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74 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
social penetration
the process of developing deeper intimacy with another person through mutual self-disclosure and other forms of vulnerability
Personality Structure
A multilayered onion like structure of beliefs and feelings about self, others, and the world; deeper layers are more vulnerable, protected and central to self image
• Structure of personality
• Outer layer-public self that’s accessible to anyone who cares to look
• Details of who you are
• Inner core-made up of values, self concept, unresolved conflicts and deeply felt emotions
• Very private domain
-the voluntary sharing of personal history, preferences, attitudes, feelings, values, secrets etc with another person; transparency
• In the onion metaphore, to get to the center the layeres must first be peeled
Depth of penetration
the degree of disclosure in a specific area of an individuals life
• Degree of intimacy
4 processes that will bring peopel to be closef friends
peripherial, self-disclosure, penetration, depentration
law of Reciprocity
A paced and orderly process in which openness in one person leads to openness in the other; you tell me your dream I’ll tell you mine
items are exchanged more frequently and sooner then private information
o relationship is still at a relatively impersonal level
o conversations rarely include details about people
self disclosure as one of the four processes
reciprocal, especially in the early stages of relationship development
o new acquantances will reach roughly equal levels of openness, but it doesn’t explain why
o maybe because of a give and take exchange, one person opens up so the other feels that she should open up as well
o Law of Reciprocity- A paced and orderly process in which openness in one person leads to openness in the other; you tell me your dream I’ll tell you mine
is rapid at the start but sows down quickly as the tightly unwrapped inner layers are reached
o instant intimacy is a myth
o social norms tell us not to tell too much too fast
o most relationships stall before a stable intimate exchange is established
is a gradual process of layer-by-layer withdrawl
o relationships will fall if people begin to close off areas that were once open
o relational retreat-a sort of taking back of what has earlier been exchanged in the building of a relationship
• ex: movie shown in reverse
o breadth of penetration- the range of areas in an individuals life over which disclosure takes place
• talking about all intimate detials of a relationship w/ a friend but leaving out family issues
o depth without breadth
cost and rewards
• Relationships depend on the cost benefit anaylsis that each member performs as they consider the possibility of a closer relationship
• Sort the pluses and minuses
• If the benefits outweight the costs social penetration will proceed
Social Exchange Theory
relationship behavior and status regulated by both parties’ evaluations of perceived rewards and costs of interaction with each other
Relational Outcome
the perceived rewards minus the cost of interpersonal interaction
• people try to predict the outcome of an interaction before it takes place
• Mentally gayges the potential rewards and costs of a relationship
• Minimax Principle of Human Behavior- people seek to maximize benefits and minimize costs
• we have a good sense to choose the action that will provide the best result—opening up or not opening up
• we decide to open up using the benefit minus cost outcome
• early in the relationship we see physical appearance, similar backgrounds and mutual agreements as attractive
2 standards of comparison
Comparison level (CL) Comparison level of alternatives
Comparison Level
the threshold above which an interpersonal outcome seems attractive; a standard for relational satisfaction
• A relational result only has meaning when we contrast it with other real or imaged outcomes—we compare it the baseline of past experience
• how happy or sad an interpersonal outcome makes a participant feel
• ex: Pete usually talks to his gf on the phone for 30 minutes, but if he has time he talks for 45 minutes and that seems especially gratifying
• he also has expectations about what they’ll talk about
• ^^what Pete using the guage is satisfaction with the interaction
• sequence plays a role in evaluating a relationship
• 1 bad experience out of 2 can cause a relationship to end before it begins
• trends are important-if we sense coolness at first and then warmth and approval the relationship will succeed higher then if those positive vibes were seen at first
Comparison Level of Alternatives
the best outcome available in other relationships; a standard for relational stability
• Would my relational payoff be better with another person? And what is the worst outcome I’ll put up with and still stay in the present relationship?
• As more attractive outside possibilites become available, or existenet outcomes slide below the established CLalt, then relational instability increases
• ^^Theory of economic behavior-this social exhange reads like a stock market analysis
• CLalt can explain why people stay in relationships
• Ex: a woman stays in a battered relationship because to her being alone seems worse
• Social exchange theory explains the process for social penetration
ethical egoism
the belief that an individual should live her life so as to maximize her own pleasure and minimize own pain
• All of us are motivated by self interest
• We SHOULD act selfishly
the need to claim things as our own
o Altman found that students who honored their territoriality were more likely to remain in college
o This shows that the onion of social penetration includes both our mind and our physical space
o Also students who left the university failed to leave their dorm rooms for time alone
o Students who stayed decorated their walls with images reflecting their identity
Critique to Social Penetration theory
• Self disclosure CAN lead to intimacy but a person may reveal things to vent, for self expression or to gain relational control
• The speaker doesn’t desire or achieve a bond
• The onion layer poses fixed boundries—our privacy boundaries are personally created and often shifting
• Cost and reward analysis—too simple
dimensions of intimacy
Shared activities
assumptions of SPT
Relationships progress from non-intimate to intimate

