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Exam 2 - Midterm Study Guide

by: AliciaAXO

Exam 2 - Midterm Study Guide COM 351

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This study guide includes 8 chapters from the book, and notes directly from the slides in class.
Intro to Communication Theory
Kevin Wombacher
Study Guide
self-disclosure, Social Penetration Theory, CPM
50 ?




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This 15 page Study Guide was uploaded by AliciaAXO on Monday September 26, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to COM 351 at University of Kentucky taught by Kevin Wombacher in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Intro to Communication Theory in Communications at University of Kentucky.


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Date Created: 09/26/16
COM 351 Exam 2 Study Guide  Chapter 5  Symbolic Interactionism   Our thoughts, self­concept, & the wider community we live in are created through  communication  Human realties are socially constructed   Symbolic Interaction  The ongoing use of language & gestures in anticipation of how the others will react  A conversation  The Looking Glass Self  We think about how other people view/think about us  The mental self­image that results from taking the role of the other  The objective self; me  Assumptions:  Meaning  Humans act toward people or things on the basis of the meanings they assign to  those things or people  Situation or context can change the meaning  Facts don’t speak for themselves; it’s our interpretation that counts  The construction of social reality  Language   Meaning arises out of the social interaction that people have with each other  Interactions create the meaning that we assign to people   The source of meaning  Symbol  A stimulus that has a learned meaning & value for people  Conveys messages of how we are to feel about & respond to the object, event, or person to which it refers  Ex: See an individual at a coffee shop, we will treat them as a customer vs.  treating them as their profession  Thought  An individual’s interpretation of symbols is modified by his/her own thought  processes  The process of taking the Role of the Other  Putting ourselves in another’s shoes & viewing ourselves  A process of mentally imaging that you are someone else who is viewing you  Minding  An inner dialogue used to test alternative, rehearse actions, & anticipate  reactions before responding; self­talk   Self  Understanding meaning, language, & thinking are tightly interconnected allows  us to grasp the self  Reflections in a looking glass self  Society  Socializing effect of interaction w/ the perceived expectations of the other  The Generalized Other  What would another person like me think about my actions?  The composite mental image a person has of his/herself based on societal  expectations & responses   Shapes how we think & interact w/in the community  Naming  Name­calling; devastating b/c labels force us to view ourselves in a warped  mirror  Self­Fulfilling Prophecy   The tendency for our expectations to evoke responses that confirm what we  originally anticipated  Classifying Theory  Tradition  Socio­Cultural; Language shapes social realities  Epistemology  Multiple truths (Interpretive)  Ontology  Free Will; humans as actors  Axiology  Value conscious   Methodology  Participant observation, ethnography, naturalistic inquiry, & textual  analysis (form of naturalistic inquiry)  Approach  Interpretive  Evaluation: Overall beneficial  New understanding of people, clarification of values, community of  agreement, and qualitative research  Faults: Aesthetic appeal, social reform, & suffers from overstatement  (overstates the importance of language) Chapter 8  Social Penetration Theory  Social Penetration  The process of developing deeper intimacy w/ another person through mutual self­ disclosure & other forms of vulnerability  The Shrek Theory – like an onion  Levels: Superficial, intimate, personal, core  Assumptions  Intimacy  Closeness occurs through breadth & depth of disclosure  Social Exchange  The decision to disclose based on a cost­benefit analysis of relational outcome  using comparison levels  Self­Disclosure: Depth & Breadth of Penetration  Breadth (of Penetration)  How many topics individuals disclose   The range of areas in an individual’s life over which disclosure takes place  Depth (of Penetration)  How deep we go  The degree of disclosure in a specific area of an individuals’ life   Peripheral Items  Small talk; surface level  Exchanged more frequent & sooner than private info  Reciprocal   Respond to our disclosure w/ a disclosure of themselves  Info is exchanged @ similar rate; we want people to match our rate of  disclosure  Law of Reciprocity  A paced & orderly process in which openness in one person leads to  openness in another  Ex: “You tell me your dream, and I’ll tell you mine.”  