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Chapter 1
Why Study Communication?
 Practical Needs / Work Place
 Employers seek communication skills, team work
skills, and interpersonal abilities. It’s 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,
 Identity Needs
 Communication is the way we learn who we are (
see Chapter 2)
Why Study Communication? cont.
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
 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 common cold (Cohen, Doyle,
Skoner, Rabin, Gwaltney, 1997)
(as well as The Journal of the American Medical Association)
Definition of Communication:
 What examples come to mind when you think of the term
 Adler and Rodman’s definition of communication: “The process
of creating meaning through symbolic interaction.”
 Verderber, Verderber, and Sellnow’s 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 interaction, or public speaking.”
The Elements of the Communication
 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)
Communication Settings/
Communication Contexts:
Qualitative vs. Quantitative
 Intrapersonal communication
 Interpersonal communication (dyadic?)
 Small group communication
 Public communication
 Mass communication
Communication Principles:
 Communication has purpose
 Communication is continuous
 Communication messages vary in conscious thought
 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, 1993).
 Communication is guided by culture
 Communication has ethical implications
 Communication is learned
 After 30 minutes of instruction, participants became significantly
more effective in detecting lies (DeTurch, Miller, 1990)
Communication Competence
 Effective (when it achieves it’s goals)
 Appropriate (when it conforms to the situation)
Characteristics 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