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Communication theory assignment - Essay Example

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Communication theory assignment

Social penetration essentially describes a procedure in which a relationship changes from being non-intimate to being intimate. According to this theory, this process is spurred by self-disclosure. It also assumes that relationship development is for the most part a methodical and predictable procedure whose deterioration, should it occur, would go through the same process. Altman and Taylor came up with a pattern that is divided into four separate stages of development. The first phase basically describes orientation and takes place in all public settings where people meeting for the first time will only reveal a small part of themselves to their new acquaintances. For example, at a party in a new club, an individual who is attracted to a stranger is not likely to reveal all of his secrets and family data to the subject of his interest but might only mention his name. According to Altman and Taylor’s social penetration stage, the second phase is the place of exploratory affective exchange (Guerrero, Andersen and Afifi, 2012). This usually occurs after two individuals meet again and start learning each others’ personalities. At this stage, the two individuals will start to show more trust in the former acquaintance and reveal more of themselves. They may also begin to explore each other’s lives by asking questions that might have been considered as being intrusive if they were asked in the first stage. In this stage, the two individuals have basically overcome the mild discomfort associated with being in the presence of strangers and begin to share private attributes about themselves with their new friend because they consider him or her to be more than an acquaintance. At the second phase, the relationship is more relaxed and is moving in the direction of being even more intimate. Such developments inspire a feeling of caring about the other individual in both of the parties involved. The third stage is involves affective exchange. According to the social penetration theory, the stage of affective exchange is viewed as being a conduit to the most intense level of intimacy (DeVito, 2004). This is because, in this stage, the two relating individuals will consciously begin to separate from people with whom they are mere friends in order to further develop their relationship with the new individual in their life. This can actually result in misunderstandings with other friends who may resent the influence of the new friend on their comrade. However, this small conflict does not affect the resolve of the two people in question to develop their relationship further if they are omitted to doing so. The fourth stage of the social penetration theory is the ‘stable exchange’ phase. This involves the deepest level of intimacy and is typified by continuous development of the newly formed intimate relationship and a constant openness between the two individuals who are concerned (Kanu, 2008). At this stage, there are no remaining secrets between the two relating individuals and they also function as a single entity. At this stage, both individuals can interpret the feelings of each other and can communicate even without articulating what they are feeling. At this stage, the two relating partners will also have completely removed the outer layers that they use to keep other strangers at bay. It is likely that they will ...Show more

Summary

Communication Theory Name Institution Date Communication Theory Human beings relate on a daily basis with each other, forming relationships of different types. Though it appears effortless for the most part, communication between people is actually a complex process…
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