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COMM 1210-100 Week 2 Notes

by: Becca Hanel

COMM 1210-100 Week 2 Notes COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication

Becca Hanel
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notes covering material discussed during 1/13 and 1/19 lectures on messages and self-disclosure
COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication
dr. ruth hickerson
Class Notes
COMM 1210-100




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Becca Hanel on Sunday January 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication at University of Colorado taught by dr. ruth hickerson in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 461 views. For similar materials see COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication in Art at University of Colorado.

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Date Created: 01/24/16
COMM 1210­100 Week 2 Notes 1/13/2016 Messages & Listening >Sending Messages  meanings are created through human interaction with symbols (i.e. letters that make up  words)  These symbols are ABSTRACT (words might not mean the same thing to everybody but may look/sound the same → their vs. there), ARBITRARY, & AMBIGUOUS  o we rely on symbols to communicate & create meanings because communication  is symbolic  example: “sailor” → there is an assigned image/symbol connected to this  word *since symbols are abstract/arbitrary/ambiguous they can lead to misunderstandings  Communication as defined in Messages:  communication consists of sending/receiving  well­crafted messages to/from others o comm is a SOCIAL activity o comm is not “just talk” → there is verbal and nonverbal communication  o comm often has immediate social/ material consequences o comm is a habitual activity → humans, by nature, are creatures of habit   changing these comm habits take a lot energy and time  > Basic Comm skills:  listening (to “really listen”) = openness to unfamiliar perspectives with someone o appreciation for their otherness      ­ Nonverbal and verbal confirmation that you are listening (nodding your head or saying “I  understand”)   > Research tells us:  almost everybody thinks they are a good listener  very few people think they need to develop their listening skills   listening effectively is something that very few people do  most people have never developed the habits needed to be a good listener > What do good listeners look like?  verbal     } incongruence when these two don't match up (i.e you need both)   nonverbal (the most important factor)  all listeners don't receive the same message   physiological factors, social roles, cultural background, personal interests, and personal  needs all contribute to the reception or understanding of a message > 10 reasons for poor listening  1. effort 2. message overload 3. rapid thought 4. psychological noise (personal thoughts) 5. physical noise (distractions around you) 6. hearing problems 7. faulty assumptions  8. interrupting  9. cultural differences  10. digital distractions (phone, laptop etc.) >Practicing mindful listening   mindful listening is the essence of receptivity   allowing another person to express themselves without interruptions, judgment,  disagreeing or discounting * Awareness and observation are first steps in refining listening skills  1/19/2016 Self­Disclosure [Ch. 2 in Messages] > Self­disclosure= communicating info about yourself   implies another person is listening and receiving this disclosure  can be both verbal and nonverbal o can be unintentional (especially nonverbal)      ­ “information” implies that this is new info to the other person *see pg. 25 in Messages to see The Johari Window and the different types of self­disclosure > The theory & self­disclosure (“ogres and onions”)   theory developed by Altman and Taylor in 1973 (revised in 1987)  SPT (Social Penetration Theory) is a theory about development of “relational closeness”   states that self­disclosing and learning about others is the process of penetrating deeper into the selves of others and enabling others to penetrate our selves in order to gain a  deeper understanding of us   this process is gradual AND reciprocal (can't happen over one encounter)  o each communicator reveals layers of personal depth       ­ In SPT, the disclosure is intentional and is our choice > Disclosure and the resulting closeness vary according to the following factors:  rewards/benefits of disclosing information  Costs/vulnerability (can you trust the other person to not reveal the disclosed  information?)  satisfaction (getting something off of your chest)  stability and security of the relationship  *breadth→ first step (talk about many different topics at the surface level) v. depth→ last step  (talk about fewer things on a deeper level)   >SPT continued  disclosure may include sharing both high­risk and low­risk info  in sharing info about yourself, you make choices about what you want to share and who  you share it with  not all relationships warrant the same disclosed info (example: difference in info shared  with parents vs. friends)  competent communicators use self­disclosure selectively: o weigh the impact that disclosing info may have in a relationship (impact on  relational growth and well­being) o consider how learning personal info may affect another person o consider another person’s receptivity and trustworthiness to respond well to what has been shared  o awareness of the positive and negative consequences of doing so  o make choices about disclosing info judiciously and sensibly *keep in mind that everything said instantly becomes a part of the relationship’s past and what  is said cannot be taken back (can apologize or explain but it will never to erased)  > Rewards of disclosure  reduce uncertainty in relationships and the stress it creates   when a deeper level of self­disclosure occurs, we experience the rewards of having  greater intimacy ( become closer with the person with whom you disclosed that info with)  gain the help and support of others   achieve the catharsis (relief) that comes from unburdening ourselves  >Risks  may lose face with another person (example: parents telling you something you didn't  know about them can lead to see them differently in a negative light)   risk a breach of confidence (if you disclose info to somebody  too quickly without  knowing their trustworthiness)  the cost of disclosure may be a burden to the relationship itself (especially when  disclosure is associated with demands or expectations)  > Critique of SPT  theory has some merit because it's a general theory (not very specific)  has generated interesting research but not the theory is not fully supported by data  people are not like onions with layers→ life is not that simple   assumes relational development happens in linear fashion  does not account for gender differences (males are  likely less open as women)  in close relationships, focus of self and self­centeredness lessens (SPT states that the  more you self­disclose the closer you will be→ self­centered concept)   penetration metaphor is too sexual (turns people off to talk about it)  true disclosure is more active   the self is not simply revealed but constructed in interactions (can construct how people  see you based on what you choose to disclose vs. what not to disclose)  *SPT is overall valuable because it began a conversation about types of communicative acts   


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