Degree of Intimacy – Degree of disclosure in a specific area of an individual’s life  Penetration  Rapid in the early phases but quickly slows as the guarded inner layers are  reached  Withdrawal  Depenetration is a gradual process as areas/layers are closed off  Theory Concepts  Personality Structure  Onion­like layers, beliefs, attitudes, & values   Self­Disclosure   Voluntary sharing of personal & authentic info that is not readily available  elsewhere  Social Exchange   Relationship behavior & status regulated by both parties’ evaluations of perceived rewards and costs of interacting with each other  Rewards and Costs Outcomes  The perceived rewards minus the cost of personal interaction  Rewards­Cost  The positives or negatives of a relationship  Minimax Principle of Human Behavior  People seek to maximize their benefits & minimize their costs  Comparison Level (CL)  The threshold above which an interpersonal outcome seems attractive  A standard for relational satisfaction; gauges satisfaction level – happy/unhappy  Basically the dividing line   Comparison of Alternatives (CLalt)  The best outcome available in other relationships   Standard for relational stability  Permanence: Stay or leave?  Assumptions about people   Ethical Egoists Claim  Maximize pleasure & minimize pain  very selfish (why it’s problematic)  Ethical Egoism  The belief that individual’s should live their lives so as to maximize their  pleasure & minimize their own pain  Dialectical Model  People want both privacy & intimacy in their social relationships  Tension: Disclose/ure & withdrawal  Territoriality   Claiming a physical location or object as your own (an environmental factor)  Classification of Social Penetration Theory:  Tradition: Socio­Psychological   Epistemology: Single T truth  Ontology: Humans as reactors  Law of reciprocity, Minimax Principle, & free will  Axiology: Value Neutral  Methodology: Quantitative (survey research)  Approach: Objective (tries to predict & explain) Chapter 11  Relational Dialectics   Social life is a dynamic knot of contradictions, a ceaseless interplay b/w contrary or  opposing tendencies   Relationships are organized around dialects  Interdependent Tensions  What shapes out relationship  Produced & Reproduced enacted through communication  Dialogues: Conversations that define & redefine relationships  Communication that is constitutive, always influx, & capable of achieving  aesthetic moments  Constitutive Dialogue  Communication that creates, sustains, & alters relationships & the social  world; Social Construction  Dialectical Flux  The complexity of close relationships   The unpredictable, unfinalizable, indeterminate nature of personal  relationships  Conversational Strategies for Responding to Relational Dialectics   Spiraling Inversion  Switching back & fourth b/w 2 contrasting voices, responding to 1 then the other  Segmentation  A compartmentalizing tactic by which partners isolate different aspects of their  relationship  Dialectical Tensions that Affect Relationships  Tensions  Integration/Separation, Stability/Change, Expression/Non­Expression  Internal Dialectics   Ongoing tensions played out w/in a relationship (b/w relationship partners)  Connectedness/Separatedness, Certainty/Uncertainty, Openness/Closedness  External Dialectics  Ongoing tensions b/w a couple & their community   Inclusion/Seclusion, Conventionality/Uniqueness, Revelation/Concealment   Coping with Tension  Denial  Ignore the other  Disorientation  Unable to confront their problems   Segmentation  Pick specific parts of your life to set certain non­disclosure rules  Balance (dialectical tensions)  Integration  Accept opposing forces w/o trying to diminish them    Alternation  Share a lot, then a little  Utility of Relational Dialectics (why is matters)  Marital & dating relationships  Abuse & long distance  Other relationships  Parent­child, extended family, friends roomates  Metacommunication  Communication about communication  Can be used to reinforce satisfying aspects & deter unsatisfying aspects  Ex: “I appreciate it when you..” & “I feel unwanted when you..”  