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69 Cards in this Set

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Theory
An umbrealla term an umberella term for all careful, systematic and self-conscious discussion and analysis of communication phenomena

-a set of systematic hunches about the way things operate
Theories as Nets
Theories are nets cast to catch what we call “the world..we endeavor to make the mesh ever finer and finer”-Karl Popper
• The world can be interpreted as everything that goes on under the sun which would require a grand theory that applies to all communication at all times
• Catching the world would call for numerous special theories
• This metaphor only calls for a school of fish, but has the idea that theories could be woven so tightly that they’d snag everything humans think, say or do—very niave
Theories as Lenses
Theorists see their theoretical constructions as similar to a camera or glasses lens
• Lens imagery highlights the idea that theories shape our perception by focusing attention on some features of communication while ignoring other features of communication or at least putting them in the background
• Danger in this metaphor is that we might regard what is seen through the glass as so dependent on the theoretical stance of the viewer that we abandon any attempt to discern what is real or true
Theories as Maps
Communication theories are maps of the way communication works
• Problem with this is that a static theory could never fully portray the richness of the interaction between people that is constantly changing, always more vaired and inevitably more complicated then what any theory can chart
Communication
the relational process of creating and interpreting messages that elicit a response
5 features of messages
1. messages
2. creation of messages
3. interpretation of messages
4. A relational Process
5. message elicit a response
Communication is a relational process
-communication is a process
• the flow of communication is always in flux, never the same and can only be described with reference to what went before and what is yet to come
• relational process b/c it take place b/w two or more people, and b/c it affects the nature of the connections among those people
o the way you say something can affect your relationship
What's communication made of
source
encoding
message
channel
receiver
decoding
noise
feedback
source
transmits/encodes message
encoding
the process of taking an already conceived idea and getting it ready for transmission
message
the stimulus that the source transmits to the receiver
channel
means by which the message is conveyed
Receiver
decodes the message
decoding
the process of taking the stimuli that have been received and giving them meaning through the individual interpretation and perception
Noise
-anything not intended by the information source. It INHIBITS the receivers accurate reception of the message
• Types:
semantic-not understanding
• Physical/external
• Psychological-going on in head that interferes w/ decoding
• Physiological-example: pain, distraction
Feedback
occurs throughout communication process. Messages we send back to the “source”
• Verbal or non verbal
• Immediate/ delayed (mass communication)
• Accurate feedback is important to communication improvement
•Honest
Behavioral Scientist
A scholar who applies the scientific method to describe, predict, and explain recurring forms of human behavior
o Training in empirical science and conduct experiments
Rhetorician
- A scholar who studies the ways in which symbolic forms can be used to identify with people or persuade them toward a different point of view
o Trained in rhetorical theory and critcism and interpret text
Objective Approach
The assumption that the truth is singular and is accessible through unbiased sensory observation
• Committed to uncovering cause-and-effect relationships
• Explain and predict
• Source Credibility Theory: Perceived competence and trustwortiness of a speaker or writer that affects how the message is received
• Identification: people who forge a bond of identification with a highly attractive figure like Manning will gladly embrace his persuasive pitch
• Although Manning is a celeb, objective theorists just don’t assume his opinion is right, so they would run an experiement to see if the ad was successful
Interpretative Approach
The linguistic work of assigning meaning or value to the communicative texts; assumes that multiple meanings or truths are possible
• Would see Manning’s master card as associating money with maniliness
• Burke’s Dramatistic Pentad- a 5 pronged method of rhetorical criticism to analyze a speakers persuasive strategy-act, scene, agent, agency, purpose
• As drama develops, the symbolic action moves through different stages all coming to the fact that manliness is money
• Getting a mastercard is a way of symbolically identifying the tough guys and achieving victory
Epistemology
The study of the origin, nature, method and limits of knowledge, how do we know what we know?
Determinism
The assumption that behavior is caused by heredity and environment
What makes an objective theory good?
