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Essay about Interpersonal Communication

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Interpersonal communication theories are interesting and compelling to read. They are astonishingly relatable to one’s everyday life. As one reads an interpersonal communication theory, he or she may find himself or herself thinking of instances in daily life and relationships that directly correspond with the theory. I found the theories to be eerily similar to how many people behave, communicate, and think with regards to interacting with one another. Interpersonal communication theories describe the communication between two or more individuals through verbal, non verbal, and written communication. I believe the theories are some of the easiest to comprehend perhaps due to the direct correlation with people’s lives. Through my own research and those of others, I have found Cognitive Dissonance Theory, Uncertainty Reduction Theory, and Social Penetration Theory to be most pertinent to my life. I will begin by describing the basics of each theory and then explain how they have played such a significant role.
I will start by briefly describing Cognitive Dissonance Theory. Leon Festinger, a former Stanford University psychologist, developed Cognitive Dissonance Theory. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological discomfort or distressing mental state resulting from an inconsistency in an individual’s actions and beliefs. “A person may know that smoking is bad for him and yet continue to smoke; many persons commit crimes even though they know the high probability of being caught and the punishment that awaits them” (Festinger 2). As people, we want to avoid dissonance in order to remain consistent. Momentary dissonance can occur with a new event, but dissonance indubitably exists in daily life (Festinger 5). Cognitive dis...


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...l of the interpersonal theories I have researched or read about are important in life. However, I believe Cognitive Dissonance Theory, Uncertainty Reduction Theory, and Social Penetration Theory have played large roles in my life thus far. It is only a matter of viewing one’s life through a looking-glass in order to see how interpersonal communication theories are incredibly valuable.





Works Cited

Altman, Irwin, and Dalmas Taylor. Social Penetration: The Development of Interpersonal Relationships. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1973. 27. Print.
Berger, Charles, and James Bradac. Language and Social Knowledge: Uncertainty in Interpersonal Relations. The Social Psychology of Language 2. London: Edward Arnold Ltd., 1982. 6-23. Print.
Festinger, Leon. Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stannford University Press, 1957. 2-31. Print.


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