Consequentialist Ethics   Judging actions solely on the basis of their beneficial or harmful outcomes  Principle of Veracity  Truthful statements are preferable to lies in the absence of special circumstances that  overcome the negative weight   Classification of Relational Dialectics Theory  Tradition: Phenomenological   Epistemology: Multiple Truths  Ontology: Free will  Axiology: Value laden  Methodology: Qualitative (interviews, conversations)  Approach: Interpretive   Evaluation  Overall beneficial  Only faults are: clarification of values & aesthetic appeal Chapter 12  Communication Privacy Management Theory (CPM)  How we manage our privacy   Privacy Management   Maintaining confidential/secret info in order to enhance autonomy or minimize  vulnerability   5 Principles of Privacy Management   People believe they own & have a right to control their private info  People control their private info through the use of personal privacy rules  When others are told/given access to a person’s private info, they become co­ owners of that info  Co­owners of private info need to negotiate mutually agreeable privacy rules  about telling others  When co­owners of private info don’t effectively negotiate & follow mutually held privacy rules, boundary turbulence is likely the result   A description of a privacy management system that has 3 parts:  Privacy Ownership   Our privacy boundaries that encompass info we have but others don’t know   A metaphor to show how people think of the borders b/w private & public  info  Privacy Control  Our decision to share private info w/ another person  Privacy Turbulence  Managing private info doesn’t go the way we expected  The turmoil that erupts when rules are broken   Ownership & Control of Private Information  People believe they own & have a right to control their private information  The content of potential disclosures; info that can be owned   Disclosure of private info does NOT = self­disclosure  You can disclose other people’s private info  Privacy  The feeling that one has the right to own private info  *Ownership conveys both rights & obligations  Rules for Concealing & Revealing   People control their private info through the use of personal privacy rules  Rule­Based Theory  A theory that assumes we can best understand people’s freely chosen actions if  we study the system of rules they use to interpret & manage their lives  5 Factors that Influence Rules  Culture: Differs on the value of openness & disclosure   Gender: All genders disclose more to women  Motivation: Attraction & liking  Why you tell/ share the info  Interpret motives that can loosen privacy boundaries   Context: Where we tell the info  Traumatic events can temporarily/permanently disrupt the influence of  culture, gender, & motives  Risk/Benefit Ratio: Reveal & conceal private info  We think about this before telling (High factors)  Disclosures Creates a Confident & Co­owner  When others are told/discover a person’s private info, they become co­owners of info  Collective Privacy Boundary  An intersection of personal privacy boundaries of co­owners of private info, all of whom are responsible for the info  The co­owner usually feels a sense of responsibility for the info  Coordinating Mutual Privacy Boundaries  Co­owners of private info need to negotiate mutually agreeable privacy rules about  telling others (managing collective boundary)  Mutual Privacy Boundary  A synchronized collective boundary that co­owners share b/c they have negotiated common privacy rules  Boundary Ownership  The rights & responsibilities that co­owners of private info have to control its  spread; who should decide?  Shareholder  A confidant fully committed to handling private info according to the original  owner’s privacy rules  Confidant Forms  Deliberate Confidant   A recipient who sought out private info  Reluctant Confidant   A co­owner of private info who did not seek it nor want it  Ex: Walk up to someone & drop info time bomb  Boundary Linkage  The process of the confidant being linked into the privacy boundary of the person  who revealed the info; who else gets to know?  Boundary Permeability  rd  The extent to which a boundary permits private info to follow 3  parties   How much information can flow?  