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Maslow's hierarchy of needs

1- self actualization
2- self-esteem
3- belonging
4- safety and protection
5- physical needs

Buber's Continuum

I-It Communication, I-You Communication, I-Thou Communication

I-It Communication

we do not acknowledge the humanity of other people

I-You Communication

we acknowledge one another as more than objects

I-Thou Communication

highest form of human dialogue as we each affirm the other as cherished and unique

Buber's Continuum distinguishes IPC

helps us define interpersonal communication by distinguishing who is most important to us, it is what distinguishes IPC in the particular quality, or character of interaction


talking about how you were talking, affects meaning

4 perspectives of interpersonal communication

numerical perspective, situational perspective, developmental perspective, levels of information perspective

Numerical perspective

count the number of people involved, 2-3 people would count as IPC

Situational perspective

involves identifying and labeling certain situations as interpersonal situations

Developmental perspective

IPC occurs when your relationship is at a certain stage; somewhat better, but still assumes that all relationships follow predictable stages in a linear sequence

Levels of Information perspective

Miller and Steinberg, 1975; based on assumptions and making predictions about other people using 3 types of information: cultural level data, sociological level data, and psychological data

quality or character of interaction

Distinguishes interpersonal communication

Cultural level data

broad values and norms of the culture

Sociological level data

individuals use stereotypical information based on group memberships

Psychological data

involves making prediction about someone else's behavior based on personal, unique characteristics

First 5 principles of IPC

1. occurs between people
2. cannot not communicate in relationships
3. communication is irreversible
4. involves ethical choices, people are actors not reactors
5. meaning are constructed, humans are inherently symbol-using creatures; symbols have no true meaning, we have to interpret symbols

Last 5 principles of IPC

6. includes both content and relationship dimensions, metacommunication
7. develops and sustains relationships
8. not a panacea (fix all concerns)
9. governed by rules- both implicit and explicit
10. competence can be learned and improved

IPC develops and sustains relationships

involves being in a relationship and viewing relationships as ongoing, ever-changing


a human construction, a symbolic way we represent phenomena or "make sense" of the world

Theory helps us understand

what something is, how it works, what it produces or causes to happen, and what can change how it operates

4 goals of theory

1. description
2. explanation
3. understanding, prediction, and control
4. reform


considered the foundation of a theory, process of using symbols to represent phenomena- must identify key features and describe variations of concepts of some types of communication


involves an effort to clarify "how" and "why" something works, how parts of interact and work together


insight into a particular situation, process, or phenomenon


involves projecting what will happen to something under specific conditions


the use of explanations and predictions to govern what a phenomenon actually does


involves the active pursuit of social change, theories that reveal inequities of social injustices and promote pubic and personal change

5 criteria to evaluate theory

1. scope
2. testability
3. parsimony
4. utility
5. heurism


how much does a theory describe and explain?

testability (verification)

this asks whether they are accurate or not, is it testable?


is it appropriately simple?


is it useful? does the theory have value?


does it generate new thought or insight?

4 attachment styles

secure, anxious/resistant, dismissive, and fearful

attachment theory

include patterns of parenting that teach us who we are and others are and how to approach relationships

attachment styles in earliest form

primary caregiver

attachment initial bonds

help form our expectations for interpersonal communication and personal relationships later in life

2 peer influences on the development of "self"

reflected appraisal and social comparisons

reflected appraisals

the process whereby our self-concept is influenced by how we think other people see us

looking glass self

reflected appraisal, view yourself how you think others view you

social comparisons

comparing ourselves with others to form judgment of our own talents, abilities, and so forth

reference group

social comparisons, the people we use to evaluate our characteristics

direct definitions

communications that explicitly tells us who we are by labeling us and our behaviors

identity scripts

include rules for labeling and identity, formed by age 5

development of self-concept

direct definitions, identity scripts, attachment styles, and reflected appraisals

particular others

specific people who are significant to us and who have a profound influence on how we see ourselves

generalized others

collections of rules, roles, and attitudes of an overall society; includes attitudes toward race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic class

Altman and Taylor's Social Penetration Model

Who created the model of self-disclosure involves both breadth and depth of information

communication quality

1. must deliberately share information about ourselves
2. believe that the information is true

characteristics of self-disclosure

1. typically occurs in small increments
2. moves from less personal to more personal, it varies in breadth and depth
3. reciprocal- the dyadic effect
4. involves risk and trust
5. can enhance intimacy, but not always

