This 12th edition of Interplay retains the proven approach that has served several hundred thousand students and professors for many years. The accessible writing style is based on the belief that even complicated ideas can be presented in a straightforward way. A variety of thought- provoking photos, sidebars, and cartoons make the subject more interesting and compelling than text alone can. And in terms of its scholarly grounding, this edition cites more than 1,500 sources, 34 percent of which are new to this edition. Research and theory aren't presented for their own sake, but rather to support insights about how the process of interpersonal communication operates in everyday life.

While the overall structure of the book will be familiar to long- time users, several changes enhance its usability and keep the content up to date. There are two important changes in the chapter organization of the book:

  • New Chapter 2, "Interpersonal Communication in a Changing World," addresses the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships.
  • New Chapter 12, "Interpersonal Contexts," expands and consolidates the discussion of communication with those who are closest to us. The chapter includes a new discussion of communication in friendships and updated sections on communication in intimate relationships and families.

Many changes have been made to individual chapters to interpret the latest communication research and address changing communication practices. These include:

  • The role of mediated communication in identity management and self- disclosure (Chapter 3)
  • Distinctions between empathy and sympathy (Chapter 4)
  • How deception is (and isn't) communicated through nonverbal communication (Chapter 6)
  • The best ways to offer advice (Chapter 7)
  • New coverage of emotional intelligence, reappraisal, and emotion labor (Chapter 8)
  • Updates on relational stages (Chapter 9)
  • Expanded discussion of John Gottman's "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," an assessment of problematic conflict behaviors (Chapter 11)

In addition to updating key chapter discussions, many boxes and sidebars have been added or revised to highlight contemporary issues and examples:

  • New At Work boxes help readers apply scholarship to their careers. Topics include identity management in the workplace, the effects of swearing on the job, the role of touch in career success, and the value of cultivating social capital.
  • Many Focus on Research boxes are new to this edition. They cover timely subjects such as the impact of overly casual e-mails, how people with disabilities assimilate into organizations, the effects of nonverbal poses on feelings of power, blogging as a means for social support, the relational messages in romantic comedies, and the role of flirting in marriage.
  • Dark Side of Communication sidebars address a variety of challenging topics. New to this edition is coverage of problems including the dangers of being overly connected in cyberspace, the incivility of hate speech, cyberbullying, and the hazards of jealousy.
  • Media Clips now use both television and films to illustrate communication concepts. Twenty of the sidebars are new to this edition, including House, M.D. (communication competence), The Social Network (cybercommunication), What Not to Wear (clothing and communication), Yes Man (debilitative emotions), 30 Rock (conflict), and Modern Family (family communication).

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