Boundary Turbulence – Relationships @ Risk  When co­owners of private info don’t effectively negotiate & follow jointly held  privacy rules/if rules were never set, boundary turbulence is likely the result   Disruption of privacy management & relational trust that occurs when collective  privacy boundaries aren’t synchronized  Factors/Reasons:  Fuzzy Boundaries  Haven’t discussed what can & can’t be shared   Ex: Doctor­Patient Relationship  Intentional Breaches  Confidentiality Dilemma  The tragic moral choice confidants face when they must breach a  collective privacy boundary in order to promote the original owner’s  welfare  Aren’t always done for malicious reasons but you know you’re breaking  the rule  Mistakes  Critique of CPM  Good Interpretive Theory  Understanding of People   Furthered by Qualitative Research, conducted to expand knowledge of PM  Community of Agreement (Ex: Use & abuse of privacy rules)  Clarification of values – CPM presents privacy as valuable on its own  Reform of Society   Healthy relationships are @ less risk when people follow the prevention of  privacy turbulence   Aesthetic Appeal – Style & Clarity Chapter 9  Uncertainty Reduction Theory   How human communication is used to gain knowledge & create understanding   Specific to interpersonal relationships   Originally applied to the context of initial interactions b/w strangers  Uncertainty Reduction: To predict & Explain  Attribution Theory   A systematic explanation of how people draw inferences about the characteristic  of others based upon observed behavior   Increased knowledge of what kind of person another is, which provides an  improved forecast of how a future interaction will turn out  Conditions to Uncertainty Reduction  In initial interaction  We are concerned w/ reducing our uncertainty about the other & the relationship  b/c:  Behavioral Questions (actions)  How does this person act? What is their physical behavior like?  Cognitive Questions (individual character)  What are their interests? Who are they?  Goal: To reduce uncertainty about the other  Figure them out  Gain knowledge & create understanding   We will be motivated to reduce uncertainty if:  Anticipation of future interaction  We know we will see them again  Perceive Incentives (potential rewards)  They have something we want  Deviance   Acting strange/in a weird way  8 Axioms that create 28 Theorems   Axiom – a self­evident truth that requires a no additional proof  As verbal communication increases, uncertainty decreases  As nonverbal warmth increases, uncertainty decreases  High levels of uncertainty increases information­seeking behavior   As uncertainty levels decrease, info­seeking decreases   High level of uncertainty decrease intimate disclosure  Low levels of uncertainty increases intimate disclosure   High levels of uncertainty increase rates of reciprocity  Low levels of uncertainty decrease rates of reciprocity  Similarities decrease uncertainty  Dissimilarities increase uncertainty   Increase in uncertainty decrease liking  Decreases in uncertainty increase liking  Shared communication networks decrease uncertainty   Lack of shared networks increases uncertainty  We know people they know    8 Truths of Communication  Verbal Communication  Nonverbal Warmth  Info­Seeking  Self­Disclosure  Reciprocity   Similarity  Liking   Shared Networks  Coping strategies for seeking info when facing uncertainties   Passive   Observe from a distance  Active   Ask a 3  party – someone who knows them   Ex: “What do you think about, Katie?”   Flawed @ times b/c distorted view  Interactive  Ask questions  Law of Reciprocity  I self­disclose, you self­disclose   Extractive  Look them up online; social media  Plans  Most social interaction is goal­driven  Based on goals, we construct a plan for social interactions  Different goals need different approaches  A plan may be good, but we still need to execute it  Vary in Complexity  Amount of detail can vary  # of contingency plans can also vary  Hierarchy Hypothesis  When our plan screws up, we are more likely to try to just tweak a small part of our  plan rather than coming up w/ a new plan  Hedging  A way of giving yourself an out if your plan backfires  Ex: Humor, Strategic ambiguity   Utility & Context Areas  Interpersonal: Relationship Development   Health Communication  Patient­Provider  Diagnosis, treatment, & prognosis of serious illness  Intercultural   Anxiety­Uncertainty Management Theory  The Relational Turbulence Model   Relational Uncertainty   Doubts about our own thoughts of the other person or future of the relationship  Partner Interference   Occurs when a relational partner hinders goals, plans, & activities   Relational Turbulence  Negative emotions arising from perceived problems in a close relationship  Critique:  Objective Theory   Makes testable predictions, offers the human need to reduce interpersonal  uncertainty as the engine that drives its axioms  Simplistic – straightforward  Practical Utility  linkages the theorems describe are the blueprint for solid relationships  Questions still remain about reliance on the concept of uncertainty & his  assumptions that were motivated to reduce it  Problems:  The more you like someone, the less you seek info (axioms 3&7)  Are we always motivated to reduce uncertainty?  