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Communication and Human Behavior

Author(s): Brent D Ruben, Lea Stewart

Edition: 6

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 394

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A knowledge of human behavior helps us understand ourselves, our actions, our motives, our feelings, and our aspirations…

Communication and Human Behavior offers the reader a broad and colorful landscape of the field, outlines the history of communication study, and focuses on communication as a basic life process. The publication emphasizes that communication is a fundamental life process that is necessary to our lives as individuals and to our relationships, groups, organizations, cultures, and societies by drawing on a number of disciplinary perspectives (communication, psychology, political science, etc.).

Communication and Human Behavior by Brent Ruben, Lea Stewart, & Brian Householder:

  • Focuses on communication as a basic life process
  • Examines the role of communication in multiple contexts of human life, including individual relationships, groups, organizations, cultural/intercultural, and public and mass communication.
  • Features research profiles from eminent scholars in the field of communication today. These individuals represent the state-of-the-art in current communication research in a variety of areas ranging from health care to mediated communication to intercultural issues.

CHAPTER 1: Why We Study Communication 
Importance of Communication 
Communication Is Complex 
Communication Is Vital to Occupational Effectiveness 
Education Does Not Ensure Communication Competence 
Communication Is a Popular and Vibrant Field of Study 
Theories: Guides for Analysis and Action 
Personal Theories 
Scholarly Theories 
Combining Personal and Scholarly Theories
Defining Communication
Level of Observation
The Question of Intent 
Point of View 
The Issue of Outcomes 
Fundamentals of Communication 
Communication Is a Process 
Communication Is Essential for Individuals, Relationships, Groups, Organizations, and Societies 
Communication Involves Responding to and Creating Messages
Communication Involves Adapting to People and the Environment 
Communication: Our Definition 
Goals of Communication and Human Behavior
Conclusion 
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 2: Communication Past and Present 
Ancient Roots of Communication Study 
Rhetoric and Speech 
Origins of Communication Theory: Early Greece
17th-19th Centuries 
Journalism
Early 20th Century: Development of Speech and Journalism
The 1940s-1960s: Interdisciplinarity
Lasswell’s View of Communication 
Shannon and Weaver’s Model 
Katz and Lazarsfeld’s Model
Westley and MacLean’s Model 
The 1970s-1980s: Growth and Specialization 
The Late 1980s-2000: The Information Age 
Information as a Commodity 
Converging Media 
The 21st Century: Communication Study Today 
Ancient and Newly Emergent 
Discipline and Interdisciplinary Link 
Personal and Professional Applicability
Old and New Technology 
Problem and Solution
Practical Skill and Fundamental Life Process 
The Evolution of Theory 
Communication Theory Today 
Conclusion 
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 3: Communication as a Basic Life Process 
Beyond S→M→R=E: The Adaptation Perspective 
Communication Processes in Animals and Humans 
Communication Modes 
Visual Messages 
Tactile Messages 
Olfactory and Gustatory Messages 
Auditory Messages 
Basic Life Functions of Communication 
Courtship and Mating 
Reproduction 
Parent-Offspring Relations and Socialization 
Navigation 
Self-Defense 
Territoriality 
The Communication Iceberg
The Visibility and Invisibility of Human Communication 
Visible Aspects of Communication 
People 
Symbols 
Invisible Aspects of Communication 
Meaning 
Learning 
Subjectivity 
Negotiation 
Culture 
Interacting Contexts and Levels 
Self-Reference 
Self-Reflexivity 
Ethics 
Inevitability 
Conclusion 
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 4: Nonverbal Communication 
Similarities between Nonverbal and Verbal Communication 
