Constructivism

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Though constructivists believe that reality is based upon our own individual perceptions and thoughts, Delia’s constructivism theory is more objective. Within the objective approach, Delia’s theory falls primarily under the socio-psychological tradition, but dabbles in the rhetorical tradition of Griffins survey map. A socio- psychological scholar “believes that there are communication truths that can be discovered by careful, systematic observation”(Griffin, 2009, p, 42). It also displays a cause-and-effect relationship that will predict successful and unsuccessful communication (Griffin 2009). In other words, truth can be revealed through experimentation and surveys. This is relevant throughout all of Delia’s research as he used experiments, such as the RCQ to discover how differentiation of cognitive complexity amongst individuals effects how successful he or she is at communicating. As distinguished by Griffin (2009), there are three separate causes of persuasive variation within the socio- psychological tradition that are relevant within Delia’s theory which can be seen in the “who says what to whom and with what effect,”(Griffin, 2009,p, 42). This distinction is greatly important in constructivism as Delia dictates those who, can differentiate, distinguish abstraction, and organize are more cognitively complex highly and will be able to deliver a person centered message that will connect with the audience and define source credibility. According to Griffin (2009) source credibility as an audience’s perception of the competence and trustworthiness of a speaker or writer, and within credibility there is expertness and character. Character credibility is measured by the level of sincerity within an individual’s message, and ex... ... middle of paper ... ... most social scientists hold to a distinction between the “knower” and the “known,” they place a high value on an objectivity that’s not biased by ideological commitments” (p. 18). The last aspect that theoretically depicts Delia’s constructivism theory as being one that is more objective is the question of axiology. Unlike in interpretive theories, Delia distinguishes his values and keeps them apart from his experiments while focusing on testing individual’s level of cognitive complexity rather than teaching it to individuals( Gerard). In other words, Delia has no intention of subjecting his values into the experiment in order to change an individual’s cognitive complexity level; he is only trying to determine how the differentiation of cognitive complexity levels within different individuals can predict how complex an individual will be able to communicate.

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