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SPCH 3402 Spring 2005. Introduction to Interpersonal Communication. Exercise 1. In 1-2 paragraphs, define Communication Form Groups of 4-6 persons, share your definitions As a group, formulate one definition of Communication. Defining Communication. Communication as Information Exchange

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spch 3402 spring 2005

SPCH 3402Spring 2005

Introduction to Interpersonal Communication

exercise 1
Exercise 1
  • In 1-2 paragraphs, define Communication
  • Form Groups of 4-6 persons, share your definitions
  • As a group, formulate one definition of Communication
defining communication
Defining Communication
  • Communication as Information Exchange
  • Communication as Creation of Meaning
  • Communication as Social Influence
  • Communication as Creation of Social Reality
  • Communication as Relationship
a simple information exchange model
A simple Information Exchange Model

 Sender---->Message----> Receiver

a more complex information exchange model
A More Complex Information Exchange Model










defining communication as information exchange
Defining Communication as Information Exchange
  • Draws attention to the messages
  • Draws attention to communication channels
  • Draws attention to the role of interference (noise) and means of overcoming it
  • Draws attention to the processes of encoding and decoding
  • Draws attention to the role of feedback
semantic triangle
Semantic Triangle







meaning of words

the dictionary definition

shared by speech community


associations a person has for the word

highly idiosyncratic

Meaning of Words
defining communication as creating meaning
Defining Communication as Creating Meaning
  • Draws attention to the nature of symbols
  • Draws attention to the relationship between symbol and referent
  • Draws attention to processes that create shared meanings
  • Draws attention to negotiations about the meaning of ambiguous symbols
defining social influence
Defining Social Influence
  • Effecting (Attempting) changes in other’s:
    • Behaviors
    • Attitudes
    • Beliefs
    • Values
defining communication as social influence
Defining Communication as Social Influence
  • Draws attention to the goals & intentions of communicators
  • Draws attention to the causes of behavior
  • Draws attention to the bases of beliefs, values, & attitudes
  • Draws attention to persuasive features of messages
  • Draws attention to resistance to influence
social reality
Social Reality
  • Those aspects of a person’s life-world whose existence and meaning is the result of a social process, usually the agreement of significant others (including self).
  • Social reality is not limited to socially created features of the life-world, but includes the perception of naturally occurring features as well.
defining communication as creating social reality
Defining Communication as Creating Social Reality
  • Draws attention to the processes by which we create agreement among people
  • Draws attention to values, norms, & ethics
  • Draws attention to how we are perceived
  • Draws attention to how we perceive others and create reality for them
  • Interdependence of Individuals
    • Psychologically
    • Emotional
    • Instrumental
    • Social
defining communication as relationship
Defining Communication as Relationship
  • Draws attention to Interaction & Interpersonal Behavior
  • Draws attention to mutual Dependence
  • Draws attention to mutual Influence
  • Draws attention to relationship development
defining interpersonal communication
Defining Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal Communication is any interaction between two or more persons who exchange information, create meaning, and influence each other and who through this process create social reality for themselves and others and create and maintain relationships with each other.

assignment speed meeting
Assignment: Speed Meeting
  • Form groups of four with people you do NOT know yet.
  • Meet each of you group members for 3 minutes each (TA will give times)
  • After meeting each, write down what you talked about with each member, what you learned about them, what they learned about you.
axioms of the interactional view
Axioms of the Interactional View
  • One cannot not communicate
  • Comm. is digital and analogical
  • Comm. = Content + Relationship
  • Relationship depends on Punctuation
  • Comm. is complementary or symmetrical
5 misconceptions
5 Misconceptions
  • Consistency
  • Simple Meaning
  • Communicator independence
  • Obvious causation
  • Finality
social penetration theory
Social Penetration Theory
  • Relationship Growth = More Intimacy
  • Intimacy results from Self-Disclosure

Increase Depths of Self-Disclosure

Increase Breadth of Self-Disclosure

  • Motivation for Self-Disclosure is expected outcome (rewards-costs)
self disclosure and intimacy
Self-Disclosure and Intimacy





four stages of exchange
Four Stages of Exchange
  • Orientation

- limited to public areas, no-evaluative, cautious

  • exploratory affective exchange

- friendly & relaxed, some self-disclosure

  • affective exchange

- open exploration of intimacy, high SD

  • stable exchange

- high intimacy enables efficient communication

social exchange theory thibaut kelly
Social Exchange Theory(Thibaut & Kelly)
  • Terms

O = Perceived Outcome

CL = Expectation

CLalt = Perceived Alternatives

  • Predictions about Self-Disclosure

Satisfaction: compare O and CL

Stability: compare O and CLalt

johari window joseph luft harrington ingham
Johari Window(Joseph Luft & Harrington Ingham)

Aspects of Self





to Self






Known to Other

dyadic effect
Dyadic Effect
  • Dyadic Effect: Observation that self-disclosure by one person is usually reciprocated by the other.


  • Norm of Reciprocity
  • Attributions
attributions for self disclosure
Attributions for Self-Disclosure
  • Cause for SD:
    • Self
    • Other
    • Relationship (situation?)
  • Valence:
    • Positive
    • Neutral
    • Negative
attributions and reciprocation
Attributions and Reciprocation





- SD

+ SD

+/- SD


+/- SD

+ SD

- SD



+ SD

+/- SD

- SD

factors affecting attributions
Factors Affecting Attributions
  • Timing of Self-Disclosure
  • Social Rules & Norms
  • Relationship History
  • Salient Situational Factors
  • Content of Self-Disclosure
communication relationship development i
Communication & Relationship Development I
  • Narrow  Broad
  • Public  Personal
  • Stylized  Unique
  • Difficult  Efficient
communication relationship development ii
Communication & Relationship Development II
  • Rigid  Flexible
  • Awkward  Smooth
  • Hesitant  Spontaneous
  • Judgment suspended  Judgment given
partner interdependence
Partner Interdependence
  • Partner affect each other in all eight behaviors
  • Effect can be symmetrical or complementary
  • Both partners determine relationship development
stage models a few comments
Stage Models – a few comments
  • Descriptive – what patterns tend to happen.
  • Not evaluative – do not judge “good” or bad.”
  • Generalizable – apply to all types of relationships.
  • Behaviors not limited to certain stages
  • Related to the 8 dimensions of communication
stage theory of relationship development
Coming Together






Coming Apart






Stage Theory of Relationship Development
initiating 1 st stage
Initiating – 1st Stage
  • Fairly narrow
  • “Pre-communication” and greetings
  • Influenced by
    • Previous experience
    • Time since last greeting
    • Time allowed for interaction
    • Situational/normative constraints
pick up lines cunningham 1989
Pick-up Lines Cunningham (1989)
  • 3 Types of pick-up lines
  • Direct – straightforward, to the point
    • “Want to dance?”
  • Innocuous – used to start conversation; doesn’t look like pick-up line.
    • “Do you know the band?”
  • Cute-flippant – trite, overused, funny, and/or obnoxious
    • “Nice shirt. Can I talk you out of it?”
what works
What works?
  • Women usually use innocuous
  • Men use more direct/innocuous
  • Men use cute/flippant more than women
  • For men approaching women, direct/innocuous worked the best.
  • For women approaching men, every type worked.
  • Why do you think this was the case?
experimenting 2 nd stage
Experimenting – 2nd Stage
  • Goals are to
    • Learn unknown information
    • Find a common area for discussion
  • Very broad stage – remain here with most people (i.e. acquaintances)
  • Think about your speed meetings the first week of class.
small talk
Small talk
  • Occurs in the experimenting stage
  • Superficial & conventional communication characterized by breadth, not depth.
  • Functions:
    • Useful in satisfying inclusion needs
    • Friendship auditions
    • Finding integrating topics
    • Reducing uncertainty
intensifying 3 rd stage
Intensifying – 3rd Stage

