Intra-personal Communication Theories
Brian Brown, 1998-1999. All rights reserved.
Last Modified: January 28, 2000.

| Intrapersonal | Interpersonal | Group | Organization | Mass/Cultural |

This is a summary of the information in
Littlejohn, Stephen. (1992). Theories of Human Communication (5th Ed.). California: Wadsworth Publishing.
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Communication Apprehension
James McCroskey
Rhetorical Sensitivity
Roderick Hart
Communicator Style
Robert Norton
Action Assembly
John Greene
Attribution Theory
Fritz Heider
Cognitive Dissonance
Leon Festinger
Attitudes, Beliefs and Values
Milton Rokeach
Elaboration Likelihood Theory
Richard Petty and John Cacioppo
Social Judgement Theory
Muzafer Sherif

Section 2.1

Trait theories focus on the relationship between particular personality types and certain sorts of messages. They predict that certain personality traits make you communicate in a certain way.

COMMUNICATION APPREHENSION (TRAIT THEORY)
James McCroskey (pg. 106)

Debby Blatzer. (1997). Communication Apprehension. [Online]. Available http://www.ecnet.net/users/glisten/commapre.htm
Holbrook, Hilary Taylor. Communication Apprehension: The Quiet Student in Your Classroom. http://www.ed.gov/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed284315.html

 

RHETORICAL SENSITIVITY (TRAIT THEORY)
Roderick Hart (pg. 107)

 

COMMUNICATOR STYLE (TRAIT THEORY)
Robert Norton [1983] (pg. 108)

 

Process Theories attempt to explain how we produce messages

ACTION ASSEMBLY (PROCESS THEORY)
John Greene (pg. 114)

 

Theories of message reception and processing, how we come to understand, organize and use the information contained in messages.

ATTRIBUTION THEORY (MESSAGE INTERPRETATION)
Fritz Heider (pg. 135)

As naive psychologists, we constantly make causal inferences from the perceived behavior of others. The process involves (1) perception of action, (2) judgement of action, and (3) attribution of disposition. We systematically err by holding people more responsible for their actions than the situation warrants. Griffin. pg. 477

 

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY (MESSAGE INTERPRETATION)
Leon Festinger (pg. 141)

Cognitive dissonance is an aversive drive which causes people to (1) avoid opposing viewpoints, (2) seek reassurance after a tough decision, and (3) change private beliefs to match public behavior when there is minimal justification for the action. Griffin pg. 478

 

ATTITUDES, BELIEFS AND VALUES (MESSAGE INTERPRETATION)
Milton Rokeach (pg. 143)

 

Judgement processes deal with the ways individuals make judgements in communication, judgements of arguments, nonverbal behavior, belief claims and attitudes

ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD THEORY (JUDGEMENT PROCESS)
Richard Petty and John Cacioppo (pg. 145)

Message elaboration is the central route of persuasion which produces major positive change. This occurs when the arguments are strong and people have the desire and ability to work through the ideas. By contrast, weak influence through irrelevant factors on the peripheral path is much more common. Griffin. pg. 478

 

SOCIAL JUDGEMENT THEORY (JUDGEMENT PROCESS)
Muzafer Sherif (pg. 152)

The larger the discrepancy between a speakers position and the listeners point of view, the greater the change in attitude - as long as the message is within the hearers latitude of acceptance. High ego-involvement usually indicates a wide latitude of rejection. Messages which fall there may have a boomerang effect. Griffin. pg 478

 


Griffin. (1994). A first look at communication theory. (2nd Ed.). McGraw Hill.