The Social Psychology of Communication


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The Social Psychology of Communication by Mind Map: The Social Psychology of Communication

1. Miscommunication

1.1. Luhmann - The Improbability of Communication

1.1.1. The assumption of improbability It lays aside the routine expectations and certainties of everyday life and sets out to explain how relationships which are intrinsically improbable are nonetheless possible, and indeed can be expected to occur with a high degree of certainty Luhmann's question: How can an order be created that transforms the impossible into the possible and the improbable into the probable? A theoretical structure constructed this way can serve to identify universal principles underlying all societies

1.1.2. The improbabilities (viewing communication as a problem) 1. Meaning can be understood only in context, and context for each individual consists primarily of what his own memory supplies 2. Reaching of recipients. It is improbable that a communication should reach more persons than are present in a given situation What about (new) media? "Even if the communication finds means of conveyance that are mobile and constant over time, it is still improbable that it will command attention" 3. Success. Even if a communication is understood, there can be no assurance of its being accepted. Success here means the recipient accepting the selective content of the communication (i.e. information) as a PREMISE OF HIS OWN BEHAVIOUR, thus JOINING FURTHER SELECTIONS to the primary selection and REINFORCING ITS SELECTIVITY in the process Luhmann here presents success = persuasion, not just understanding -> very strategic action like Luhmann assumes only information can be 'persuasive', what about normative influence? Following this reasoning, it would become harder and harder to convince someone, because the more selections one has, the more likely it is that they will reject the communication The improbabillities are mutually reinforcing. The solution of one problem, the harder another becomes. E.g. more understanding -> more grounds to reject it. More people reached -> complicates understanding (less context available)

1.2. Frankfurt - Bullshit

1.2.1. Franks BS & Gossip BS is not concerned with the truth because it is not required for the interaction. It is only meant as a topic of exchange that cements the relationship between speaker and hearer.

1.2.2. Hook Full vs. Empty Speech

2. Dialogue

2.1. Transformative dialogue (philosophy, ethics)

2.1.1. Buber - I-It and I-Thou I-It Objectifying relation: the other is an "It" No openness to the other person The other is not 'beyond' self I-Thou Genuine/ideal relation: the other is "Thou" Receptivity: turning towards the other, opening and willing to be changed Expressivity: no withholding, to share (vulnerability), being authentic, being transparent

2.1.2. Immanuel Levinas - The Other Question of 'first philosophy': what comes first? Answer: the face of the Other The Other: "Look onto others and feel his humanity, if you don't act upon that it is unethical. If you can be open to the otherness, you learn something profound. You cannot fully know someone, the other is always different." (from lecture notes) The Other is never knowable (it's infinity). Never the same as self.

2.1.3. Socratic Dialogue Dialogue as a means through which to reach the trough: Dia (through) Logos (word/logic)

2.1.4. Freire (SEE DIALOGUE) Dialogue is the encounter between men, mediated by the world, in order to name the world.

2.1.5. Habermas (SEE TCA) Instead of debating what is true and what is not, Habermas asks: How did we come to think this is true? (from lecture notes)

2.1.6. Koehler Global civilisations face global issues, need civilisational dialogue to solve these issues. Debate between civilisation requires agreement on: 1. All lifeworlds are equal 2. Self-understanding comes through interaction 3. Meta-norms, e.g. tolerance (For Habermas, this would be rationality)