o Relative simplicity, testability, practical utility, quantifiable research, explain events, predict future
Objective theory standard: Explanantion of data
o goes beyond raw data and explains why
o The reason something happens is just as important as the fact that it happens
o Makes order out of chaos
o Helps us see what’s important
Objective theory standard: Prediction of future events
o In form of a hypothesis
o Theories can predict the type of communication that triggers a particular response
Objective standard-relative simplicity
o as simple as possible
o Rule of Parsimony- given two plausibly explanations for the same event, we should accept the simpler version
objective standard-hypothesis should be testable
testability
o Falsifiability-the requirement that a scientific theory must be stated in such a way that it can be tested and disproved if it is indeed wrong
• If there’s no way to prove that the theory is false then any claim that it’s true is hollow
o Some theories are difficult to test b/c they lack simplicity
objective theory standard- Practical Utility
o Over time a good theory is useful
o People should be able to benefit from the theory if it pertains to them
Objective standard-Quantitative Research
o Scientists appeal to numbers
o Compare these results with those, this experiement with that experiement
o Experiment-A research method that manipulates a variable in a tightly controlled situation in order to find out if it has the predicted effect
• Uses experiments to establish a cause and effect relationship by systematically manipulating one factor in a tighly controlled situaion to learn its effect on another factor
o Surveys- Research method that uses questionnaires and structured interviews to collect self-reported data that reflects what respondents think, feel or intend to do
What makes an Interpretative theory good
create understanding, identify values, inspire aesthetic appreciation, stimulate agreement, reform society and conduct qualitative research
Interpretative standard-new understanding of people
o Good if it offers a fresh new insight into the human condition
o Analyze activity that is regarded as uniquely human
o Observes a one of a kind speech community that exhibits a specific language style
• By doing so, the researcher hopes to develop an understanding of local knowledge or members’ unique rules for interaction
o Personal beliefs can come into context
INTERPRETATIVE standard-clarification of values
o Brings peoples values into the open
o Scholars reveal their own beliefs/ethical standards in their studies
o Common values among scholars include individual freedom and equality
Interpretitive standard-aesthetic appeal
o The way a theory is presented is just as important as the theory itself
o Content and style make a difference
o More room for creativity
o Should sound engaging and be clear
interpretative standard-community agreement
o how much support it gets within a community of scholars who are interested and knowledgable about the same type of communication
o Must be critiques by a broader community of scholars
interpretative standard-reform of society
o generates change
o Can have an impact on society
o Reject permanenet truth/meaning
interpretative standard-Qualitative Research
o Interpretive scholars use words to support their theories
7 traditions of theory
o These traditions offer a distinct, alternative vocab that describe different ways of conceptualizing communication problems and practices
socio psychological tradition
o Communication as interpersonal interaction and influence
o Objective perspective
o Believe in communication truths that can be discovered through careful, systematic observation
o Look for cause/effect relationships
o Seek to answer: how can I get others to change?
o Carl Hovland-founding father on research on effects: who says what to whom with what effects?
• Found: source credibility
• Effects wear off over time
• Must re-establish link with audience and source
cybernetic tradition
o Communication as a system of information processing
o How does the system work? What could change it? How can we get the bugs out?
o Regards communication as the link connecting the separate parts of any system
o Claude Shannon-information is the reduction of uncertainty, what the “other” doesn’t know
rhetorical tradition
o Communication as Artful, Public Address
• Speech distinguishes humans from other animals
• Public address delivered in a democratic form is more effective way of problem solving then rule by decree or resorting to force
• Effective communication requires audience adaptation
• Oratorical training-speakers need to deliver strong arguments in powerful voices
• Power and beauty of language to move people
• Oral and public persuasion as the province of males
• Source contention-how valuable is the study and practice in the development of effective public speakers
semiotic tradition
o Communication as the process of sharing meaning through signs
o Symbols-arbitrary words and non verbal signs that bear no natural connection with the things they describe; their meaning is learned within a given culture
o Words are arbitrary symbols with no inherent meaning
o Scholars in this tradition focus on the way signs mediate meaning and how they can be used to avoid misunderstanding
socio cultural tradition
o Communication as the creation and enactment of social reality
o Premise-people talk, they produce and reproduce culture
o Our view of reality is shaped by the language we’ve used since we were infants
o Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis-the claim that the structure of language shapes what people think and do’ the social construction of reality
o “persons in reality co-construct their own social worlds”
critical tradition
o Communication as a Reflective Challenge of Unjust Discourse
• Theorists condemn any use of words that inhibits emancipation
• Theorists see the culture industries of TV, flim, MP3 etc as reproducing the dominant ideaology of culture and distracting people from recognizing the unjust distribution of power within a society
• Theorists are suspicious of empirical work
• Concerned with injustice, power, language dominance and oppression
• Critique social order
• Who/what are the principle forces on social order?
