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COMM 100: Semester Overview. John A. Cagle, Ph.D. Communication California State University, Fresno. COMM 100. Theories of Human Communication is a course designed to introduce upper division students to communication theory from a scientific perspective. . THEORY.

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COMM 100: Semester Overview


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comm 100 semester overview

COMM 100:Semester Overview

John A. Cagle, Ph.D.

Communication

California State University, Fresno

comm 100
COMM 100
  • Theories of Human Communication is a course designed to introduce upper division students to communication theory from a scientific perspective.
theory
THEORY
  • A theory is a scientific account of phenomena.
  • At a minimum it is a strategy for handling observations in research, providing a conceptual system for describing and explaining.
darnell s definition of theory
Darnell's definition of theory
  • "A theory is a set of statements, including some lawlike generalizations, systematically and logically related such that the set implies something about reality.
  • It is an argument that purports to provide a necessary and sufficient explanation for a range of phenomena.
slide6
It must be capable of corrigibility--that is, it must be possible to disconfirm or jeopardize it by making observations.
  • A theory is valuable to the extent that it reduces the uncertainty about the outcome of a specific set of conditions."
a theory includes
A theory includes
  • an identification of the components or conceptual categories by which we classify the elements of a system;
  • a specification of the characteristics of these components; and
  • a specification of a set of laws in conformity with which states of the system precede or succeed each other.
slide8

Law: As centrality increases, rank increases.

Antecedent conditions:

C1

C2

C3 …

Cn

___________

Consequent conditions

E

theory of small group influence
Theory of Small Group Influence

Conformity

Rank

Influence

Centrality

Observability

Source: T.K. Hopkins, The Exercise of Influence in Small Groups

think of true love what factors produce true love maintain it or destroy it
Think of True Love – what factors produce true love, maintain it, or destroy it?

Take out a piece of paper & write down four of these main factors

theory of true love
Theory of True Love

TRUST

+ ATTITUDE

+ RECIPROCITY

+ COMMITMENT

+_< add your own >_

= True Love

cagle s dirty joke theory some independent variables
Cagle’s Dirty Joke Theory:Some Independent Variables

SOURCE: attraction, age, sex, status, attitude, credibility, skill. . .

MESSAGE: clarity, language, timing, delivery, organization, content. . .

RECEIVER: attitude, age, sex, status, attitude, perception of source. . .

CHANNEL: live, VHS, print, book, email. . .

cagle s dirty joke theory some dependent variables
Cagle’s Dirty Joke Theory:Some Dependent Variables

LAUGHTER

DISGUST

CONFUSION

PHYSICAL

LEAVING

COMPREHENSION

ATTITUDE CHANGE

Etc.

cagle s dirty joke theory variables
Cagle’s Dirty Joke Theory:Variables

JOKE + SOURCE + MESSAGE + RECEIVER + CHANNEL= LAUGHTER + SHOCK + CONFUSION

MIXED SEX + DIRTY JOKE = SHOCK

SAME SEX + DIRTY JOKE = HILARITY

communication
COMMUNICATION
  • Communication is a complex, pervasive phenomena.
  • Virtually every human endeavor involves communication in some way.
  • Consequently, there are a great many communication theories--each, in its own way, appropriate to those aspects of the phenomena germane to its purpose.
communication mosaic a metaphor
Communication Mosaic: A Metaphor
  • First, the metaphor of a mosaic offers a theoretical orientation to illumine the inter-connectedness among all communication theories.
  • Second, it provides an overview of some of the more interesting, provocative, and heuristic theories within the major types of communication theories.
  • Meaning is created from bits and pieces which our mind puts together into a gestalt.
meaning is created
Meaning Is Created

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt!

