School Notes‎ > ‎

Communications 1100

This course was intended to introduce the concepts and strategies utilized in interpersonal communications.  This course was lead by Dr. Hillary Horan at the University of Ottawa in 1998. The notes are organized in chronological order and a Bibliography is provided for your convenience in finding the textbook for this particular course.


Models of Communication


Lecture held Tues. Sept. 15, 1998.


(For more information see Chapter one of Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others)


Human communication is the process of making sense out of the world and attempting to share that sense with others.


Types of Communication:
 -Intrapersonal: -within one’s mind.



-people who are in groups

-people are not replaceable.


-functions that are done (e.g. IBM, etc.).

-people are replaceable.




-Journalism (e.g. Ottawa Citizen, etc.)



-to be understood by others.
-to get agreement from others.
-to get action.
-to understand others.


-means, channels, tools, strategies, etc.

-which is best when?

-methods affects effectiveness –“Medium is the message.”

-what is to be communicated?

-why is it important.

-how to best communicate it?

-when timing is essential.

-to whom am I communicating to?


Models of Communication:


-Aristotle:  -speaker –Speech –audience –occasion.


-Lasswell: -1941 –Source of Communication –message–Channel –Receiver –output.


-Shannon and Weaver:

- were electrical engineers.

-source –transmitter –channel   –receiver –destination.


The helical model (below) shows that interpersonal communication never loops back on itself.  It expands as the communication partners contribute their own thoughts and experiences to the exchange.

Interpersonal Communication and Self-concept


Lecture held Tues. Sept. 22, 1998.


(For more information see chapter two of Interpersonal communication: Relating to Others).


-“The sum total of who a person is; a person’s central inner force” (63)
-“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your own self. –Aldous Huxley” (33).
-"A person's subjective description of who he or she is" (63).
-a person's objective description of who he/she is. Sumn of perceptions, ideas and images about oneself.
-who you are is reflected in the attitudes, beliefs, etc. that you have.
-“The ways in which you structure your understanding of reality-what is true and what is false” (63)
-Milton Bobeich believed that beliefs were modelled like the following:


Surface Beliefs





Shared Beliefs


Attitudes:-“Learned predispositions to respond to a person, object, or idea in a favorable way or unfavorable way” (63).
Values: -“Enduring concepts of good and bad, right and wrong” (63).
Material Self: -Your concept of self as reflected in a total of all the tangible things you own” (63).
Social Self: -“Your concept of self as developed through you personal, social interactions with others” (63).
Spiritual Self: -“Your concept of self based upon your thoughts and introspection ions about your values and moral standards” (63).
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: -“The notion that predictions about your future actions are likely to come true because you believe that they will come true” (63).
Assertiveness: -“A dimension of the Wilson Learning social style model that describes a personal quality that refers to an individual’s effort to control others” (63).
Responsiveness:-“A dimension of the Wilson Learning social style model that describes a personal quality that refers to an individual’s effort to control others” (63).


Perception and Communication


Lecture held Tues. Sept. 29, 1998.


(Chapter three of Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others)


Perception: "The arousal of any of our senses" (90).

Interpersonal Perception: "The process of selecting, organizing and interpreting our observations of other people" (90).


Self Concept:  -W.M. Fitts -B.S. =behavioral self.

                      -I.S. =You and other's perceptions.

                      -J.S.=Judged Self -single most important aspect of self worth.

Perception Process: Three steps by which we attach meaning to our experience: selection, organization and interpretation.
Influences on Perception: Some of our perceptional judgments are affected by a variety of factors such as: physiological factors, social factors, and cultural factors.
Perception Checking: Provides a better way to share one's interpretations.  A complete perception check has three parts: a description of the behavior you noticed; two possible interpretations of the behavior; a request for clarifications about how to interpret the behavior.
Horn Effect: "Attributing a variety of negative qualities to those we dislike" (91).
Halo Effect: "Attributing a variety of positive qualities to those we like" (91).
Impression Formation: "The process of forming a general collection of perceptions about another person" (91).
Attribution Theories: "The reasons we develop to explain the behaviours of others" (91).




