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Lecture Notes - chapter_1

Lecture Notes - chapter_1 - Chapter 1 Introduction to...

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Studying Communication Communication 200: Communication as a Social Science
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Introduction to the field of Communication The study of communication is the study of human behavior The ability to communicate at a higher level than animals is what makes us human . The ability to use symbols to stand for objects and ideas The ability to refer to real and imaginary phenomena in the present, past, and future. The drive to survive, destroy, & breed are shared with animals.
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Because it’s so much a part of being human we take it for granted. We assume it’s an activity that everyone does naturally. We’re only concerned about it to the extent that we’re effective or not. We don’t concern ourselves with the process of communication. In this course we’ll look at the process of communication. How people communication (processes and effects). Why people communicate (speak and respond) as they do. Introduction to the field of Communication -- 2
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Why study the communication process? To understand social behavior . You cannot understand social behavior without understanding communication. All social behavior is directly or indirectly tied to communication. To understand yourself . Why you talk to others the way you do. Why you respond to others the way you do. To improve your communication skills. Family and social settings. Professional settings. Introduction to the field of Communication -- 3
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NOTE: Most scholars in other disciplines that study communication (e.g., psychology and sociology) consider communication to be a secondary process. Scholars in communication focus on the communication process itself and use psychological and sociological variables and processes to explain how communication works. Communication scholars consider psychological and sociological processes to be a secondary.
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NOTE: The information in this section describes the nature of theory in general. Since we are interested in communication, these characteristics will be discussed in terms of communication. Definition: a set of statements that describe, explain, and/or predict communication behavior. Communication Theory
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Functions of theory; e.g., a communication theory Description: Identifying the variables that are relevant in a communication situation. Explanation: Accounting for why communication outcomes occur. Prediction: Hypothesizing what communication outcomes will occur in the future. Control: Using predictive knowledge to make communication more effective or to improve a communication problem or difficulty . NOTE: The four functions of theory are also the four functions or goals of science .
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