Relational development is generally systematic and predictable
Relational development includes depenetration and dissolution

Self-disclosure is at the core of relationship development
Strategic (planned) disclosures
Nonstrategic (spontaneous) disclosures
strengths of SPT
Useful and versatile
Application to a variety of contexts

Spawned hundreds of studies

Simple and straightforward
Scope of SPT
Self-disclosure is too narrowly interpreted (Derlega et al, 1993)
View of relationship development is too linear (Knapp & Vangelisti, 2005)
A relationship is more than self-disclosure (Baxter & Sahlstein, 2000)
View of relationship disengagement is too linear (Baxter, 1984
stages of SPT
orientation, exploratory affective exchange, affective exchange stable exchange
Reveal small parts of ourselves
Public level
Communication is superficial
Norms of appropriateness are followed
Exploratory effective exchange
Aspects of one’s personality emerge
Some private aspects become public
More spontaneous communication
More nonverbal communication
Common with casual acquaintances
affective exchange
Spontaneous and comfortable communication
Individuals make quick decisions about communication
Personal idioms used
Positive and negative exchanges are possible
Common between close friends and intimate partners
stable exchange
Complete openness and spontaneity
Partners are highly intimate and synchronized
Fewer misinterpretations
Distinctive relationship qualities emerge
Common in few relationships
Uncertainty Reduction
increased knowledge of hat kind of person another is, which provides as improved forecast of how a future interaction will turn out
o Its natural to have doubts about our ability to predict the outcome of initial encounters
o URT focuses on how human communicayion is used to gain knowledge and create understanding
Our drive to reduce uncertiany about new acquaintences gets a boost from any of the 3 prior conditions
Anticipation of future actions- we know we will see them again
• 2.) Incentive Value-they have something we want
• 3.) Deviance-they act in a weird way
Attribution Theory
a systematic explanation of how people draw inferences about the character of others based upon observed behavior
• we want to predict AND explain
a self evident truth that requires no additional proof
• Ex: what goes up must come down
explain connections between central concept of uncertainty and eight key variables of relationship development (verbal communication, similarity, liking, shared networks, nonverbal warmth, information seeking, self-disclosing)
axioms of URT
Verbal Communication-as the level of verbal communication b/w strangers increases, the level on uncertainty for each interactant in the relationship will decrease
o 2- Non-verbal Warmth-As nonverbal affiliative expressiveness increases, uncertainty levels will decrease in an initial interaction situation
o 3-Information Seeking-high levels of uncertainty cause increases in information seeking behavior
• as uncertainty decreases, information seeking behavior decreases
o 4-Self-Disclosure-low levels of uncertainty produce high levels of intimacy
o 5-Recriprocity- high levels of uncertainty produce high rates of reciprocity
• if I tell you something then you will feel obligated to tell me something
o 6-Similarity- similarities b/w persons reduce uncertainty rates, while dissimilarites produce increase uncertainty
o 7-Liking: increase in uncertainty will decrease liking
• the more you find out about a person the more you appreciate who they are
o 8-Shared Networks- shared communication networks reduce uncertainty, while lack of shared networks increase uncertainty
• Theorems: The Logical Force of Uncertainty Axioms
o Theorem: a proposition that logically and necessarily follows from 2 axioms
o Once we reach all 8 axioms, we pair 2 together to produce additional insight into relational dynamics
• If A=B, and B=C, then A=c
• Berger does this with every theoerm, creating 28 theorems
• If similarity reduces uncertainty, and reduced uncertainty increases liking, then similarty and liking are positively relate
Message Plans
mental representations of action sequences that may be used to achieve goals
o Thought process people go through in order to produce the messages they speak
• Social interaction is goal driven—we have reasons for saying what we say
• Ex: your main goal in getting together with your boss is to maximize your income over the holidays
• Strategy is to build a good working relationship
• Plans are hierarchically organized with abstract actions representations at the top and progressibely more concret representations toward the bottom
• In order to build that relationship you act friendly and professionally
• People interpret things differently, so the probability of perfect communication is zero
seeiking information
how others might react to our messages
active strategy
impression formation by asking a 3rd party about a person
passive strategy
-impression formation by observing a person interacting with others
• fly on the wall
INterative strategy
impression formation through face to face discussion with a person
• Quickest route to reducing uncertainty
choosing plan complexity
complexity of a plan is measured in 2 ways—the level of detail and number of backup plans prepared in the case that the original doesn’t work
use of stratehic ambiguti and humor to provide way for both parties to save face when a message fails to achieve its goal
o Using ambiguous words because you don’t know how they will react
Hierarchy Hypothesis
when individuals are thwarted in their attempts to achieve goals, their 1st tendency is to alter lower level elements of their message
o Ex: when someone doesn’t grasp what u say u tend to say it again but louder
Anxiety/Uncertainty Management Theory
an intercultural theory that claims that high levels of uncertainty and anxiety lead to greater misunderstaing when strangers don’t communicate mindfully
• Lower and Upper Thresholds for Fear and Doubt
a little uncertainty and anxiety are never bad, they make is vigilant—low levels give us adrenaline that prods us to communicate effectively—too
Types of uncertainty
behavioral, cognitive
Strengths of URT
Integrated into research in a variety of communication contexts
Presented in a clear, logical fashion
criticisms of URT
Major assumptions are flawed
Uncertainty reduction is not necessarily an individual's primary concern (Sunnafrank, 1986)