Impression Formation Theory

form impressions of others through perceptions of physical qualities and behaviors, information people disclose about themselves, and through third parties

Implicit Personality Theory

pattern of associated qualities that we attribute to people, allows us to understand them, consist of stereotypes


organized knowledge structures people use to make sense of their experiences


guides to action based on our experiences and observations of interactions


schemas that define the clearest or most representative example of some category

personal construct

"mental yardsticks" we use to measure people and situations along bipolar dimensions of judgment


predictive generalizations about people and situations

self-serving bias

refers to our tendency to attribute our successes to stable, internal causes while attributing our failure to unstable, external causes

fundamental attribution error

overestimate internal causes of others' undesirable behaviors and underestimate external causes; underestimate internal causes of our own misdeeds and overestimate external causes

constitutive rules

define what communications means by specifying how to count, or interpret certain kinds of communication

regulative rules

interaction by specifying when, how, where, and with whom to talk about certain things


shapes meaning, defines beginnings and endings or interaction episodes

different types of hurtful messages

accusation, evaluation, directive, advice, express desire, inform, questions, jokes, threats, and lies


a charge of fault or offense


a description of value or worth


an order, set of directions, or commands


a suggestion for a course of action

express desire

a statement of preference


a disclosure of information

most common hurtful messages

evaluations and accusations

least common hurtful messages

threats and lies

hurtful message topics

romantic relations, nonromantic relations, sexual behavior, physical appearance, abilities/intelligence, personality traits, self-worth, time, ethnicity/religion

Most common hurtful message topics

romantic relations and personality traits

Least common hurtful message topics


Action (Linear) models

Shannon & Weaver's (1949) Electronic Transmitter model

Interactive models

Schramm's (1955) Fields of Experience Model

Transactional models

Wheeless' "Messy" model

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

contains 2 principles- linguistic determinism and linguistic relativity

Linguistic determinism

language determines how we think

Linguistic relativity

suggests that people who speak different languages will see the world differently

language is bound by

context and culture

rules of language

phonological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic rules


locus, stability, controllability


refers to where the cause of a behavior is "located" whether within ourselves or outside ourselves; attributions what a person does to internal causes or external causes


explains actions as a result of stable factors or unstable, temporary circumstances


attributes behavior to factors people can control or to those they cannot

Necessary evil

enables us to simplify a complex communication environment


no intrinsic meaning in phenomena- instead, we _________ meaning by interpreting what we have observed

Symbolic Nature of Language

Language is arbitrary, ambiguous, abstract

language is arbitrary

the connections between most words and the objects or concepts they symbolize is arbitrary, and meaning of words change over time

language is ambiguous

meanings vary as a result of people's experiences; consider the Semantic Triangle and loaded language

language is abstract

it varies in clarity and is bound by context and culture


a vague, mild expression that symbolizes something more blunt or harsh


researchers believe the most important aspect of humor is a violation of expectations

Slang (and jargon)

informal and unconventional words that are often understood only by others in a particular group, can serve an important social function- can "mark" someone as belonging to a particular group


both are forms of defamation, or language that harms a person's reputation or character


can sometimes serve as a "social lubricant" by maintain an informal atmosphere

Rules of language

phonological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic rules guide our language use

Principles of verbal communication

1- language is bound by context and culture
2- language use is rule-guided
3- punctuation shapes meaning


word to classify IPC

Interpersonal Communication

the lifeblood of meaningful relationships in personal, social, and professional contexts

Phonological rules

deal with the correct pronunciation of a word, and they vary from language to language

Syntactic rules

govern the ordering of words with phrases

Semantic rules

have to do with the meanings of individual words

Pragmatic rules

deal with the implications or interpretations of statements

The Semantic Triangle

symbol, referent, and reference

Language changes

cultural values and perspectives by naming things that alter understanding

explicit rule

a rule about behavior that has been clearly articulated

implicit rule

a rule about behavior that has not been clearly articulated but is nonetheless understood

cognitive mieser

"scroog" when we stereotype people, we place them into inflexible, all-encompassing categories

Communication theory

a symbolic creation designed to explain why messages or message behaviors occur in the patterns we observe

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