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Table of Contents

Each Chapter ends with a Summary and a list of Activities; PART ONE: FOUNDATIONS OF INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION; CHAPTER 1: INTERPERSONAL PROCESS; WHY WE COMMUNICATE; Physical Needs; Identity Needs; Social Needs; Practical Needs; THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS; A Model of Communication; Insights from the Communication Model; Communication Principles; Communication Misconceptions; INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION DEFINED; Quantitative and Qualitative Definitions; Personal and Impersonal Communication: A Matter of Balance; INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY; Mediated vs. Face-to-Face Communication; Challenges of Mediated Communication; Choosing the Best Communication Channel; COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE; Communication Competence Defined; Characteristics of Competent Communication; CHAPTER 2: CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION; FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS; Culture and Co-Culture; Intercultural Communication; Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication; CULTURAL VALUES AND NORMS; High- versus Low-Context; Individualism versus Collectivism; Power Distance; Uncertainty Avoidance; Achievement versus Nurturing; CODES AND CULTURE; Verbal Codes; Nonverbal Codes; Decoding Messages; DEVELOPING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE; Motivation and Attitude; Tolerance for Ambiguity; Open-mindedness; Knowledge and Skill; CHAPTER 3: COMMUNICATION AND THE SELF; COMMUNICATION AND THE SELF-CONCEPT; How the Self-Concept Develops; Characteristics of the Self-Concept; The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and Communication; Changing Your Self-Concept; PRESENTING THE SELF: COMMUNICATION AS IDENTITY MANAGEMENT; Public and Private Selves; Characteristics of Identity Management; Why Manage Impressions?; How Do We Manage Impressions?; Identity Management and Honesty; DISCLOSING THE SELF: CHOOSING WHAT TO REVEAL; Models of Self-Disclosure; Benefits and Risks of Self-Disclosure; Alternatives to Self-Disclosure; Guidelines for Self-Disclosure; CHAPTER 4: PERCEIVING OTHERS; THE PERCEPTION PROCESS; Reality Is Constructed; Steps in the Perception Process; INFLUENCES ON PERCEPTION; Physiological Influences; Psychological Influences; Social Influences; Sex & Gender Roles; Cultural Influences; COMMON TENDENCIES IN PERCEPTION; We Make Snap Judgments; We Cling to First Impressions; We Judge Ourselves More Charitably Than We Do Others; We Are Influenced by Our Expectations; We Are Influenced by the Obvious; We Assume Others Are Like Us; SYNCHRONIZING OUR PERCEPTIONS; Perception Checking; Building Empathy; PART TWO: CREATING AND RESPONDING TO MESSAGES; CHAPTER 5: LANGUAGE; THE NATURE OF LANGUAGE; Language Is Symbolic; Language Is Rule-Governed; Language Is Subjective; Language and Worldview; THE IMPACT OF LANGUAGE; Naming and Identity; Affiliation; Power; Sexism and Racism; USES (AND ABUSES) OF LANGUAGE; Precision and Vagueness; The Language of Responsibility; Disruptive Language; GENDER AND LANGUAGE; Extent of Gender Differences; Accounting for Gender Differences; CHAPTER 6: NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION; NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION DEFINED; CHARACTERISTICS OF NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION; All Behavior Has Communicative Value; Nonverbal Communication Is Primarily Relational; Nonverbal Communication Is Ambiguous; Nonverbal Communication Is Influenced by Culture; FUNCTIONS OF NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION; Creating and Maintaining Relationships; Regulating Interaction; Influencing Others; Concealing/Deceiving; Managing Identity; TYPES OF NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION; Face and Eyes; Body Movement; Touch; Voice; Distance; Territoriality; Time; Physical Attractiveness; Clothing; Physical Environment; CHAPTER 7: LISTENING: UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORTING OTHERS; THE NATURE OF LISTENING; The Importance of Listening; Listening Defined; Reasons for