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Human Communication Theory

by: Duncan Bradtke

Human Communication Theory COMM 3210

Duncan Bradtke

GPA 3.99

Robert Craig

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Robert Craig
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This 17 page Study Guide was uploaded by Duncan Bradtke on Thursday October 29, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to COMM 3210 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Robert Craig in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see /class/232034/comm-3210-university-of-colorado-at-boulder in Communication at University of Colorado at Boulder.


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Date Created: 10/29/15
Human Communication Theory e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 GENERAL How does each of these traditions 7 Semiotics Cybernetics and Phenomenology 7 de ne communication How does each tradition frame communication problems 0 SEMIOTICS 0 Communication 0 Peirce sharing meaning through the use of signs 0 the systematic study of signs 0 more precisely of the production signs systems linguistic or non linguistic of meanings from Pragmatist concept of shared meaning 0 as we learn to anticipate each other s reactions we understand each other 0 Misunderstanding 7 can t anticipate reactions interaction breaks down 0 Unique personal meanings that don t ever a ect interaction don t matter 0 Barthes Structuralist concept of shared meaning 0 we share systems of signs codes that constitute a common culture Problems of misunderstanding 0 revealed by semiotic analysis amp criticism of messages 0 unconscious cultural differences I different meanings 0 hidden ideological connotations I unawareness of meanings that may be questionable o Semiotics 7 the study of signs Semiotic theory conceptualizes communication as a process that relies on signs and sign systems to mediate across the gaps between subjective Viewpoints For semiotic theory communication problems result from barriers to understanding that arise from the slippage between signvehicles physical signs such as spoken or written words or graphic images and their meanings the structure of sign systems and particular ways of using or misusing signs Distinct traditions of semiotics grew from the latenineteenth century writings of the American pragmatist philosopher Charles S Peirce and the early twentieth century work of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand ale Saussure The Peirceian tradition analyzed the cognitive and mental functions of signs as a basis for distinguishing among types of signs icon index and symbol and dimensions of semiosis syntactics semantics pragmatics The Saussureian tradition which led to structuralist and poststructuralist theory focused instead on the systematic structure of language and other sign systems Although Locke s semiotic theory was the fountainhead of the transmission model poststructuralist theories such as Jacques Derrida s theory of deconstruction conceptualize communication as a process in which meanings are Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 not xed by the linguistic system but billow up and oat in shifting winds of discourse I In a poststructuralist view we do not exist independently of signs with our essentially real personal identities and subjective viewpoints and use signs in order to communicate I We exist meaningfully only in and as signs1 0 CYBERNETICS 0 Communication I information processing 0 The linear model comes from this tradition o Wiener I Frames communication problems as 0 system malfunctions 0 Noise inef ciency overload breakdown etc o Cybernetic tradition of communication theory I Grew from the midtwentieth century work of Shannon Wiener Gregory Bateson and a host of other writers in many elds I This is actually one of the newest traditions of communication theory although as we have noted it was the rst communication theory explicitly named and widely known as such I Cybernetics conceptualizes communication as information processing 0 All complex systems including computers and telecommunication devices DNA molecules and cells plants and animals the human brain and nervous system social groups and organizations cities and entire societies process information and in that sense communicate I Cybernetic theory downplays the differences between human communication and other kinds of information processing systems I Information storage transmission and feedback network structures and self organizing processes occur in every suf ciently complex system I Problems of communication can arise from con icts among subsystems or glitches in information processing like positive feedback loops that amplify noise I Proponents of second order cybernetics such as Heinz von Forster Klaus Krippendorff and Paul Watzlawick have recast cybernetic theory within a constitutive model of communication 0 Secondorder cybernetics re exively includes the observer within the system observed and emphasizes the necessary role of the observer in de ning