Intimacy intensifies

  • Verbal/Nonverbal comm. becomes more informal.
  • Use of collective pronouns and idioms
  • Expressed commitment
  • Permeability of space
  • Typically a very long stage
personal idioms bell et al 1987
Personal IdiomsBell et al. (1987)
  • Words, gestures or phrases that have a unique meaning in close relationships.
  • Serve four functions
  • Foster unity/define a relationship
  • Sentimental value
  • Private displays of affection
  • Help get over awkward points in the relationship – ex: making up!
integrating 4 th stage
Integrating – 4th Stage
  • Treated as a couple by social circles
  • Intimacy trophies
  • Similar dress
  • Common property
  • Synchronizing behavior
bonding 5 th stage
Bonding – 5th Stage
  • Commitment formalized by public rituals
    • Marriage, engagement
  • Main difference from integrating is social support for the relationship
  • Makes the relationship harder to end
differentiating 1 st stage
Differentiating – 1st Stage
  • Uncoupling:
    • Less “we”, more “you” and “I”
  • Focus on differences
  • More overt & frequent conflict
circumscribing 2 nd stage
Circumscribing – 2nd Stage
  • Breadth and Depth of talk decreases
    • “Let’s just drop it.” or “I don’t want to get into that.”
  • Increased formality / public performances
  • Reduced “echo responses”
    • “I love you” – “I love you too”
  • Relational twister
stagnating 3 rd stage
Stagnating – 3rd Stage
  • Communication comes to a standstill
    • Ex: Parent-child relationships during teens
  • More rigid, difficult, awkward
  • Covert dialogs
  • Those who stay in this stage may have reasons external to relationship
    • Ex: Parents who “stay together for the kids”
avoiding 4 th stage
Avoiding – 4th Stage
  • Avoidance of FTF or VTV encounter
  • Subtle / indirect cues
    • Ex: “I don’t really have a lot of time.”
  • Cognitive dissociation
    • Mentally and emotionally detached
    • Happens when physical avoidance is not possible.
terminating 5 th stage
Terminating – 5th Stage
  • Final stage of any relationship - many do not go through this stage
  • Marked by distance & disassociation
  • Dialog characterized by 3 topics
    • Past – where were we?
    • Present – where are we now?
    • Future – where will we be?
  • Form 10 groups
  • In each group, think about an interaction between two persons in one of the 10 stages discussed
  • Prepare to act the interaction for the education of your peers
moving through the stages
Moving through the stages
  • Generally systematic & sequential
  • Each stage is influenced by the one before
  • Predictions about relationships are easier when they are sequenced
  • When stages are skipped, there in an increase in uncertainty about what happens next.
movement cont
Movement (cont.)
  • May be forward
    • Increases intimacy
  • May be backward
    • Decreases intimacy
  • Occurs within stages and to a new place
    • Communication changes things!!
what affects movement
What affects movement?
  • Experience with a given stage
  • Rewards
  • Time allotted
  • Proximity
  • Situational factors
  • Individual needs
  • Violations of relational norms/rules
theoretical explanations
Theoretical Explanations
  • Need of Intimacy
  • Social Exchange Theory
  • Dialectical Theory
social exchange
Social Exchange
  • Evaluation of rewards & costs associated with resources in a given relationship
  • How are rewards and cost perceived?
  • What outcome motivates partners, profit or equity?
five aspects of exchange
Five Aspects of Exchange

1) Reward & Cost: Difference or Ratio?

2) Absolute Rewards and Costs

3) Immediate Rewards and Costs

4) Forecast Rewards and Costs

5) Cumulative Rewards and Costs

profit vs equity motivation
Profit vs. Equity Motivation

Profit = an individual’s rewards/cost ratio

Equity = each person’s rewards/costs ratio is about equal

exchange rules and intimacy
Exchange Rules and Intimacy
  • exchange becomes more heteromorphic as intimacy increases
  • amount of time before return is needed increases as intimacy increases
  • need to return resource of equivalent value decreases as intimacy increases
  • exchange becomes less contingent as intimacy increases
exchange rules and intimacy1
Exchange Rules and Intimacy
  • range of resources that are exchanged increases as intimacy increases
  • obligation to exchange resources is more transferable to another person as intimacy increases
  • degree to which persons feel obligated to initiate in exchange increases as intimacy increases
  • degree of acceptable unilateral indebtedness increases as intimacy increases
limitations of social exchange theory
Limitations of Social Exchange Theory:
  • Important terms such as resource are undefined or defined too broadly
  • The mechanism that is used to compute and remember balances is undefined
  • Exchange rules are clear only for low intimacy
  • Exchange rules are unclear for high intimacy
communal relationships
Communal Relationships
  • Based on concern for welfare of other
  • Need is basis for transfer of resources
  • Receipt of benefit does not create “debt” or obligation to “return favor”
  • Characterized by “equality of affect”
  • Vary in strength
  • Vary in certainty
comparing exchange communal relationships

Norm of Reciprocity

Transfer initiated if other can reciprocate

Relationship is means for instrumental goals


Norm of Mutual Responsiveness

Transfer initiated if other in need

Relationship is intrinsically rewarding

Comparing Exchange & Communal Relationships
dialectical theory
Dialectical Theory
  • Movement results from unavoidable dialectical tensions and how they are managed
  • Dialectical tensions result from two contradicting desires/needs
  • Opposing desires/needs lead to relationship escalation OR de-escalation thru the stages
relational dialectics
Relational Dialectics
  • Unlike Hegelian Dialectics, no synthetical resolution
  • Most crucial in 3 dimensions
    • Affiliation
    • Predictability
    • Intimacy
  • Dialectics are internal & external
internal external dialectics

Connectedness – Separateness

Certainty – Uncertainty

Openness – Closedness


Inclusion –


Conventionality – Uniqueness

Revelation – Concealment

Internal & External Dialectics
responses to dialectics
More Functional

Spiraling Alteration




Less Functional





Responses to Dialectics
what influences communication
What influences communication?
  • Interpersonal Needs
  • Point in lifespan
  • Sex (Gender)
  • Personality Traits
3 interpersonal needs schutz
3 Interpersonal Needs - Schutz
  • Inclusion
    • Want to be included in other people’s activities and to include them in our activities.
  • Control
    • To have control/dominance over other people or for them to have control/dominance over you.
  • Affection
    • To give and to receive affection.
3 ip needs cont