Listening; THE CHALLENGE OF LISTENING; Listening Is Not Easy; All Listeners Do Not Receive the Same Message; Poor Listening Habits; COMPONENTS OF LISTENING; Hearing; Attending; Understanding; Remembering; Responding; TYPES OF LISTENING RESPONSES; Silent Listening; Questioning; Paraphrasing; Empathizing; Supporting; Analyzing; Evaluating; Advising; Which Style to Use?; CHAPTER 8: EMOTIONS; WHAT ARE EMOTIONS?; Physiological Changes; Nonverbal Reactions; Cognitive Interpretations; Verbal Expression; INFLUENCES ON EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION; Personality; Culture; Gender; Social Conventions and Roles; Fear of Self-Disclosure; Emotional Contagion; GUIDELINES FOR EXPRESSING EMOTIONS; Recognize Your Feelings; Choose the Best Language; Share Multiple Feelings; Recognize the Difference between Feeling and Acting; Accept Responsibility for Your Feelings; Choose the Best Time and Place to Express Your Feelings; MANAGING DIFFICULT EMOTIONS; Facilitative and Debilitative Emotions; Thoughts Cause Feelings; Irrational Thinking and Debilitative Emotions; Minimizing Debilitative Emotions; PART THREE: DIMENSIONS OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS; CHAPTER 9: DYNAMICS OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS; WHY WE FORM RELATIONSHIPS; Attraction; Intimacy; COMMUNICATION AND RELATIONAL DYNAMICS; Developmental Models of Interpersonal Relationships; Dialectical Perspectives on Relational Dynamics; MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH COMMUNICATION; Communicating About Relationships; Relational Maintenance Strategies; Repairing Damaged Relationships; CHAPTER 10: COMMUNICATION CLIMATE; WHAT IS COMMUNICATION CLIMATE?; HOW COMMUNICATION CLIMATES DEVELOP; Levels of Message Confirmation; Defensiveness; Climate Patterns; CREATING POSITIVE CLIMATES; Reducing Defensiveness; Offering Constructive Criticism; TRANSFORMING NEGATIVE CLIMATES; Seek More Information; Agree with the Critic; CHAPTER 11: MANAGING CONFLICT; WHAT IS CONFLICT?; Expressed Struggle; Perceived Incompatible Goals; Perceived Scarce Resources; Interdependence; Inevitability; FUNCTIONAL AND DYSFUNCTIONAL CONFLICTS; Integration versus Polarization; Cooperation versus Opposition; Confirmation versus Disconfirmation; Agreement versus Coercion; De-escalation versus Escalation; Focusing versus Drifting; Foresight versus Shortsightedness; Positive versus Negative Results; CONFLICT STYLES; Avoidance (Lose-Lose); Accommodation (Lose-Win); Competition (Win-Lose); Compromise (Negotiated Lose-Lose); Collaboration (Win-Win); Which Style to Use?; CONFLICT IN RELATIONAL SYSTEMS; Complementary, Symmetrical, and Parallel Styles; Intimate and Aggressive Styles; Conflict Rituals; VARIABLES IN CONFLICT STYLES; Gender; Culture; CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN PRACTICE; CHAPTER 12: COMMUNICATION IN FAMILIES AND AT WORK; COMMUNICATION IN FAMILIES; Types of Family Communication; Elements of Family Communication; Effective Communication in Families; INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION AT WORK; Advancing Your Career; Communicating in Organizations; Relationships in Work Groups

About the Author

Ronald B. Adler is Professor of Communication Emeritus at Santa Barbara City College.

Lawrence Rosenfeld is Professor of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Russell F. Proctor II is Professor of Communication at Northern Kentucky University.


This text is so enjoyable to read and covers most of the major principles so well. The real kicker is that the students tell me they refuse to sell it back after the end of the semester because they think it will be useful during the rest of their lives. That's quite a recommendation.--Beverly Kelly, California Lutheran University
I am impressed that, unlike many books in this category, Interplay presents a rather sophisticated review of communication theories for the introductory audience. Most importantly, this book does not treat the reader like a juvenile--the reviews of theories are cogent, yet assume that the readers are adults and are able to relate the material to their own experiences.--Jennifer Samp, University of Georgia

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