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4 X Social
At the end of this topic, you should be able to: 1. 2. 3. Explain human communication and the problems faced during communication; Explain the importance of the social aspect in our daily lives; and Differentiate between cognitive analysis and social aspects.
In the previous topic, you studied the cognitive aspects of an individual during the process of communication. In this topic, the social aspects involved in the process of communication will be explained in detail.
From the perspective of technology development, faceăto-face communication is the most basic and primitive communication method. Usually, communication involves the interaction between two or more parties at one time. The communication between two parties is the simplest mode of communication. In fact, it is also easy to determine whose turn it is to speak, as one person would be listening while the other is speaking. However, in face-to-face communication, you would not be merely listening to his/her voice, but would also be able to watch the individualÊs facial expressions, voice intonations, back channelling (ÂuhhÊ, ÊummmÊ sounds), body orientation and some of their body language. From this observation, you would be able to
The conversation turns can overlap and many two-party communication groups may also exist at the same time. and this complexity increases when the number of involved parties increases. This is also the case during face-to-face communication where we try to determine the best distance for effective communication. For example. In a formal gathering such as a meeting. our hands would automatically move to indicate some form of action that cannot be seen by our friend. what actually changed was the media of communication and not the methods of communication.2 Eye-Contact Unitary Perspective Eye-contact is a language of the eye that never betrays our true feelings. for matters that are nonconfidential. Other devices such as telephone conferences. or not.1. the rules would be preset where a chairman will control the discussion being conducted. An example is the telephone that is used for communication between two parties. due to the existence of multiple conversation queues at one time.TOPIC 4 SOCIAL ASPECT W 39 guess if that individual is comfortable/uncomfortable with the communication session that is being conducted. 4. If we want to converse about confidential matters. we are not too concerned about the distance. In this situation. we always speak on the mobile phone with the inclination that our friend is standing in front of us. there are many systems of technology that support the social interaction process. This form of control does not occur during an informal gathering. Without realising it. we would try to determine the distance between ourselves and our friends instead of ourselves and the camera. so much so. a teacher would be able to know if that particular student is concentrating in the class. video conferences and email can also be used to support interaction between various parties. 4. Eye-contact is widely used during the . that during a video conference. the problem that arises is the effectiveness of the communication. Communication that involves more than two parties is more complex. This action has become a norm that is beyond our control. Currently. On the contrary.1. By looking at the students.1 The Effects of Transition When the communication era moved from primitive communication method to the computer technology method. we stand closer to our friends to ensure that only he/she is able to grasp the information.
etc. if only one person speaks at a time.3 Body Language The use of body language in face-to-face communication is to show reaction or response during interaction. 4.1. and this can be clearly seen on the observerÊs display to determine if the users are feeling confused. videos are able to record the eye movements (or eye-contact) of any individual. communication would be very effective as the other people involved in the conversation would be listening attentively. . As mentioned earlier. the environment would become very noisy causing the lack of concentration among the individuals. bored.4 Turns Conversation turns does not adhere to any standardised rules. the communication between two parties has simple turns of conversation. but this is not the case during communication between multiple parties. This reaction can be positive or negative. 4. As all parties are able to converse simultaneously.1: Face-to-face communication ACTIVITY 4. Figure 4. body language occurs on par with eye-contact.1 Compare and differentiate communication between two parties and among multiple parties. only one person is speaking. This case also applies to telephone and video conference.1.40 X TOPIC 4 SOCIAL ASPECT usability evaluation process (we will study this in topic 3). Normally. On the contrary. where there should be a preset rule to ensure that at any one point of time. With the latest technology.
1 Context All conversations solely depend on their context.2. With prior knowledge of the situation and social relationship of the participants in the conversation. it would be difficult to understand the contents of the conversation. by repeating their statements to ensure understanding.2. As an example.2 Focus and Topics Each of the participants in a conversation should focus on the topic of conversation. 4.4 Understanding To achieve a mutual agreement in a communication. All parties involved in the communication should be able to understand what is being said and being explained by the other parties. .2.2 CONVERSATION Conversation is always referred to as interaction or communication between two parties. External Context.TOPIC 4 SOCIAL ASPECT W 41 4. Normally.2. humans are smart enough to handle this problem. 4. This conversation is via telephone between a five-year-old child and an officer from the 911 emergency division unit (excerpt from a television series). 4. both the process of focusing and understanding are equally important. which depends on previous conversations. these distortions are expressed in the form of back-channels or facial expressions. such as a confused look or wrinkling of the forehead. even if there is no following action. However.3 Back Channels and Distortions One of the main causes of communication distortions is due to the lack of focus on the discussion topic as well as participants who are unable to understand the message being delivered. The context of a conversation can be divided into two types: • • Internal Context. ranging from informal telephone conversations to formal interrogation sessions in courthouses. but in actuality. The process of focusing is very important in achieving a conclusion at the end of the conversation. it covers a wider context. 4. which depends on what is happening during the conversation. refer to the excerpt of a conversation below.