perturbing and often in unpredictable ways changing a system by the very act of observing it2 1 Professor Daniel Craig University of Colorado httpspotcoloradoeduNcraigrCommunication htm 2 httpspotcoloradoeduNcraigrCommunicationhtm Human Communication Theory e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 0 PHENOMENOLOGY o Buber o Pheno Communication 0 Experience of otherness o mutual experience of self other Frames communication problems concerning the genuineness of this experience 0 ideally a true dialogue with the other menological tradition Conceptualizes communication as the experience of self and other in dialogue Such twentiethcentury theorists of dialogue as Martin Buber HansGeorge Gadamer Emanuel Levinas and Carl Rogers psychologist not philosopher can be broadly identi ed with this tradition The problem of communication for phenomenology as for semiotics is that of a gap between subjective viewpoints 0 One cannot directly experience another consciousness and the potential for intersubjective understanding is thereby limited 0 The two traditions approach this problem in quite different ways however 0 Semiotics looks to the mediational properties of signs 0 Phenomenology looks to the authenticity of our ways of experiencing self and other The basis for communication lies in our common existence with others in a shared world that may be constituted differently in experience Authentic dialogue requires open selfexpression and acceptance of difference while seeking common ground Barriers to communication can arise from selfunawareness nonacceptance of difference or strategic agendas that preclude openness to the other The phenomenological tradition in modern philosophy stems from Edmund Husserl39s 18591938 transcendental phenomenology which was an analysis of the essential structure of conscious experience Husserl39s prot g and critic Martin Heidegger in Zein und Zeit Being and Time 1927 held that our being has no essence apart from the interpretive self understanding that unfolds through time as we engage with the particular world in which we nd ourselves o This hermeneutic phenomenology in uenced subsequent existentialist hermeneutic and poststructuralist theories that have emphasized the constitutive properties of dialogue 0 Dialogue in these theories is not essentially a sharing of pre existing inner meanings it is engagement with others to negotiate meaning 3 httpspotcoloradoeduNcraigrCommunicationhtm Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 How do the theorists we have read relate to their respective traditions What are the major differences among these traditions and among theorists within each tradition SEMIOTIC TRADITION Peirce 7 What is a Sign What tradition is Peirce associated with How would he de ne communication 0 Semiotics 0 Communication 7 sharing meaning through the use of signs What is the focus of Peirce s theory 0 How signs function in the mind 0 Meaning is a constantly changing thought process What are the three states of mind How does this process relate to signs 0 Feeling 0 Simple awareness of something 0 Reaction 0 Sense of acting and being acted upon 0 Thought 0 Discovering a rule that connects action and reaction What are the three interests one can take in a thing Which interest regards the thing as a sign Why 0 First 0 we may have a primary interest in it for itself 0 Second 0 we may have a secondary interest in it on account of its reactions with other things 0 Third 0 we may have a mediatory interest in it in so far as it conveys to a mind an idea about a thing 7 in so far as it does this it is a Sign or representation Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 What are the three components of a sign triadic composition 0 For Peirce something is a sign when we have a mediatory interest in it in so far as it conveys to a mind an idea about a thing 0 Thus a sign is a threepart triadic entity that is formed in a thought process I a physical form 0 the word house I a concept in someone s mind 0 idea ofa house I an object or situation to which the sign refers o a particular house What are the three kinds of signs Think of examples for each How are the three kinds different How do they work together in communication Why can the same physical object or event signi er be more than one kind of sign Give examples 0 Likenesses Icon 0 The signi er is perceived as resembling or imitating the signi ed I a portrait I a scalemodel I onomatopoeia I metaphors I sound effects I imitative gestures 0 Indices Indicator 0 the signi er is directly connected physically or causally to the signi ed I 39natural signs39 0 smoke thunder footprints medical symptoms I measuring instruments 0 thermometer clock I signals 0 a knock on a door a phone ringing I pointers o a pointing indeX39 nger a directional signpost 0 Symbols 0 the signi er is arbitrary or purely conventional I words I alphabetic letters I numbers I Morse code traf c lights national ags gestures peace sign Human Communication Theory Exam 11 Study Guide 0 How are they different how do they work together 0 Any ordinary