Interpersonal Communication

3043 WordsMar 15, 200513 Pages
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…
Causes of Situational CA. While many different elements have been forwarded as causes of situational CA some of the main ones are novelty, formality, subordinate status, conspicuousness, unfamiliarity, dissimilarity, the degree of attention from others, evaluation and prior history (McCroskey, 1984). When an individual is presented with a novel situation (ie: one that is unfamiliar or occurs infrequently such as an interview) concerns such as how to behave can result in anxiety. Formal situations tend to be more restrictive with more rigid behaviour rules and CA increases because of the narrower confines. Similarly, CA can result when a person is in a subordinate position because the person with the higher status defines the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Generally, the more conspicuous a person feels, or the more unfamiliar the situation, the more CA is likely to be experienced. Likewise people often feel less apprehensive with others who are most like themselves. Sometimes, however, an individual will be more apprehensive with similar peers because they become more concerned with how they will be evaluated by them and the feeling of being evaluated in any situation often leads to anxiety. Studies have shown that the majority of people are most comfortable with a moderate degree of attention. (McCroskey, 1984) When individuals are ignored or stared at the level of CA often rises. The level of CA also
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