
set of constructs, definitions, propositions
based on systematic observation
to represent, explain...
theory vs hypothesis
broad/general explanation or representation of a phenomenon
applies to variety of situations

guided by a theory
tests specific relationships between specific variables
way to construct a theory

make observations
generalize from observations
create theory
way to construct a theory

examine existing theory
derive testable hypotheses
make observations
world view
ways of knowing
framework for and application of theory and meta-theoretical concepts
guides us through applying theories
social scientific/objective/nomothetic/positivistic paradigm
reality exists outside individual
attempt to discover (this reality) objectively and quantitatively
Deterministic: Actions determined by probable cause and Effect Relationship
- expect certain reactions from certain actions

-focusing on only certain aspects
-distilling down to essence
interpretive/humanistic/practical Subjective Paradigm
reality is created by individual
known depends upon knower
subjective interpretation valued
goal is rich understanding of individual experience
actions determined by choice
practical (unique) qualitative
social scientific
nomothetic (Patterns) quantitative
a theoretical approach to theorizing
nature of reality - truth out there or within the individual?

is it real?
Nature of Knowledge

how do we know?
roles of values

to what degree should researchers attempt to be objective or allow their own values to influence their research
attribution theory
we act in accordance with explanations that we create about people and behavior
context of attribution theory
interpersonal applies to multiple levels and functions
major premise of attribution theory
peple attempt ot determine causes of behavior
people assign causes based on own perceptions
people assign causes systematically based upon 3 dimensions
3 dimensions people assign cause through attribution theory
location of cause

stability of cause

Controllability ( to what degree is a person able to control what they do)
-person can affect case
-person cannot affect cause
What guides feelings and behaviors?
attribution theory


new information can change attributions
Two Biases in Attribution Process
Fundamental Attribution Error
- tend to exlain negative outcomes by applying internal attributions to others, external attributions to ourselves

self-serving bias
-we associate our own success w/internal attribution
-failure w/external attribution
Research Studies on Attribution Theory

-attributions about product/claims and/or seller influence buying behavior
-internal cause = product creates result
-stability= long term reliability
-control=consumer choice whether to buy and use
strengths of attribution theory
practical applications
weaknesses of attribution theory
falsifiability - its all in your head, cant prove what the people disclose as false
cognitive dissonance
people seek consonance among cognitive elements
context of cognitive dissonance
general theory crosses contexts
persuasive function
relationships among cognitive elements
consonant - in harmony with one another



new information can cause dissonance

dissonance produces pressure to reduce it
magnitude of dissonance

increases with:
important issues
attractive alternative if mutually exclusive
two good things, but can only do one
magnitude of dissonance

decreases with:
satisfaction of choice
similarity among alternatives
strategies to minimize dissonance
selective exposure: reduce conflicting stimuli

selective attention: focus on chosen stimuli

selective interpreatation- distort facts to make them a little more like you would like them to be

selective retention- i am just not going to think about it
strengths of cognitive dissonance
internal consistency - logical, doesnt contradict itself

external consistency- gather datea in ther eal world they theory sitll gets supported consistently

practical utility
weaknesses of cognitive dissonance
low falsifiability
Social Judgment Theory
attitudes remain stable until challenged
--attitude changes depend upon initial orientaiton (anchor point)
context of social judgment theory
interpersonal, group, organizational
function of social judgment theory
key concepts of social judgment theory
three latitudes/ranges of attitudes
1. acceptance
2. rejection
3. non-commitment
ego-involvement in social judgment theory
reduces latitude of acceptance
enlarges latitude of rejection
receiver distorts source's position
contrast effect in social judgment
less like own attitudes, beliefs
assimilation effect in social judgment
more like own attitude, beliefs
strengths of social judgment theory
internal consistency
external consistency support fom data
weaknesses of social judgment theory
limited scope - doesnt explain much

can only look at one issue at a time

low predictive power without pre-test
Theory of Lingustic Relativity (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis)
language shapes perceptions of reality

old riddle regarding mother being a surgeon - back in the day it was a tough riddle because surgeons were always thought of as males - hard to grasp - shaped their reality
constructivism theory is based on Kelly's Personal Construct Theory...
we create cognitive opposites to help understand the world

they are like continuums with extremes

more experience we have, the more constructs we have
Major Premises of Constructivism
We build a personal knowledge base from our experiences by transforming them into mental structures (constructs) that we use to interpret social objects and events

greater cognitive complexity leads to greater ability to communicate strategically/rhetorically with others
context of constructivism
interpersonal, message creation
personal construct system (constructivism)
constructs are organized within interpretive schemes that develop over time - start simple & general - work up to complex and specific

based upon culture, socialization w/others, cognitive development, & cognitive ability - children have less complexity than adults
the key to creation of strategic/person-centered messages