word as give bird marriage is an example of a symbol I It is applicable to whatever may be found to realize the idea connected with the word it does not in itself identify those things 0 It does not show us a bird nor enact before our eyes a giving or a marriage but supposes that we are able to imagine those things and have associated the word with them 5 O A regular progression of one two three may be remarked in the three orders of signs Likeness Index and Symbol I The likeness has no dynamical connection with the object it represents it simply happens that its qualities resemble those of that object and excite analogous sensations in the mind for which it is a likeness 0 But it really stands unconnected with them The index is physically connected with its object they make an organic pair But the interpreting mind has nothing to do with this connection except remarking it after it is established The symbol is connected with its object by virtue of the idea of the symbolusing mind without which no such connection would exist 5 O A symbol as we have seen cannot indicate any particular thing it denotes a kind of thing I Not only that but it is itself a kind and not a single thing 0 You can write down the word quotstarquot but that does not make you the creator of the word nor if you erase it have you destroyed the word 0 The word lives in the minds of those who use it 0 Even if they are all asleep it exists in their memory 5 O In all reasoning we have to use a mixture of likenesses indices and symbols 0 We cannot dispense with any of them I The complex whole may be called a symbol for its symbolic living character is the prevailing one o A metaphor is not always to be despised 0 though a man may be said to be composed of living tissues yet portions of his nails teeth hair and bones which are most necessary to him have ceased to undergo the metabolic processes which constitute life and there are liquids in his body which are not alive 0 Now we may liken the indices we use in reasoning to the hard parts of the body and the likenesses we use to the blood the one holds us stif y up to the realities the other with its swift changes supplies the nutriment for the main body of though 56 Human Communication Theory e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 What does it mean to say that symbols grow Signs are often mixed 0 combine iconic indexical andor symbolic meanings I traf c signals Symbols grow 0 They come into being by development out of other signs particularly from likenesses or from mixed signs partaking of the nature of likenesses and symbols I We think only in signs 0 These mental signs are of mixed nature the symbolparts of them are called concepts I If a man makes a new symbol it is by thoughts involving concepts 0 So it is only out of symbols that a new symbol can grow A symbol once in being spreads among the peoples o In use and in experience its meaning grows 0 Such words as force law wealth marriage bear for us very different meanings from those they bore to our barbarous ancestors I The symbol may with Emerson s sphinx say to man Of thine eye I am eyebeam 5 Signs become more symbolic in the thought process 0 smoke gt re index I evolves into where there s smoke there s re symbol How does nonverbal communication enter Peirce s view How does Peirce frame the problem of shared meaning Pragmatist concept of shared meaning 0 as we learn to anticipate each other s reactions we understand each other I Misunderstanding 7 can t anticipate reactions interaction breaks down I Unique personal meanings that don t ever a ect interaction don t matter Barthes 7 The photographic message What tradition is Barthes associated with How would he de ne communication Semiotics What is the focus of Barthes theory How does it differ from Peirce Structured systems of signs codes as social phenomena 0 how they function in society Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 o How codes constitute culture 0 A system of meanings expressed in myths rituals clothing food relationships social classes etc o How ideologies unconscious meanings that express particular values are embedded in semiotic systems 0 body ideals in ads express gender ideology What are Denotation and Connotation o Denotation o literal meaning or reference of a sign I Hitler denotes a particular historical person 0 Connotation o meanings suggested or implied by a sign I Hitler connotes evil racism war genocide etc What is the Photographic Paradox o The photographic image by itself is a message without a code pure denotation 0 But the denotated status of the photo has every chance of being mythical o The apparent objectivity of the photo masks its ideologically loaded connotations o Photographic Paradox o coexistence of two messages I denotated and connotated I objective and invested I natural and cultura What are the photographic procedures of connotation described by Barthes 0 Trick effects 0 fake photos digital editing 0 Pose o posture arrangement of people 0 Objects o placement of objects in photo 0 Photogenia 0 technical aspects of the photo