Analysis Of The Uncertainty Reduction Theory

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When witnessing strangers meeting for the first time, it becomes quickly obvious that these individuals are uncomfortable with each other, and begin to go through processes to ease this discomfort. This process is attributed to the Uncertainty Reduction Theory, which states that uncertainty is a negative experience that requires elimination in order for relationships to continue and grow (Theiss & Solomon). The reason why there is such a fight against uncertainty is because of the emotional toll that it takes upon individuals. Uncertainty has been linked to negative emotions, including anxiety, and can cause difficulty in the adaptation to new environments and events (Gilbert, 2005). It can be therefore assumed that completely eradicating…show more content…
While using communication as a means to reduce uncertainty in interpersonal relationships is extremely important, there have been studies done which show that having some uncertainty about relationships actually increases pleasure because then you have to work to find answers to questions you want to know (Gilbert,…show more content…
He is an average working class citizen who goes to his job at the bank day by day and rarely changes his routine. He has become withdrawn, has a negative attitude, and is seemingly uninterested in maintaining a social life after going through a heartbreaking divorce. It is this relational uncertainty that causes Carl’s tolerance for avoidance to decrease to such a level that he begins alienating other interpersonal relationships. The reason for this particular relational uncertainty is associated with the first and fifth axioms of the theory. The first states that when verbal communication increases, uncertainty will decrease, and the fifth is about how reciprocity reduces uncertainty. It is shown in the film that Stephanie, Carl’s ex, clearly does not engage Carl in any sort of deep communication and only exchanges in minimal small talk not allowing for any reciprocity what-so-ever. This does not give Carl any sort of closure, and he is unable to make sense of why the relationship failed in the first place (Gilbert, 2005). Until this is resolved in some way, this particular uncertainty will hold emotional power and cause more
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