Blue. At times. Discrete communication refers to direct messages such as email. most definitely your friendÊs next statement would have been „Shall we go and eat?‰ The second statement was to strengthen the first statement. would you trust the child? Would you be able to find the child? 4. If your friend had said „IÊm hungry⁄Have you eaten?‰ you would have understood that your friend was inviting you for a meal. page 524 of the book „Human-Computer Interaction‰. What coloured clothes are you wearing? Green.42 X TOPIC 4 SOCIAL ASPECT Child 911 Child 911 Child 911 Child : : : : : : : IÊm looking for my house but I canÊt seem to find it! Where are you now? At the telephone booth.3 TEXT-BASED COMMUNICATION Group-based asynchronous communications are normally conducted in text forms. For further reading about the analysis of conversation. written by Alan Dix et. These characteristics do not exist in text based communication. which are: 1. Your friend did not directly ask you out for a meal. back channels. . you would then try to analyse his/her words and decide on the next step of action. I have not eaten‰. White. which merely involves the relationship with the previous message. there are chain messages that revolve around the same topic. Red. 4. Do you see any shops or houses? There are many houses but there are no shops. This time. Text-based communication varies from face-to-face communication in terms of how the meaning is delivered. he/she was directly asking you out.al.5 Analysis Having understood the contents of the conversation between your and you. If you had answered „No. 1998 Pearson Education. facial expressions. In your opinion. kindly refer to the topic „Speech Act Theory‰.2. Face-to-face communication is a combination of voice intonation. and a number of body languages. 2. There are four types of group-based textual communication.. Linear communication refers to attachments. did the child understand the questions posed by the officer? If you are the officer. but he implicitly mentioned his hunger.
et. confusion. > ishhhh ⁄ is it too much? The symbol Â>Ê indicates the reference to the previous statement. and sadness ACTIVITY 4. back channelling. Look at page 529. The usage of back-channels can also be included. but the effects will not be the same as it is with voice communication. . There are also some writers who use symbols to express the way they feel (anger.) such as: :-) ☺ indicates liking :-( indicates anger.2 What are the limitations of textual communication compared to faceto-face voice communication? Please elaborate on your answer.TOPIC 4 SOCIAL ASPECT W 43 • • Non-linear communication refers to messages that are connected from one to another using hypertext.1998. Semi communication refers to a message that has been arranged into two parts. sadness. and body language.al. etc. race. by Alan Dix. facial expressions. refer to the York Conferencer system interface picture as an example of semi-textual communication. The topic of discussion refers to one of these parts. and country? >> Because of you. Malaysia. Happy Independence Day!!!!! > > I do not want to beat my chest any longer. in the book entitled „HumanComputer Interaction‰. The text communication participants should make their statements as clear and complete as possible as text communication does not have characteristics such as voice intonation. Look at the example of an email message below: >>What is your contribution towards your religion. Pearson Education. How do we make the sound for „isshhh‰ and what is the meaning of it? This is an example of the linear textual communication because the topic of discussion is attached in the conversation.
there is a number of issues that need to be taken into consideration. Change of management. share holders. For example. the Personal Organiser system is used by the company secretary but the benefits are gained by the company head. For example. Back Channels Body langguage Conversation Distortions Eye-contact Face-to-face communication Turns . The users may not be receiving the benefits. The introduction phase is the toughest phase as most people would not be brave enough to use the system and would rather wait and watch its implementation. it is hoped that you will be able to make due consideration during the process of designing the system. Are they used optimally? An example is the usage of a video conference. Workers that do not have a fixed position in an organisation. etc.4 ORGANISATIONAL ISSUES When designing a system to support group communication in an organisation. They would only start using it once the system is stable. the usage is not cost-worthy. Varying objectives of individuals in an organisation.44 X TOPIC 4 SOCIAL ASPECT 4. all users are encouraged to voice out their opinions. • • • • • • • • The social aspect equally contributes towards development of technology especially in group work. The problems during its initial stages of use. If many users are silent. Thus. Determining the workflow between individuals of an organisation. Upon understanding these aspects. Among them are: • Determining the users and the individuals who benefit from the developed system. mobile phones that have now become a necessity for everyone.
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