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Interpersonal Communication Concepts, Skills, and Contexts

Thirteenth Edition

Kathleen S. Verderber and Rudolph F. Verderber

Publication Date - June 2012

ISBN: 9780199836888

528 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $99.95

Clear and practical advice backed by sound scholarship


Designed to help students understand communication processes in relationships and develop specific skills needed to create and maintain healthy ones, Inter-Act: Interpersonal Communication Concepts, Skills, and Contexts, Thirteenth Edition, retains the features that have made this book so successful: a theory driven skills-based focus, an accessible tone and presentation, and a multitude of useful pedagogical tools. For this edition, Joseph Mazer of Clemson University (whose scholarship includes original research on social media) authored much of the new and unique social media content and Brant Burleson and Erina MacGeorge of Purdue helped to update the scholarship, while maintaining the skills-based approach that this text is known for.

Lively and well-written, Inter-Act features numerous activities that enable students to relate their everyday experiences to their studies in communication. It also clearly illustrates how cultural, racial, and gender differences-as well as electronically mediated messages-alter what we should do to communicate effectively. With a strong focus on the importance of ethics, this leading text encourages students to develop their analytical abilities as they think critically about key concepts in interpersonal communication.

New to this Edition

  • Chapter 7, "Listening Effectively," has been moved forward and placed before the chapter on conversation
  • Chapter 3, "Intercultural Communication," has been re-titled and revised in order to focus on the relationships between concepts
  • Expanded "Skill Practice" activities at the end of each chapter
  • Updated discussions on theories and concepts
  • Greater emphasis on social media, featuring new "Social Media Factor" sections and "Inter-Act with Social Media" activities

Previous Publication Date(s)

June 2009
March 2006
July 2003


"I wouldn't dream of adopting another text. Nothing else parallels the integration of theory, scholarship, and practical advice that I've found in Inter-Act!"--Anita Chirco, Keuka College

"The social media discussions place this text on the cutting edge. The changes in content and scholarship have enhanced a book that was already highly effective."--Carlton Hughes, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

"The key strength of this text is the savory balance between developing skills and a section on ethics in each chapter."--Sakile Camara, California State University, Northridge

