Communication Apprehension Essay

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To function effectively in today’s society people must communicate with one another. Yet for some individuals communication experiences are so unrewarding that they either consciously or unconsciously avoid situations where communication is required. (McCroskey & Richmond, 1979) The term ‘communication apprehension’ was coined by James McCroskey (1976a) and is defined as “an individual’s level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person or persons” (McCroskey, 1984). In the last two decades communication apprehension and related constructs, such as reticence and unwillingness to communicate, have received extensive research and theoretical attention by scholars in communication and …show more content…
This construct was an attempt to look beyond the concepts of CA and reticence (as it was perceived at the time) and along with fear and anxiety, considers low self esteem, introversion, anomia and alienation. “Thus this construct can be viewed as intermediary between CA and the contemporary view of reticence. More simply, reticence is concerned with people who do not communicate effectively; unwillingness-to-communicate is concerned with one of the reasons that people may not do so (i.e., they do not want to); and, [although it is highly associated with ineffective communication], CA is concerned with one of the reasons that people may be unwilling-to-communicate.” (McCroskey, 1982, p.4)

Types of Communication Apprehension A person may be apprehensive in one situation but not in another. Additionally, as communication does not confine itself to just talk, a person may, for example, be apprehensive about communicating by engaging in talk but feel quite comfortable about writing. McCroskey & Richmond (1987) identify four types of communication apprehension: traitlike, context based, receiver based, and situational. Traitlike CA concerns mainly oral communication and refers to a relatively stable and enduring predisposition of an individual towards experiencing fear and/or anxiety across a wide range of communication contexts. Context based

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