lighting exposure printing 0 Aestheticism o imitation of artistic styles 0 Syntax o arrangement of photos in series Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 What connotations did Barthes nd in the Panzani ad discussed in class 0 This image provides a series of signs 0 First the idea that what we have in the scene represented is a return from the market 0 A signi ed which itself implies two euphoric values I that of the freshness of the products I and that of the essentially domestic preparation for which they are destined 0 Its signi er is the halfopen bag which lets the provisions spill out over the table unpacked39 o The second sign is more or less equally evident its signi er is the bringing together of the tomato the pepper and the tricolored hues yellow green red of the poster 0 its signi ed is Italy or rather Italianicity 0 There is no dif culty in discovering at least two other signs 0 in the rst the serried collection of different objects transmits the idea of a total culinary service on the one hand as though Panzani furnished everything necessary for a carefully balanced dish and on the other as though the concentrate in the tin were equivalent to the natural produce surrounding it o in the other sign the composition of the image evoking the memory of innumerable alimentary paintings sends us to an aesthetic signi ed I the nature morte or as it is better expressed in other languages the still life39 0 the knowledge on which this sign depends is heavily cultural What is the relation between a news photo and the surrounding text 0 How the text around the photo connotes it 0 First the text is parasitic on the image I borrows the image s aura of objectivity while loading the image with hidden connotations 0 Second the closer the text is to the image the less it seems to connote I caption seems more objective than headline or article text 0 Finally the words never merely duplicate the image I they add new meaning What are the three modes of connotation o Perceptive 0 we automatically categorize what we perceive 0 Cognitive 0 we recognize things that we know about 7 depends on the reader s knowledge 0 Ideological or ethical 0 we recognize values depicted I beauty ideals fashions approved or disapproved behaviors etc Why does Barthes think pure denotation is possible but not typical 0 Barthes says pure denotation is possible 0 in absolutely traumatic shocking images I disaster photos Human Communication Theory Exam 11 Study Guide 9 o Connotation mythological effects increases with less traumatic images because 0 the overall social function of images is to reassure us 0 Repetition of familiar cultural meanings 7 similar to Carey s ritual view of communication How does Barthes frame the problem of shared meaning How does this compare to Peirce o Structuralist concept of shared meaning 0 we share systems of signs codes that constitute a common culture 0 Problems of misunderstanding 0 revealed by semiotic analysis amp criticism of messages I unconscious cultural differences different meanings I hidden 391 39 39 39 quot of meanings that may be questionable CYBERNETIC TRADITION Wiener 7 Cybernetics in History and de Rosney Feec mck Defining Communication How do Wiener and de Rosney de ne communication and communication problems 0 De nes communication as information processing 0 The linear model comes from this tradition o Frames communication problems as system malfunctions 0 Noise inefficiency overload breakdown etc How are human and machine communication related in this theory 0 Highlights machinelike aspects of communication 0 Assumes that machine animal and human communication are not essentially different 0 society can only be understood through a study of the messages and communication facilities which belong to it o In the future development of these messages and communication facilities messages between man and machines between machines and man and between machine and machine are destined to play an ever increasing pa Entropy What is entropy How entropy information and feedback related 0 Entropy The amount of randomness or disorganization in a system 0 Examples I noise in a communication channel I office ling errors I variations in following instructions 0 Entropy tends to increase 7 organization tends to break down over time 0 To maintain organization control 0 a system must counteract the natural tendency for entropy to increase Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 Simple and Complex Cybernetic Machines What are simple machines and how do they differ from cybernetic machines 0 Simple machines have no way to counteract entropy o clockwork music box 0 Cybernetic machines use information to counteract entropy o automatic elevators cats people I sense organs track changes in the environment feedback I adaptive responses maintain control How is human communication related to complex machine functioning Feedback What is feedback 0 Information about changes in its internal or external environment that causes a system to adjust its outputs so as to counteract or amplify the changes What