Predicted Outcome Value (POV)  Not about reducing uncertainty; about maximizing rewards & minimizing costs  A forecast of future benefits & costs of interaction w/ the other   Theory of Motivated Information Management   We are to motivated to reduce anxiety rather than uncertainty   When uncertainty doesn’t make us feel anxious, we won’t seek to reduce it Chapter 14  Social Judgement Theory  We judge messages based on our personal attitude scale, & measure new messages by  comparing them to our current point of view   Rejection, neutrality, acceptance  Describes the cognitive structure of a person’s attitude   Social Judgment (Involvement Approach)  Perception & evaluation of an idea by comparing it w/ current attitudes   Link b/w ego­involvement & perception   The Latitudes of Attitudes (On a scale [­!­­­­­­!­­­­­­!­]  Latitude of Acceptance   Range of ideas that we see as reasonable/worth considering   Latitude of Non­commitment    The range of ideas a person sees as neither acceptable nor objectionable  Ex: “eh” attitude  Akin to marking no opinion/undecided on a traditional attitude survey   Latitude of Rejection  The range of ideas a person sees as unreasonable or objectionable   We disagree   Affect our Outlook  Ego­Involvement   How important to you; things you really care about, or not @ all   High Level – important to you; shrinks your latitude of non­commitment   “Heavy anchor” – hard to move   Ex: Politics, Religion  Low Level – ex: where to eat  Wide latitude of rejection  Extreme positions   Contrast & Assimilation: Perceptual Errors  Contrast   Judging messages w/in the latitude of rejection as further from their anchor  than they really are   Leads to polarization of ideas   Assimilation  Judging messages w/in the latitude of acceptance as closer to their anchor than they really are   Discrepancy & Attitude Change  Step 1: Judging the Message  How far or how close a message is from our anchored position  Step 2: Adjusting Process  If w/in our latitude of acceptance, adjust attitude   The Boomerang Effect   Attitude change is in the opposite direction of what the message advocated  Pluralistic Ignorance  The mistaken idea that everyone else is doing it/thinking something they aren’t   Practical Advice  Select a message that falls @ the edge of the listener’s latitude of acceptance   Ambiguity can serve better than clarity  True conversion from 1 end of the scale to the other is rare  Seek small, successive movements   Classifying Social Judgment Theory   Epistemology: Singular truth – Objective  Ontology: Determinism – this is just how we are wired  Axiology: Value neutral  Methodology: Experiments   Tradition: Socio­Psychological  Evaluation   Overall, beneficial objective theory  Problem: Quantitative research can be difficult to recruit participants & assess  initial latitudes  Chapter 15  Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)  We can be persuaded through 2 routes: Central or Peripheral  Central Route  We will look @ the content of the messages; scrutiny of message content  Requires motivation (willingness) & understanding (ability)   Message elaboration  The extent to which a person carefully thinks about an issue­relevant  argument contained in a persuasive communication   Central Processing leads to change  Long term, strong attitude change  Requires consumer/person to think   Ex: Car shopping – Pre­research   Peripheral Route  Mental shortcuts  A mental shortcut process that accepts/rejects a message based on irrelevant cues  as opposed to actively thinking about the issue   Uses heuristic cues  Authority/credibility, source attractiveness/liking, perceived similarity,  consistency, reciprocation, social proof, scarcity  Rewards linked to agreement w/ the advocate’s position  Traditional Inducements: Food, Sex, & Money  Ex: Sex sells – attractive/credible spokesperson as brand representative  Peripheral Processing leads to change  Short term, weak attitude   Susceptible to being undone   Ex: Car Shopping – Go to the dealer & ask what to buy   Peripheral Power  Importance of role models for persuasion  By associating messages w/ credible people, attitude change can happen  Variables to promote mindless acceptance  Motivation for elaboration: is it worth the effort?  