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Test 1


- A symbolic way to make sense of the world.
- A human construction.

The Purposes of a Theory

- Organize experiences
- Anticipate events
- Extend our knowledge
- Stimulate further research

Metaphors for Theories

- A Net
- Pair of Lenses
- A Map

A Net

- Objectivist view
- Generalizations
- helps us get our hands around whats going on / how to understand by grouping and organizing.
- Can have holes / exceptions.

Pair of Lenses

- Interpretive view
- Calls our attention to certain things/ details.
- Change perception of the world.
- Downside: many focus on the wrong thing, bad to look at the world through only one.

A Map

- Mix of Both Objectivist and Interpretivist
- We need theory to guide us through unfamiliar territory.
- Communication is like an ever changing land. (Complicated)

What Communication Scholars Study

- Symbols
- Messages
- Meanings


- Studies numbers
- Surveys and Data


- Studies words.
- Textual analysis, ethnography.


- Prediction
- Cause and effect
-"is" not "ought"


- Means of persuasion, public, argumentation, power, and beauty of language.


- Signs and symbols.
- Shifts in meaning
- Pictorial imagery


- (re)Production of culture, processual, Sapir Whorf Hypothesis

Sapir Whorf Hypothesis

- Structure of a language shapes what people think and do.
- The social construction of reality.


- Marxist critique
- Emancipation
- Social Action
- Power


- Noise reduction
- Information processing
- Shannon and Weaver model


- Individual stories
- Empathic cncern
- Subjective experience
- Authenticity


- Morality
- Justice
- Character
- Values
- Best thing to do

Symbolic Interactionism (Mead)
- Socio- Cultural tradition
- Interpretivist

- Students complied notes to publish his work in a book titled "Mind Self and Society"
- Perceptions differ from student to student making the thoery "muddy".

3 Core Principles of Symbolic Interactionism

- Meaning
- Language
- Thought


- It is human nature to assign meaning to everything we see/ encounter.


- How we assign meanings; naming, default assumptions.


- minding, taking the role of another.
- What to hear/ what to say.

Looking Glass Self

- Perception of yourself when considering the way that you think people think about you.


- How you see yourself
- Your true self


- How others see you or how you want them to see.
- Conscious effort of putting your best foot forward.

Specific Others

- Individuals you have relationships with.

Generalized Others

- Society as a whole.

Expectancy Violations (Burgoon)
- Socio-Psychological Tradition
- Objective

- Violation Valence

Interaction Adaption Theory (Burgoon)

- Extension and expansion of Expectancy Violation Theory
-How people adjust once an expectation has been violated.

3 Key Priciples of Interaction Adaption Theory

- Requirements
- Expectations
- Desires

Constructivism (Delia)
-Socio-psycological tradition & Rhetorical tradition

- Deals with role category questionaire.

Role Category Questionaire

- Free response survey designed to measure the cognitive complexity of a persons interpersonal perception.

Cognitive Complexity

- Mental ability to distinguish subtle personality/ behavior differences among people.


- The main component of cognitive complexity
- The number of sperarte personality constructs used to portray the person in question.

Social Penetration Theory (Altman & Taylor)
- Objective
- Socio-Psychological Tradtion

- Self-Disclosure and Closeness
- Bredth and Depth

Chief Metaphor for Social Penetration Theory

- An Onion

How Self Disclosure is related to closeness

- The more you tell someone about yourself and the more they tell you about themself, the closer you are to them socially.


- Conversing with someone about few subjects, but go very into detail about them.


- Conversing with someone about a lot of subjects, but dont go into much depth about any of them.

Social Exchange Theory

- You take your rewards and compare them with your costs in a relationship.


- What you give up in a relationship


- What you gain from a relationship


- rewards minus costs.

Comparison Level

- A standard for relational satisfaction.

Comparison Level of Alternatives

- The best outcome in other relationships.

Relational Satifaction

- How happy you aer in a relationship.

Relational Stability

- If you have a low comparison level and meet someone who has a high comparison level, you may leave for the higher person.

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