Motivation should be considered regarding Axiom 3 (high uncertainty leads to high levels of information seeking) (Kellermann & Reynolds, 1990)
relational dialectics
A dynamic knot of contradictions in personal relationships; an unceasing interplay between contrary or opposing tendencies
contradiction of relational dialectics
• A contradiction is formed when 2 tendencies or forces are interdependent (the dialectial principle of unity) yet mutually negate each other (dialectical principle of negation)
• Every relationship faces the same tensions
• A centralizing force pulls as together but then a decentralizing force pulls us apart
• Relationships are always in flux the only certainty is certain change
o Dialectial tensions from the conversations we have, not the motive force for guiding them
3 dialectics that affect relationships
expression, non expression
• No relationship can exist unless someone sacrifices some individual autonomy
• Too much connection destroys relationship because identiies become lost
• Couples face problems with intimacy in their relationship but they also deal with societal judgements
• Need to find a way between inclusion with outsiders and seclusion for themselves
• People strive for predictability in their relationships but we crave uncertainty, conventionality, uniqueness, predictability, surprise, and routine-novelty
• Ex: jess (bend it like beckham) deals with the conventionality of life in the Indian culture but the uniqueness that she’s a girl who plays soccer
expression-non expression
• A class of relational dialectics that includes openness-closedness, revelation-concealment, candor-secrecy, and transparency-privacy
• You deal with openness and closess a source of ongoing tensiosn within the relationship and outside of the relationship you deal with revelation of telling people and concealment of not telling people
RTD 2.0
• Relationships achieve meaning through the active interplay of multiple competing discourses or voices
• Communication creates and sustains the relationship
• Constitutive Dialogue-communication that creates, sustains, and alters relationships and the social world; social construction
• Self disclosure is the most valuable form of communication
• Meaning is created through diagloge
• Woman who marry’s a man 20 years older then her, but whether she and her husband regard their age difference as a difference is reflected in their dialogue
Utterance Chain
The central building blocks of meaning-making, where utterances are linked to competing discourses already heard as well s those yet to be spoken
what one person says in one conversational turn
aren’t random, its embedded in an underance chain that includes things heard from the past and responses that are anticipated hearing in the future
• 4 links on the chain where the struggle of competing discourses can be heard
• cultural ideologies (throughtout your past)
• Relational history (from the immediate past)
• Note yet spoken response of partner to utterance (immediate future)
• Normative evualtion of 3rd party to utterance (further in further)
dialectical flux
The unpredictable, unfinalizable, indeterminate nature of personal relationships
2 typical conversational strategies for responding to relational dialectics
• Spiraling Tendencies-switching back and forth b/w 2 contrasting voices, responding to the first one pull, then the other
• Lies jess tells to her family about what she is doing and then what she is REALLY doing
• Segmentation- a compartmentalizing tactic by which partners isolate different aspects of their relationship
• Joe sepeates his role from boyfriend andc coach
Aesthetic Moment
A fleeting sense of unity through a profound respect for disparate voices in dialogue
• Parties are aware of their struggle and make something new out of it
• A fleeting moment that can’t be sustained yet memories of it can help sustain the relationship
• Ex: renewing vowels
Critical Sensibility
An obligation to critique dominant voices, especially those that suppress opposing viewpoints, a responsibility to advocate for those who are muted
• Power inbalances, hierarchal realtionships and judgements are set aside and opposition is temp. suspended in a playful quality of interplay
Criticisms of RDT
o A new understanding of ppl—many people relate
o Community agreement-high acclaim from scholars
o Clarification of values-high value on hearing other peoples voices
o Reform of society-carves our space where muted or ignored voices can be heard
o Aesthetic appeal
Basic premise of RDT
Personal relationships are a ceaseless interplay between contrary and opposing tendencies.--intrepretative theory
Assumptions of RDT
Relationships are not linear