Want to be included

Want other people to take charge

Want partner to show affection


Including other people

Want to control other people

Show partner a lot of affection

3 IP Needs (cont.)
symmetry complementarity
Symmetry & Complementarity
  • Constellation of Individual Needs in Dyad
    • Symmetry: Similar needs
    • Complementarity: Complementing needs
  • Influence relational communication
  • Can be a big compatibility issue!
schutz ip needs cont
Schutz IP Needs (cont.)
  • Needs change over time and with different relationships
  • We may or may not be aware of our own inclusion, control, or affection needs.
    • Can become more aware when they present complications in our relationship.
needs change over lifespan
Needs Change over Lifespan
  • Infancy / Childhood
  • Adolescents
  • Adulthood
  • Old Age
personality traits
Personality Traits
  • Traits: Relatively stable tendencies or predispositions to behave & respond in a certain manner.
  • Persist over time and across various situations
  • Example Anxiety: State vs. Trait
    • State – feeling anxious about a job interview
    • Trait – feeling anxious most of the time
  • The “open” & “closed” mind
  • 4 characteristics of high dogmatism
    • See the world as black and white; rigid in their thinking
    • Tend to reject conflicting beliefs
    • See authority as absolute – obedient to those of higher status, bossy to those who aren’t
    • See world as hostile and threatening
implications for communication
Implications for Communication
  • Won’t compromise in conflict situations
  • Use orders and threats to persuade
  • More persuaded by the source of a message than by the content
  • Don’t adopt others’ views – less likely to develop high levels of intimacy
evaluating dogmatism
Evaluating Dogmatism
  • Advantage:
    • “easier” to be dogmatic because the world is simple
  • Disadvantage:
    • More difficult to have high intimacy
    • You can never convince them that they’re wrong
  • View social world in terms of power and individual achievement
  • 3 Characteristics
    • Willingness to manipulate others
    • Cynicism about human nature
    • No concern for conventional morality
implications for communication1
Implications for Communication
  • Tend to be persuasive
  • Tend to achieve goals
    • Ex: Bargaining game. Divide $10 between 2 people in a group of 3.
  • “Love of Self”
  • Self-centered / Egotistical
  • 6 Characteristics
    • Self importance
      • Present a grandiose self (bragging)
      • VERY concerned with image
      • Often compensating for low self esteem
6 chars of narcissism cont
6 Chars. of Narcissism (cont.)
  • Fragile Self
    • Any threat to self concept upsets them
    • Hypersensitive to criticism
  • Exploitation
    • manipulative
    • Lie a lot, but do it to make themselves look better
    • High need for power—want to be in control
6 chars of narcissism cont1
6 Chars. of Narcissism (cont.)
  • Exhibitionism
    • Want to be the center of attention
    • Show off a lot
  • Very self-focused
    • Low empathy
    • Dismissive in IPRs
  • Entitlement
    • Feel entitled to special treatment
implications for communication2
Implications for Communication
  • Always searching for praise
  • “One-up” responses – tell them something, and they have a better one
  • Shifting responses – back to talking about themselves or their experiences
  • Excessive use of 1st person pronouns
  • Extreme and inappropriate self disclosure
communication apprehension
Communication Apprehension
  • Fear/Anxiety associated with real or anticipated communication
  • Affects...
    • Relationships
    • Public behavior
    • Career choice
implications for communication3
Implications for Communication
  • Those who are high in CA tend to remain in relationships longer and put more effort into maintaining them.
  • Those who are high in CA are more likely to be in a relationship with someone who is low in CA.
gender differences
Gender Differences
  • Differences in Interpersonal Behavior
  • Based on differences in Interpersonal Needs
actual gender differences

Actual Gender Differences
  • Limited to relatively few behaviors
  • Variance within larger than variance between
features of women s talk
Features of Women’s Talk
  • ask more questions
  • engage in conversational maintinance
  • verbal minimal responses
  • silent protest
  • more integrative language
features of men s talk
Features of Men’s Talk
  • interrupt more
  • more challenges & disputes
  • ignore others
  • control topic
  • more declarations and opinions
cross gender miscommunication
Cross-Gender Miscommunication
  • Minimal Responses
    • agreement vs. interest
  • Questions
    • request for info vs. keeping other talking
  • Introducing Topics & Topic Shifts
    • individual responsibility vs. cooperation
  • Discussing Problems
    • finding solutions vs. empathy
a final word
A Final Word
  • Some gender differences are real
  • Genders more similar than dissimilar
  • Relevance of gender differences varies greatly among couples depending on unique constellation and roles might be reversed
what environmental factors influence communication
What environmental factors influence communication?
  • Cultural Environment
  • Physical Environment
factors of communication



Personality Traits



Interpersonal Needs

Sex (Gender)

Physical Environment

Factors of Communication
influence of cultural environment
Influence of Cultural Environment
  • Patterns of Work
  • Relationship Styles
  • Attitudes toward Self-fulfillment
  • Messages from the Mass Media
patterns of work
Patterns of Work
  • Employment of both relationship partners
  • Changing work environments
  • Implications for Communication
    • Less time / more stress
    • Less clearly defined sex roles
    • Less relationship satisfaction
relationship styles
Relationship Styles
  • Changes in Acceptable Relationships
  • Relationship Needs:
    • shared concerns
    • dependability
    • availability
    • supportiveness
attitudes toward self fulfillment
Attitudes toward Self-Fulfillment
  • Changes:

-Self-denial late 1950s

-self-centeredness late 1960s~1970s

-centrality of relationships to our lives 1980s~

  • Implications for communication

-whose needs do we focus on?

-what needs to we respond to?

