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Week 4 notes

by: Becca Hanel

Week 4 notes COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication

Becca Hanel
GPA 3.8

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notes covering material from week 4 of class
COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication
dr. ruth hickerson
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Becca Hanel on Monday February 1, 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 89 views. For similar materials see COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication in Art at University of Colorado.

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Date Created: 02/01/16
Week 4 Notes 2/1/2016 > Communication Climate: the emotional tone of a relationship between two people who are interacting  affects how people feel and interact with one another   creating constructive climates is a basic skill that influences the effectiveness of your communication with others in all contexts  you should strive to create supportive climates that help to nurture and foster relationships  → leads to  the productive relationships  > Levels of Message Confirmation: based on the work of Jack Gibb  confirming communication: describes messages that convey valuing o create supportive communication climates (GOOD)  disconfirming communication: describes messages that show a lack of regard for the other person and  the relationship as a whole o create defensive communication climates (BAD) > Defensive and supportive communication  Jack Gibb developed 6 pairs of defensive and supportive categories of comm behavior → he studied how these behaviors affect relationships and interaction outcomes   Defensive: behavior which occurs when a person feels threatened or anticipates threat  o devotes a large amount of energy towards defending him/herself  o thinks about the following:  how s/he comes across to others  how s/he may impress others by escaping punishment and/or how they may avoid an  attack all together  these feelings/actions create similarly defensive behaviors in those around the  defensive individual   when a defensive atmosphere is created → we naturally fact in the same defensive  manner → sets up defensive arousal (see below)   interaction becomes increasingly destructive → nobody is being heard  because  nobody is willing to listen  defensive communicators send off multiple value, motive and affect cues  Defense arousal (increased heart rate, respiration, flushed face etc.) prevents the  listener from concentrating on the message being said  defensive recipients distort what they hear (may cause more arguments and more  defensive behaviors)   as a person becomes more and more defensive, they are less able to perceive the  motives, values or emotions of the person giving the message.  supportive communication decreases defensive behavior and defensive arousal which increases the person’s ability to accurately perceive the message.  Gibb’s categories for defensive and supportive behaviors  o evaluation (judgemental delivery of a message → defensive) vs. description (factual delivery of  a message→ supportive)  o control (imposing solutions despite the other person’s needs or opinion → def.) vs. problem  orientation (collaborate to come to a solution to a problem→ sup.) o strategy (planning ahead, manipulation of the other person to get your way that leads to  passive interactions → def.) vs. spontaneity (direct, no agenda, just see how the situation  unfolds→ sup.) o neutrality (indifference to other person’s feelings → def.) vs. empathy (displays understanding of other person’s feelings→ sup.) o superiority (focus on personal status→ def.) vs. equality (all parties have equal worth and say in the situation→ sup.) o certainty (“my way or the highway” dictatorial, makes decisions based on personal thoughts  alone→ def.) vs. provisionalism (flexibility, investigate multiple options for solving a problem, not a debate→ sup.)  Gibb’s findings o increased defensive behavior is correlated with lack of efficient communication o the more ‘supportive’ the climate, the less confusion of the meaning behind a message o as defenses reduced, the receiver becomes better able to concentrate on the content and  cognitive meanings behind a message o in every interaction, we make a series of choices:  are we going to create more productive interactions?  are we going to send messages of value and respect for the other person?   are we going to escalate or diffuse the conflict? *These choices have real consequences for the state of the relationship and the relational satisfaction.  Communication determines the type of relationship and the quality of communication determines the quality of the relationship  >Prejudgment: the process by which you take in and interpret information about other people. (full description can  be found on page 191 in Messages) >Perception: the active process of assessing information in your surroundings  must be aware of your environment   factors that cause perceptions to differ between people: o physiology (e.g. good vs. poor hearing) o past experiences and roles (e.g. whether or not you’ve experienced a similar situation) o culture o present feelings (e.g. in a good or bad mood)  Perception process: o Step 1: Stimulation  select sensory cues­­we only notice some of the sensory information we receive.  Step 2: Organize selected cues o we always place the sensory sues we notice into some sort of familiar pattern in order to  “recognize” what we are sensing.  Schemata (pattern recognition) is the name of the patterns  we use to organize our perceptions * I will cover schemata later on in the notes   Step 3: Interpret o we typically give a name to the recognized perceptual pattern in order to understand the  meaning of what we are sensing (within a culture)  o Interpretation:  generalization: recognizing categories of similarity  stereotyping: a generalization that is inaccurate (overgeneralization)  attributions: explanations of why people do what they do.  often depend on the communicated patterns and concepts, such as motive.  Review: The most important difference between the transactional model of communication and the  interactive model of communication is that the transactional model recognizes that each person in the  communication process reacts depending on factors such as their background, prior  experiences, attitudes, cultural beliefs and self­esteem.  > 3 factors that affect Perception  Emotion: o mood affects what you notice about the world (e.g. if you’re in a bad mood you may view things  more cynically)   Motivation: o if motivation is used in one context then it can carry over to the next situation (e.g. if you feel  motivated to succeed in one class, that motivation can carry over to other classes) o conscious motives (e.g. what is my goal?)  Cognitive Structures o Schemata: cognitive structures used to make sense of the world. Its information we already  have→ shortcuts to make sense of the world (e.g. The letter game → got easier as you went on  because you could predict what was coming and the letters began to have an overarching idea  connecting them together) o Principle of least effort: tendency to rely on preexisting concepts rather than specific details  from current situation o Social Cognition: process of using cognitive structures  affects interpretation of meaning (e.g. whether or not a comment is rude or friendly  guides actions (how should I act in this situation?) 2/3/2016 > Schemata that Define Roles and Relationships  role schemata: represent rules, norms and behaviors in roles (e.g. the behavior of a student vs. the  behavior of a manager)   relational schemata: represent interaction patterns in certain types of relationships (e.g. the habitual way  you act with your spouse vs. how you act with your parent) > The Attribution Theory   concerned with how and why ordinary explain events they way they do  Two main points: o When we explain the behavior of others we tend to look for internal attributions (e.g. personality traits of the person being talked about) o When we explain the behavior of ourself we tend to look for external attributions (e.g. outside  factors our of our control that influenced our behavior)  Scenario 1: Your friend gets fired.  look into internal attributions like their personality → may conclude that your friend got fired because he is lazy   Scenario 2: You get fired  look into external attributions→ may conclude that your boss had too many expectations of you and that  you never had a chance to make your boss happy because of her high demands  Attribution Errors: 3 typical attribution Errors: o Fundamental Attribution Error: when we tend to explain behavior to internal rather than external causes and the behavior was done due to the environment or other external attributions. →  focus on the person’s character instead of their surroundings o Actor­Observer Error o Self­serving Error: when we take credit for our successes (internal attribution), and blame our  failures on other outside forces such as bad luck (external attribution)  also tends to bias your perceptions of close friends and family members > Relational Dialectics *Review* relational conflict is a natural consequence of two people being in a close relationship  Assumptions: o conflict in relationships is bad → FALSE. conflict leads better communication in the future and  leads to 


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