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The seventh edition of Interpersonal Communication introduces even more by offering:

  • A new chapter on listening. Several instructors told us that more attention should be given to listening. We agree and have emphasized listening in two ways. First, we have modified our model to include listening as a basic skill under message competence. Second, we have introduced a new chapter (Chapter 5) that focuses on listening. Although we have included some of the material on listening from the former edition, much of the material is new.

  • Greater emphasis on conflict management. We have expanded our coverage of conflict management by introducing the topic at some length in the chapter on listening (Chapter 5), and returning to it throughout the text. We feel that poor listening is a significant source of conflict, and improving listening skills is one way to manage conflict more effectively.  We also believe that one of the reasons many students sign up for a course in interpersonal communication is to find ways to make everyday conflicts less destructive.

  • An interdisciplinary focus. Previous editions have included boxed material that highlighted communication-related information from other disciplines. We have renamed these boxes Interdisciplinary Connections to underscore the fact that communication is an important subject in a variety of disciplines. These boxes emphasize the connections that exist between our field and other academic disciplines. We have also included seven new Interdisciplinary Connections boxes in this edition. The new topics include the art of conversation (Chapter 4), the nature of emotions (Chapter 5), tactics used by professional "spin doctors" to fool us (Chapter 5), the influence of names (Chapter 9), divorce (Chapter 10), doing kin work (Chapter 10), the brain chemistry of love (Chapter 11) and culture and sports (Chapter 13).

  • Earlier introduction of the concept of culture. We have broadened our discussion of culture by introducing it earlier in the book and then returning to it throughout. As we discuss our model of communication competence in Chapter 1, we now place greater emphasis on the necessity of taking culture into account. We have added several new sections describing and offering examples of how culture serves as a context for communication. Then, throughout the body of the text, we provide examples and boxes that continue to emphasize the importance of culture. Finally, we present a detailed discussion of cross-cultural differences in Chapter 13, where it acts as a kind of "capstone" for the course.

  • Greater readability and currency. We've streamlined the text by making some chapters more concise and rewriting select discussions that had grown too dense, creating a more user friendly edition. In addition, we've added several new chapter openers, updated the book's research content, and provided new examples to clarify difficult concepts.

  • New research reports and screening room reviews. The book features six new screening room reviews (The King's Speech, About a Boy, Memento, Thank You for Smoking, The Kids Are All Right, and the Social Network) and one new Research in Review feature on how parents and children misperceive conflicts.

  • In-text glossary. Several reviewers told us their students wanted a glossary. In the previous edition definitions were provided online in the form of fl ash cards. In this edition we provide a glossary in the book itself.

  • New critical thinking features. Throughout this edition we have made an attempt to engage students more fully. You will note that the beginning of each chapter now includes a Questioning Communication section that poses some of the questions that will be covered in the chapter. In a Questioning Communication Revisited section at the end of each chapter, we revisit these questions and provide answers. We believe these two sections act as both a preview and a partial chapter summary. In order to further personalize the text, we have also added questions for students to think about at the end of each Interdisciplinary Connection and each Screening room. In addition to inviting students to think about the issues discussed, these questions can form the basis of class discussion or can be used as topics for log entries or essays.

  • Internal reorganization. If you have used this text before, you should have no problem using this edition. The number of chapters and their order has remained essentially the same, with one exception: Chapter 5. In this edition Chapter 5 covers the topic of listening. The material on relational messages that comprised the former Chapter 5 has been folded into the chapter on intimacy, Chapter 11. We believe this change makes sense and provides a more effective instructional sequence for the text.

  • New design elements. We have given the book a dramatic facelift, using a larger page size, a new design, and color photos. We hope that this design will engage today's student more actively while preserving the contemporary yet scholarly appeal that the book has established with instructors.

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