By Donald P. Cushman
The matter of conversation in interpersonal relationships is a critical subject matter in our age.
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Extra resources for Communication in Interpersonal Relationships
Action theorists write about intention, motive, reason, purpose, action, and events. Events (movements, motions) are a class of behavior that involves change. When observing events, one is able to identify three aspects: stimulus, response, and a causal relationship. The stimulus, Page 10 which is referred to as a cause, is a physical change in the environment. The response, which is called an effect, is an automatic, immediate reaction to the physical change. It may be learned or unlearned. The relationship between the stimulus and the response is causal and requires a scientific explanation in the form of covering laws, commonly called physical laws.
The explanation of this is left to a theory of evolution. The basic function of such a system thus becomes a starting point, itself requiring no explanation, which can be called upon to explain other features of the system. In that sense, function explains structure and process. So interpersonal communication is first of all defined by its unique function, which is to regulate consensus regarding individual self-concepts. The peculiar function of interpersonal systems implies peculiar needs by individuals for a recognition of diversity and interdependence in regard to individual self-concepts, the manifesting of respect for that diversity and interdependence, and then the development of some consensus regarding the character of individual self-concepts as a basis for establishing, maintaining, or terminating the structure of interpersonal systems.
Ed. Gerald R. Miller, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1976. Cushman, D. , and Florence, T. Development of Interpersonal Communication Theory. Today's Speech. 22:1115, 1974. Cushman, D. and Whiting, G. An Approach to Communication Theory: Toward Consensus on rules. Journal of Communication. 22:217238, 1972. Gauthier, D. Practical Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963. McKeon, R. Communication, Truth and Society. Ethnics. 67:8999, 1957. Miller, G. The Current Status of Theory and Research in Interpersonal Communication.
Communication in Interpersonal Relationships by Donald P. Cushman