the main dimensions of the mosaic model
The main dimensions of the mosaic model:
  • Context
  • Function
  • Intention
  • Variable
  • Level of analysis
  • Analytic and synthetic properties
  • Audience
scientific inquiry
SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY
  • Two Imperatives of Science
    • Verifiability
    • Corrigibility
  • Philosophical Approaches
    • Rules
    • Systems
    • Laws
kaplan links
Kaplan links
  • Kaplan’s “styles of thinking” from The Conduct of Inquiry
  • Hugh Duncan and Kenneth Burke
theories reflect kaplan s levels of thinking
Literary

Academic

Eristic

Symbolic

Postulational

Formal

Analytic is the logical character of scientific statements

Synthetic is the empirical character of scientific statements

Theories Reflect Kaplan's Levels of Thinking
kaplan s styles of thinking
Kaplan’s Styles of Thinking

Formal

Math—No empirical loadings

Postulational

Empirical loadings

Increasing Analytic Rigor

Eristic theories

Academic theories

Literary theories

Increasing Synthetic Rigor

noir kinds of observation
NOIR: Kinds of Observation
  • Nominal: something is observed and given a name (e.g., hostile, leader, task)
  • Ordinal: things in the nominal category are given a relationship to one another (e.g., tall-short, better-worse, etc.)
  • Interval: numbers to label things with a relationship have precise distance between them (e.g., 8 is twice as much as 4)
  • Ratio: there is a zero point in observation (e.g., speech preparation, number of words)
investigation
Investigation
  • Select a phenomenon and list all its characteristics.
  • Measure all of these characteristics in a variety of situations.
  • Analyze the observations to determine if there are any patterns worthy of further attention.
  • If patterns have been found in the observations, state these patterns as theoretical statements.
confirming research
Confirming Research
  • Develop a theory.
  • Select a statement generated by the theory (hypothesis) for comparison with observation (empirical research).
  • Design a research project to “test” the chosen statement’s by observation.
  • If the statement derived from the theory does not correspond with observational results, make appropriate changes in the theory or in the research design and continue with the research.
  • If the statement from the theory corresponds with the results of the research, select additional statements for testing and/or apply theory in world with some confidence.
criteria to evaluate theories
Criteria to Evaluate Theories
  • Theoretical scope
  • Appropriateness
  • Heuristic value
  • Validity
  • Parsimony
  • Openness [a new one]
  • What parts of the mosaic comprise the theory? What parts are left out?
criteria necessary desirable
Logically consistent

Consistent with accepted facts

Testable

Simple

Parsimonious

Consistent with related theories

Interpretable: explain and predict

Useful

Pleasing to the mind

CRITERIANecessary Desirable
functions theories help us to
Functions: Theories help us to…
  • Organize and summarize knowledge
  • Focus our attention on important variables & relationships
  • Clarify our interpretation of observations
  • Know what and how to observe the event
  • Explain and predict the event
functions theories help us to38
Functions: Theories help us to…
  • Think of new directions and questions to research (heuristic function)
  • Frame our communication with others about the phenomena
  • Control the phenomena through judging effectiveness against a norm
theory research and technology dynamic isomorphism
THEORY, RESEARCH, AND TECHNOLOGY:Dynamic Isomorphism
  • There exists a dynamic isomorphism among reality, phenomena, theory, research design, instrumentation, statistical analysis, and computer technology.
  • More elements are involved, but these illumine the character of science as we move into the 21st Century.
slide40

Reality

Knowledge

Language

Statistics

Perception

Theory

Design

Isomophism is the identity in form and substance between all of these “constructions of reality.”

slide41

Reality

Knowledge

Language

Design

Perception

Theory

Statistics

Induction

Deduction

Isomophism is the identity in form and substance between all of these “constructions of reality.”

slide42

What do you see?

