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Chapter 1

This outline can be a helpful study tool to assist you in seeing the order and sequence of the chapter and the relationship of ideas.  Use it to take notes as you read and/or to add concepts presented in lecture.

  1. Human communication is the process of creating meaning through symbolic interaction.
    1. Communication is a continuous, ongoing process.
    2. Communication is symbolic and arbitrary and allows people to think and talk about the past, explain the present, and speculate about the future.
  2. Types of communication include intrapersonal, dyadic or interpersonal, small group, public, and mass.
  3. Communication is used to satisfy physical, identity, social, and practical needs.
  4. The communication process can be diagrammed as a linear or transactional model but transactional is more sophisticated and accurate.
    1. The linear model (doing communication to another) consists of a sender encoding a message through channels, despite noise, that the receiver decodes with the help of fields of shared experiences or environments.
    2. The transactional model (communication done with others) reflects fluid, simultaneous interaction of sending and receiving by communicators using feedback that can be observed and interpreted.
  5. Effective communicators have communication competence.
    1. Communication competence is defined as the ability to achieve one’s goals in a manner that maintains or enhances the relationship.
    2. Competent communicators realize there is no one ideal way to communicate. Relationships and environments affect competent communication as a process through trial-and-error and observation.
    3. Competent communicators choose from a repertoire of a wide range of behaviors and options; the communicator selects the most appropriate behavior with empathy and an appreciation of the other’s perspective by constructing a variety of frameworks for viewing an issue.
  6. Ethical, knowledgeable communicators recognize common misconceptions.
    1. Communication does not require complete understanding, nor does it solve all problems.
    2. Communication itself is neither good nor bad; this is because the meaning or interpretation rests in people, not words.
    3. Communication is not simple, and more is not always better.

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