Need for Cognition   Desire for cognitive clarity; an enjoyment of thinking through ideas even when  they aren’t personally relevant   Ability for elaboration: can they do it?  Issue­Relevant Thinking requires concentration  Distractions are disruptions   Type of Elaboration  Biased Elaboration  Top­Down thinking in which predetermined conclusions color the supporting data  Objective Elaboration  Bottom­Up thinking in which facts are scrutinized w/o bias  Seeking the truth wherever it might lead   Elaborated Arguments   Strong Arguments  Claims that generate favorable thoughts when examined   The enhanced thinking of those who respond favorably will cause their change in  position to persist over time, resist counterpersuasion, & predict future behavior  “The Triple Crown” of interpersonal influence   Weak Arguments  Guaranteed to offend the sensibilities of anyone who thinks about it  Cause the Boomerang Effect  Long lasting, defy others efforts to change it, & affect subsequent behavior Chapter 16  Cognitive Dissonance Theory   Cognitive Dissonance  The distressing mental state caused by inconsistence b/w a person’s 2 beliefs or a  belief & an action  “Find themselves doing things that don’t fit w/ what they know, or having  opinions that don’t fit w/ others opinions they hold  Aversive drive that goads us to be consistent to avoid dissonance  Reducing dissonance b/w actions & attitudes  3 Mental mechanisms people use to ensure their actions & attitudes are in harmony  Selective exposure prevents dissonance   The tendency people have to avoid info that would create cognitive  dissonance b/c its incompatible w/ their current beliefs  Post decision dissonance creates a need for reassurance  Strong doubts experienced after making an important, close­call decision that  is difficult to reverse  3 Heightening Conditions:  The more important the issue, the longer an individual delays in choosing  b/w equally attractive options, & the greater the difficulty involved in  reversing the decision once it’s been made   Ex: The mental turmoil a person experiences after signing a contract to buy a  new car  Minimal Justification for action induces attitude change  Minimal Justification Hypothesis  A claim that the best way to stimulate an attitude change is to offer just  enough incentive to elicit counterattitudinal behavior  Behavior  Attitude   Compliance  Public conformity to another’s expectation w/o necessarily having a  private conviction that matches the behavior  Counterattitudinal Advocacy  Publicly urging others to believe or do something that is opposed to  what the advocate actually believes  Revisions  Logical Inconsistency  Beliefs & behaviors that don’t quite add up  Ex: “I value my health. My cigarette habits damage my health.”  Self­Consistency   Inconsistency b/w a cognition & our self­concept  Personal Responsibility for Bad Outcomes (the new look)  We experience dissonance when we believe our actions have unnecessarily hurt  another person  Self­Affirmation to Dissipate Dissonance  Most people are motivated to maintain an overall self­image of moral adequacy   Question of Dissonance Reduction  Resource: High self­esteem  Theory in Practice: Persuasion through Dissonance  Interpersonal influence b/c attitude change as an end product of dissonance  When your own position tend to bypass the selective exposure screen that othwe put  up to avoid threatening things  After individuals adopts your viewpoint, an ongoing bond means you’ll be there to  offer reassurance when post decision dissonance kicks in  To be an effective agent of change  Offer minimal justification – just enough encouragement   Let counterattitudinal actions be freely chosen & publicly taken  Seek to induce compliance  Critique  Dissonance Thermometer  A hypothetical, reliable gauge of the dissonance a person feels as a result of  inconsistency  Self­Perception Theory  The claim that we determine our attitudes the same way outside observer do­by  observing our behavior   An alternative to cognitive dissonance theory 


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