GUDYKUNST ANXIETY/UNCERTAINTY MANAGEMENT THEORY Outline I. Enter the stranger. A. Bill Gudykunst's anxiety/uncertainty management theory (AUM) focuses on cross-cultural encounters between cultural in-groups and strangers. B. AUM also applies more generally to any situation where differences between people spawn doubts and fears. C. He assumes that at least one person in an intercultural encounter is a stranger. 1. Through a series of initial crises, strangers experience both anxiety and uncertainty. 2. They tend to overestimate the effect of cultural identity on the behavior of people in an alien society and blur individual distinctions. D. AUM is a theory under construction. II. Effective communication: the result of mindfulness. A. Effective communication refers to the process of minimizing misunderstandings. B. AUM is designed to explain effective face-to-face communication. C. Scripted behavior serves us well in familiar situations, but not in cross-cultural communication. D. William Howell suggests four levels of communication competence. 1. Unconscious incompetence: we are unaware that we're misinterpreting others' behavior. 2. Conscious incompetence: we know that we're misinterpreting others' behavior but don't do anything about it. 3. Conscious competence: we think about our communication and continually work to become more effective. 4. Unconscious competence: our communication skills are automatic. E. Gudykunst defines mindfulness as stage three in Howell's model, in which cognitive choice moderates the destructive force of doubt or fear. F. Stage four is less competent than stage 3 and can shift quickly into oblivious incompetence. III.
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