is negative feedback 7 how does it work 0 Negative feedback leads to adaptive or goalseeking behavior I sustaining the same level temperature concentration speed direction 0 In some cases the goal is selfdetermined and is preserved in the face of evolution I the system has produced its own purpose 0 to maintain for example the composition of the air or the oceans in the ecosystem or the concentration of glucose in the blood 0 In other cases man has determined the goals of the machines 0 In a negative loop every variation toward a plus triggers a correction toward the minus and vice versa I There is tight control 0 the system oscillates around an ideal equilibrium that it never attains 0 Negative Feedback 0 Counteracts change in the environment I If data produce a result in the opposite direction to previous results they are negative feedback 0 their effects stabilize the system 0 there is maintenance of the equilibrium I Examples A thermostat or water tanks equipped with a oat What is positive feedback 7 how does it work 0 Positive Feedback Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 o Ampli es change in the environment I If data facilitate and accelerate the transformation in the same direction as the preceding results they are positive feedback 0 their effects are cumulative 0 there is exponential growth or decline I chain reaction I population explosion I industrial expansion I capital invested at compound interest I in ation I proliferation of cancer cells or I bankruptcy I economic depression How do negative and positive feedback work together 0 In either case a positive feedback loop left alone can lead only to the destruction of the system through explosion or through the blocking of all its functions 0 The wild behavior of positive loops a veritable death wish must be controlled by negative loops This control is essential for a system to maintain itself in the course of time I Positive feedback can destroy a system explosion or shutdown UNLESS negative feedback kicks in to stabilize the process 0 Examples 0 A party gets louder amp louder until o Unemployment reduces spending which causes more unemployment until 0 Exercise improves health and selfimage which encourages more amp more exercise until Applications What are some practical applications of cybernetics o Biofeedback involves placing sensors on the body The sensors transmit information about heart rate temperature perspiration brain waves and other indicators to a computer which charts measurements With the help of a health care professional patients use the measurements to train themselves to control stress symptoms of stress or brain activity PEOPLE who want to improve their communication skills may one day have software programs that analyze the tone tumtaking behavior and other qualities of a conversation then tell the speakers whether they tend to interrupt others or appear inattentive when others are talking Customers can opt to use a smart thermostat which can communicate with the grid and adjust device settings to help optimize load management Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 0 An infrared detection system that alerts employers whenever workers leave the restroom without washing up What issues of control emerge in applying cybemetics to humans Wat lawick Beavin amp Jackson 7 Pragmatics afHuman f39 Bateson Who was Gregory Bateson What concept did he invent 0 Gregory Bateson 19041980 applied cybernetics to animal amp human interaction 0 Introduced the concept of metacommunication Defining Communication What tradition is Watzlawick et al associated with How do they de ne communication How does this relate to Wiener s theory 0 Cybernetics 0 Extended Bateson s theory towards couple amp family communication therapy How do Watzlawick et al de ne relationships 0 Relationships as cybernetic systems 0 Our main point is that interpersonal systems may be viewed as feedback loops since the behavior of each person affects and is affected by the behavior of each other person p 31 Homeostasis What is homeostasis What does it explain about relationships Why 0 Homeostasis Interaction patterns keep the system in balance maintain status quo o Explains why relationships can be hard to change despite efforts to do so the system actively resists change Five Axioms What are the ve axioms of communication Think of examples of each eg in the Franklin family 1 You cannot not communicate 2 Content amp relationship aspects 3 Punctuation of the communication sequence 4 Digital amp analogical communication 5 Symmetrical or complementary interaction Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 o Axiom l 0 One cannot not communicate o Axiom 2 0 Communication has a content and a relationship aspect I Content what is said I Relationship 0 Implicit metacommunication 0 how it s said de nes the relationship 0 Explicit metacommunication 0 relationship as content I rare 0 Axiom 3 o The nature of a relationship depends on how both parties punctuate the communication sequence I Examples 0 Assigning blame o NagWithdrawal pattern 0 Axiom 4 0 Human