messages from the mass media
Messages from the Mass Media
  • Various Sources
    • Popular Literature
    • Popular Music
    • Television /Movies
  • Popular Culture no longer unified
physical environment
Physical Environment
  • Components of a Physical Setting
  • Perceptions of Communication Environments
major components of physical settings
Major Components of Physical Settings
  • Natural environment
  • Architectural structure and design
  • Movable objects
  • Presence or absence of other people
perceptions of communication environments
Perceptions of Communication Environments
  • Perceptions of Formality
  • Perceptions of Warmth
  • Perceptions of Privacy
  • Perceptions of Familiarity
  • Perceptions of Constraint
  • Perceptions of Distance
perceptions of formality
Perceptions of Formality
  • Impact on communication
    • less breadth & depth,
    • more stylized
    • less relaxed
    • more hesitant
    • more difficult
perceptions of warmth
Perceptions of Warmth
  • Impact on communication
    • More personal
    • More spontaneous
    • more efficient
perceptions of privacy
Perceptions of Privacy
  • Implications for communication:
    • more intimacy
    • less distance
    • more depth & breadth
    • more flexible
    • more spontaneous
perceptions of familiarity
Perceptions of Familiarity
  • Implications for communication:
    • more certainty
    • more flexibility
    • more intimacy
perceptions of constraint
Perceptions of Constraint
  • Implications for communication:
    • Less intimacy
perceptions of distance
Perceptions of Distance
  • Implications for communication:
    • Less intimacy
    • More formality
    • Less spontaneity
a final word1
A Final Word
  • We typically experience a combination of the perceptions.
  • Selection of the environment may influence the outcome of the encounter and the resulting relationship
a final word2
A Final Word
  • Intimate communication is associated with
    • informality
    • warmth
    • privacy
    • familiarity
    • no constrain
    • closeness
  • Form small groups (5-6 people)
  • Observe interaction
  • Determine the influence of variable assigned to you
  • Prepare short report to class
initial interactions
Initial interactions
  • 4 human impulses (Davis)
    • Receive stimulation
      • Excitement, variety, change of pace
      • Socialize with others who are new/different
    • Express experience
      • Share with others to receive support, protection.
      • Partly motivated by a drive to compare our experiences with those of others.
4 impulses cont
4 impulses (cont.)
  • Assert oneself
    • We define ourselves in relation to others
    • Exercise control over our environment to achieve goals.
    • Reduce uncertainty about others
  • Enhance enjoyment of activities
    • Some activities are “no fun” alone.
    • Ex: celebrations, holidays
communication in initial interactions
Communication in Initial Interactions
  • Function of 4 impulses
    • Impulses might facilitate or inhibit interaction
  • Function of Need to reduce uncertainty
uncertainty reduction
Uncertainty Reduction
  • Most common strategies used to gain information about others:
    • Passive
    • Active
    • Interactive
  • May be used to reduce uncertainty and to achieve social goals
social perception
Social Perception
  • Cognitive modeling of social world
  • Influences on perception
    • Cultural conditioning, education, or personal experiences
    • How we direct our attention and process information
    • Personal needs/desires/emotional states
gestalt impression formation
Gestalt Impression Formation
  • Tendency to organize initial impressions into a positive or negative general working model of other
  • Everything learned past that point is framed around that impression
  • A LOT of contradictory info needed to change this perception
  • Formed within the first 1-2 minutes of meeting
implicit personalities
Implicit Personalities
  • Tendency to assume that certain traits are linked with other traits.
    • Nice, attractive, friendly ≠ dishonest & cruel
  • Stereotyping
  • Based on social learning & socialization
biased information processing
Biased Information Processing
  • Positivity Bias
    • Bias toward positive perceptions
    • Tendency to perceive positive as normal
  • Negativity Effect
    • Tendency to weight negative info more heavily
    • Negative has more information value
typical biases
Typical Biases
  • Self-enhancing bias
    • View successes as dispositional and failures as situational
  • Self-centered bias
    • Overestimation of own effort/ability
  • Just World Hypothesis
    • Good behavior results in good fortune & vice versa.
    • Karma!
  • Explanations generated to explain behavior
  • Fundamental Attribution Error
    • Own pos. behavior = self
    • Own neg. behavior = situation
    • Other pos. behavior = situation
    • Other neg. behavior = other
pollyanna principle
Pollyanna Principle
  • Tendency to spend more time thinking about positive things than negative.
  • Evaluate self & others more positively
    • Ex: On a scale of 1-10, most people rate themselves as above average (6.5-7)
    • More people describe themselves as optimists
  • Opposite of depression
  • Three (interrelated) Types:
    • Social
    • Physical
    • Task
  • Four Factors
    • Perceived Rewards
    • Proximity
    • Similarity
    • Physical Attractiveness
  • Provided by other OR Association to other
    • Personal
    • Social
    • Material
    • Instrumental
  • Proximity
    • Physical & social
  • Festinger (1950) Westgate Study
    • Friendship formation in apt. complex
    • People tended to become friends with those who lived closer to them
  • Greater similarity is attractive
    • Shared world view
    • Easier interaction
    • Easier to be liked
  • Sometimes, dissimilarity also attractive
    • complementarity
qualifications to similarity
Qualifications to Similarity
  • Perceived similarity ≠ actual similarity
    • People view themselves as more similar to attractive people than to unattractive
  • Similarity = attraction only if you like that about yourself.
  • Different types of similarity have different effects.
      • Attitudes; personalities; values
physical attractiveness
Physical Attractiveness
  • More favorable perceptions of attractive people
    • Extends to non-physical qualities (Halo effect)
    • Starts with young children
    • Unattractive couples judged to be more seriously in love
contrast effect
Contrast Effect
  • Kenrick & Gutierrez (1980)
  • Does media exposure influence people’s perceptions of attractiveness?
  • Interviews conducted when Charlie’s Angels was on TV. Showed picture and said they were setting up a friend
    • Those watching CA rated picture as much less attractive
  • Do people really get better looking as the night gets later?
  • Went to single’s bars at 10:30 & then again at closing.
  • As the night went on, ratings of fellow patrons’ attractiveness went up.
  • Chances of picking people up went down as fewer people were around!
communication rules
Communication Rules
  • Dos and don’ts that regulate content and style of communication
  • Implicit agreement of communicators
  • Violations subject to sanction
grice s pragmatics
Grice’s pragmatics
  • Maxims of Quantity (be informative)
  • Maxims of Quality (be truthful)
  • Maxim of Relation (be relevant)
  • Maxims of Manner (be appropriate)
communication rituals
Communication Rituals
  • Greetings
  • Forms of Address
  • Relationship openings
  • Small talk
  • Acknowledge presence
  • Establish basic relationship
  • Confirm group membership
  • Allow for subsequent communication
forms of address
Forms of Address
  • Denote important relationship qualities
    • Intimacy/affiliation
    • Hierarchy/power
    • Affect
  • Vary in formality
    • Formal-impersonal
    • Ambiguous
    • Informal
    • Intimate-affectionate
  • Establish tone for subsequent relationship
  • Indicate intentions
  • Signal relationship/association
  • Effectiveness function of other’s expectations
small talk1
Small Talk
  • Little depth (breadth?) of self-disclosure
  • Noncommittal/explorative in nature
  • Has important functions
    • Affirms affiliation
    • Creates social bond
    • Explores relational development
    • Enhances enjoyment
uncertainty reduction theory
Uncertainty Reduction Theory
  • Persons are motivated to explain & predict social interactions
  • Thus, in early stages of relationships, persons are motivated to reduce uncertainty
uncertainty reduction strategies
Uncertainty Reduction Strategies
  • Passive: observing other
  • Active: asking 3rd parties
  • Interactive: communicating with other
    • Asking
    • Disclosing
    • Relaxing
  • Strategy determined by:
    • Effectiveness
    • Social Appropriateness
axioms of urt
Axioms of URT
  • Verbal Communication – Uncertainty
  • Nonverbal Affect – Uncertainty
  • Information Seeking + Uncertainty
  • Intimacy – Uncertainty
  • Reciprocity + Uncertainty
  • Similarities – Uncertainty
  • Liking – Uncertainty
  • Shared Networks – Uncertainty



love styles
Love Styles
  • Different “approaches” or “styles” of loving
  • Styles not exclusive
    • People are usually a “blend” of different types.
  • Over time, a person’s “style” changes
    • Relationship experience
    • Maturity-seeking different things from relationships.
love styles lee 1973
Love Styles (Lee, 1973)
  • Primary Styles
    • Eros (Love of Beauty)
      • passionate, intense, powerful
    • Ludus (Playful Love)
      • playful, non-committal, flirtatious
    • Storge (Companionate Love)
      • comfortable, stable, gradual
love styles lee 19731
Love Styles (Lee, 1973)
  • Secondary Styles
    • Mania (Obsessive Love)
      • manic, obsessive, extreme
    • Pragma (Realistic Love)
      • practical, rational, pragmatic
    • Agape (Altruistic Love)
      • altruistic, devoted, content
overview of love styles
Overview of love styles







  • “Falling in love” is possible, if not mandatory to experience love
  • Idealize relationships, thoroughly committed to partner
  • Serial monogamists
  • Like to please partner (give gifts a lot!)
  • Sentimental – have keepsakes, remember all important dates in relationship
  • Game players, not jealous / possessive
  • See love as unstable
  • Avoid dependence and commitment
  • Goal is to have fun
  • Often have multiple relationships
    • The game is to keep them from finding out about each other.
  • Love is based on/grows out of friendship
  • Typically do not fantasize about other relationships
  • Happy/satisfied with being in their relationship
  • Enjoy the stability/routine nature of the relationship.
  • See love as very unstable
  • Clingy, needy, very focused on partner
    • Relationship is like a rollercoaster ride
  • Jealous, possessive partners
  • When they fall in love, they fall “hard”
  • Very intense, extreme highs and lows
  • Hurt by real or imagined rejection, dislike absences from partner
  • “Shopping list lovers”
  • Practical & objective
  • Very aware of CLalt (Soc. Exch. Oriented)
  • Don’t fall in love—choose to be in love
  • Will go to great lengths for partner if it will benefit the relationship
  • Stay together / break up for practical reasons.
  • Put partner’s needs ahead of own
  • Don’t feel like they “fall” in love. Love is there, waiting for the relationship.
  • Patient, accepting, supportive partners
  • Unconditional love
  • Sometimes seen as weak—not so
    • They are truly forgiving. Most religions aspire to this type of love.
triangular theory of love sternberg 1986
Triangular Theory of Love (Sternberg 1986)
  • Love has 3 components
    • Intimacy: feelings of closeness, connectedness, warmth
    • Passion: feelings of romance, physical/sexual attraction
    • Commitment: desire to maintain the relationship
  • Degrees (or even presence) of each may vary.
different combinations
Different Combinations
  • 8 different combinations
  • Each of the 3 components can change over time.
  • Intimacy: 2 aspects
    • Latent: hidden, underlying, not observable
    • Manifest: Observable, upfront. Ex: PDAs
  • Over time, manifest peaks, then declines. Latent slowly inclines, does not decline so long as relationship is good.
  • This changes the fastest over time of the 3 components.
  • 2 aspects:
    • Positive: arousal state
    • Negative: habituation or tolerance
  • Peaks quickly, then declines until it reaches a point where it levels off.