Lecture held Tues. Oct. 6, 1998.


(Chapter four of Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others)

Listening: "The process of selecting, attending, understanding, remembering and responding to sounds and messages" (127).
Selecting: "The process of sorting through various sounds competing for your attention" (127).
Attending: "The process of focusing on a particular sound or message" (127).
Understanding: "Assigning meaning to messages" (127).
Responding: "Confirming your understanding of a message" (127).
Listening is not hearing: -need receiver to pick up sound.

                        -need to want to here messages.

                        -body language is seen by eyes
                         -attending, understanding, remembering and responding to messages.
Duologue: Abraham Kaplan -"everyone talks and nobody listens."
Pseudolistening: An imitation of the real thing.  Give appearance of being attentive.
Stage Hogging: Express his/her ideas and don't care about what anyone else has to say.
Defensive Listening: Take innocent comments as personal attacks.
Ambushing: Will listen carefully only because he/she is collecting information.
Reasons for Listening: To understand and retain information and to build and maintain relationships.
Reflect on Contents by Paraphrasing: -"Checking the accuracy of your understanding by offering a verbal summary of your partner's message" (127).


Interpersonal Relationships


Lecture held on Tues. Oct. 27, 1998.

Relationship of Circumstance: "Interpersonal relationships that exist because of the circumstances in which we are born, circumstances which we work or study, and so on" (225).
Relationships of Choice: "Interpersonal relationships we choose to initiate, maintain, and terminate" (225).


Dyadic Communication Transactional Analysis, Stages of Acquaintanceship


Lecture held Tues. Nov. 3, 1998.

Short-term initial attraction: "The degree to which we sense a potential for an interpersonal relationship" (253)
Long-term maintenance attraction: "A liking or positive feeling that motivates us to sustain a relationship" (253)
Physical Attraction: "The degree to which we find another person's physical self appealing" (253).
Self-Disclosure: "Providing information about ourselves that another person would not learn if we did not tell them" (253).


Guidelines for Effective Self Disclosure:


-is the other person important to you?

-Is the risk of disclosing reasonable?

-Are the amount and type of disclosure appropriate?

-Is the disclosure relevant to the situation at hand?

-Will the effect be constructive?

-Is the self-disclosure clear and understandable?
Credibility: -Does this person stand for what I want?

-does he have authority and the know how to do it?

-your relationship with that person.



-dynamism -extrovertism.


-Ethos -truth of character.

-Composure -self assured, self-competent.


Types of Credibility: -Initial, qualifications, status, etc.


-terminal -who do you believe the most in the end?


Johari Window: "A model of self-disclosure that reflects the movement of information about our self from BLIND and UNKNOWN quadrants to HIDDEN and OPEN ones" (253).
Avoidance: "A strategy for maintaining a relationship that involves ignoring discussions or opportunities for redefining the relationship" (285).
Balance: "A strategy for maintaining a relationship that involves providing enough support to keep the relationship at a particular level" (285).
Adaptation: "Adjusting your behavior in accordance with the relationship or situation" (285).
Co-operative Conflict: The management conflict effectively.  By using co-operative conflict management techniques we can transform conflict into an experience that strengthens the relationship.
Model for Ending a Relationship:




Dissatisfaction with relationship.


Intra-Psychic Phase


-focus on partner's behaviour.

-assess adequacy of partner's role performance.

-evaluate negative aspects of relationship.

-assess costs of withdrawal.

-assess alternative relationships.


Dyadic Phase


-Decide to confront partner with thoughts/concerns

-Engage in relationship talks.

-Assess relationship jointly.

-Assess cost of termination jointly.

-Decide whether to repair, reconcile, or terminate relationship. 


Social Phase


-Negotiate post-dissolution state with partner.

-Initiate gossip/discussion in social network.

-Create face-saving accounts/stories/blame to tell other people.


Grave-Dressing Phase


-Begin "getting over" activities.

