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Foundations of

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Gina Kostoulias

on 13 September 2016

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Transcript of Foundations of


I. Why Study Interpersonal Communication?
II. Why Do We Communicate?
II. Nature
III. Elements
IV. Principles
The Nature of IPC
A. The verbal and nonverbal interaction
between two (or sometimes more
than two) interdependent people.
Why Study?
in a survey of 1001 people over 18 felt that a lack of effective communication was the major cause of marriage failure
B. Interdependent
People who are connected
and have impact on one
C. Relational
impacts the relationship
and defines
the relationship
father and son
two lovers
two friends
Although dyadic it can involve small intimate groups such as a family
Facebook may have changed the definition of interpersonal communication with messaging and collective chats
The way you communicate is influenced by the type of relationship you have with the other person.
You communicate differently with your instructor than you do with your best friend.
You interact on Facebook and Twitter in ways different than in face-to-face communication
The way you communicate will influence your relationships in both positive and negative ways.

A. Personal success
B. Social success
C. Professional

The Nature of IPC continued

Impersonal Interpersonal
* Social role information * Personal Information
*Social rules * Personal rules
*Social messages * Personal messages

D. Exists on a Continuum
We send and receive interpersonal messages
through our facial expressions, eyes, posture,
and other nonverbal features as well as through
online text, photos and videos.
1. Silence counts as nonverbal
2. It's important to focus on how both verbal and
non-verbal work together

E. Involves verbal and nonverbal

of IPC

1. It's a process-it's an ever-changing, circular
2. Elements are Interdependent; if one element
changes, the others must alter in response.

1. Some degree of ambiguity exists in all
interpersonal communication.
2. It's important not to jump to hasty
conclusions because of this ambiguity.
3 All relationships contain uncertainty.
4. Improving interpersonal skills can reduce

C. IPC is Ambiguous

Elements of IPC

1. Close friendships and romantic
relationships are made, maintained
and sometimes destroyed through
interpersonal interaction.
2. Family relationships depend on
effective ipc.

A 2004 study
reported that 89% of
recruiters put "communication and
interpersonal skills" at the top of their lists.
Interpersonal skills
have a role in preventing
workplace violence.
89% of employers
felt colleges should place
more emphasis on communicating orally and
in writing.
Understanding the theory and research will
help you master the skills of ipc:
a. the more skills you have, the more choices
for communicating you will have in
different situations.
b. more knowledge and more choices will
lead to better interpersonal effectiveness
Inherently relational- IPC takes place in a relationship

In the role impersonal example, the people respond to each other according to the roles they play.
the server and the customer conform
to the rules of society
F. Takes Place in Varied Forms
1. Face to face
2. Computer mediated
3. Synchronous – occur simultaneously,
in “real time”
4. Asynchronous – do not occur in “real time”

Source-Receiver (Environment)
Each person performs both source functions and receiver functions.

1. Each person's communication is unique (values, attitudes,
experiences, etc. "frame of reference").
2. It involves knowing how to adjust your communication to
the context and the person with whom you are
3. We learn competence by observing others, instruction and
trial and error.
4. There's a positive relationship between interpersonal
competence and success in college and job satisfaction as
well as meaningful relationships.
1. Encoding refers to the act of producing messages.
2. Decoding refers to the act of understanding messages.
3. They are performed in combination by each participant.
Signals that serve as stimuli for a receiver and are received by one of our senses. They can be verbal and nonverbal, intentional and unintentional. Even the photo and background theme that you choose for your Facebook or Twitter page communicates something about you.
Channel: the medium through which messages pass
1. We may use more than one channel at a time: in online
communication we might send audio and video files in the
same message.
2. Means of communication: face-to-face, telephone, e-mail,
Facebook, film, radio, etc.
3. Different channels impose different restrictions on your
message construction.
4. Sometimes the channel is physiologically damaged.
Noise-Anything that Distorts a Message
1. There are four kinds:
a. physical
b. physiological
c. psychological
d. semantic (problems with speaker and listener assigning
different meanings to symbols).
2. Signal-to-noise ratio-- what we find useful is called
what we find useless is called
3. All communications contain noise.
messages about other messages.
messages sent back to the receiver.
information you provide before sending your primary messages. It reveals something about the message to come.
The environment that influences the form and content of messages.
Physical dimension
-tangible environment in which
communication occurs.
Temporal dimension
-tangible environment in which
communication occurs.
Social-psychological dimension
- includes norms of a society
or group as well as status relationships among the
Cultural dimension
- refers to the cultural beliefs and
customs of people communicating.
Ethics-the moral dimension of
1. Communication choices should be guided by ethics.
2. Some ethical principles are universal such as
respect, telling the truth, respecting others and not
harming the innocent.
3. An objective view of ethics argues that morality is
absolute while a subjective view says it is relative
to the culture's values, beliefs and the
A. IPC Is a Transactional Process
B. Interpersonal Communication is Purposeful
To learn
- better understand the world and
To relate
- communicate friendship and love.
To influence
- a good deal of our time is spent in
interpersonal persuasion.
a. Some argue that all communication is
b. Some social media sites influence us in both
direct and indirect ways.
To play
- provides balance and gives your mind a
break and is important in both face-to-face
communication and online.
To help
- offering guidance through interpersonal
Messages can have more than one meaning
D. Interpersonal Relationships May Be
Symmetrical or Complementary
1. In a symmetrical relationship, the two
individuals mirror each other's behavior.
2. In a complementary relationship, the two
individuals engage in different behaviors.

