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For over three decades, this has been the bestselling text for the Human Communication course. Understanding Human Communication is written with one goal in mind: to provide students with the insights and skills to succeed in our changing world. Fully updated and expanded to include more information on culture and communication, gender and communication, and the effects of technology and social media on communication, this twelfth edition also features two new types of boxes, "Understanding Diversity" and "@Work," as well as new annotated sample speeches.
Ronald B. Adler is Professor Emeritus of Communication at Santa Barbara City College. He is coauthor of Interplay, Twelfth Edition (OUP, 2012), Looking Out, Looking In (2011), and Communicating at Work: Principles and Practices for Business and the Professions (2010). In addition to his academic pursuits, Ron works with businesses and nonprofit agencies to improve communication among coworkers as well as with clients and the public.
George Rodman is a professor in the Department of Television and Radio at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, where he founded the graduate media studies program. He is author of Mass Media in a Changing World, Fourth Edition (2011), Making Sense of Media (2001), and several books on public speaking.
Athena du Pré, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and director of the Strategic Communication & Leadership master's degree program and the Health Communication Leadership graduate-level certificate program at the University of West Florida.
Table of Contents
Part One: Fundamentals of Human Communication 1. Human Communication: What and Why? Communication Defined Characteristics of Communication Modeling Communication Types of Communication Intrapersonal Communication Dyadic/Interpersonal Communication Small Group Communication Organizational Communication Public Communication Mass Communication Communication in a Changing World Changing Technology Changing Discipline Understanding Social Media Mediated Versus Face-to-Face Communication How People Use Social Media Communicating Competently with Social Media Functions of Communication Physical Needs Identity Needs Social Needs Practical Needs Communication Competence: What Makes an Effective Communicator? Communication Competence Defined Characteristics of Competent Communicators Clarifying Misconceptions about Communication Communication Does Not Always Require Complete Understanding Communication Will Not Solve All Problems Communication Isn't Always a Good Thing Meanings Rest in People, Not Words Communication Is Not Simple More Communication Isn't Always Better Features Self-Assessment: Your Communication Choices Understanding Communication Technology: Social Media Meet Communication Needs Self-Assessment: Your Communication Strengths and Goals Ethical Challenge: To Communicate or Not to Communicate? @Work: Can You Be Too Connected? 2. The Self, Perception, and Communication Communication and the Self Self-Concept Defined Biology, Personality, and the Self Communication and Development of the Self Culture and the Self-Concept The Self-Concept and Communication with Others The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and Communication Perceiving Others Steps in the Perception Process Influences on Perception Narratives, Perception, and Communication Common Perceptual Tendencies Perception in Mediated Communication Empathy, Perception, and Communication Communication and Identity Management Public and Private Selves Characteristics of Identity Management Why Manage Identities? Identity Management in Mediated Communication Identity Management and Honesty Features Self-Assessment: Communication and Your Self-Esteem Ethical Challenge: Is Honesty the Best Policy? Understanding Diversity: Managing Identity and Coming Out @Work: Identity Management in the Workplace Understanding Communication Technology: Avatars Offer New Virtual Identities Ethical Challenge: Honesty and Multiple Identities 3. Communication and Culture Understanding Cultures and Cocultures Intercultural and Intergroup Communication: A Matter of Salience Cultural Differences Are Generalizations Cultural Values and Norms Shape Communication Individualism and Collectivism High- and Low-Context Uncertainty Avoidance Power Distance Beliefs about Talk and Silence Competitive and Cooperative Cultures Cocultures and Communication Ethnicity and Race Regional Differences Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Religion Physical Ability/Disability Age/Generation Socioeconomic Status Developing Intercultural Communication Competence Increased Contact Tolerance for Ambiguity Open-Mindedness Knowledge and Skill Patience and