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Communications, New Media And Society Key Concepts 1

Brute facts
Communication rules
Constitutive rules
Hypothetical thought
Institutional facts
Loaded language
Regulative rules
Static evaluation
Defensive listening
Literal listening
Minimal encouragers

Removed from concrete reality. Symbols are abstract because they refer to, but
are not equivalent to, reality.
Subject to multiple meanings. Symbols are ambiguous because their meanings
vary from person to person, context to context, and so forth.
Random or not necessary. Symbols are arbitrary because there is no need for any
particular symbol to stand for a particulr referent.

Objective, concrete phenomena
Shared understandings of what communication means and what behaviors are
appropriate in various situations.
Communication rules that specify how certain communicative acts are to be
Thinking about experiences and ideas that do not exist or are not present to the
Language that identifies the speakers or perceivers thoughts and feelings.
(Compare with you-language.)
A technique of noting that every statement reflects a specific time and
circumstance and may not apply to other times or circumstances.
Meanings people assign to brute facts (objective, concrete phenomena) that are
based on human interpretation.
An extreme form of evaluative language that relies on words that strongly slant
perceptions and thus meanings.
All forms of communication other than words themselves; includes inflection and
other vocal qualities as well as several other behaviors such as shrugs, blushing,
and eye movements.
Defining the beginning and ending of interaction or interaction episodes.
Punctuation is subjective and not always agreed on by those involved in the
A groups reclamation of a term used by others to degrade the groups members;
the treatment of those terms as positive self-descriptions. Aims to remove the
stigma from terms that others use pejoratively.
Communication rules that regulate interaction by specifying when, how, where,
and with whom to talk about certain things.
An assessment that suggests that something is unchanging or static; e.g., Bob is
An arbitrary, ambiguous, and abstract representation of a phenomenon. Symbols
are the basis of language, much nonverbal behavior, and human thought.
Words and only words; does not include inflection, accent, volume, pitch, or other
paralinguistic features of speech
Words and only words; does not include inflection, accent, volume, pitch, or other
paralinguistic features of speech
Language that attributes intentions and motives to another person, usually the
person to whom one is speaking. (Compare with I-language.)
Listening carefully to a speaker in order to attack her or him.
The perception of personal attacks, criticisms, or hostile undertones in
communication when none is intended.
Listening only to the content level of meaning and ignoring the relationship level
of meaning.
Communication that gently invites another person to elaborate by expressing
interest in hearing more.

Pretending to listen

2 NM1101E Communications, New Media And Society Key Concepts


One of three forms of proof; proof based on the speakers credibility

(trustworthiness, expertise, and goodwill).
One of three forms of proof; proof based on logic and reasoning.
One of three forms of proof; proof based on appealing to listeners emotions
Studying phenomena from multiple points of view by relying on multiple sources
of data, theories, researchers, and/or methodological approaches.
A theory that holds that we organize and interpret experience by applying
cognitive structures called schemata.
Expectancy violation
A theory claiming that when our expectations are violated, we become more
cognitively alert as we struggle to understand and cope with unexpected
An interpretation that goes beyond the facts known but is believed to logically
follow from them.
Personal construct
A bipolar mental yardstick that allows us to measure people and situations along
specific dimensions of judgment, such as honestdishonest.
The ability to perceive another as a unique and distinct individual apart from
social roles and generalizations.
Cognitive structures we use to organize and interpret experiences. The four types
of schemata are prototypes, personal constructs, stereotypes, and scripts.
(Singular: schema)
Self-serving bias
The tendency to attribute our positive actions and successes to stable, global,
internal influences that we control and to attribute negative actions and failures to
unstable, specific, external influences beyond our control.
The giving up of ones native ways to take on the ways of another culture.
The tendency to assume that one way of life is normal and superior to other ways
of life.
An indirect and undetailed way of speaking that conveys meanings implicitly
communication style
rather than explicitly; typical of collectivist cultures.
Language that is very explicit, detailed, and precise; generally used in
communication style
individualistic cultures.
The social, symbolic, and material conditions common to a group of people that
influence how they understand themselves, others, and society.
Standpoint theory
A theory that holds that a culture includes a number of social groups that
differently shape the perceptions, identities, and opportunities of members of
those groups.
Dimension of culture that refers to the extent to which people want to avoid
ambiguity and vagueness.
Uncertainty reduction The theory that people find uncertainty uncomfortable and so are motivated to
use communication to reduce uncertainty
A cumulative process by which the media foster beliefs about social reality,
including the belief that the world is more dangerous and violent than it actually
A person, group, or institution that controls the choice and presentation of topics
by media.
Incorporating a product or brand into actual storylines in books, television
programs, and films.
Product placement
A practice, paid for by advertisers and program sponsors, of featuring products in
media so that the products are associated with particular characters, storylines,
and so forth.
Exaggerated, superlative claims about a product that appear to be factually based
but are actually meaningless and unverifiable.

Uses and
gratification theory

Claims people use mass communication to gratify their interests and