socialPenetrationTheory_essay - Place Last Name Here 1 Name of Student Placed Here Name of Professor Placed Here Name of Course Placed Here 5 December

socialPenetrationTheory_essay - Place Last Name Here 1 Name...

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Place Last Name Here Name of Student Placed Here Name of Professor Placed Here Name of Course Placed Here 5 December 2016 Interpersonal Communication Theories: Social Penetration Theory One of the major topics discussed in the study of communications is the exchange of information that is passed from two or more people. In technical terms, we call this process interpersonal communication. Indeed, interpersonal communication theories and concepts have been widely discussed over the past fifty years. One such concept is that of social penetration theory. For the purpose of this paper, social penetration theory will be discussed in further detail in order to examine the basic tenants of the theory and how it applies in our everyday lives. In addition, a discussion will be made concerning where and how social penetration came about, and how it was originally articulated by the researchers who formulated it. The concept of social penetration emerged as widely accepted academic theory in the early 1970s. The theory, in its original form, was formulated by New York psychologists Irwin Altman and Dalmas A. Taylot and was derived as a means to understand the interpersonal relationships that exist between two or more individuals. Indeed, social penetration theory is accredited for explaining the differences in communication that exists in relation to the depth of interpersonal relationships. Moreover, Altman and Taylor noted that relationships “involve different levels of intimacy of exchange or degree of social penetration” (Altman et al, 1973). Rather than being a subjective form of inquiry gleaned from any particular vignette of personal 1
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Place Last Name Here experience, social penetration is considered objective theory, or theory that is based on information drawn from empirical experimentation. Moreover, social penetration theory suggests that interpersonal relationships are developed through the process of self-disclosure. Self-disclosure in this context refers to the process by which one intentionally reveals personal and intimate information regarding their personal desires and motives in life Indeed, Altman and Taylor have described this process of self-disclosure as being similar to that of peeling back the layers of an onion. According to Altman and Taylor, this peeling back of the onion reveals both the breadth and depth of the individual. The breadth aspect shines light on the particulars of an individual’s life and concerns such topics as their work, family, community, interests, and hobbies. Moreover, the “depth” aspect of self-disclosure then focuses on the details pertaining to each of those subjects (family, work, hobbies, etc.). Furthermore, the outer layers of the onion (as it relates to social penetration theory and self-disclosure) pertains to the “superficial information about a person, such as physical appearance and speech” (“Social Penetration Theory”). Likewise, the inner more
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  • Spring '11
  • Interpersonal relationship, Social penetration theory, Altman

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