To function effectively in today's society people must communicate with one another. Yet for some individuals communication experiences are so unrewarding that they either consciously or unconsciously avoid situations where communication is required. (McCroskey & Richmond, 1979) The term communication apprehension' was coined by James McCroskey (1976a) and is defined as "an individual's level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person or persons" (McCroskey, 1984). In the last two decades communication apprehension and related constructs, such as reticence and unwillingness to communicate, have received extensive research and theoretical attention by scholars in communication and
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For example a person may experience high levels of CA when speaking in groups but be not in dyadic interactions or when speaking to others who are from a different cultural group. Receiver based CA depends on the person or type of person or group that is involved in the communication. For example, being fearful or anxious when communicating with the boss or with strangers but not with friends (McCroskey & Richmond, 1987). Situational CA depends upon changes in the environment in which communication takes place.
Causes of Communication Apprehension Causes of Traitlike CA. When we consider the aetiology of human behaviour generally two primary explanations are hereditary and the environment. In other words, we can either be born with certain characteristics or we can acquire them through learning. While no specific "CA gene" has ever been identified, as a result of studies on infants and twins, most writers today agree that there may be a hereditary component. (McCroskey, 1982; McCroskey, 1984) It is argued that children are born with certain personality predispositions or tendencies which affects how they will react to environmental stimuli. However, although heredity may have an impact on traitlike CA most researchers propose that the patterns of reinforcement that an individual experiences in the environment are the dominant components. (McCroskey, 1982; McCroskey, 1984) The notion is that children make attempts at communication