-Think about the relationship and conduct a post-mortem of it.



Communication Climates, Conflict


Lecture Tues. Nov. 10, 1998.

Interpersonal Conflict: "A struggle that occurs when two people cannot agree upon a way to meet their needs or goals" (330).
Expressive Conflict: "Conflict that focuses on issues about the quality of the relationship and managing interpersonal tension and hostility" (330).
Instrumental Conflict: "Conflict that centres on achieving a particular goal or task and less on relational issues" (330).
Psuedo Conflict: "Conflict triggered by a lack of understanding and miscommunication" (330).
Simple Conflict: "Conflict that stems from different ideas, definitions, perceptions, or goals" (330).
Ego Conflict: "Conflict that is based upon personal issues; conflicting partners attack one another's self-esteem" (330).
Constructive Conflict: "Conflict that helps build new insights and establishes new patterns in a relationship" (330).
Destructive Conflict: "Conflict that dismantles relationships without restoring the relationship" (330).
Conflict Myths: "Inappropriate assumptions about the nature of interpersonal conflict" (330).
Power: "The resources an individual has to influence another person" (330).
Legitimate Power: "Influence based upon being appointed, elected, or selected by someone to exercise control" (330).
Referent Power: "Influence based upon being well liked and respected" (330).
Expert Power: "Influence based upon knowledge and experience that an individual possesses" (330)
Reward Power: "Influence based upon a person's ability to provide positive rewards and favours" (330).
Coercive Power: "Influence based upon someone's ability to punish another person" (330).
Assertiveness: "Pursuing your best interests without denying your partner's rights" (330).


Intercultural Communication


Lecture held on Tues. Nov. 17, 1998.

Cultural Elements: "Categories of things and ideas that identify the most profound aspects of cultural influence (e.g. schools, governments, music, theatre, language, etc.)" (362).
Cultural Values: "What a given group of people values or appreciates" (362).
Barriers to Intercultural Communication:
-Ethnocentrism: "The belief that your cultural traditions and assumptions are superior to others" (362).
-Stereotype: "To place a person or group of persons into an inflexible, all encompassing category" (362).
-Prejudice: "Prejudging someone before you now all of the facts or background of that person" (362).
-Culture Shock: "The feeling of stress and anxiety a person experiences when encountering a culture different from his or her own" (362).



Familial Communication


Lecture held on Tues. Nov. 24, 1998.

Family: "A unit made up of any number of persons who live in relationship with one another over time in a common living space who are usually, but not always, united by marriage and kinship" (398).
Natural Family: "A mother, father, and their biological children" (398).
Blended Family: "Two adults and their children. Because of divorce, separation, death, or adoption, the children may be the product of other parents, or of just one of the adults who is raising them" (398).
Single-Parent Family: "One parent raising one or more children" (398).
Extended Family: "Relatives such as aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents who are part of the family unit" (398).
Family Communication: "The way in which family members mutually influence each other" (398).


Small Group Dynamics, Leadership, and Organizational Communication


Lecture held on Tues. Dec. 1, 1998.

Need for Inclusion: "The need to be included and to include others in group activities" (433).
Intimacy: "The degree of closeness we feel with another person" (433).
Eros Love: "Sexual, erotic love based upon the pursuit of physical beauty and pleasure" (433).
Ludis Love: "Playful, game-playing love based on the enjoyment of others" (433).
Storge Love: "Solid love of friendship based upon trust and caring" (433).
Mania Love: "Obsessive love driven by mutual needs" (433).
Pragma Love: "Practical love based upon mutual benefits" (433).
Agape Love: "Selfless love based upon giving of yourself for others" (433).
Leadership: "Behaviour that influences, guides, controls, or inspires others to take action" (477).
Interview: "A structured, planned discussion, usually between two people" (478).



Beebe, Steven A., Susan J. Beebe, Mark V. Redmond, and Carol Milstone.  Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others. Scarborough: Prentice-Hall Canada Inc., 1997.