Interpersonal communication relationship theory

Social penetration theory - Wikipedia

interpersonal communication relationship theory

This convenient online study guide chapter examines relationship theory and interpersonal communication. You can access the chapter's video lessons. the development in interpersonal relationships. This theory refers to the reciprocity of behaviors between two people. The value of social penetration theory initially lies in the the development of counter-sex/romantic relationships.

As long as rewards continue to outweigh costs, a couple will become increasingly intimate by sharing more and more personal information. The constructs of this theory include discloser, relational expectations, and perceived rewards or costs in the relationship. Levingerdiscussed marital success as dependent on all the rewarding things within the relationship, such as emotional security and sexual fulfillment. He also argued that marriages either succeed or fail based on the barriers to leave the relationship, like financial hardships, and the presence of alternative attractions, like infidelity.

Levinger stated that marriages will fail when the attractions of the partners lessen, the barriers to leave the spouse are weak, and the alternatives outside of the relationship are appealing.

interpersonal communication relationship theory

The boundary conditions for this theory are that at least two people must be having some type of interaction. Social exchange also ties in closely with social penetration theory. Symbolic interaction Symbolic interaction comes from the sociocultural perspective in that it relies on the creation of shared meaning through interactions with others. This theory focuses on the ways in which people form meaning and structure in society through interactions. People are motivated to act based on the meanings they assign to people, things, and events.

When people interact over time, they come to shared meaning for certain terms and actions and thus come to understand events in particular ways. There are three main concepts in this theory: Society Social acts which create meaning involve an initial gesture from one individual, a response to that gesture from another and a result.

Self Self-image comes from interaction with others based on others perceptions. A person makes sense of the world and defines their "self" through social interactions. Mind Your ability to use significant symbols to respond to yourself makes thinking possible.

You define objects in terms of how you might react to them. Objects become what they are through our symbolic minding process. An underlying assumption for this theory is that meaning and social reality are shaped from interactions with others and that some kind of shared meaning is reached.

The boundary conditions for this theory are there must be numerous people communicating and interacting and thus assigning meaning to situations or objects. Relational dialectics theory[ edit ] Main article: Relational dialectics A dialectical approach to interpersonal communication was developed by scholars Leslie Baxter and Barbara Montgomery.

Their dialectical approach revolves around the notions of contradiction, change, praxis, and totality. Influenced by Hegel, Marx, and Bakhtin, the dialectical approach is informed by an epistemology that refers to a method of reasoning by which one searches for understanding through the tension of opposing arguments. Utilizing the dialectical approach, Baxter and Montgomery developed two types of dialectics that function in interpersonal relationships: These include autonomy-connection, novelty-predictability, openness-closedness.

In order to understand relational dialectics theory, we must first understand specifically what encompasses the term discourse. Therefore, discourses are "systems of meaning that are uttered whenever we make intelligible utterances aloud with others or in our heads when we hold internal conversations". However, it also shows how the meanings within our conversations may be interpreted, understood, and of course misunderstood.

Numerous examples of this can be seen in the daily communicative acts we participate in. However, dialectical tensions within our discourses can most likely be seen in interpersonal communication due to the close nature of interpersonal relationships. The well known proverb "opposites attract, but birds of a feather flock together" exemplifies these dialectical tensions. These consist of connectedness and separateness, certainty and uncertainty, and openness and closedness.

Connectedness and separateness[ edit ] Most individuals naturally desire to have a close bond in the interpersonal relationships we are a part of. However, it is also assumed that no relationship can be enduring without the individuals involved within it also having their time alone to themselves. Individuals who are only defined by a specific relationship they are a part of can result in the loss of individual identity.

Certainty and uncertainty[ edit ] Individuals desire a sense of assurance and predictability in the interpersonal relationships they are a part of. However, they also desire having a variety in their interactions that come from having spontaneity and mystery within their relationships as well. Much research has shown that relationships which become bland and. This assumption can be supported if one looks at the postulations within social penetration theory, which is another theory used often within the study of communication.

This tension may also spawn a natural desire to keep an amount of personal privacy from other individuals. The struggle in this sense, illustrates the essence of relational dialectics.

Theories of Interpersonal Relationship

Coordinated management of meaning[ edit ] Main article: Coordinated management of meaning Coordinated management of meaning is a theory assuming that two individuals engaging in an interaction are each constructing their own interpretation and perception behind what a conversation means. A core assumption within this theory includes the belief that all individuals interact based on rules that are expected to be followed while engaging in communication.

These include constitutive and regulative rules. Constitutive rules "are essentially rules of meaning used by communicators to interpret or understand an event or message". If one individual sends a message to the other, the message receiver must then take that interaction and interpret what it means.

Often, this can be done on an almost instantaneous level because the interpretation rules applied to the situation are immediate and simple. This simply depends on each communicator's previous beliefs and perceptions within a given context and how they can apply these rules to the current communicative interaction.

Important to understand within the constructs of this theory is the fact that these "rules" of meaning "are always chosen within a context". The authors of this theory believe that there are a number of different context an individual can refer to when interpreting a communicative event. These include the relationship context, the episode context, the self-concept context, and the archetype context.

Interpersonal relationship

Relationship context This context assumes that there are mutual expectations between individuals who are members of a group. Episode context This context simply refers to a specific event in which the communicative act is taking place. Archetype context This context is essentially one's image of what his or her belief consists of regarding general truths within communicative exchanges.

Furthermore, Pearce and Cronen believe that these specific contexts exist in a hierarchical fashion. This theory assumes that the bottom level of this hierarchy consists of the communicative act.

