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Contemporary Communication Theories

by: Alicia Turman

Contemporary Communication Theories COMM 3343

Marketplace > University of Arkansas > Communication > COMM 3343 > Contemporary Communication Theories
Alicia Turman
GPA 3.0

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About this Document

These notes contain notes for: Social Penetration Theory and Relationship Uncertainty Theory
Contemporary Communication Theory
Lindsey Aloia
communication, Theory
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This 4 page Bundle was uploaded by Alicia Turman on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Bundle belongs to COMM 3343 at University of Arkansas taught by Lindsey Aloia in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Communication Theory in Communication at University of Arkansas.


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Date Created: 10/02/16
Contemporary Communication Theory—April 5 Social Penetration Theory:  Interpersonal closeness proceeds in a gradual orderly fashion from superficial to intimate levels of exchange, motivated by current and projected future outcomes. Lasting intimacy requiring continual and mutual vulnerability through breadth and depth of self-disclosure.  How does interpersonal closeness happen?  Onion example  When you first meet somebody, Peripheral items are shared frequently and sooner than more intimate/private things.  Penetration is rapid at the start, and slows down near the core  Immediate intimacy is a myth because of 2 reasons: o Because we have a internal resistance to sharing core values o Societal norms discourage immediate intimacy  Idea of “exchange” points to the indicator that self disclosure is reciprocal  When you have turbulence, you can experience de-penetration  “Current and projected future outcome”—based on minimax principle-says we seek as individuals to maximize our benefits and minimize our costs o Benefits-Costs=Relational Outcomes o Initially we base this off of: physical appearance, similar background, and agreement  If we have these things, we will have a positive net value—likely to invest in that relationship. If the individual is divergent from norms or there is a lot of disagreement, we tend to value that as negative, and we don’t invest in that relationship. o Comparison level- is essentially a threshold. – standard. o Comparison level of alternatives—would a relationship with another person be more rewarding.  Alternatives have to be realistic o 4 factors that also influence our self-disclosure (in addition to projected future outcomes):  Culture-certain cultures are more willing to disclose than others. –Americans vs. Asian  Gender-women tend to be more willing to self disclose than men.  Motives—in particular, the motive of attraction. When we are attracted to people, we are quicker to disclose  Context—something life a traumatic event, or an experience where you just self-disclosed to someone and it was a very rewarding experience, it may affect how willing you are in another relationship  “Lasting Intimacy”- is our goal. o De-penetration/ Penetration is a long process. o Once we’ve already penetrated, its very easy to move back in. o It’s hard to rebuild walls of privacy.  “Breadth and Death”—different segments of peoples life o We have varying levels of depth  “Self-disclosure”-is the voluntary sharing of personal history, preferences, attitudes, feelings, values, secrets, etc.; with another person.  **we build interpersonal closeness through self-disclosure.**  Major critique of social penetration theory is that we don’t always act in our best interest. Contemporary Communication Theory—April 19  Transitions in relationships corresponds to relational uncertainty and maladaptive patterns of interdependence o See a lot of negative emotions seen in transitions o Negative cognition o Undermining of message processing and production  2 relationship qualities that present themselves during these period of transitions o 1) Relational uncertainty- essentially its doubts or questions that people have about their relationship  Self uncertainty- doubts that you yourself have about the relationships or status/progress of relationship  Ex: I don’t think I’m good enough to be in this relationship  Partner uncertainty- deals with your perception of your partners uncertainty  Relationship uncertainty –uncertainty that you have about the nature of the relationship or of the future of the relationship  Ex: “I don’t know if this relationship is going to last” o 2.) Interdependence- dyadic coordination  Partner influence—deals with how much influence is your partner going to exert on your everyday activities.  Partner interference—deals with the restriction on goals or behaviors  You really want a cat, but your partner is allergic to cats and so you cant get a cat  Partner facilitation—whens your involvement enhances the outcomes  Cleaning the house takes less time when you have you and your partner doing it together- your partner helps facilitate  Logic of the model says that relational uncertainty and independence heightens levels of intimacy when we move from casual to serious commitment. In addition, it’s related to hurt, jealously, anger, sadness, conflict, and topic avoidance. The benefit is that after we get past these periods of transitions, we are in a really good committed relationship.  Different types of transitions o Change in career, becoming a parent, getting married, any type of diagnosis in terms of illness (cancer, temporary illness, chronic) , infertility –not just being diagnoses, but also revealing that to your partner, becoming an empty nester, deployment  Pessimism Bias—suggests that when you’re in periods of turbulence you see things as a lot more negative than they really are o One of the biggest predictors of relationship termination  Some questions still remain o What is the difference between relationship satisfaction, commitment, uncertainty, and interdependence. o What counts as a major transition o Still needs to think about other types of relationships


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