  • This grows the slowest of the 3 components
  • Moves in “steps” or “plateaus”
liking vs loving rubin
Liking vs. Loving (Rubin)
  • Liking: 2 parts
    • Affect: Feelings of warmth, closeness, fondness toward someone else.
    • Respect: admiration for a person outside of your relationship with him/her.
  • 3 parts
  • Attachment
    • Powerful desire to be in the other person’s presence.
  • Caring
    • Desire to give love. Want to put their needs ahead of your own.
  • Intimacy
    • A bond or sense of union linked to a person.
4 types outcomes
4 types / outcomes


Yes No




foundations of intimacy
Foundations of Intimacy
  • Personality and Early Experiences
  • Situational and Developmental Factors
  • Cultural Guidelines
  • Emotional Arousal and Labeling
  • Self-Fulfillment
  • Self-Surrender
  • Commitment to a Joint Identity
personality and early experiences
Personality and Early Experiences
  • Explain individual intimate communication patterns through individual characteristics (innate or learned).
    • genetic predispositions and intimacy
    • early childhood experiences and intimacy
    • personality, perceptions, and intimacy
genetic predispositions and intimacy
Genetic predispositions and intimacy
  • The nature of early human experiences with attachment
    • protection and reproduction
  • Human’s acts of love today (Buss, 1994)
    • Men: displays of resources invested in the young
    • Women: appearance-enhancing acts designed to show reproductive viability
    • These two tendencies are deeply rooted in our development as a species.
early childhood experiences and intimacy
Early childhood experiences and intimacy
  • Childhood experiences with intimacy

characteristics of a child later attempts

to build intimate relationships

  • Patterns of attachment (Hazan & Shaver)
    • Secure lovers
    • Avoidant lovers
    • Anxious/Ambivalent lovers
personality perceptions and intimacy
Personality, perceptions and intimacy
  • Personality affects our perceptions of others.
    • Self-esteem
    • intimacy
  • Perception of another’s personality structures our own behavior.
situational and developmental factors
Situational and Developmental Factors
  • Facilitate or inhibit intimate relationships
    • Situational:
      • Work, family, environment, etc.
    • Developmental stages in life
      • Intimacy readiness
cultural guidelines
Cultural Guidelines
  • Influence how we structure our perceptions and behavior in intimate relationships
    • Normative messages about intimate relationships
    • Counter-normative messages
    • Transition from counter-normative to normative messages
    • Cultural guidelines are changing.
emotional arousal and labeling
Emotional Arousal and Labeling
  • There are connections between emotional arousal, the way we label it, and our consequent behavior.
    • When emotional arousal precedes labeling
    • When labeling precedes emotional arousal
self fulfillment
  • The more our needs are fulfilled by the relationship, the greater will be our feelings of intimacy.
    • Affection Needs
    • Self-Esteem Needs
    • Security Needs
    • Freedom Needs
    • Equality Needs
  • The needs can be satisfied in many ways
    • Utilitarian, emotional, physical, psychological, etc.
self surrender
  • Self-surrender deals with giving; self-fulfillment deals with needing.
  • The extent to which one is willing to give to another person is reflective of the degree of intimacy he or she feels.
commitment to a joint identity
Commitment to a Joint Identity
  • Focus on the link between the two people
  • The link produces a new mixture or identity
  • The amount of commitment to the new identity influences the type and level of intimacy.
development of the joint identity
Development of the joint identity
  • People engage in cultivating the joint identity.
    • Conscious efforts (i.e., relationship commitment)
    • Unconscious engagement
  • Movement toward a joint identity
    • Mixed-sex pairs: marriage
    • Same-sex pairs: consistent common activities
    • Difficulty with moving too quickly
a final word3
A final word
  • Foundations of intimacy provide tentative answers to the nature of intimacy and intimate communication patterns.
  • Each foundation of intimacy exerts its own influence on the type and intensity of intimacy you feel.
  • The foundations combine in complex ways to produce a variety of types and levels of intimacy .
exam 1
Exam # 1
  • Mean = 160
  • Range = 113-196
  • Distribution
    • 90% + = 13
    • 80-89% = 34
    • 70-79% = 14
    • 60-69% = 11
    • < 59% = 1
exam 1 essay questions
Exam 1, Essay Questions
  • Personality Traits
    • Accurate definition & reasonable prediction of comm. problems and explanation
  • Dialectical Theory
    • Accurate definition & explanation of movement
  • Social Exchange Theory
    • Accurate definition & reasonable application
relationship maintenance rm
Relationship Maintenance (RM)
  • RM is the way the partners deal with the critical and repeated acts of discourse that constitute their relationship.
  • RM behaviors and the meaning of RM vary across types of relationships, time, and individuals.
  • 7 types of RM behaviors
  • Communication patterns are critical to maintaining a close relationship.
7 types of rm behaviors
7 Types of RM Behaviors

Can be strategic or routine:

  • Giving advice
  • Relationship assurances
  • Effective conflict management*
  • Appropriate openness*
  • Positive demeanor
  • Sharing tasks
  • Blending social networks
self disclosure sd
Self-Disclosure (SD)
  • Defining SD?
  • Self-disclosure and Intimacy
  • Motivations to SD
  • Self-Disclosing Messages
  • Strategic Applications of SD
  • Trust and SD
defining sd
Defining SD?
  • Revealing information about oneself that others would not discover on their own.
  • Reflect any breadth and depth combination
  • Intimate disclosures refer to more personal/private information
  • Intimate disclosures are primarily concerned with depth
self disclosure and intimacy1
Self-Disclosure and Intimacy

Breadth of SD


topic areas






Close friend


topic areas

motivations to self disclose
Motivations to self-disclose
  • Need for communicative release (Catharsis)
  • Need to be open
  • Expected outcome
    • For self
    • For other/relationship
self disclosing messages
Self-Disclosing Messages
  • 3 Dimensions: Determine the nature and strength of the message for each partner in the relationship.
    • Information
    • Expectations for Self
    • Expectations for Other
self disclosing messages cont
Self-Disclosing Messages (cont.)
  • SD is part of an ongoing process of interaction.
  • Perception of messages can be affected by co-occurring behaviors (i.e., nonverbal behavior) of each interactant.
strategic applications of sd
Strategic Applications of SD
  • Relationship escalation/de-escalation
  • Obtain outcomes associated with certain intimacy level
    • Gain assistance
    • Gain information
  • Can be manipulative
trust and sd
Trust and SD
  • Trust: perception that other acts in your interest
  • 3 perceptual components:
    • Predictability
    • Dependability
    • Faith
  • Trust is antecedent of SD
  • Misrepresentation or incomplete representation
  • Potentially a means of relational maintenance
  • Perception of social reality would suffer if factual truth was always told
turner et al 1975
Turner et al. (1975)
  • information control and truthfulness in important conversations
  • 61.5% of statements were not fully true.
    • Left stuff out, put stuff in, etc
  • 38.5% were fully true statement.
  • Many conversations in which no single statement was true, but NO conversations completely true.
  • People defined honesty as “saying what is good for the relationship
lying in relationships
Lying in relationships
  • 3 criteria for “acceptable lies”
    • Will the lie help both people?
    • Is this type of lie o.k. in the relationship?
    • Does partner lied to believe you have their best intentions in mind?
  • Response to lie function of importance of what was lied about
deception detection
Deception Detection
  • People in general are rarely better than 50% accurate in detecting deception.
    • Most people are in the 20-30% range
  • 2 reasons
    • The more intimate we are with someone, the less we expect them to lie to us.
    • The better we know someone, the more confident we are that we can “tell when they are lying.”
assumed cues to detect deception
Assumed cues to detect deception
  • Cultural belief that there are 6 cues to deception.
    • Eye contact (liars use less)
    • Smiling (liars = more)
    • Adapters (liars = more)
    • Speech Errors (liars = more)
    • Postural shifting (liars = more)
    • Longer messages (liars = more)
actual cues deturck miller 1990
Actual Cues(deTurck & Miller,1990)
  • Hand gestures (liars = more)
  • Adapters (liars = more)*
  • Within utterance pausing (liars = more)
  • Shorter messages (!)
  • Longer response latencies
  • Speech Errors (liars = more)*
  • deTurck & Miller found 80% accuracy when using these cues.
conflict management
Conflict Management
  • Increasing intimacy raises potential for conflict.
  • Conflict itself is not detrimental, what’s important is how it is managed.
constructive conflict notarius markman 1993
More likely with:

Listening talk

Positive problem talk

Less likely with:

Negative problem talk

Negative solution talk


Critical Talk

Constructive Conflict(Notarius & Markman, 1993)
four apocalyptical horsemen
Four Apocalyptical Horsemen
  • Criticism
  • Contempt
  • Defensiveness
  • Stonewalling
  • complaint about other that involves attack on personality and/or character
  • often done when upset
  • similar to criticism, but with the intent to insult and psychologically abuse other including
    • insult & name calling
    • hostile humor
    • name calling
    • contemptuous nonverbals
  • rejection of other’s complaint or criticism, including
    • denying responsibility & making excuses
    • rejecting mind-reading
    • reflect criticism & cross-complaining
    • repeating & whining
    • nonverbals that make similar points
  • withdrawal during intense conflict
  • being unable to communicate with other
profitable costs of conflict
Profitable Costs of Conflict
  • Provide greater understanding of the other person, yourself, and the relationship.
  • Clarify similarities/dissimilarities
  • Learn ways to cope with future conflict
  • Reveal areas where communication and adaptation need work.
  • One of many issues that require relational maintenance.
  • Cultural definition changes over time.
    • Pre 1960’s: Jealousy is normal & healthy
    • Today: Seen as unhealthy & problematic
  • Today, the belief is that it results from
    • Low self esteem
    • Insecurity
    • Possessiveness
    • Relational history
definition of jealousy
Definition of Jealousy
  • Root word: zealous
    • “strong devotion to a person (object)”
  • Jealousy is a combination of negative emotions, such as fear, surprise, anger, & sadness
  • Not the same as envy
    • Envy: root word invidere “to look upon with malice”
  • Protective reaction to a perceived threat to a valued relationship. (pathological jealousy aside)
  • Research has found little correlation with self esteem
    • Is situation specific
    • Reactive, not proactive
2 factors of jealousy
2 Factors of Jealousy
  • Behavioral Discrepancy:
    • Define P’s actual or imagined behavior as conflicting with your definition of the relationship
  • Valued Relationship:
    • Have a strong interest in remaining in the relationship.
strategies controlling jealousy
Strategies controlling Jealousy
  • Reliance: “Cooling off” period. Stay focused on/engaged in current activity.
  • Bolstering: Talk yourself up (tell yourself how great you are) to try and offset the threat.
  • Selective Ignoring: Minimize or reshape the threat/event.
which strategy works best
Which strategy works best?
  • If you are jealous...
    • Best is self-reliance. This gives you time to cool off before you deal with the situation.
    • Worst is self-bolstering. This relates the situation to similar events, which can bring up other negative memories.
which strategy works best1
Which strategy works best?
  • If your partner is jealous...
    • Best: Partner Self-reliance—Don’t ignore them, but let them cool off.
    • Worst: Partner Self-Bolstering—Telling them how great they are; they aren’t likely to believe you.
    • Also bad: Partner Selective Ignoring—Ignoring the situation belittles their emotions.
communicating intimacy verbally
Communicating Intimacy Verbally
  • Commitment
  • Personal Idioms
  • Compliments & Gifts
  • Comforting
  • Influence
dimensions of commitment
Dimensions of Commitment
  • Perceptions of rewarding future
  • Identification with relationship
  • Perceived alternatives
  • Exerting effort for relationship
  • Investment
  • Being responsible for relationship
communicating commitment
Communicating Commitment
  • To Other:
    • Affection, Support, Respect & Create positive atmosphere.
  • To Relationship:
    • Integrity, Companionship, Create relationship future, Work on relationship & Express commitment.
personal idioms
Personal Idioms
  • Expressions of affection
  • Teasing insults
  • Partner nicknames
  • Other nicknames
  • Requests & routines
  • Confrontations
  • Sexual invitations
  • Sexual references
compliments gifts
Compliments & Gifts
  • Need to be offered sincerely
  • Need to be valued by receiver
  • Should only rarely also benefit giver
  • Aims to lessen other’ s distress/discomfort
  • Validates other’s feelings/response
  • Shows communicator’s empathy
  • Do not diminish/discount other’s experience/feeling
influence persuasion
Influence (persuasion)
  • Effect change in partner to benefit:
    • Self, other, relationship
  • Influence always face threatening
    • Positive: to be liked
    • Negative: to be autonomous
  • Behavior chosen based on:
    • Effectiveness
    • Politeness (concern for face)
nvc and intimacy
NVC and Intimacy
  • Emotions are communicated thru NVC, including feelings about other and relationship
  • Important emotions difficult to verbalize
  • NVC of emotions seen more authentic
  • If verbal and nonverbal messages unrelated or in conflict, most trust NVC
sex in interpersonal relationships
Sex in Interpersonal Relationships
  • Almost all persons (98%<) will have sex at some point in life
  • 80% of boys & 66% of girls have sex before graduating high school
  • 16% of men & 20% women have no premarital sex
sex in romantic relationship
Sex in Romantic Relationship
  • Sex is important aspect of intimacy
  • Most sex is conducted in the context of romantic relationships
  • 85% of students report that person they sexually desire is persons they also love
  • However, there is sex without romance
    • One-night stance
    • Friends with benefits
sexual attitudes
Sexual Attitudes
  • Procreational
    • Sex to have offspring
  • Relational
    • Sex as an expression of love & intimacy
  • Recreational
    • Sex as fun, excitement & pleasure
communicating sexual desires
Communicating sexual desires
  • Men are expected to initiate
  • Women are gatekeepers
  • In established relationships, gender roles are less rigid
  • Expressing sexual desires is high risk
    • Chance to be rebuffed/disappointed
    • Sexual desire is “bad”; loss of face; guilt
    • Rebuffing other hurts other (esp. women)
establishing sex talk
Establishing Sex Talk
  • Talk about sex in nonromantic situations
  • Express desires openly without pressuring other
  • Be accepting of other’s desires
  • Be honest & firm about own boundaries
  • Agree on rules & expectations for implementation (if any)
sexual coercion
Sexual Coercion
  • Using force (including verbal & alcohol) to get other to be sexual
  • Around 50% of college women and 26% of men are coerced at some point
  • 95% of women & 63% of men engaged in unwanted sexual behavior in college
avoiding coercion
Avoiding Coercion
  • Being coerced:
    • Be explicit in communicating, verbalize
    • Be congruent in verbal & nonverbal comm.
    • Avoid drinking/drugs
  • Coercing:
    • obtain verbal agreement
    • No guilt tripping & pressuring
    • No verbal aggression
  • Stages of coming apart
    • Differentiating
    • Circumscribing
    • Stagnating
    • Avoiding
    • Terminating
  • This chapter focuses on individuals terminating close relationships
moving apart
Moving Apart
  • De-escalation inherent in relationships
  • Part of Intimacy-Autonomy Dialectic
  • Breaking up: Autonomy dominant
  • Processes involved:
    • Re-establish autonomous identity
    • Re-establish psychological interdependence
    • Re-establish behavioral interdependence
reasons safran 1979
Breakdown in communication

