50 multiple choice questions
Communication Theory 2713-850
Midterm Study Guide (up to 150 pts)
· Time Limit – 120 Minutes. Multiple Attempts Allowed (Note: If you complete it multiple times, then the score would be averaged)
· 50 questions, multiple choice. Look for the most suitable answer.
· Chapters 1-4;7-9; 13
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What is a theory and what does it do? What is communication? What is communication theory?
Key names and terms: Judee Burgoon, Ernest Bormann
Theory – A set of systematic, informed hunches about the way things work.
Communication – The relational process of creating and interpreting messages that elicit a response.
Text – A record of a message that can be analyzed by others; for example, a book, film, photograph, or any transcript or recording of a speech or broadcast.
Polysemic – A quality of symbols that means they are open to multiple interpretations.
What is an objective approach? What is an interpretive approach? Objective or interpretive: Why is it important? Ways of knowing: Discovering truth or creating multiple realities?
Key names and terms: Stanley Deetz
Behavioral scientist – A scholar who applies the scientific method to describe, predict, and explain recurring forms of human behavior.
Rhetorician – A scholar who studies the ways in which symbolic forms can be used to identify with people, or to persuade them toward a certain point of view.
Objective approach – The assumption that truth is singular and is accessible through unbiased sensory observation; committed to uncovering cause-and-effect relationships.
Resonance principle of communication – Tony Schwatz’s idea that successful persuasion messages evoke past experiences that resonate with a person’s thoughts or feelings.
Birth-death-rebirth cycle – One of the archetypes or mini-dramas that Carl Jung claimed is deep within the mental makeup of all humans; the collective unconscious.
Humanistic scholarship – Study of what it’s like to be another person, in a specific time and place; assumes there are few important panhuman similarities.
Epistemology – The study of the origin, nature, method, and limits of knowledge.
Determinism – The assumption that behavior is caused by heredity and environment.
Empirical evidence- Data collected through direct observation.
Emancipation – Liberation from any form of political, economic, racial, religious, or sexual oppression; empowerment.
Metatheory – Theory about theory; the stated or inherent assumptions made when creating a theory.
What makes an objective theory good? What makes an interpretive theory good? Contested turf and common ground among theorists.
Rule of parsimony (Occam’s razor) – Given two plausible explanations for the same event, we should accept the simpler version.
Falsifiability – The requirement that a scientific theory must be stated in a way that it can be tested and disproved if it is indeed wrong.
Experiment – A research method that manipulates a variable in a tightly controlled situation in order to find out if it has the predicted effect.
Survey – A research method that uses questionnaires and structured interviews to collect self-reported data that reflects what respondents think, feel, or intend to do.
Self-referential imperative – Include yourself as a constituent of your own construction.
Ethical imperative – Grant others that occur in your construction the same autonomy you practice constructing them.
Critical theorists – Scholars who use theory to reveal unjust communication practices that create or perpetuate an imbalance of power.
Textual analysis – A research method that describes and interprets the characteristics of any text.
Ethnography – A method of participant observation designed to help a researcher experience a culture’s complex web of meaning.
Seven Theoretical Traditions. Fencing the field of communication theory. The ethical tradition.
Key names and terms: Robert Craig
Cybernetics – The study of information processing, feedback, and control in communication systems.
Rhetoric – The art of using all available means of persuasion, focusing upon lines of argument, organizations of ideas, language use, and delivery in public speaking.
Semiotics – The study of verbal and nonverbal signs that can stand for something else, and how their interpretation impacts society.
Symbols – Arbitrary words and non-verbal signs that bear no natural connection with the things they describe; their meaning is learned within a given culture.
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic relativity – The claim that the structure of a language shapes what people think and do; the social construction of reality.
Culture industries – Entertainment businesses that reproduce the dominant ideology of a culture and distract people from recognizing unjust distribution of power within society; e.g., film, television, music, and advertising.
Phenomenology – Intentional analysis of everyday experience from the standpoint of the person who is living it; explores the possibility of understanding the experience of self and others.
Pragmatism – An applied approach to knowledge; the philosophy that true understanding of an idea or situation has practical implications for action.
Expectancy Violation Theory. Personal space expectations: conform or deviate? Models, Core concepts of EVT. Interactional Adaptation—Adjusting Expectations. Critique.
Key terms and concepts: Judee Burgoon, Edward Hall, Paul Mongeau
Personal Space – The invisible, variable volume of space surrounding an individual that defines that individual’s preferred distance from others.
Proxemics – The study of people’s use of space as a special elaboration of culture.
Intimate Distance – The American proxemic zone of 0 to 18 inches.
Personal Distance – The American proxemic zone of 18 inches to 4 feet.
Social Distance – The American proxemic zone of 4 to 10 feet.
Public Distance – The American proxemic zone of 10 feet to infinity.
Threat Threshold – The hypothetical outer boundary of intimate space; a breach by an uninvited other occasion fight or flight.