phenomenological tradition
• Communication as the Experience of Self and Others through Dialouge
• Emphasizes peoples perception and interpretation of their own experience
• Individuals story is more important
• Problem: no 2 people have the same story
• Ask: why is it so hard to establish and sustain authentic human relationships? How can this problem be overcome
phenomenology
ntentional analysis of everyday experience from the standpoint of the person living it; explores the possibility of understanding the experiences of self and others
Ethical Tradition
o Truth honesty accuracy and reason are essential to tradition
o Strive for understanding and respect for others
o Accept long and short term responsibility consequences of our own communication
Pragmatism
an applied approach to knowledge; the philosophy that true understanding of an idea or situation has pratical implications for action
symbolic interactionalism
The ongoing use of language and gestures in anticipation of how others will react; conversation
o Focuses on the relationship between symbols and interactions
3 principles of symbolic interactionism
meaning thinking language
Principle of symbolic interactionism: MEANING
o The construction of social reality
o Humans act toward people or things on the basis of the meanings they assign to these people or things
o Once people define a situation as real, it’s very real in its consequences
o Each person creates their own social reality
principle of symbolic interactionism: LANGUAGE
o The source of meaning
o Meaning arises out of the social interaction that people have with each other
o Meaning is negotiated through the use of language
o Occasionally words sound like their meaning but for the most part they have no logical connection with the object at hand
o Mead-symbolic naming is the basis of society
o Human intelligence is the ability to symbolically idenfify much of what we encounter
principle of symbolic interactionism: THINKING
o The process of taking the role of others
o Individuals interpretation of symbols is modified by his own thought process
o Inner conversation (minding)
o Language is the software that activates the mind, but it doesn’t come pre-installed
o Humans can take the role of another-we always have an eye as to how other see us
the self: symbolic interactionism
o Reflections in a looking glass
o Meaning language and thinking
o We create our self image by taking the role of the other (looking glass self)
oa function of langauge-without talk there would be no self concept
• We identify who we are by our interactions with others
o always in flux
o n ongoing process trying to connect the “I” (spontaneous unpredictable) with the “me” (the object seen the looking glass self)
society: symbolic interactionism
o The socializing effect of others expectations
o Generalized other- the composite mental image a person has of his/her self based on societal expectations and responses
• We get our generalized other from our community
o There is no “me” at birth, the “me” comes from symbolic interaction
symbolic interaction applied
meaningful research, naming, self fulfilling prophecy, symbol manipulation
strengths of SIT
o Clarification of values
o Understanding of people
o Stands test of time
o Broad “appeal
criticism of SIT
o Lack of utility—too much focus on individual
o Fails to explain emotions and self-esteem
o Doesn’t define “I” clearly
o Doesn’t explain devient communicative behavior
o Doesn’t call for a reform of society
Expectancy Violations Theory
ocuses on structure of non-verbal messages especially proxemics
Proxemics
the study of peoples use of a space as a special elaboration of culture- the way we use space to communicate
o Americans have 4 interpersonal distances
o Intimate-0-18 inches
o Personal-18 inches -4ft
o Social-4-10 feet
o Public-10 feet-infinity
dialectical tensions
o Competing needs for space
o We have a need to be around people and associated with them (affiliation)
o We have a need to be alone (privacy)
terriortiality
o A persons ownership of an area or object
o Altman (1975) identifies 3 types of territories
• Primary-we own it, associated with us we will protect and defned it
• Secondary-we don’t own it but still associated with it-will stil defned but not as much
• Public-open to everyone, will not defend
3 assumptions of EVT
• expectancies drive human interaction
• expectancies are learned: from- prior knowledge, relational history with others
• people make predictions about nonverbal behavior
• Expectancy
3 core principles of EVT
o expectancy, violation valence, communicator reward valence
core principle of EVT: expectancy
o Can be verbal/non verbal
o Are learned from prior
o What people predict will happen rather than what they desire
o Context-cultural norms cause our expectancies, includes settings of the coversation
o Relationships-factors include similarity, familiarity, liking and relative status
• A study shows that people in high statures of life anticipate people of lower class to stay away from them
o Communicator characteristics-age/sex/place of birth, demographics, physical appearance etc
core principle of EVT: violation valence
o The perceived positive or negative value assigned to the breach of expectations, regardless of who the violator is
• Thoughts about the ACT
o First we interpret the meaning of the violation then we figure out if we like it
• When a behavior is socially recognizable, communicators can usually figure out when to go beyond what others expect
• When the meaning of an action is unclear, EVT says that we interpret the violation in light of how the violator an affect our lives
core principle of EVT: communicator reward valence
o The issue of reward potential moves from the background to the foreground of our minds when someone violates our expectations an theres no social consensus as to the meaning of the act
o The sum of the positive and negative attriubutes brought to the encounter plus the potential reward or punish in the future
Arousal
o A heightened state of awareness that comes about when deviations from expectations occur
Sapir Whorf Hypothesis
the claim that the structure of language shapes what we think and do
generalized other
the mental image someone has on herself based on societal expectations