Communication 101

Midterm Review
Midterm will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions. Listed below are concepts you should know.

Ruben Chapters 1 & 2 and Lectures
Ruben’s & Richter’s definitions of communication. How & why are they different? History/tradition of communication studies, ancient time to present (classical--persuasion; modern--propaganda, mass media effects). In what way is study of communication "interdisciplinary" Pick your favorite three models. Be able to identify the people they are associated with, draw an outline of them, and explain their strengths and weaknesses. Know how & why models of communication process have evolved/changed. When is the "information age"? Why do we call it that? What is meant by "information as a commodity"?

Ruben Chapter 3 and Lectures
Know the Communication Modes" and think of an example for each mode that is NOT in the book. Be able to recognize the "basic functions of communication" and give examples other than those in the book--especially, examples for humans rather than animals.

Ruben Chapter 4 and Lectures
Know what Ruben means by a "Communication Iceberg (e.g., why "iceberg"; observable /unobservable). What are symbols? What does it mean to state that symbols are "arbitrary and conventional?" What is the difference between subjectivity and intersubjectivity? Be able to discuss self-reflexivity, inevitability. Media as giving symbols permanence & portability, i.e. binding of time & bridging of space. Be able to explain concept of money as symbol.

Ruben Chapters 5 and Lectures
Know how Ruben explains selection and selective attention—filter, or more complex?; How does Ruben explain interpretation? Know about retention: recall/recognition; fast/slow retrieval; semantic/episodic memory; long & short-term memory; relationship between semantic & episodic. Be able to explain the relationship between selection, interpretation & retention. Know "receiver" influences: needs (physical & social--how might they affect how we pay attention to, interpret communication); attitudes beliefs & values. Know message influences including mode, physical character (loudness, intensity of colors, e.g.), organization (of ideas/words; but also spatial), novelty. Know source influences, especially proximity, attractiveness & similarity (relate to receiver attitudes, etc., above); credibility & authoritativeness; delivery; status, power & authority. Know media and environment influences: for media, think of examples. Be able to relate the different types of influences above to one another in terms of selection, interpretation & retention (e.g. Receiver influences of attitudes, beliefs, etc.--how do they relate to source physical and social attraction?).

 

Ruben Chapter 6 and Lectures
Know: physiological and cognitive bases which make human language use possible: complexity of human vocal capability; Wernicke's area; Broca's area Know the basics of Psycholinguistic vs. Sociolinguistic approaches—can they be reconciled? Be ready to discuss apparent intersection of physiological/cognitive with social exemplified in language acquisition: babbling and language acquisition, unlearning certain sounds; stages of acquisition (don’t need to know them all, but know approximate order of how we start simple, get complex, know babbling stage, age at which children have full command of language). What is the "critical age" theory? What is meant by "code? Know about language as code or system: rules of phonology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics; language as "arbitrary & conventional" relationship of signifier & signified. Who was Saussure? Language as representational—strengths and weaknesses of this view. Language and reality, including production of social reality. Rules at level of use (pragmatics--Ruben’s "Rules and Rituals)--don’t need to know all, but think about turn-taking, topic setting, topic shift rules as examples. Be ready to discuss sexist language as well as gender differences in use. Be ready to discuss communication as expressing content and relationship (Watzlawick, Beavin & Jackson). Metacommunication.

Ruben Chapter 7 and Lectures
Know: Similarities and differences between verbal codes and non-verbal codes--think especially in terms of rules. What is paralanguage (vocalics and written form)? Appearances: why a focus on face and eyes? Know terms for different types of 'gaze'. Be prepared to discuss physique; dress/adornment; artifacts as nonverbal communication. For gestures/Kinesics, be able to give examples of different types of gestures (baton, guide, etc.). Know how we use touch (Haptics). Be ready to discuss Space/Proxemics at level of interaction (personal space and at level of environment (organization to direct/regulate interaction; symbolic value). For Time/Chronemics, be ready to discuss micro-macro, cultural differences, etc. FOR ALL NON-VERBAL, think in terms of the degree of control a person has in 'sending' vs. subjectivity in attributing, interpreting. Also, how the various categories are related/overlap--e.g. haptics and proxemics.

Ruben Chapter 10 and Lectures
Know: definition of "relationship" for communication research; examples of what this definition can include that we might not think of as relationships in everyday sense. Know the various ways of thinking about relationships: number of people (Dyadic, Triadic); Task and Social relationships (what does each term mean? Examples? Ways task and social are related--i.e. are they ALWAYS mutually exclusive? Are they EVER mutually exclusive?); Short and Long Term (Examples? How do they relate to each other? How can you relate concepts of Short vs. Long Term to Task vs. Social?; What are differences between Casual and Intimate relationships? (What does each term mean? Characteristics associated with each?). Casual relationships as ritualized and impersonal--what do we mean by this? What purpose does this serve according to Erving Goffman? What are the types of disclosure? Give examples of each. Relationship of disclosure and intimacy? Think of examples of ways Casual and Intimate can be related to Short vs. Long Term and/or Task vs. Social. Examples of appropriate & inappropriate ritualized (or RULE GOVERNED) impersonal, casual interactions? Know the stages of relationships, what happens in each stage. Do these stages ALWAYS occur precisely in order? Examples? Know about communication patterns in relationships: be able to recognize/explain Supportive & Defensive climates; Dependencies & Counterdependencies; Progressive & Regressive Spirals--what each term means; characteristics and examples of each type of pattern. Know factors that influence patterns: Stage of Relationship and context (examples); Interpersonal Needs and Styles (especially examples of internalizing vs. externalizing style); Power --i.e. asymmetries--examples?; Conflict (know definition, approaches to dealing with it).

 

Ruben Chapter 11 and Lectures
Know differences between groups and relationships. How are these differences related to one another? Know differences between task & social dimensions of groups; between contrived and emergent groups. Be able to recognize different group communication networks. Be prepared to discuss group culture as involving symbols, rules, codes. Know different decision making methods: consensus, compromise, majority vote, by leader, arbitration. Know about the different broad types of roles possible in groups—don’t need to know everything about each specific role, but be able to recognize how given roles fit into the categories. Know the different theories of leadership. What is cohesiveness? Symptoms of too much or too little cohesiveness? Know about conflict in groups—is it always a problem? Why or why not? Know the conflict management styles and their relationships (p. 294).

Ruben Chap. 12 (and lecture): Organizations
How organizations differ from groups: Nature of organizational goals; size; complexity; formality of communication networks; Division of labor & formally defined roles: aspects of formalization of roles--what’s specified; role relationships formalized (i.e. how roles are related to each other) in terms of organizational structure; chain of command, reporting lines (Ruben 386 & 387); communication networks conceived in terms of communication or information "flow" (hence term "flow chart"); Message flows: downward, upward; horizontal. Informal networks. External networks. Realities of communication networks in action in organizations: "Wiio’s laws;" Organizational control. Four main schools of thought on organizational management: Scientific management school; human relations school; systems school; Quality School--know the central metaphor for each, what each assumes about human nature, strengths and weaknesses of each, implications of each for networks, culture, climate, etc. Organizational culture: defined as "sum of its symbols, events, traditions, standardized verbal and nonverbal behavior patterns, 'folk tales’ rules and rituals that give the organization its character or 'personality’ "--think of examples of symbols; symbolic behavior, etc. Functions of organizational culture, climate & diversity.