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Next, the hierarchy exists within the relationship context, then the episode context, followed by the self-concept context, and finally the archetype context. Social penetration theory[ edit ] Main article: Social penetration theory Developed by Irwin Altman and Dallas Taylor, the social penetration theory was made to provide conceptual framework that describes the development in interpersonal relationships.

This theory refers to the reciprocity of behaviors between two people who are in the process of developing a relationship. The behaviors vary based on the different levels of intimacy that a relationship encounters. This analogy suggests that like an onion, personalities have "layers" that start from the outside what the public sees all the way to the core one's private self. Often, when a relationship begins to develop, it is customary for the individuals within the relationship to undergo a process of self-disclosure.

These stages include the orientation, exploratory affective exchange, affective exchange, and stable exchange. Exploratory affective stage Next, individuals become somewhat more friendly and relaxed with their communication styles.

Theories of Interpersonal Relationship

Affective exchange In the third stage, there is a high amount of open communication between individuals and typically these relationships consist of close friends or even romantic or platonic partners. Stable stage The final stage, simply consists of continued expressions of open and personal types of interaction.

Example- Jenny just met Justin because they were sitting at the same table at a wedding. Within minutes of meeting one another, Justin engages in small talk with Jenny. Jenny decides to tell Justin all about her terrible ex-boyfriend and all of the misery he put her through. This is the kind of information you wait to share until stages three or four, not stage one. Additionally, healthy relationships can be made to "flourish. A social skills approach posits that individuals differ in their degree of communication skill, which has implications for their relationships.

Relationships in which partners possess and enact relevant communication skills are more satisfying and stable than relationships in which partners lack appropriate communication skills. Adult attachment models represent an internal set of expectations and preferences regarding relationship intimacy that guide behavior.

Within the context of safe, secure attachments, people can pursue optimal human functioning and flourishing. Secure individuals are comfortable with intimacy and interdependence and are usually optimistic and social in everyday life.

Securely attached individuals usually use their partners for emotion regulation so they prefer to have their partners in close proximity. Preoccupied people are normally uneasy and vigilant towards any threat to the relationship and tend to be needy and jealous.

Dismissing individuals are low on anxiety over abandonment and high in avoidance of intimacy. Dismissing people are usually self-reliant and uninterested in intimacy and are independent and indifferent towards acquiring romantic partners. They are very fearful of rejection, mistrustful of others, and tend to be suspicious and shy in everyday life.

Attachment styles are created during childhood but can adapt and evolve to become a different attachment style based on individual experiences. On the contrary, a good romantic relationship can take a person from an avoidant attachment style to more of a secure attachment style.

Romantic love The capacity for love gives depth to human relationships, brings people closer to each other physically and emotionally, and makes people think expansively about themselves and the world. Attraction — Premeditated or automatic, attraction can occur between acquaintances, coworkers, lovers, etc.

Studies have shown that attraction can be susceptible to influence based on context and externally induced arousal, with the caveat that participants be unaware of the source of their arousal. A study by Cantor, J. As supported by a series of studies, Zillman and colleagues showed that a preexisting state of arousal can heighten reactions to affective stimuli.

interpersonal communication relationship theory

One commonly studied factor is physical proximity also known as propinquity. The MIT Westgate studies famously showed that greater physical proximity between incoming students in a university residential hall led to greater relationship initiation. Another important factor in the initiation of new relationships is similarity. Put simply, individuals tend to be attracted to and start new relationships with those who are similar to them.

These similarities can include beliefs, rules, interests, culture, education, etc. Individuals seek relationships with like others because like others are most likely to validate shared beliefs and perspectives, thus facilitating interactions that are positive, rewarding and without conflict.

Development — Development of interpersonal relationships can be further split into committed versus non-committed romantic relationships, which have different behavioral characteristics. More committed relationships by both genders were characterized by greater resource display, appearance enhancement, love and care, and verbal signs of possession.

In contrast, less committed relationships by both genders were characterized by greater jealousy induction. In terms of gender differences, men used greater resource display than women, who used more appearance enhancement as a mate-retention strategy than men. Some important qualities of strong, enduring relationships include emotional understanding and effective communication between partners.

Idealization of one's partner is linked to stronger interpersonal bonds. Idealization is the pattern of overestimating a romantic partner's positive virtues or underestimating a partner's negative faults in comparison to the partner's own self-evaluation.

interpersonal communication relationship theory

In general, individuals who idealize their romantic partners tend to report higher levels of relationship satisfaction. The presence of all three components characterizes consummate lovethe most durable type of love. In addition, the presence of intimacy and passion in marital relationships predicts marital satisfaction. Also, commitment is the best predictor of relationship satisfaction, especially in long-term relationships. Positive consequences of being in love include increased self-esteem and self-efficacy.

The emotion of love comes from the anticipation of pleasure. Particular duties arise from each person's particular situation in relation to others. The individual stands simultaneously in several different relationships with different people: Juniors are considered in Confucianism to owe their seniors reverence and seniors have duties of benevolence and concern toward juniors.

A focus on mutuality is prevalent in East Asian cultures to this day. Minding relationships[ edit ] The mindfulness theory of relationships shows how closeness in relationships may be enhanced. Minding is the "reciprocal knowing process involving the nonstop, interrelated thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons in a relationship. Jung 's theory of psychological types.

Interpersonal communication - Wikipedia

Socionics allocates 16 types of the relations — from most attractive and comfortable up to disputed. The understanding of a nature of these relations helps to solve a number of problems of the interpersonal relations, including aspects of psychological and sexual compatibility. The researches of married couples by Aleksandr Bukalov et al. The study of socionic type allocation in casually selected married couples confirmed the main rules of the theory of intertype relations in socionics.