Perseverance Features @Work: Power Distance and Culture in the Workplace Understanding Diversity: Communicating with People Who Have Disabilities Self-Assessment: What Is your Intercultural Sensitivity? Ethical Challenge: Civility When Values Clash Part Two: Communication Elements 4. Language The Nature of Language Language Is Symbolic Meanings Are in People, Not Words Language Is Rule Governed The Power of Language Language Shapes Attitudes Language Reflects Attitudes Troublesome Language The Language of Misunderstandings Disruptive Language Evasive Language Gender and Language Language Similarities and Differences by Gender Understanding Gender Differences in Language Use Transcending Gender Boundaries Features @Work: What's in a Name? Ethical Challenge: Sexist and Racist Language Understanding Diversity: Language and Worldview Understanding Communication Technology: Twitter Lingo Incites Controversy Self-Assessment: Your Use of Language Ethical Challenge: Euphemisms and Equivocations 5. Listening The Importance of Listening Misconceptions About Listening Listening and Hearing Are Not the Same Thing Listening Is Not a Natural Process All Listeners Do Not Receive the Same Message Overcoming Challenges to Effective Listening Mindful Listening Requires Effort Faulty Listening Behaviors Reasons for Poor Listening Types of Listening Task-Oriented Listening Relational Listening Analytical Listening Critical Listening Listening and Social Support Social Support and Mediated Communication Gender and Social Support Types of Supportive Responses When and How to Help Features @Work: Multi-tasking: A Recipe for Inattention Self-Assessment: Your Listening Ethical Challenge: How Carefully Should You Listen? Understanding Communication Technology: Who Is Listening To You Online? 6. Nonverbal Communication Characteristics of Nonverbal Communication Nonverbal Behavior Has Communicative Value Nonverbal Communication Is Primarily Relational Nonverbal Communication Is Ambiguous Nonverbal Communication Is Different from Verbal Communication Nonverbal Skills Are Important Influences on Nonverbal Communication Culture Gender Functions of Nonverbal Communication Repeating Substituting Complementing Accenting Regulating Contradicting Deceiving Types of Nonverbal Communication Body Movements Voice Appearance Touch Space Environment Time Building Competence in Nonverbal Communication Tune Out Words Use Perception Checking Pay Attention to Your Own Nonverbal Behavior Features Understanding Diversity: How Accurate is Gaydar? Understanding Communication Technology: Expressiveness in Online Communication Self-Assessment: How Worldly Are Your Nonverbal Communication Skills? Ethical Challenge: Clothing and Impression Management @Work: Touch and Career Success Part Three: Interpersonal Communication 7. Understanding Interpersonal Relationships Why We Form Relationships Appearance Similarity Complementarity Reciprocal Attraction Competence Disclosure Proximity Rewards Characteristics of Interpersonal Communication What Makes Communication Interpersonal? Interpersonal Communication in Online Relationships Content and Relational Messages Metacommunication Communication over the Relational Lifespan A Developmental Perspective A Dialectical Perspective Intimacy in Interpersonal Relationships Dimensions of Intimacy Male and Female Intimacy Styles Personal Preferences for Intimacy Cultural Influences on Intimacy Self-Disclosure in Interpersonal Relationships Models of Self-Disclosure Characteristics of Effective Self-Disclosure Guidelines for Appropriate Self-Disclosure Lies, Equivocation, and Hinting Lies Equivocation Hinting Features Understanding Communication Technology: To End a Romance, Just Press "Send" Understanding Diversity: Can Men and Women Be Just Friends? Self-Assessment: Your Love Languages Ethical Challenge: The Ethics of Lying and Equivocating 8. Improving Interpersonal Relationships Communication Climates in Interpersonal Relationships Confirming and Disconfirming Messages How Communication Climates Develop Creating Positive Communication Climates Understanding Interpersonal Conflict The Nature of Conflict Styles of Expressing Conflict Characteristics of an Assertive Message Gender and Conflict Style Conflict in Online Communication Cultural Influences on Conflict Managing Interpersonal Conflicts Methods for Conflict Resolution Steps in Win-Win Problem Solving Features Understanding Communication Technology: Can You Hear Me Now? @Work: Dealing with Sexual Harassment Ethical Challenge: Choosing an Ethical Conflict Style Self-Assessment: Your Assertiveness Level Understanding Diversity: They Seem to be Arguing Part Four: Communication in Groups 9. Communicating in Groups The Nature of Groups and Teams What Is a Group? What Makes a Group a