Table of Contents

    Each chapter ends with a Summary, "A Question of Ethics: What Would You Do?" features, and Chapter Resources including "What You Should Be Able to Explain" and "What You Should Be Able to Do" summaries; Key Words; "Apply Your Knowledge" and "Skill Practice" activities; "Inter-Act with Media" features; "What's on the Web" resources; and more.
    Chapter 1: An Orientation to Interpersonal Communication
    Interpersonal Communication Messages
    -- Canned Plans and Message Scripts
    Interpersonal Communication Is a Complex Process
    The Purposes of Interpersonal Communication
    -- We Share Meaning
    -- We Meet Social Goals
    -- We Manage Our Personal Identity
    -- We Conduct Our Relationships
    Characteristics of Interpersonal Communication
    -- Interpersonal Communication Is Continuous
    -- Interpersonal Communication Is Transactional
    -- Interpersonal Communication Is Irreversible
    -- Interpersonal Communication Is Situated
    -- Interpersonal Communication Is Indexical
    Ethics and Interpersonal Communication
    The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication
    Diversity and Interpersonal Communication
    Diverse Voices: Lessons from American Experience
    Interpersonal Communication Competence and You
    -- Acquire Interpersonal Communication Knowledge
    -- Increase Interpersonal Communication Skill
    -- Be Motivated to Demonstrate Competence
    -- Develop Behavioral Flexibility
    -- Develop Interpersonal Communication Improvement Plans
    The Social Media Factor: Understanding Social Media and Interpersonal Communication
    -- Traits of Social Media Technology
    Chapter 2: Forming and Using Social Perceptions
    The Perception Process
    -- Attention and Selection
    -- Organization
    -- Interpretation
    -- Dual Processing in Perception
    Perceiving Others
    -- Reducing Uncertainty
    -- Impression Formation
    -- Making Attributions
    -- Understanding and Overcoming Person-Perception Biases
    Skill Builders: Perception Checking
    Self-Perception: Self-Concept and Self-Esteem
    -- Self-Concept
    -- Self-Esteem
    Learn About Yourself
    -- Culture and Self-Perceptions
    -- Accuracy of Self-Concept and Self-Esteem
    Diverse Voices: I Am . . .
    -- Improving Self-Perception
    -- The Effects of Self-Perception on Communication
    The Social Media Factor: Human Factors in Using Social Media
    -- Digital Self-Disclosure
    -- Digital Social Connection
    -- Convenience
    -- Digital Apprehension
    -- Miscommunication
    Chapter 3: Intercultural Communication
    Culture and Communication
    Dominant and Co-cultures
    -- Gender
    -- Race
    -- Ethnicity
    -- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
    -- Religion
    -- Social Class
    -- Generation
    -- Cultural Identity
    How Cultures Differ
    -- The Value of the Individual vs. the Group
    Diverse Voices: Individualism and Collectivism
    -- Attitudes Toward Predictability and Uncertainty
    -- Attitudes About Social Power Distribution
    -- Masculine vs. Feminine Orientation
    -- Time Orientation
    -- The Importance of Context for Sharing Meaning
    Developing Intercultural Communication Competence
    -- Barriers to Effective Intercultural Communication
    Learn About Yourself: Ethnocentrism
    -- The Pyramid Mode of Intercultural Competence
    Chapter 4: Verbal Messages
    Verbal Message Fundamentals
    -- What Is a Language?
    -- Characteristics of Language
    Diverse Voices: "Mommy, Why Does Raj Talk Funny?"
    Meaning in the Language Itself
    -- Understanding Semantics
    -- Guidelines for Improving Message Semantics
    Skill Builder: Dating Information
    Skill Builders: Indexing Generalizations
    Verbal Meaning Within the Conversational Context
    -- Guidelines for Improving Pragmatic Understanding
    Meaning Within the Social and Cultural Context
    Learn About Yourself: Verbal Style
    -- Guidelines for Improving Sociolinguistic Understanding
    Chapter 5: Nonverbal Messages
    Characteristics and Functions of Nonverbal Messages
    -- Characteristics of Nonverbal Communication
    -- Functions of Nonverbal Messages
    Types of Nonverbal Communication
    -- Body Language
    -- Paralanguage
    -- Spatial Usage
    -- Self-Presentation Cues
    Learn About Yourself: Orientation to Time
    Cultural and Gender Variations in Nonverbal Communication
    -- Variations in Body Language
    -- Variations in Paralanguage
    -- Variations in Spatial Usage
    Diverse Voices: Latin American and Anglo American Use of Personal Space in Public Places
    -- Variations in Self-Presentation Cues
    Guidelines for Improving Nonverbal Messages
    -- Sending Nonverbal Messages
    -- Interpreting Nonverbal Messages
    Chapter 6: Communication in the Life Cycle of Relationships
    The Functions of Communication in a Relationship
    -- The Constitutive Function
    -- The Instrumental Function
    -- The Indexical Function
    Describing Relationships
    -- Types of Relationships
    -- Dimensions of Relationships
    Learn About Yourself
    Self-Disclosure and Feedback in Relationships
    -- Understanding Self-Disclosure and Feedback: The Johari Window
    -- The Role of Self-Disclosure in Relationships
    -- Guidelines for Self-Disclosure
    Relationship Life Cycles: How Relationships Change
    -- Turning Points
    -- Stage One: Beginning Relationships
    Diverse Voices: Modern Love: Close Enough to Touch Was Too Far Apart
    -- Stage Two: Developing Relationships
    -- Stage Three: Sustaining Relationships
    -- Stage Four: Relationship Decline
    The Social Media Factor: Social Media and Relationship Closeness
    -- Media Richness and Social Cues
    Chapter 7: Listening Effectively
    Challenges to Effective Listening
    -- Personal and Cultural Styles of Listening
    Learn About Yourself: Personal Listening Style Profile
    -- Listening Apprehension
    -- Dual Processes in Listening
    Diverse Voices: How I Learned to Shut Up and Listen
    The Active Listening Process
    -- Attending
    -- Understanding
    Skill Builders: Questioning
    Skill Builders: Paraphrasing
    -- Remembering
    -- Critically Evaluating
    -- Responding
    The Social Media Factor: Digital Listening Skills
    -- Attending and Understanding
    -- Critically Evaluating Digital Messages
    -- Recognizing Underlying Motives, Values, and Ideologies
    -- Avoiding Overdependence
    Chapter 8: Holding Effective Conversations
    Conversation: Definition, Structure, and Variation
    -- Characteristics of Conversation
    Learn About Yourself: How Conversations Work