E. IPC refers to Content and Relationship
can refer to the real world.
can refer to the relationship
between the people communicating.
3. Problems arise when we fail to recognize the difference
between the content and relational dimension of a
4. Men tend to focus more on content while women focus
on relational.
5. Arguments on the content level are easier to resolve
than the relational dimension.
G. IPC is Inevitable,
Irreversible and Unrepeatable
- It's impossible to avoid
- You can't take a message back.
a. Electronic messages are impossible to destroy.
b. They can easily be made public.
c. They can be accessed by others and used against
- You can never repeat exactly a
specific message.
F. IPC Is a Series of
Punctuated Events
1. Communicators segment this continuous
stream of communication into smaller
2. The tendency to divide communication
into sequences of stimuli and responses
is called punctuation.
3. Understanding how someone punctuates
is essential to understanding and
Physical Needs
Identity Needs
Social Needs
Practical Goals
Why We Communicate?
Communication is so important
that its presence or absence affects
physical health.
Communication is the only way we learn
who we are.

Our sense of identity comes from the way we
interact with other people.

Deprived of communication, we would have no
sense of ourselves.
Because connections with others are so vital,
some theorists maintain that positive relationships
may be the single most important source of life
satisfaction and emotional well-being in every culture.

pleasure, affection, companionship, escape, relaxation, control
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
The process of communication
Figure 1.1

A Linear View
Communication is “done to” a receiver

The Process of Communication

Figure 1.2

A Transactional View
It's an activity that we do
others and not to them.

Features that distinguish interpersonal from impersonal
1. Uniqueness
2. Irreplaceability
3. Interdependence
4. Amount of Disclosure
5. Intrinsic Rewards
I-it and I-Thou
are two ways in
which humans
can relate to one another
We deal with people because
they can do things for us.
I-Thou relationships are unique.
They arise out of how we are now.
Without I-It we cannot exist,
but if we only live with I-It, we are
not fully human.
Interpersonal Communication
is a transactional process involving participants who occupy different but overlapping environments
and create relationships through the exchange of
messages, many of which are affected by external,
physiological, and psychological noise.
Communication can be intentional or unintentional
Communication Misconceptions
More communication is not always better
Meanings are not in words
Successful communication doesn't always involve understanding
Communication will not solve all problems.
Social Media
and Interpersonal Communication
Leaner Messages
What Makes an
: Achieving one's goal in a manner that, in most cases, maintains or enhances the relationship in which it occurs.

There is no ideal way to communicate-
Use of a wide range of behaviors.
Competence is situational
Ability to choose the most appropriate behavior
Competence can be learned
Skill at performing behaviors.
Congnitive Complexity
The ability to construct a variety of frameworks for
viewing an issue.
Feeling and experiencing another person's situation

Paying close attention to one's behavior so as to shape
the way one behaves.

People who seem to care about relationships
communicate better than those who don't
Stages in Learning Communication Skills
This is the point where you first learn that there is a new and better way of behaving.
You have to be willing to look bad in
order to get good.
You begin to handle yourself well although you will still need to think about what you're doing.
When you are able to perform well without thinking about it.

The behavior becomes automatic.
Competence in

culture: national and ethnic differences, co-cultures
tolerance for ambiguity
knowledge and skill-mindfulness: passive observation, active strategies, self-disclosure

Competence in
Social Media

Think before you post.
Be considerate
Respect Others' need for Undivided Attention
Keep your tone civil
Don't intrude on bystanders
Full transcript