Arousal, relational – A heightened state of awareness, orienting response, or mental alertness that stimulates review of the relationship.
Expectancy – What people predict will happen, rather than what they necessarily desire.
Violation Valence – The perceived positive or negative value assigned to a breach of expectations, regardless of who the violator is.
Communicator Reward Valence – The sum of the positive and negative attributes that the person brings to the encounter plus the potential he or she has to reward or punish in the future.
Interactional Adaptation Theory – A systematic approach to how people adjust their approach when another’s behavior doesn’t mesh with what’s needed, anticipated, or preferred.
Interaction Position – A person’s initial stance towards an interaction as determined by a blend of personal requirements, expectations, and desires (RED).
Reciprocity – A strong human tendency to respond to another’s action with similar behavior.
Social Penetration Theory. Development of the theory and its specifics. Ethical reflection. Dialectics and the environment. Critique.
Key names and terms: Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor, John Thibaut and Harold Kelley, Sandra Petronio, Paul Wright
Social Penetration – The process of developing deeper intimacy with another person through mutual self-disclosure and other forms of vulnerability.
Personality Structure – Onion-like layers of beliefs and feelings about self, others, and the world; deeper levels are more vulnerable, protected, and central to self-image.
Self-disclosure – The voluntary sharing of personal history, preferences, attitudes, feelings, values, secrets, etc., with another person; transparency.
Depth of penetration – The degree of disclosure in a specific area of an individual’s life.
Law of reciprocity – A paced and ordered process in which openness in one person leads to openness in the other.
Breadth of penetration – The range of areas in an individual’s life over which disclosure takes place.
Social exchange – Relationship behavior and status regulated by both parties’ evaluations of perceived rewards and costs of interaction with each other.
Outcome – The perceived rewards minus the costs of interpersonal interaction.
Minimax principle of human behavior – People seek to maximize their benefits and minimize their costs.
Comparison level (CL) – The threshold above which an interpersonal outcome seems attractive; a standard for relationship satisfaction.
Comparison level of alternatives (CLalt) – The best outcomes available in other relationships; a standard for relationship stability.
Ethical egoism – The belief that individuals should live their lives so as to maximize their own pleasure and minimize their own pain.
Dialectical model – The assumption that people want both privacy and intimacy in their social relationships; they experience a tension between disclosure and withdrawal.
Territoriality – The tendency to claim a physical location or object as our own.
Uncertainty Reduction Theory. Development of the theory and its specifics (axioms, theorems, etc.). Relational Turbulence Theory. Critique.
Key names and terms: Charles Berger, Fritz Heider, Malcolm Parks and Mara Adelman, Leanne Knobloch, Kathy Kellermann and Rodney Reynolds, Michael Sunnafrank, Walid Afifi.
Attribution theory – A systematic explanation of how people draw inferences about the character of others based on observed behavior.
Uncertainty reduction – Increased knowledge of what kind of person another is that provides an improved forecast of how a future interaction will turn out.
Axiom – A self-evident truth that requires no additional proof.
Theorem – A proposition that logically and necessarily follows from two axioms.
Message plans – Mental representations of action sequences that may be used to achieve goals.
Passive strategy – Impression formation by observing a person interact with others.
Active strategy – Impression formation by asking a third party about a person.
Interactive strategy – Impression formation through face-to-face discussion with a person.
Extractive strategy – Impression formation by searching the Internet for information about a person.
Plan complexity – A characteristic of message plan based on the level of detail it provides and the number of contingencies it covers.
Hedging – Use of strategic ambiguity and humor to provide a way for both parties to save face when a message fails to achieve its goals.
Hierarchy hypothesis – The prediction that when people are thwarted in their attempts to achieve goals, their first tendency is to alter lower-level elements of their message.
Relational uncertainty – Doubts about our own thoughts, the thoughts of the other person, or the future of the relationship.
Partner interference – Occurs when a relational partner hinders goals, plans, and activities.
Relational turbulence – Negative emotions arising from perceived problems in a close relationship.
Predicted outcome value – A forecast of future benefits and costs of interaction based on limited experience with the other.
Media Multiplexity Theory. Development of the theory and its specifics. Critique.
Key names and terms: Carolyn Haythornthwaite, Art Ramirez, Andrew Ledbetter
Weak tie – A relationship involving a small investment of time and emotional energy, such as an acquaintance.
Strong tie – A relationship involving a large investment of time and emotional energy, such as a very close friend.
Tie strength – The degree of connection between people, determined by amount of time spent together, emotional intensity and intimacy, and willingness to exchange resources.
Bridging ties – Weak tie relationships that enable information and resources to pass between groups of people.
Media multiplexity – Strongly tied pairs use more media to sustain their relationships than do weakly tied pairs.
Hierarchy of media use expectations – Group norms that guide which media are used with all ties and which are reserved for strong ties.
Latent tie – The technical possibility of connection between two people who don’t currently have a relationship.
Medium enjoyment – A preference for a specific medium, driven by the belief that it is fun and convenient.