Rule-Governed 
Intentionality 
Common Message Functions 
Persuasion and Social Influence 
Differences between Nonverbal and Verbal Communication 
Awareness and Attention 
Overt and Covert Rules 
Control 
Public versus Private Status 
Hemispheric Specialization 
Paralanguage
Vocalic Forms 
Written Forms
The Face 
Eye Gaze 
Pupil Dilation 
The Body
Hair 
Physique
Dress and Adornment 
Artifacts 
Gestures (Kinesics)
Inherited, Discovered, Imitated, and Trained Actions 
Types of Gestures 
Touch (Haptics)
Use of Space (Proxemics)
The Physical Environment 
Time (Chronemics)
Timing 
Timeliness 
Messages and Meanings: MS≠MR 
Conclusion 
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 5: Verbal Communication 
Message Production 
Encoding and Decoding
Message- versus Meaning-Centered Models of Communication 
The Nature of Language 
Cognitive Factors 
Acquiring Our Language Capability 
Representation 
Language and Reality 
Limitations of Language for Representation 
Conversation 
Negotiation of Meanings 
Rules and Rituals
Language and Gender 
Content and Relationship
Metacommunication
Microaggressions 
Persuasion and Social Influence 
Compliance-Gaining 
Social Influence 
Conclusion 
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 6: Perception & Information Processing 
Selection 
Interpretation 
Retention (Memory)
Short-Term and Long-Term Memory 
Semantic and Episodic Memory 
Receiver Influences 
Needs
Attitudes, Beliefs, and Values 
Goals 
Capability 
Use 
Communication Style 
Experience and Habit 
Message and Information Influences 
Origin 
Mode 
Physical Characteristics 
Organization 
Novelty 
Source Influences 
Proximity 
Physical and Social Attraction and Similarity 
Credibility and Authoritativeness 
Motivation and Intent 
Delivery 
Status, Power or Authority, and Peer Pressure 
Technological and Environmental Influences 
Technology 
The Environment
Consistency and Competition 
An Active and Complex Process 
Conclusion 
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 7: Mediated Communication 
The Tool-Making Animal 
Communication Technology and Its Functions
Production and Distribution 
Reception, Storage, and Retrieval
Types of Media 
Evolution of Communication Media: From Smoke Signals to the Internet 
Communication Technology in Contemporary Life
Technological Convergence 
Increasing Number of Messages and Media 
New Technology Means More Messages and New Communication Literacy Needs 
Substituting Communication for Transportation 
Evolving Concepts of Office and Home 
Increasing Value of Information as a Commodity 
Increasing Availability of Synthetic Experience 
Understanding Media Influence
Cues-Filtered-Out Theories 
Social Influence Theory 
Adaptive Structuration Theory 
Mediated Communication: A Mixed Blessing
Synchronicity
Control of Content 
Anonymity
Responsibility and Accountability 
Sense of Place 
Communication Technology and the Quality of Life 
Media Forms 
Conclusion
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 8: The Individual: Identity and the Self 
Reaction, Action, and Interaction 
Cognitive Development 
Learning 
Characteristics of Personal Representations
Self-Development 
Stress and Growth
Self-Expression 
Emotional Intelligence 
Self-Awareness
Self-Reflexiveness and Self-Monitoring 
Self-Talk
Conclusion 
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 9: Interpersonal Communication and Relationships 
Interpersonal Communication and Relationships 
Types of Relationships
Dyadic and Triadic Relationships 
Task and Social Relationships 
Short- and Long-Term Relationships 
Casual and Intimate Relationships 
Dating, Love, and Marital Relationships 
Family Relationships 
The Evolution of Relationships 
Coming Together Stages 
Coming Apart Stages 
Relational Patterns
Supportive and Defensive Climates 
Dependencies and Counterdependencies
Progressive and Regressive Spirals 
Factors That Influence Patterns 
Stage of Relationship and Context 
Interpersonal Needs and Styles 
Roles and Positional Power 
Conflict 
Relational Competence 
Conclusion 
Key Points
References 