2.2. Empirical Dialogue (Dialogism)

2.2.1. Bakhtin Every utterance points forwards and backwards Words only partially belong to speakers

2.2.2. Linell 3 senses of Dialogue Concrete/empirical sense Normative sense Abstract sense (DIALOGISM) Definition Dialogism is an epistemological (or even ontological) framework; it concerns the most general (“metaphysical”) categories in terms of which ‘dialogically’ minded researchers think about human action, cognition and communication. The term dialogicality (sometimes appearing in the form of ‘dialogicity’), on the other hand, refers to some essences of the human condition, notably that OUR BEING IN THE WORLD IS THOROUGHLY INTERDEPENDENT WITH THE EXISTENCE OF OTHERS. If understood in the narrow sense, it would include scholars like: Buber, Bakhtin If understood in the broad sense, it would include: Vygotsky, Mead, Goffman Concept The dialogical perspective implies that thinking, such as intelligent action and problem-solving, takes place in the world, rather than in autonomous, “cognising” individual brains. The assumption that human nature and human life are constituted in interrelations with ‘the other’, that is, in other-orientation. Dialogism denies the autonomous subject who thinks, speaks and acts in and by himself. Interactivity/Other-orientation Contextualism Semiotic mediation

3. Pragmatics

3.1. Searle - Speech Act Theory

3.2. Austin (1962) - Speech Acts

3.2.1. Felicity conditions Preparatory: are the circumstances and participants for the speech act appropriate? Executive: is the speech act properly executed? Sincerity: is the performer of the utterance sincere in his/her intentions, feelings, or goals? Fulfillment: has the intended perlocution taken place?

3.3. Grice - Co-operative Principle

3.3.1. "Make your contributions such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged"

3.3.2. Maxims of Conversation Maxim of Quality (truthfulness) Maxim of Quantity (informativeness) Maxim of Relation (relevance) Maxim of Manner (clarity)

3.4. Wilson & Sperber - Relevance Theory

3.4.1. Human cognition tends to be geared towards maximisation of relevance

3.4.2. Speakers provide an ostensive stimulus: one that conveys a presumption of optimal relevance. Based on the processing effort by audience; ability and preference (speaker WILLING AND ABLE)

4. Learning / Transmission of Information

4.1. Freire (1974) - Dialogue

4.1.1. Doxa Humans are subject to DOXA, governing stereotypes or beliefs (perhaps social representations?). Doxa shape the world as we see it, but can be challenged.

4.1.2. Education IS communication A form of genuine communication: both interlocutors are able to learn from each other -> learn to transform the world -> CHANGE Freire proposes a problem-solving approach (think rhetorics/Meyer's problematology). Both teacher and students need to acknowledge their doxa Dialogue = horizontal relationship. Anti-dialogue = vertical relationship.

4.1.3. Extension IS NOT communication 'Depositing knowledge' into the minds of unknowing students by the educated (higher) teacher. Extension serves to maintain social inequality and oppression. See the link to Foucault here.

4.1.4. Conscientisation The development of critical consciousness, which emerges through dialogical relations. Actors need to recognise the partial nature of their knowledge -> this allows for reflection, then critical action -> PRAXIS

4.1.5. I and We intentions I-intentions: interlocutors have pre-existing intentions before the communicative exchange See Strategic Action, Rhetorics, Social Influence If there is change at all, it will be one-sided We-intentions Both actors mutually determine the communicative goal. The intention of the communication is changed through the process of communication itself Requires both actors to recognise each other's knowledge as legitimate. Also, the ability to take the perspective of the other.

4.2. Vygotsky - Mediation

4.2.1. Higher cognitive functions are the result of using culturally meaningful tools (e.g. language) in interactions

4.2.2. Mind is socially constructed during communicative interaction (Vygotstky particularly looked at adult/child interaction)

4.2.3. Zone of Proximal Development The 'gap' between what a student can accomplish on his/her own and with assistance For it to 'open' there needs to be interaction. Dialogue indicates the direction in which future communication attempts should be directed The object of mediated (inter)action in the ZPD is ultimately conceptual

4.2.4. Mediation Our interactions with the world are MEDIATED by someone or something else Overarching concept of the ZPD and internalisation Both tools and signs mediate behaviour; they differ in that tools mediate EXTERNAL behaviours. Signs mediate INTERNAL behaviours

4.2.5. Internalisation The consequence of successful mediation; the concept mediated now serves as a psychological tool with which to order new experiences Internalisation is a process Operation representing external activity is reconstructed, begins to occur internally Interpersonal process turns into intrapersonal This transformation is the result of a series of developmental events