    -- Variation in Conversation
    Guidelines for Effective Conversationalists
    -- General Conversation Guidelines
    Skill Builders: Turn-Taking
    -- Skills for Conversing with Strangers
    Skill Builders: Initiating Conversation
    Skill Builders: Sustaining Conversation
    Skill Builders: Closing Conversation
    Cultural Variation in Conversation
    The Social Media Factor: Digital Conversation Skills
    -- Awareness of Audience
    Diverse Voices: Conversational Ballgames
    -- Conversational Spontaneity
    -- Abruptness of Disengagement
    -- Multiplicity of Conversations
    -- Managing Privacy
    Chapter 9: Supporting Others
    Learn About Yourself: Empathy Tendencies
    -- Three Types of Empathy
    -- Guidelines for Improving Empathy
    Supportive Messages
    -- Characteristics of Effective and Ineffective Support Messages
    -- Supporting Positive Feelings: Celebratory Messages
    -- Supporting Negative Feelings: Comforting Messages
    Supportive Interaction Phases
    Supportive Message Skills
    -- Clarifying Supportive Intentions
    -- Buffering Face Threats
    Skill Builders: Clarifying Supportive Intentions
    Skill Builders: Positive Facework
    Skill Builders: Negative Facework
    -- Using Other-Centered Messages
    Diverse Voices: "Which Is My Good Leg?"
    -- Framing Information
    Skill Builders: Other-Centered Messages
    Skill Builders: Framing Information
    -- Giving Advice
    Gender and Cultural Similarities and Differences in Supporting
    The Social Media Factor: Using Social Media to Offer Empathy and Support
    -- Increased Social Distance
    -- Increased Presence of Others
    -- Benefits for Apprehensive Individuals
    -- Ease of Management
    -- Memorializing Others through Digital Communication
    Chapter 10: Communicating Personal Information: Disclosure and Privacy
    The Disclosure-Privacy Dialectic
    Learn About Yourself: Personal Disclosure
    Communication Privacy Management Theory
    -- Factors That Influence Disclosure and Privacy Rules
    Effects of Disclosure and Privacy on Relationships
    -- Effects on Intimacy
    -- Effects on Reciprocity
    -- Effects of Disclosure and Privacy on Information Co-ownership
    Self-Disclosure and Privacy Management Skills
    -- Self-Disclosure Skills
    Skill Builders: Owning
    Skill Builders: Describing Behavior
    Skill Builders: Describing Feelings
    -- Protecting Privacy
    Personal Feedback Messages
    -- Asking for Personal Feedback
    Skill Builders: Asking for Feedback
    -- Praising
    Skill Builders: Praising
    -- Constructively Criticizing
    The Social Media Factor: Digitally Managing Your Personal Information
    -- Blurred Public and Private Distinction
    -- Ability of Others to Alter Digital Presence
    Chapter 11: Using Interpersonal Influence
    Interpersonal Power
    -- Sources of Power
    -- Principles of Power
    Interpersonal Persuasion
    -- Processing Persuasive Messages: The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)
    -- Persuading Automatic Processors
    -- Persuading Extensive Processors
    Asserting Rights and Expectations
    -- Approaches to Communicating Rights and Expectations
    Learn About Yourself: Assertiveness
    -- Assertive Message Skills
    Skill Builders: Complaining
    Skill Builders: Making a Personal Request
    Skill Builders: Refusing a Personal Request
    -- Assertiveness in Cross-Cultural Relationships
    Chapter 12: Managing Conflict
    Types of Interpersonal Conflict
    Styles of Managing Interpersonal Conflict
    Learn About Yourself: Conflict Management
    -- Withdrawing
    -- Accommodating
    -- Forcing
    -- Compromising
    -- Collaborating
    Face Negotiation in Conflict
    -- Cultural Differences in the Meaning of Face
    -- Face Negotiation Theory
    -- Face Negotiation and Conflict Styles in American Co-cultural Groups
    Destructive Conflict Patterns
    -- Serial Arguing
    -- Counterblaming
    -- Cross-complaining
    -- Demand-Withdrawal
    -- Mutual Hostility Pattern
    Guidelines for Effective Conflict Management
    -- Breaking Patterns of Destructive Conflict
    -- Creating a Collaborative Conflict Conversation
    -- Forgiveness: Repairing Relationships Damaged by Conflict
    Skill Builders: Behavior, Consequences, and Feelings (b-c-f) Sequence
    Diverse Voices: The Power of Wastah in Lebanese Speech
    -- Forgiveness: Repairing Relationships Damaged by Conflict
    Skill Builders: Apologizing
    The Social Media Factor: Managing the Dark Side of Digital Communication
    -- Compulsive and Excessive Internet Use
    -- Inappropriate Self-Disclosure
    -- Cyberstalking and Cyberbullying
    Chapter 13: Communicating in Intimate Relationships: Families, Friendships, Marriages, and Other Life Partnerships
    The Nature of Intimacy
    Learn About Yourself: Respect for Partner
    -- Intimacy Is an Interaction Pattern
    -- Characteristics of Intimate Relationships
    Diverse Voices: Performing Commitment
    -- Parent-Child Communication
    -- Communication in Other Types of Family Relationships
    -- Guidelines for Improving Family Communication
    -- Gender Differences in Same-Sex Friendships
    Marriage and Long-Term Romantic Relationships
    -- Factors Defining Long-Term Relationships
    -- Characteristics of Successful Long-Term Relationships
    -- Positive Communication for Stronger Romantic Relationships
    The Dark Side of Intimacy
    -- Relational Uncertainty
    -- Possessiveness
    The Social Media Factor: Using Digital Communication Skills to Improve Relationships
    -- Digital Communication Skills in Personal Relationships
    -- Initiating Relationships
    Chapter 14: Communicating in the Workplace
    Finding a Job
    -- Locating Job Openings
    -- Résumés and Cover Letters
    -- Interviewing
    Communicating in Workplace Relationships
    -- Communicating in Managerial Relationships
    -- Communicating in Coworker Relationships
    -- Communicating in Customer, Client, and Vendor Relationships
    Communicating in a Diverse Workplace
    -- Culture-Based Work Style
    Diverse Voices: The Group: A Japanese Context
    -- Gendered Linguistic Style in the Workplace
    -- Intergenerational Communication Issues
    The Dark Side of Workplace Communication
    -- Aggression at Work
    -- Sexual Harassment
    The Social Media Factor: Digital Communication Skills in Professional Relationships
    -- Enabling Digital Communication Between Colleagues
    -- Implications for Privacy in Professional Relationships
    -- Digital Communication Etiquette in Your Profession
    Photo Credits

