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Chapter 1
Why Study Communication?
 Practical Needs / Work Place
 Employers seek communication skills,
team work skills, and interpersonal
abilities. Itᾼs the number one skills
sought. (Hansen & Hansen, 2007;
Young, 2003; Koncz, 2008)
 In Engineering, speaking skills were
important to 72% of employers
surveyed (Darling & Dannels, 2003)
 Identity Needs
 Communication is the way we learn
who we are ( see Chapter 2)
Why Study Communication?
Physical needs
 Fredrick II, emperor of Germany from 1196 to
1250 illustrated the importance of
communication (Ross and McLaughlin)
 Five people are isolated and remain alone in a
locked room (Schachter, 1959)
 John McCain talked about 6 years of solitary
confinement (McCain)
 Russian Experiment to Mars? Locked away for
520 days?
Why Study Communication?
cont .
 Physical needs
 People who lack strong
relationships have 2-3 times the
risk of early death. (Duck, 1992)
 Divorced, separated, widowed
people are 5-10 times more likely
to be hospitalized for mental illness
(Duck, 1992)
Social isolation similar to
cigarette smoking, obesity, lack
of exercise, and diet??????
 People who are socially isolated
are 4 times more likely to get the
Definition of
 What examples come to mind when you think
of the term ᾿communication῀?
 Adler and Rodmanᾼs definition of
communication: ᾿The process of creating
meaning through symbolic interaction.῀
 Verderber, Verderber, and Sellnowᾼs definition
of communication: ᾿The process of creating or
sharing meaning in informal conversations,
group interaction, or public speaking.῀
 My definition of communication:
᾿The process of creating and/or
sharing intentional and/or
unintentional meaning through
nonverbal and verbal messages in
informal conversation, group
The Elements of the
Communication process:
 Participants
 Encoder
 Decoder
 Message
 messages are created (encoded and decoded) by
symbols to which meaning is assigned.
 Context
 Physical context, social context, historical context,
psychological context, cultural context
 Channel
 Interference (Noise)
 Physical noise, Psychological noise, Semantic noise
 Feedback
The Communication Process
(the transactional model of
Communication Settings/
Communication Contexts:
Qualitative vs. Quantitative
 Intrapersonal communication
 Interpersonal communication
 Small group communication
 Public communication
 Mass communication
Communication Principles:
 Communication has purpose
 Communication is continuous
 Communication messages vary in conscious
 Communication is relational
 Once cannot be attractive without others who
are attracted?
 One cannot be a leader unless others are
willing to follow?
 Quality of interaction between parent and
child is a two-way street (Dainton, Stafford,
 Communication is guided by culture
 Communication has ethical implications
 Communication is learned
Communication Competence
 Effective (when it achieves itᾼs goals)
 Appropriate (when it conforms to the
of Competent
 A wide range of behaviors
 Ability to choose the most appropriate behavior
 Skill at performing behaviors
 Perspective taking
 Cognitive Complexity
 Self-Monitoring
 Commitment to the Relationship