Relational life is characterized by change

Contradiction is the fundamental fact of relational life (they never go away).

Communication is central to organizing and negotiating relational contradictions.
Cyclic Alternation
people alternate between two opposites at different times in their relationship
Dramatizing message
imagine language by which a group member describes the past, future or outside events; creative interpretations of there and then
• Ex: when someone cracks a joke, describes a movie, or starts talking about plans for the upcoming weekend
• These types of convos can serve the group as well
• Lanugae that contains a pun, word play, double entendre, figure of speech etc
• Described events occurring elsewhere
• Must paint a picture and call to the imagination in order to be a dramatizing message
• Must either describe something outside the group or something that has happened to the group in the past or future
why are dramatizing messages important
• Dramatizing accounts of past occurances organize what are usually complex, ambiguous, and chaotic experiences
• Help the speaker and listeners make sense out of a confusin situation or bring some clarity to an uncertain future
fantasy chain
symbolic explosion of lively agreement within a group to a response of a members dramatizing message
• Can’t predict when fantasy chain reaction will occur but its usually when group is fusterated
the creative and imaginative shared interpretation of evnts that fulfills a groups psychological or rhetorical needs
fantasy theme
content of the fantasy that has chained out within a group; SCT’s basic unit of analysis
• The content of the dramatizing message that successfully sparks a fantasy chain
• Group members meanings, emotions, motives and actions are apparent in their fantasy themes
• Many fantasy themes are indexed by symbolic cue
symbolic cue
an agreed upon trigger that sets off group members to respond as they did when they first shared the fantasy
• Ex: inside joke, code word, nonverbal cue, or any shorthand way or re establishing the full force of the shared fantasy
fantasy type
a cluster of related fantasy themes; greater abstractions incorporating several concrete fantasy themes that exist when shared meaning is taken for granted
symbolic conversion
two or more private symbol worlds incline toward eachother come more closely together, or even overlap; group consciousness or cohesiveness
• Common ground, same social network
rhetorical vision
a compostite drama that catches up large groups of people into a common symbolic reality
• Wide body of people who share that reality are a rhetorical community
fantasy theme analysis
a type of rhetorical criticism used to detect fantasy themes and rhetorical visions: the interpretive methodology of SCT
o Look for reoccurring fantasy themes
o Based on two assumptions—people create their own social reality and peopels meaning motives and emotions can be shown in their rhetoric