must be able to put self into their shoes - havethe same constructs as them - helps us to understnad others constructions of reality
3 stage process of message creation (constructivism)
goal identificaiton - multiple
planning - from records in memory
action - implementation
Expressive Design Logic (constructivism)
emote and verbalize own thoughts, feelings

no planning, no goal, just get it out - mind dump
conventional design logic (constructivism)
abide by the social rules, gain social approval

please, thank you, ask at appropriate time
rhetorical (strategic/person-centered) design logic (constructivism)
structure reality and meet multiple goals
Strength of Constructivism
practical utility - compliance gaiing
-comfort messages
-orgaizational effectiveness
-relationship maintenance

internally consistent
externally consistent
weaknesses of constructivism
reliance on Role Category Questionnaire
Symbolic Interactionism
personal identity is shaped by and guides interaction with others

through the use of symbols (language and gestures)
Main Premises of Symbolic Interactionism

symbolized by language
dynamic effect of langauge
Main Premises of Symbolic Interactionism

Meanings, including self-concept, formed by:
interacting symbolically (langauge and gestures) with others

interpreting interactions
Main Premise of SI:

Thought Modifies Meaning
example: Linkdin example
Three part communicative force:

mind (SI)
intellect, symbolizes, perceives, thinks, anticipates, plans

college students do this a lot
Three part communicative force:

dual self process

the "I"
-the active part of the self the"beahves"
-impulsive, unorganized, unpredictable

the "me"
-the "looking-glass self" reflects what you imagine others see
-requires taking the rold of then "generalized other"
----waht do these people think of me
----interacted with and the feedback they give
-aware of conventions, rules
-self-fulfilling prophecy (what I say to self)
-pygmalion effect (what I hear others say to me)
Three part communicative force:

web of social realitonships
individuals adjust themselves to each other
particular others = "significant others"
generalized other viewpoint of large group or culture
research that demonstrates utility of SI
creation of institutions that are meaningful to group, society, as a whole
-military & politics

self-concept research
strengths of SI
broad scope
weaknesses of SI
questions regarding internal consistency
a criterion for evaluating theories; refers to the breadth of cx behaviors covered in the theory
logical consistency
criteria for evaluating theories; refers to the internal loginc in the theoretical statements
the simplicity of the explanation provided by the teory
the thoery's usefulness of practicalness
testability (falsifiability)
refers to our ability to test the accuracy of a theory's claims
the amount of research and new thinking stimulated by the theory
test of time
durability over time
Coordinated Management of Meaning
communication is the process of creating and maintaing social reality through shared meaning

mulitple realites - together create a new reality
personal meaning - CMM
the meanings that a person brings to the conversaiton - unique experience
interpersonal meaning - CMM
the meaning that results when the communicators agree on each other's interpretations of an interaction

a result of the conversation
Rules of CMM
rules of meaning (constitutive)
-what does this speech act mean in this context?

rules of action (regulatory)
-based upon my interpretation, what should Ido next?
Coordination of Meaning
Try to make sense of the sequence of messages in their conversation

a process of attempting to make sense of interaction by using rules to navigate the hierarchy of contexts
--complete/perfect coordination: shared meaning
--partial coordination: some shared meaning
--no coordination: different meanings
6 levels of meaning
all levels happen simultaneously

speech acts
life scripts
cultural patterns
Content (most specifc) CMM
raw data
- un-interpreted stimuli

first step of converting data into meaning
speech acts CMM
communication of the speakers intention
contract (relationship) CMM
the relationship or understnaidng between people
help set guidleines and prescribe behavior
suggest a future
communicate relational boundaries
especially important when discussing difficult issues
episodes CMM
cx routines that have recognized beginnings, middles, and endings
individuals may differ in how they punctuate or emphasize an episode
people bring many cultural expectations for how an episode should be executed
life scripts (self) CMM
clusters of past or present episodes that create a system of manageable meanings with others
a life script is an individuals sense of self that both shapes and is shaped by cx
influences of the coordination process of CMM
resources available to an individual
-images that people use to make sense of their world

the rules
applications of CMM
marriage and family counseling
strengths of CMM
internal consistency
high explanatory power/broad scope
weaknesses of cmm
uncertainty reduction theory
people seek information in order to understand and predict others' behaviors
3 phases in intial interaction
entry - small talk
personal - interst with person, exchanging more info
exit - good bye, leave convo
Motivations for info seeking URT
reward/incentive value
anticipation of future interaction
---intrigued by them
Two Types of Uncertainty
cognitive: beliefs and attitudes
behavioral: predictability of actions
Strategies for Reducing Uncertainty
passive: observing
active:asking about person
interactive: speaking directly to the person
Axioms and Theorems
7 axioms 21 theorems
two additional axioms
makes 9!!
strength of URT
external consistency
weaknesses of URT
internal consistency
parsimony - deeper in the theory