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Chapter 1. A first look at interpersonal. Why we communicate. Psychologist William Schutz: Basic Needs Affection-desire to give & receive love & liking Inclusion-desire to be social & be included Control-desire to influence people & events. The interpersonal imperative.

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chapter 1

Chapter 1

A first look at interpersonal

why we communicate
Why we communicate
  • Psychologist William Schutz: Basic Needs
    • Affection-desire to give & receive love & liking
    • Inclusion-desire to be social & be included
    • Control-desire to influence people & events
the interpersonal imperative
The interpersonal imperative
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
    • Physical Needs

Survival-air, food, sex

    • Safety Needs

Shelter, authorities, key master,

Medical, pay check

    • Belonging Needs

Inclusion, fun, groups

    • Self-Esteem Need

Intelligence, abilities

    • Self-Actualization Needs

Full development of unique talents

participating effectively in a diverse society
Participating effectively in a diverse society
  • Depends on:
    • ability to participate effectively in a

diverse society-2012

CA-12%-+65 yrs, Latino-38%, Asian-14%

    • Understanding & learning from others who

different from us

  • One-Way model
    • Exercise
  • Feedback models
    • Interactive
    • transactional
one way
  • Linear – one acts

on another

“Clean the kitchen!”

(encode) (noise)



Not passive receivers

Complicated messages




Give feedback Create & interpret messages

(encode) (noise) (decode)

Sender-message Receiver

Feedback loop-Do you realize that we’re actually having a quiet moment together? So how do we start?”

“I was hoping you’d remember?” (parents!)

Shortcomings: still perceived as sequential

Does not capture dynamism

  • Emphasizes dynamism & multiple roles
  • Varies over time, affecting our broadened relationships

(encoding/ Noise (decoding/

decoding) encoding)


Receiver message sent Receiver/Sender



-More realistic

  • Newish parents:


“I’m exhausted. She was up 4 times last & wouldn’t go back to sleep. I think she has a new tooth coming in, & it’s keeping her up.”

“Well, I have tomorrow off. I’ll get up with her, and you can sleep in.”


“You seem a little distant tonight. What is it?”

“Oh, there’s a lot happening at work that I’m missing—things I’d like to be involved with, but since I’m part-time now, I can’t really take them on.”

“Man, we really need to watch our spending this month. We’re pretty tight here.”

resource package
Resource package
  • Related to encoding & decoding
    • Each of us carries this package around making us unique individuals
    • It is made of a variety of factors:
      • Past experiences
      • Education/Knowledge-formal & informal
      • Culture
      • Values
      • Beliefs
      • Feelings/emotions
      • Expectations
      • Relationship knowledge
      • Assumptions
buber first definition of interpersonal communication
Buberfirst definition of interpersonal communication
  • “between people”
  • Not always personal
    • I/It relationships: treat others almost as objects, not as unique people, but as their role, i.e.,
      • Salespeople, servers, gas station attendants, bank tellers, dog walkers, homeless
    • I/You relationships: more personal, affirm the existence of others, beyond the role, no deep conversation, majority of our relationships, i.e.,
      • Work colleagues, teammates, classmates, perhaps instructors
    • I/Thou relationships: rarest, regarded as highest form of human dialogue, affirm other as cherished & unique, accept in totality, open ourselves, trusting, i.e.,
      • Best friends, lovers, etc.
features of interpersonal communication
Features of Interpersonal communication
  • Communication is:
    • Selective-we choose to communicate
    • Systemic-takes place in various systems, i.e.,

Costa Mesa OCC Comm Studies class-affects how we all communicate with one another (Note how the package of resources enters into this factor)

    • Interdependent systems & they affect one another
      • Noise is also part of systems-4 types of noise that can distort the message as it passes through the “system” or channel
        • Physiological- how we feel
        • Physical- environment
        • Psychological- interpretation of messages
        • Semantic- language not mutually understood
features continued
Features continued
  • Individual
    • Trust
    • Self-disclosing-2-way
    • Unique
      • Irreplaceable
    • Establish rules
  • Processual
    • Continuous & ongoing
      • No discrete beginning or


      • Interwoven past, present,


      • Irreversible
features cont
Features cont.
  • Transactional
    • Communication between two people is continual & simultaneous
    • Share responsibility for effectiveness-use of metacommunication, ie, I did not hear you-please speak up.
      • Technology & communication
  • Personal knowledge
    • Communication fosters\

communication &

    • Creates personal


feature final one
Feature-final one
  • Meaning Creating
    • Shared meaning between people using the resource package
      • Develop vocabularies that are for them, ie, my family uses lines from favorite films
    • Meanings
      • Content meaning-literal meaning, ie, “Clean your room now” means the room is to be cleaned immediately
      • Relationship meaning-between the communicators, ie, the parent has the right to order the child due to unequal power relationship
3 dimensions of relationship level meanings
3 dimensions of relationship-level meanings
  • Responsiveness-how aware of others & how involved with them we are, ie, you are chatting & the friend is texting…
    • Low context culture-Western world, uses little eye contact when preoccupied
    • High context culture-Eastern world, uses eye contact, nodding, feedback demonstrating involvement
  • Liking or affection-degree of positive or negative feelings communicated; use tone of voice, facial expressions, how close we sit to them…
  • Power or control-balance of power, how is it distributed, ie, parent/child, friend/friend, significant other
more on power
More on Power
  • One-up/One-down=Dominant/Submissive
    • Parent/child
    • Husband/wife
  • Symmetrical=equality
    • Roommates
    • Partners
    • Friends
  • Parallel=choice of one above
    • Couple will make a choice has to how they can operate for a time period
principles of interpersonal communication
Principles of interpersonal communication
  • We cannot not communicate
  • Irreversible
  • Involves ethical choices
  • Construct meanings
  • Metacommunication affects meanings
  • Develops & sustains relationships
  • Not a panacea
  • Can be learned
guidelines for competence
guidelines for competence
  • Develop a range of skills
  • Adapt
  • Engage in dual perspective
  • Monitor your communication
  • Commit to ethical & effective communication
youtube video
YouTube video
  • “I Forgot my Phone”-( 2 min.)
  • Are we addicted?
  • Have we gone too far?
  • What can we do about it?