4.2.6. Dialogue & mutual understanding The teacher links scientific (abstract) concepts with everyday concepts & lived experience (concrete) The ZPD 'opens' through the teacher/learner relationship. The teacher mediates the scientific object, for example by relating it to everyday concepts Vygotsky & Freire differ in their view of the relationship between teacher/learner Vygotsky: Mediational (triangle) Freire: Horizontal

4.2.7. Encoding-Decoding process Codes are associated with their messages Understanding of the message is AUTOMATIC if the code is known

5. Signs & Semiotics

5.1. Code models & conduit metaphor

5.1.1. Conduit Metaphor Reddy (1979) Shannon & Weaver (1949) Radio/telegraph-like model: Source (I) use a transmitter (mouth) to send a signal (sound waves) through a channel (air) to a receiver (you). It may be affected by noise (whatever may affect comms) Users must share codes with one another Key concepts Maximum Entropy = Maximum Unpredictability -> Communication problem Maximum Redundancy - not neccisarily a communication problem (e.g. PHATIC COMMUNICATION)

5.1.2. Semiotic Theory Saussure (1916) - Signifier & Signified Signifier - The Sign Signified - The Meaning

5.2. Language & evolution (Chapter 8 book)

6. Other stuff

6.1. Tajfel - Social Identity /Self-Categorisation Theory

6.2. Mead - I and Me

6.2.1. Humans are constituted in communication

6.2.2. To communicate is to see ourselves from the perspective of others

6.3. Goffman - Impression Management

7. Social Representations

7.1. Moscovici 1973: "Systems of values, ideas practices with two functions

7.1.1. To establish an order for individuals to orient themselves in the material and social world and to master it

7.1.2. To enable communication among members of a community, providing a code for social exchange and naming, classifying unambiguously their world & individual/group history

7.2. Hall - Encoding/Decoding

7.3. Communication and identity are inextricably linked

7.3.1. Social representation (as a psychological process) is only possible through communication of identities, highlighting similarities and differences between people (and objects)

7.3.2. It is NOT an individual process, but social (see Vygotsky)

7.4. Two genres of communication (Moscovici & Markova 2000)

7.4.1. Primary: everyday debate and conversation

7.4.2. Secondary: mass communication, discourse

7.5. Anchoring

7.5.1. Integrates new phenomena into existing worldviews in order to make the unfamiliar familiar, by ascribing meaning to the object being represented

7.6. Objectification

7.6.1. More active process than anchoring, it saturates the idea of unfamiliarity with reality, turning this into the essence of reality (e.g. the 'melting pot' in integration debates). It is a materialisation of an abstraction. Dominant discourses -> the image used to objectify becomes reality (ideology)

8. Discourse

8.1. Foucault - The Order of Discourse

8.1.1. Foucaults Hypothesis: In essence, discourse is very powerful and the power structures try and control this. That happens through procedures

8.1.2. Discourse is not simply that which translates struggles or systems of domination, but it is the thing for which and by which there is struggle. Discourse is the power to be seized. "History is written by the winners"

8.1.3. The procedures/systems of exclusion Prohibition Taboos on the object of speech (what is being talked about) Rituals & circumstances surrounding speech (when it is okay to speak/not speak (about certain topics)) Priviliges & rights of the speaking subject (what would I be prohibited from talking about?) Examples: Politics, Sexuality Division/Rejection 'The Madman's Speech' The Truth The division between true and false is a type of division that governsor "will to know". It is a historal, modifiable, institutionally constraining system of exclusion Changes in the will to truth over time