Loss of shared goals/interests

Sexual incompatibility


Excitement/fun gone from relationship


Conflicts about children

Alcohol/drug abuse

Women’s equality


Reasons (Safran, 1979)
more recent studies
More recent studies
  • Lack of effective communication cited as leading to termination
  • Communication of distressed couples
    • More sarcasm
    • More negative feelings reciprocated
    • More negative interpretations of others’ behavior
    • More problem escalation
relational causes
Relational Causes
  • Dissatisfaction w/ partner
    • Reward-Cost ratio not as expected
  • Disillusionment w/ relationship
    • Purpose of relationship changed (no longer needed/desired)
  • Difficulties with individual characteristics
    • Other’s personality or behaviors costly
external causes
External Causes
  • Networks
    • Individual or joint networks interfere
  • Cultural Incompatibilities
    • Religion, education, race
  • Situational circumstances
    • Relocation, unemployment
dating v marital relationships


Interest in someone else

Living too far apart

Desire to be independent




Alcohol/drug use

Not meeting family obligations

Financial problems

Dating v. Marital relationships
responses to dissatisfaction
Responses to Dissatisfaction
  • Two Dimensions
    • Constructive-Destructive
    • Active-Passive
  • Determined by Commitment
    • O > CLalt
    • Investment
evln model rusbult
EVLN Model (Rusbult)









initiating breakups
Initiating breakups
  • The least involved partner is not always the one who initiates the breakup
  • Women are more likely to initiate
    • More aware of relational problems
    • More direct in expression of relational needs
  • Reasons given by heterosexual couple are also cited by homosexual couples
after the breakup
After the Breakup
  • Feel relief/feel regret/feel depressed
    • More distress felt with more intimate rels.
    • Less distress if support is available
  • Seek company of others / isolate self from others
  • Men tend to have a more difficult time recovering from the breakup
    • Most likely to be friends if the man initiated
manner of dissolution davis
Manner of dissolution (Davis)
  • Passing Away – 3 crucial reasons
    • New intimate enters the relationship
    • Interaction Distance
    • Psychological & Physical Growth
  • Sudden Death
    • Lost feelings but acted roles in public
    • Non-mutual termination
    • Differing expectations / Ultimatums
    • Extenuating Circumstances
    • Violation of relational rules/norms
4 phases of dissolution duck
4 Phases of dissolution (Duck)
  • Intra-psychic
    • Personal assessment of relationship
  • Dyadic
    • Discussion of problems w/ partner
  • Social
    • Inform networks of breakup
  • Grave-dressing
    • Getting over the relationship
    • Create own versions of “The Story”
breakup strategies cody
Breakup Strategies (Cody)
  • Positive Tone
  • Negative Identity Management
  • Justification
  • Behavioral De-escalation
  • De-escalation

Intimacy related to more justification, positive tone, and de-escalation

breakup strategies cody1
Breakup Strategies (Cody)
  • If breakup thought to be partner’s fault:
    • More justification, avoided positive tone and de-escalation
  • If partner won’t compromise:
    • More justification & de-escalation, less positive tone
  • Reason was constraint or lack of freedom
    • Neg. ID mgmt, justification, de-escalation, positive tone used.
the role of networks banks altendorf green cody 1987
The Role of Networks(Banks, Altendorf, Green, & Cody, 1987)
  • Found that network quality influenced decision of how to break up.
  • High network overlap = More positive tone, justification, and de-escalation
    • Face management concerns increase consideration for partner’s feelings and personal accountability
communicating distance
Communicating Distance
  • Physically
    • Avoidance, changing schedule around
  • Emotional distance
    • Sharing less with partner,
  • Verbal
    • Shorter or nonspecific messages
  • Nonverbal
    • Less eye contact, less touching, cold vocal tone
  • Increased concern for self and a decrease in concern for partner.
    • More time spent talking about own interests
    • More time spent on individual activities away from the relationship
    • Emphasize differences
    • Communication becomes less intimate
mid term 2
Mid-Term 2
  • Mean = 166 (80%)
  • Range: 127-196 (64-98%)
  • 90% + = 15
  • 80% + = 33
  • 70% + = 20
  • 60% + 3
insights into failed communication
Insights into Failed Communication
  • We do not always communicate perfectly- but should try
  • Others will not always communicate perfectly- but we should help them
  • Responsibility for communication failure is shared
  • Try to minimize use of destructive comm.
  • We should learn from failures!
5 destructive communication patterns
5 Destructive Communication Patterns
  • Helpful-Critical
  • Active-Passive
  • Aggressive-Evasive
  • Dominating-Submissive
  • Certain-Provisional
helpful critical patterns
Helpful-Critical Patterns
  • Both are power moves
  • Both threaten negative face
active passive patterns
Active-Passive Patterns
  • The Active Pattern
    • threatens negative face
  • The Passive Pattern
    • threatens positive face
aggressive evasive patterns
Aggressive-Evasive Patterns
  • Five steps of hassling:

1.) repartee

2.) cliché

3.) name-calling

4.) provocation

5.) physiological degeneration

aggressive evasive patterns1
Aggressive-Evasive Patterns
  • 4 general methods of evasiveness

1.) changing the focus of responsibility

2.) changing the direction of conversation

3.) changing the level of conversation

4.) sending incongruous messages

dominating submissive patterns
Dominating-Submissive Patterns
  • Dominating Pattern

1.) nullification

2.) isolation

3.) defamation

4.) expulsion

  • Submissive Pattern
    • Exaggeration of dependency and self-deprecating remarks
certain provisional patterns
Certain-Provisional Patterns
  • Certain Pattern
    • Know-it-all style
    • Self-fulfilling prophecy
  • Provisional Pattern
    • Constant uncertainty and qualification
final words
Final Words
  • The patterns represent extremes and can lead to unproductive communication and relationships if applied often.
  • The patterns are not inherently and consistently “bad;” they can be the best strategies in particular situations.
  • The responsibility for interpersonal destruction rests with everyone involved.
  • We need to minimize the usage of any communication strategy that consistently fails to achieve the desired results.
relativity of communication
Relativity of Communication
  • Different criteria for effective communication are established by:
    • Society
    • Relationships
    • Individuals
when is success evaluated
When is success evaluated?
  • Timing of evaluation can also affect judgments.
    • What is the specific situation or circumstances?
    • Stage of the relationship under consideration
    • Life stage of the communicator
    • Time in history
what is evaluated
What is evaluated?
  • What was the goal of the communication?
  • Are there multiple and/or contradicting goals?
  • Are there ethical/moral dimensions to be considered?
  • Are the goals of the other person important for success?
other factors in evaluation
Other factors in evaluation
  • Quantity/quality of responses
    • Eye contact, expressions of support
  • Size & diversity of repertoire
    • Does the communicator employ multiple strategies?
  • Diagnosis vs. Implementation
    • Is the communicator able to both analyze the situation & carry out the necessary behaviors?
becoming an effective communicator
Becoming an effective communicator
  • Knowledge
  • Experiences
  • Motivation
  • Attitudes
effective communication bottom line
Effective Communication“Bottom Line”
  • Be both flexible & stubborn
  • Talk openly about feelings, attitudes & opinions
  • Respond to partner in ways that show respect, value, and caring
  • Attend to the important things
  • Work at the relationship, but also have fun
  • Form small groups (5-6 persons)
  • Read your definitions of effective communication aloud to the group
  • As a group, come up with your own, one paragraph definition of effective communication
effective communication criteria
Effective Communication Criteria
  • Information exchange
    • Fidelity
    • Efficiency
  • Interpersonal Influence
    • Effectiveness
  • Meaning, social reality, identity
    • Creating positive identities and relationships
faults in decision making
Faults in Decision-Making
  • Improper Assessment of Situation
  • Inappropriate Goals and/or Objectives
  • Improper Assessment of Consequences
  • Flawed Information Base
  • Faulty Reasoning
the decision making process
The Decision-Making Process