CHAPTER 10: Group Communication 
Groups: The Predictable Realities 
Why People Join Groups 
Types of Groups 
Task and Social Dimensions 
Contrived and Emergent Groups 
Roles and Responsibilities 
Task-Oriented Roles 
Group-Building and Support Roles 25
Individualistic Roles 
Leadership 
Functions of Leadership 
Approaches to Leading and Leadership
Group Development 
Group Communication Networks
Stages of Development 
Culture: Symbols, Rules, and Codes
Group Initiation and Socialization 
Group Decision Making
Consensus 
Compromise
Majority Vote 
Arbitration 
Group Cohesiveness
Symptoms of Too Little Cohesiveness: Boredom and Indifference 
Symptoms of Too Much Cohesiveness: The Groupthink Syndrome
Conflict in Groups 
Mediated Groups 
Conclusion 
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 11: Organizations 
Communication and Organizations 
Organizational Purposes, Plans, and Goals 
Organizational Theories
Scientific Management 
Human Relations
Systems 
Quality
Innovation and Employee Engagement 
Roles and Responsibilities 
Leadership 
Communication Networks
Network Functions 
Network Size 
Internal Networks: Message Flows within Organizations 
External Networks: Relating to Other Organizations and Publics 
Mediated Communication Networks
Organizational Communication Networks in Action 
Organizational Culture 
Origins of Organizational Cultures 
Functions of Organizational Cultures 
Assimilation, Socialization, and Innovation in Organizations
Organizational Climate 
Organizational Diversity 
Conclusion 
Key Points
References 

CHAPTER 12: Cultures and Societies
The Nature of Culture
The Relationship between Communication and Culture 
Characteristics of Culture 
Cultures Are Complex and Multifaceted 
Cultures Are Invisible 
Cultures Are Subjective 
Cultures Change over Time 
A Word of Caution 
The Role of Mediated Communication 
Cultural Adaptation
Stages of Cultural Adaptation 
Intercultural Communication
Societies (Complex Cultural and Communication Systems) 
National and International Networks 
International Communication: The Global Village—Fact or Fiction? 
Complexities Abound 
Conclusion
Key Points 
References 

CHAPTER 13: Public Communication 
What Is Public Communication? 
The Role of Public Communication 
Understanding Public Communication 
The Speech 
The Presentation 
Understanding Mass Communication
Production, Distribution, and Consumption 
Information Products and Services
The Audience 
Four Basic Functions of Mass Communication 
Political Communication 
Public Relations 
Advertising 
Broader Functions of Public and Mass Communication 48
The Effects of Public and Mass Communication 
The Communicator/Producer Perspective 
The Audience/Consumer Perspective 
Uses and Gratifications
Integrating Perspectives 
Conclusion 
Key Points 
References 

INDEX

Brent D Ruben

Brent D. Ruben (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is a distinguished professor, and executive director of the Center for Organizational Development and Leadership at Rutgers University. He is also a member of the faculties of the Rutgers Ph.D. Program in Higher Education and the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine. Brent’s academic interests include human communication, organizational leadership, planning, assessment, and change. He is author of numerous publications including Excellence in Higher Education Guide, What Leaders Need to Know and Do, Communication and Human Behavior (with L. Stewart), and A Guide for Leaders in Higher Education: Core Concepts, Competencies, and Tools (with R. De Lisi and R. Gigliotti). Brent was a founder of the Rutgers School of Communication and Information, and served as a department chair and graduate program director. He is Rutgers liaison to the Big Ten Academic Alliance leadership programs and he serves as an adviser to colleges and universities nationally and internationally.

Lea Stewart

(Ph.D.—Purdue University) is Professor of Communication and Director of the Center for Communication and Health Issues, Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She also serves as the Livingston Campus Dean and is an associate member of the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies. Her current research focuses on issues of dangerous drinking prevention among college students. She has written numerous scholarly journal articles and book chapters as well as five books including Changing the Culture of College Drinking: A Socially Situated Health Communication Campaign (with Linda Lederman). She was co-designer of the RU SURE Campaign, which won a Model Program award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Drug-free Schools Program in 2000. She has consulted on health communication and education in the United States and abroad (including Lebanon and the Republic of Moldova). Her extensive grant experience includes serving as principal investigator on more than $2 million of projects related to communication and health issues among college students funded by the U.S. Department of Education, NJ Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, NJ Higher Education Consortium, and National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Middlesex County, among others. She served as co-principal investigator on a $6 million award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to form the Rutgers Transdisciplinary Prevention Research Center. In 2003, she received the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, Rutgers’ highest honor for teaching excellence, and in 2007 she received the Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research.

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