comm 89

comm 89 - Madison Jesseman 5011796 Communication 89 TA Chan...

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Madison Jesseman 5011796 Communication 89 1-26-11 TA: Chan Thai
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Introduction and Statement of Thesis: In the modern world we live in today, people communicate between each other in more ways that we may ever know. Even when you think you are sitting in silence, you can be sending messages to everyone in the room. We do this through different types of nonverbal communication (West & Turner, 2010). Simple examples would be the way you are positioned, the body movements you are making, and the look on your face (O’Hair &Wiemann, 2010). However, people interact with each other in countless ways and not just with nonverbal communication. With the use of many different communication techniques, we are sending and receiving messages almost all the time. The techniques we choose to use in certain situations depend on how we perceive the situation, such as the people involved and the environment surrounding us, and also depending on how helpful the technique will be in describing the acts of others and ourselves. Through the years, different theories have been made in order to explain and try to get a better understanding of these phenomenons. The theory I have chosen to write about is the Attribution Theory. I chose to write about this theory in order to explain how it can be applied to confrontations between two people so that they will have a better understanding of each other. I will accomplish this by sharing a real life story where I misread the situation, and then explain why the situation would have gone much smoother had I chosen to consider the Attribution Theory in advance. Explanation of Theory: As stated above, the theory I have chosen to write about is the Attribution Theory. This theory was primarily thought up by Heider in 1958, but Weiner, Kelley, Jones, and other colleagues later developed theoretical framework that has made the theory much
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more applicable in the world of social sciences (Gunther, 1991). The theory states, “we act in accordance with the explanations that we create about people and their behavior” (Jansma, 2011). This means that judging by how we perceive the situation we are in, we will all act differently. For example, two people might be in the exact same situation with all the same factors, but will act differently depending on how they perceive the situation. This can be because of past experiences, personal choices, or internal factors (Gunther, 1991). Two of the most important ideas that come from the theory of attribution are the fundamental attribution error and the self-serving bias. The fundamental attribution error explains that when there is a negative outcome to a situation, we attribute the mistakes of others on internal factors such as the fact that they are lazy or irresponsible. When we are the ones who make the mistake however, we attribute it to external factors, such as that we were sick, did not have enough time, or didn’t have the resources to finish something (Gunther, 1991). The self-serving bias touches on the same subject. We will associate
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This note was uploaded on 08/26/2011 for the course COMM 89 taught by Professor Jansma during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

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comm 89 - Madison Jesseman 5011796 Communication 89 TA Chan...

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