Teaching Resources


An Instructor's Manual provides pedagogical suggestions, sample syllabi, content outlines, discussion questions, chapter activities, simulations, and journal assignments (978-0-19-983689-5).

A comprehensive Test Bank offers approximately 400 exam questions in multiple-choice, true/false, and essay formats.

An Instructor's Resource CD with Computerized Test Bank includes the full Instructor's Manual and Test Bank along with computerized testing software and newly revised PowerPoint-based lecture slides (978-0-19-983690-1).

An Instructor's Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/verderber is a password-protected site that features the Instructor's Manual, PowerPoint-based lecture slides, and links to supplemental materials and films.

Now Playing: Learning Communication Through Film, 2012 Edition--Instructor's Edition.

Course cartridges for a variety of e-learning environments allow instructors to create their own course websites with the interactive material from the instructor and student companion websites (contact your Oxford University Press representative for access).


A Student Success Manual features study tips; chapter outlines and summaries; review questions and answers; key terms; and critical-thinking exercises (978-0-19-983692-5).

Now Playing: Learning Communication Through Film, 2012 Edition, available as an optional printed product, looks at more than sixty contemporary and classic feature films through the lens of communication principles.

The Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/verderber offers flashcards for key terms, interactive self-tests, and links to a variety of communication-related websites.




Thirteenth Edition + Now Playing, 2012 Edition (978-0-19-992192-8)


Thirteenth Edition + Student Success Manual (978-0-19-992194-2)


Thirteenth Edition + Now Playing, 2012 Edition + Student Success Manual (978-0-19-992193-5)

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