Team? Virtual and Face-to-Face Groups Goals of Groups and Their Members Group Goals Individual Goals Characteristics of Groups and Teams Rules and Norms Patterns of Interaction Roles Patterns of Interaction Leadership and Communication Approaches to Leadership Leader-Member Relationships Becoming a Leader Followership and Communication Types of Followers The Power of Followers Features Ethical Challenge: Rules for Hidden Agendas Self-Assessment: Your Leadership Approach @Work: "I'll Do It Myself"--Or Should I? Self-Assessment: How Good a Follower Are You? 10. Solving Problems in Groups Problem Solving in Groups: When and Why Advantages of Group Problem Solving When to Use Groups for Problem Solving Setting the Stage for Problem Solving Maintaining Positive Relationships Developmental Stages in Problem-Solving Groups Group Problem-Solving Strategies and Formats Problem-Solving Formats Solving Problems in Virtual Groups Approaches and Strategies for Problem Solving A Structured Problem-Solving Approach Decision-Making Methods Overcoming Dangers in Group Discussion Information Underload and Overload Unequal Participation Pressure to Conform Features Understanding Diversity: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Multicultural Teams Self-Assessment: How Effective is Your Team? @Work: The Power of Constructive Dialog Understanding Communication Technology: Developing Trust Long Distance Ethical Challenge: Dealing with Overly Talkative and Quiet Group Members Part Five: Public Communication 11. Preparing Speeches Getting Started Choosing Your Topic Defining Your Purpose Writing a Purpose Statement Stating Your Thesis Analyzing the Speaking Situation The Listener: Audience Analysis The Occasion Gathering Information Online Research Library Research Interviewing Survey Research Managing Communication Apprehension Facilitative and Debilitative Communication Apprehension Sources of Debilitative Communication Apprehension Overcoming Debilitative Communication Apprehension Choosing a Type of Delivery Extemporaneous Impromptu Manuscript Memorized Practicing the Speech Guidelines for Delivery Visual Aspects of Delivery Auditory Aspects of Delivery Sample Speech Features Ethical Challenge: Adapting to Speaking Situations @Work: Sample Analysis of a Speaking Situation Self-Assessment: Speech Anxiety Understanding Diversity: A Compendium of American Dialects 12. Organization and Support Structuring Your Speech Your Working Outline Your Formal Outline Your Speaking Notes Principles of Outlining Standard Symbols Standard Format The Rule of Division The Rule of Parallel Wording Organizing Your Outline into a Logical Pattern Time Patterns Space Patterns Topic Patterns Problem-Solution Patterns Cause-Effect Patterns Using Transitions Beginning and Ending the Speech The Introduction The Conclusion Supporting Material Functions of Supporting Material Types of Supporting Material Styles of Support: Narration and Citation Sample Speech Introduction Body Conclusion Features Self-Assessment: Main Points and Subpoints Understanding Diversity: Nontraditional Patterns of Organization @Work: Organizing Business Presentations Ethical Challenge: The Ethics of Support Understanding Communication Technology: Plagiarism in a Digital Age 13. Informative Speaking Types of Informative Speaking By Content By Purpose Informative Versus Persuasive Topics An Informative Topic Tends to Be Noncontroversial The Informative Speaker Does Not Intend to Change Audience Attitudes Techniques of Informative Speaking Define a Specific Informative Purpose Create Information Hunger Make It Easy to Listen Use Clear, Simple Language Use a Clear Organization and Structure Use Supporting Material Effectively Emphasize Important Points Generate Audience Involvement Using Visual Aids Types of Visual Aids Media for the Presentation of Visual Aids Rules for Using Visual Aids Using PowerPoint Sample Speech Features Self-Assessment: Information Overload Understanding Diversity: How Culture Affects Information Ethical Challenge: The Ethics of Simplicity @Work: The Pros and Cons of Presentation Software 14. Persuasive Speaking Characteristics of Persuasion Persuasion Is Not Coercive Persuasion Is Usually Incremental Persuasion Is Interactive Persuasion Can Be Ethical Categorizing Types of Persuasion By Types of Proposition By Desired Outcome By Directness of Approach Creating the Persuasive Message Set a Clear, Persuasive Purpose Structure the Message Carefully Use Solid Evidence Avoid Fallacies Adapting to the Audience Features Ethical Challenge: Analyzing Communication Behaviors Understanding Diversity: Cultural Differences in Persuasion Self-Assessment: Persuasive Speech Ethical Challenge: Adapting to a Hostile Audience @Work: Persuasion Skills in the World of Sales