8.1.4. The principles of limitation A set of internal procedures; ways in which discourses control themselves The commentary A kind of gradation in discourses: On the one hand, the commentary allows for the (endless) construction of new discourses (through primary texts). On the other hand, the only role of the commentary is to say what was 'silently articulated beyond' (secondary texts) The author There are forms of communication which are spread without deriving their meaning or efficacy from an author. (e.g. everyday remarks, decrees, contracts) In other forms of communication the attribution of a text to an author is important (e.g. scientific discourse, literature) The discipline Opposes the Author: A discipline is defined by objects, methods, constructions considered to be true. All together, an anonymous system at anyone's disposal, without the meaning/validity being linked to whoever invented it Opposes the Commentary: The outset of a discipline is not to rediscover a meaning. Instead, it is a set of requisites for the construction of (infinite) new propositions Within its own limits, each discipline recognises true and false propositions. A proposition must fulfill complex and heavy requirements to be able to belong to the grouping of a discipline; before it can be called true or false, it must be 'in the true'

8.1.5. The rarefaction of the speaking subject None shall eter the order of discourse if he does not satisfy certain requirements or he is not, from the outset, qualified to do so Societies of discourse Preserve te knowledge, discourses among few Even if archaic,certain forms of appropriation of secretts, non-interchangeable roles prove as traces of societies of discourse Doctrines The reverse of societies of discourse. They tend to be diffused, and can be shared by an infinite amount of people Doctrinal allegiance puts in question both the statement and the speaking subject. Docrtine binds individuals to certain types of enunciation nad consequently forbids them from all others Ritual Defines the qualification which must be possessed by individuals who speak. It defines the gestures, behaviour, circumstances, the whole set of signs which must accompany discourse. It fixes the supposed or imposed efficacy of the words. Their effect on those to whom they are addressed, and the limits of their constraining value.

9. Communicative & Social change

9.1. Habermas (1981) - Theory of Communicative Action

9.1.1. #1: The relation between communication/language and social action Communication = Action because Speech Acts (Austin 1962) Language games (Wittgenstein 1953), a set of informal rules used by speakers of any given community Communication for mutual underestanding -> ideal speech situation Individual goals need to be under the condition of common situation definitions No egocentric goals, because strategic action Common situation definitions are constrained by social representations, lifeworld

9.1.2. #2: Validity claims Our linguistic utterances contain validity claims at three levels Objective/Propositional/Content/Locutionary/Constative/Logos. Validity claim: The truth of what is said Intersubjective/Interactions/Illocutionary/Performative/Pathos. Validity claim: The rightness of what is said (in our interactions with others). Subjective/Individual Subject/Expressive/Ethos. Validity claim: Our own sincerity as a speaker. Sometimes we accept validity claims that do not correspond cognitively to a state of affairs in the world: why? Subjective and Intersubjective dimensions hold explanatory power over intelligibility and acceptability. Sometimes we accept these claims to express identities, a way of life

9.1.3. #3: Communication and the lifeworld "The background horizon pertaining to the contexts in which people communicate to reach understanding. A reservoir of taken-for-granteds, unshaken convictions.." The lifeworld is organised through the intersubjective transmission of cultural & historical traditions Societies develop not only through technological modes of action but also through symbolic interaction - or communicative action 3 components Culture Society Person

9.1.4. Strategic Action Distorts communication; pretends to be communication but is NOT Has consequences on each level: Subjective -> individualism, anomy Intersubjective -> lack of social solidarity, perspective taking Objective -> diminished public sphere

9.2. Habermas (1998/1988) - Public Sphere

9.2.1. A body of ‘private persons who assemble to discuss matters of public concern or common interest

9.2.2. Habermas view of settling different validity claims in societies, byunrestricted debate through argumentative dialogue (ideal speech) Other ways of settling validity claims Appeal to authority Appeal to tradition Appeal to force (coercive, see Social Influence)

9.2.3. Requirements Open & accessible to all Issues of common concern (no private interests allowed) Disregard inequalities of status (see Freire) Participants decide as peers (see Freire)

9.2.4. Re-Feudalisation? In the Renaissance, the feudal lord represented power; in appearing publicly he represented that power Lobbying and PR interfere in the public sphere; they push the critical debate to the backroom. Public communication is spectacle, takes attention away from the 'true' matters of common concern