of Situation

Assessment of Consequences


to solve




Information Base

motives in decision making
Motives in Decision-Making
  • Instrumental Needs
    • find best solution in given situation
  • Interpersonal Needs
    • Affection: to be liked
    • Inclusion: to belong
    • Control: to be autonomous
    • Esteem: to be respected
informational influence
Informational Influence
  • Influence to accept information from another about reality
  • Motivated by instrumental needs
normative influence
Normative Influence
  • Influence to conform with the positive expectations of others
  • Motivated by interpersonal needs
determinants of influence
Determinants of Influence
  • Leadership (authoritative/participatory)
  • Decision Rule (unanimous / majority rule)
  • Issue type (judgmental/intellective)
leadership behavior in group decision making

Being Friendly




Showing Tensions

Being Unfriendly


Giving Suggestions

Giving Opinions

Giving Information

Asking for Information

Asking for Opinions

Asking for Suggestions

Leadership Behavior in Group Decision Making
group socialization
Group Socialization
  • Passage through group depends on 2 processes
    • Evaluation: balance of rewards & costs
      • More favorable the balance, more favorable the evaluation
    • Commitment: enduring adherence of the relationship between the individual & group
      • Expectation that you will remain in the group
  • Individuals & group evaluate each other
commitment to group
Commitment to Group
  • The more positively the indiv. evaluates the group, the higher commitment to group
  • Better group’s eval. of individual, more effort to recruit/maintain member
  • Commitment associated with:
    • Seniority
    • Alternatives
    • Member’s culture
    • Time/Investment
5 phases moreland levine 1982
5 phases (Moreland & Levine, 1982)
  • Investigation
  • Socialization
  • Maintenance
  • Resocialization
  • Remembrance
1 st phase investigation
1st phase - Investigation
  • Cautious search for information
    • Reconnaissance: individual tries to figure out group
    • Recruitment: group decides value of individual to group
  • Entry: transition point in which the potential member is accepted & wants to join group.
2 nd phase socialization
2nd phase - Socialization
  • Prospective member becomes new member.
  • Group expects member to accept their culture.
  • Individual expect group to be flexible enough to suit his/her needs.
    • Assimilation: indiv. accepts norms/values.
    • Accommodation: grp adapts to fit newcomer’s needs.
transition point 2 acceptance
Transition point #2 - Acceptance
  • New member becomes full member.
  • Role transition is affected in two ways.
    • Old-timers react negatively to newcomer.
    • Newcomer is too cautious, misinterprets old timer’s actions.
  • Newcomers tend to group together in presence of established group members.
3 rd phase maintenance
3rd phase - Maintenance
  • Full membership
  • Commitment to group is high.
  • Socialization still occurs as others enter group.
  • Role negotiation
    • Group & group member negotiate the role s/he will perform.
  • Many groups remain here
  • Divergence: transition point in which group and individual member cannot successfully negotiate roles.
4 th phase resocialization
4th phase - Resocialization
  • Full member becomes a marginal member
  • Commitment decreases
  • Withdraw from group b/c individual needs not met.
    • If differences resolved, marginal member may become full member again
    • If not, indiv. evaluates decision to remain in group, may choose to exit group
    • Exit is a transition point in which a marginal member becomes an ex-member of the group
5 th phase remembrance
5th phase - Remembrance
  • Group and individual part
  • Remaining group members review shared experiences
  • Former member tries to make sense of departure from the group
  • If there is not a mutual understanding of why the member left, old-timers may have high hostility toward former member
cross cultural communication
Cross Cultural Communication
  • Culture: The totality of socially transmitted behaviors, beliefs, values and institutions characteristic of a community
  • Culture contributes to the meaning of any communicative behavior
problems in cross cultural communication
Problems in Cross-Cultural Communication

Two types of Problems

  • Differences in Coordinating Behaviors
    • Language
    • Rituals and ritualized behaviors
  • Differences in Assigning Meaning
    • Assumptions about the World in general
    • Assumptions about Human Relationships
    • Assumption about meaning of Behaviors
dimensions of cultures
Dimensions of Cultures
  • Context (High– Low)
    • Location of meaning relative to message
  • Individualism – Collectivism
    • General interdependence of self & other
  • Power Distance
    • General equality of self & other
High Context

Meaning in Context

Meaning Implied

Requires Shared Assumptions

Example: Directness is impolite

Low Context

Meaning in Message

Meaning Expressed

Shared Assumptions not required

Example: Indirectness is unclear


Independent Self

Goal of Self Actualization

Value Individual Achievement

Individualistic Ethic


Interdependent Self

Goal of Harmony and Fitting In

Value Group Achievement

Collectivist Ethic

High Power Distance

Value Hierarchy

Status Conscious

Titles Important

Formal Address

Low Power Distance

Value Equality


Titles Unimportant

Informal Address

culture communication
Culture & Communication










interdependence of cultural dimensions
Interdependence of Cultural Dimensions
  • Individualism/Collectivism & Power = determinant variables
  • Context = outcome variable
  • Collectivism  High Context
  • Power Distance  High Context
cultural dimensions
Cultural Dimensions






uncertainty anxiety management theory
Uncertainty/Anxiety Management Theory
  • Application of Uncertainty Reduction Theory to Cross-Cultural communication
  • Uncertainty leads to Anxiety, but the relationship is mediated by many factors
  • Anxiety is motivation for mindfulness
  • Medium levels of anxiety are associated with competent communication
factors determining uncertainty and anxiety
Factors determining Uncertainty and Anxiety
  • Motivational
    • Personal & interpersonal needs, self-concept
  • Knowledge
    • Expectations, shared networks, cultural variability
  • Skill
    • Empathy, ambiguity tolerance, mental & behavioral adaptability
four types of communication performance
Four Types of Communication Performance
  • Unconscious Incompetence
    • low anxiety
  • Conscious Incompetence
    • high anxiety
  • Conscious Competence
    • medium anxiety
  • Unconscious Competence
    • low anxiety
face concerns
Face Concerns
  • Face: “the projected image of self in a relational situation
  • Determined by:
    • Face Concern: whose face is protected in an interaction
    • Face Need: positive (inclusion) or negative (autonomy)
face strategies
Face Strategies

Face Owner






Face Concern




challenges in cc dating
Challenges in CC Dating
  • less attributional certainty
  • less contact with partner's network
  • less overlapping networks
  • no difference in intimacy or uncertainty
challenges in cc marriages
Challenges in CC Marriages
  • Different Gender Roles
  • Different Ideas about Marriage
  • Different Ideas about Parenting
  • Different Involvement of Families
  • Different Support of Families