beings communicate both digitally and analogically I Digital codes 0 represent by naming o I am angry I Analogical codes 0 represent by similarity o harsh loud voice red face etc I Allows contradictory messages deniability o Axiom 5 o All communication is either symmetrical 0r complementary I Symmetrical 0 equal relationship mirror each other s behavior may escalate competitively I Complementary o unequal relationship behaviors interlock may become rigid How does each axiom contribute to the dif culty of changing relationships Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 PHEN OMEN OLOGICAL TRADITION Buber 7 Dialogue What tradition is Buber associated with How would he de ne communication How does this differ from semiotics and cybemetics o Phenomenology 0 Analysis of conscious experience I rst person pointofview o De nes communication as 0 Experience of otherness I mutual experience of self amp other 0 Frames communication problems concerning the genuineness of this experience 0 ideally a true dialogue with the other How did Buber describe the experience of dialogue What examples did he use 0 Buber 7 dialogue as an IThou relationship 0 Dialogue is an experience of communion with an other beyond explicit communication 0 In its highest moments dialogue reaches out even beyond these boundaries of words and signs It is completed outside contents which can be communicated p 2 0 Dialogue is a momentary experience but not random one must be truly open to it o it is too little to be ready one must also be really there p 1 What are the three forms of communication discussed by Buber Give examples 0 Two men sitting beside one another something silently happens between them 0 For where unreserve has ruled even wordlessly between men the word of dialogue has happened sacramentally o Glances between strangers passing on the street 0 Some of these glances though not charged with destiny nevertheless reveal to one another two dialogical natures o Buber s encounter with a Christian man at a 1914 peace conference 0 The discussion of the situation between Jews and Christians had been transformed into a bond between the Christian and the Jew In this transformation dialogue was ful lled What is the IThou relationship How does this differ from an IIt relationship 0 Genuine Dialogue IThou relationship where each of the participants really has in mind the other or others in their present and particular being and turns to them with the intention of establishing a living mutual relation between himself and them p 3 o Monologue IIt relationship 7 of two kinds 0 Technical dialogue I information exchange 0 Monologue disguised as dialogue I debate chitchat lovers talk Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 What is the basic movement of dialogue and of monologue for Buber 0 Basic movement 0 an essential action round which an essential attitude is built up I Turning toward the other 0 dialogue I Re exion o The other is objectified reduced to one s own experience goals etc o monologue What is the signi cance of moments of meeting to Buber How does dialogue relate to the experience of difference 0 Dialogue does not mean complete unity with the other it is an experience of difference 0 He who is living the life of monologue is never aware of the other as something that is absolutely not himself and at the same time something with which he nevertheless communicates p 3 What is the narrow ridge What is polarized communication 0 Con ict communication can be experienced as o dialogue 0 walking the narrow ridge 0 or as monologue o polarized communication 0 quot The narrow ridge is o a communication style that genuinely takes into account both self and other One must be open to the other s viewpoint and willing to alter one s position based upon appropriate and just cause ifnecessaryquot R0 ersiNecessa andSu cienl Candi ansa Them eulicPersanali Chan 6 Who was Carl Rogers 0 Humanistic psychologist therapist 0 Theory of clientcentered therapy applies to all relationships What are the three characteristic of a therapeutic relationship according to Rogers 0 Congruence o openness transparency o Unconditional positive regard o accepting amp valuing the other as a separate person 0 Empathic understanding 0 feeling amp seeing the other s private world through their eyes Human Communication Theory 39 e Exam 11 Study Guid 9 What is the signi cance of moments of meeting to Rogers In the BuberRogers dialogue o What points did Buber and Rogers agree on 0 Dialogue requires mutuality I both parties share the experience I Can the therapistclient relationship or similar role relationships be mutual o Buber and Rogers point of agreement was about mutuality being possible only in brief moments however each had different emphases Rogers these are key moments in therapy and are the essence of dialogue 71 o Buber shows objective limitations on dialogue only brief moments O o What was Buber s major disagreement with Rogers 0 What was Rogers response 0 In what way was it a good example of dialogue


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