9.3. Themes in social change & comms

9.3.1. The power of/in communication "The ability to bring about change" Resistance to change at 3 levels: Micro Meso Macro

9.3.2. Strategic/Instrumental vs. Communicative/Mutual understanding One-sided vs Persuasion, Social Influence, Rhetoric Two-sided Habermas Freire

9.3.3. Controlled vs. Unintended Pre-discursive, implicit ‘gut’ feelings and/or Linguistic symbols, explicitly represented Evolutionary theory Impression Management Non-verbal communication

9.3.4. Communicated Cultural Symbols: Reflecting vs. Transforming mind Vygotsky - Zone of Proximal Development

9.3.5. Egocentric vs. Shared Habermas, Freire advocate sharedness Trivers Even if we wanted to share our mental states, we may not in fact be ‘designed’ to do so: self-deception underpins other-deception, which supports the achievement of adaptive ends

9.3.6. Phatic vs Informative Phatic Communication whose only intention/outcome is the act of communication itself Phatic communication keeps the 'channel open'

10. Rhetorics & Persuasion

10.1. Social Influence

10.1.1. The communication strategy underlying soft power (Nye). It's a conflict resolution strategy resulting in consensus (defined as "the elimination of discrepant views wihout coercion)

10.1.2. Modes (forms) of SI Subrational/Rational Asch (1952) doctrine of suggestion: individuals are capable of rational reasoning, but in collectives become irrational Social order/Social change Majority maintaining status quo vs. Minority seeking social change

10.1.3. Modalities (strategies) of SI (see the table in the book for the division of these into the Modes of SI Obedience (Milgram) Norm setting (Sherif; Moscovici; Deutsch & Gerard) Conformity (Asch; Noelle-Neumann) Leadership (Le Bon) Imitation/Contagion (Tarde) Mass communications/discourse. Repetitive messages in mass media is similar to 'crowds' Persuasion Elaboration-Likelihood Model (ELM) Heuristic-Systematic Model (HSM) Conversion (Moscovici) Theory of minority influence Resistance to change Minority influence

10.2. Aristotle

10.2.1. Multiple rationalities Syllogistic (scientific) Dialectic (conclusions from uncertain premises, aims at reaching general truth) Rhetoric (public life, common sense, deductions from common beliefs instead of facts) Poetic (tragedy, comedy -> emotional)

10.2.2. Views on Rhetorics Act of Persuasion System of teaching (set of rules) Method of analysis of persuasion (description, critique) Worldview (rhetoreticality)

10.2.3. The triadic structure Logos: Teaching/persuading through reasoning Ethos: Impressiong through credibility Cicero, romans. Rhetorics is about being a virtuous speaker Tullius: Prudentia (Prudence) Justicia (Justice) Fortitude (Fortitude) Temperantia (Temperance) Pathos: Moving by arousing emotions

10.2.4. The rhetorical situation Exigency an urgency; a question to answer, a urgent problem to solve Kairos Timing, window of opportunity Audience a certain attention span; a certain willingness to consider arguments Speech speaker resources and constraints; accommodating audiences

10.3. Toulmin (1958)

10.3.1. Argumentation analysis Data (A=B) Warrant (since...). Requires backing Qualifier (therefore, A=C) Rebuttal (unless...). Requires backing

10.4. Meyer - Rhetorics & Problematology

10.4.1. Rhetorics is the negotation of the distance (or difference) between individuals (ethos & pathos) on a given questions (given through logos)

10.4.2. Ethos: the capacity to provide answers. They involve our opinions, which show our character Example: child asks his father "Why?". Is happy when the father replies "Because!" (Father has demonstrated his ethos)

10.4.3. Pathos: audience animated by problems and queries. Emotions are strong when the distance between interlocutors is small; when the distance is larger, passions/emotions turn into values.

10.4.4. Logos: meant to express the problematological difference between quesions and answers Note: rhetorics deals with questions by presenting answers as if the question was already solved