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Chapter 1: Introduction to Human Communication

by: Heather Zima

Chapter 1: Introduction to Human Communication CDM 1150

Marketplace > Carthage College > Communications > CDM 1150 > Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Communication
Heather Zima


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These notes cover a range of introductory vocabulary terms, concepts, and examples that will be useful for the rest of the course.
Intro to Human Communications
Class Notes
Human, communication, Chapter, 1, importance, Of, studying, corumination, critical, thinking, messages, encoding, decoding, symbol, context, meaning, Relationship, participants, channel, noise, feedback, Synergetic, model, Field, experience, Culture, ethics, absolutism, relativism, appropriateness, effectiveness
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Heather Zima on Tuesday August 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CDM 1150 at Carthage College taught by Brownson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Intro to Human Communications in Communications at Carthage College.


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Date Created: 08/09/16
CDM 1150 – 03 Class Notes 2/9/16 Chapter 1: Intro to Human Communication 1.1The Importance of Studying Human Communication  Help to understand how people communicate  Communication differs from other social sciences because it focuses exclusively on the exchange of messages to create meaning  Has a long history dating back to classical era of western civilization o Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle  Communication is a complex activity influenced by a variety of factors o Cultural differences, cognitive abilities, and social norms  Can help attain goals, establish relationships, and develop ones identity  Communication is also a complex process that requires an in-depth understanding of how it works and the ability to apply ones critical thinking skills to communication experiences to learn from and improve from  Co-rumination ( when too much talk is as bad as not enough) o often occurs between friends (more often among adolescents and young adults and women) o Why is it bad?  Communication focuses on negative effects  May make the person feel worse and helpless to do anything about it o Suggest conversations that focus on solution offer more effective results.  Critical Thinking (key to successful communication) o Five steps of critical thinking  1. Identify the assertion or action  2. Ask “what is the evidence for and against the assertion/action?”  3. Ask “what does the bulk of the evidence point to?”  4. Ask “what other explanations/conclusions are possible?”  5. Continue to keep an open mind for new evidence and new ways of evaluation  Advantages of studying human communication o Individuals use communication to meet people, establish professional and personal relationships, and to end relationships o Establishes how we think and feel about one another o Establishes who we are to others o Has the potential to change your life  Poor communication = negative effects  Good communication = positive effects o Can benefit you by opening doors to a new career path 1.2What is Human Communication  Human Communication= a transactional process in which people generate meaning through the exchange of verbal and non-verbal messages in specific contexts; influenced by individual and social forces and embedded in culture CDM 1150 – 03 Class Notes 2/9/16  Components of human communication o Message Creation  Messages = building blocks of communication events  Encoding = taking ideas and converting them into messages  Decoding = receiving a message and interpreting its meaning  When we communicate we exchange both verbal and non- verbal messages (most of these messages are symbolic)  Symbol = something that represents something else and conveys meaning  Human communication is predominantly symbolic  Humans must agree on the meanings of words (words change over time) o Meaning Creation  Relationship Meaning = what a message conveys about the relationship between the parties  Context Meaning = The concrete meaning of the message and the meaning suggested by or associated with the message as well as emotions triggered by it  Denotative by being concrete  dictionary definition  Connotative by being suggestive  individual definition/interpretation  Helps create the shared meanings that shape families, communities, and societies o Setting  Setting = the physical surroundings of a communication event  Includes the location, environmental conditions, the time of day/day of the week, and proximity of the communications o Participants  Participants = the people interacting during communication  The more common characteristics the easier the communication  Also affected by relationship (parent, friend, etc.) o Channels  Channel = the means through which a message is transmitted  Use of different channels (face to face  texting) affects the perception of communication o Noise  Noise = any stimulus that can interfere with, or degrade, the quality of the message  Comes from external stimuli (loud music) and internal stimuli (hunger/sleepiness) o Feedback  Feedback = the response to a message  Confirms if the message was received and/or understood CDM 1150 – 03 Class Notes 2/9/16 1.3A Model of Human Communication: The Synergetic Model  Synergetic Model = transactional model that emphasizes how individual and societal forces, contexts and culture interact to affect the communication process o when two or more elements work together to achieve something either one couldn’t have achieved on its own  Communication is transactional o Each participant is a sender and a receiver (at the same time) o Meaning is created as people communicate together o Communication is an ongoing process o Previous communication events/relationships influence its meaning  Communication is influenced by individual forces o The individual is the primary focus in communication o Individual forces that influence communication: age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, regional identity, socioeconomic class, personality, cognitive and physical ability o Fiend of Experience = the education and experiences that a communicator possesses  Communication is influenced by societal forces  Communication is influenced by culture o Culture = learned patterns of perceptions, values, and behaviors shared by a group of people  Culture is dynamic and heterogeneous (it changes over time and despite commonalities; members of cultural groups do not all think and behave alike)  Communication is influenced by context o Context includes setting/aspects of the physical environment 1.4Communication Ethics  Ethics = standards of what is right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral  matters of choice (because we can)  Communication Ethics = the standards of right and wrong that one applies to messages that are sent and received o Truthfulness: others expect messages to be truthful, messages have consequences o Sharing/withholding information: determining what should be private and what should be public o Benefit and harm of messages: these issues are usually less clear o Absolutism vs. relativism:  Absolutism = the belief that there is a single correct moral standard that holds for everyone, everywhere, everytime  Relativism = the belief that moral behavior varies among individuals, groups, cultures, and across situations  Communicators need to establish an ethical stance based on their own beliefs, values, and moral training CDM 1150 – 03 Class Notes 2/9/16 1.5Putting it All Together: Communication Competently  Communication Competence = the ability to adapt ones communication to achieve one’s goals o Composed of two components  1. Appropriateness = following the rules, norms, and expectations for specific situations of relationships  2. Effectiveness = achieving one’s goals successfully  Framework for ethical decision making o Recognize and ethical issue o Get the facts o Evaluate alternate actions o Make a decision and test it o Act and reflect of the outcome  Three types of goals of speakers: o 1. Content Goals = outcomes desired from interaction o 2. Relationships Goals = desire to change/maintain relationship o 3. Identity Goals = how we would like others to see us or help us see ourselves


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