What do

There's a face... and the word liar

diversity in theory making sense of it all
Diversity in Theory: Making sense of it all
  • Traditions & Approaches to Communication
  • Communication Contexts
  • Application, Function, and Purpose
traditions littlejohn foss
TRADITIONS [Littlejohn & Foss]
  • The Semiotic Tradition: study of how signs come to represent objects, ideas, states, situations, feelings, and conditions outside of themselves.
  • The Phenomenological Tradition: study of how people actively interpret their experience and come to understand the world by personal experiences with it.
  • The Cybernetic Tradition: study of complex systems in which many interacting elements influence one another.
traditions
TRADITIONS
  • The Sociopsychological Tradition:study of the individual as a social being—behavior and the personal traits and cognitive processes that produce behavior.
  • The Sociocultural Tradition:study of the ways our understandings, meanings, roles, norms, and rules are worked out interactively in communication.
  • The Critical Tradition:study of questions of privilege and power—how race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, income level, etc. identity and social differences.
  • The Rhetorical Tradition:study of ways humans use symbols to affect those around them and construct the worlds in which they live.
illustrative approaches
ILLUSTRATIVE APPROACHES
  • Public Speaking Approaches: the Rhetorical Tradition
  • Trait Approaches
  • Persuasion Approaches
  • Verbal Behavior Approaches
  • Nonverbal Behavior Approaches
the rhetorical tradition
The Rhetorical Tradition
  • Plato & Aristotle: Rhetoric as tool to discover and use truth in governing society
  • Cicero & Quintilian: Public speaking and leadership as essential skills for citizenship
  • Capella: Rhetoric as a foundation of all learning (the Liberal Arts)
slide48
St. Augustine: Something to do until you get into heaven
  • Bacon: Rhetoric needed for advancement of science
  • Adam Smith: Rhetoric and the belles lettres
  • Cagle: Why don’t my students take notes?
in all centuries rhetoric
In all centuries, rhetoric
  • . . . responds to what’s going on in the world, but enables and effects the world of which it is a part
    • War gives rise to political exigencies
    • Depressions give rise to problem solving
    • Prosperity gives rise to self-actualization
in the 20th century
In the 20th Century. . . .
  • Rhetorical theory extended to all forms of communication, including writing &literature and small groups & problem solving
  • Rhetorical principles were applied to new media such as radio, television, newspapers, computers, etc.
trait approaches
Trait Approaches
  • Traits are consistent communication behaviors across contexts
  • Personality traits: persuasibility, self-esteem, dogmatism, introversion
  • Communication apprehension and willingness to communicate
  • Social style and self-disclosure
  • Aggression and assertiveness traits
persuasion approaches
Persuasion Approaches
  • Variable analytic:
    • message structure,
    • message appeals, and
    • language variables
  • Source credibility
  • Cognitive dynamics theories (attitudes)
verbal behavior approaches
Verbal Behavior Approaches
  • Metaphor and stylistic devices
  • Language intensity
  • Lexical diversity
  • Evidence
  • Fear appeals
  • Supportive and defensive messages
nonverbal behavior approaches
Nonverbal Behavior Approaches
  • Affective-cognitive dimensions
  • Functions and relationships
  • Nonverbal codes:
    • kinesics,
    • vocalics,
    • proximics, etc.
communication contexts
COMMUNICATION CONTEXTS
  • Interpersonal Contexts
  • Small Group and Organizational Contexts
  • Mass Media Contexts
  • Intercultural Contexts
interpersonal contexts
Interpersonal Contexts
  • Social exchange
  • Stages in relationship development and decline: strangers to intimacy
  • Interpersonal circumplex
  • Self-concept and interpersonal attraction
small group and organizational contexts
Small Group and Organizational Contexts
  • Encounter groups and growth groups
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Conflict management and resolution
  • Networks and organizations
  • Leadership and management
mass media contexts
Mass Media Contexts
  • Two-step flow
  • Diffusion of innovations
  • Uses and gratifications
  • Social role of media: stereotypes
  • Advertising and propaganda
intercultural contexts
Intercultural Contexts
  • Cultures are big damn groups
  • Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
  • Rules and roles
  • High and low context
  • Standpoint theory
  • International communication
applications
APPLICATIONS
  • Political communication and power
  • Agitation and control: social change
  • Religious communication
  • Psychology and Counseling
  • Business: sales, management, marketing
slide61
Government: management
  • Health communication
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Legal communication: civil and criminal