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The Basis of Communication

Reading Control on Clampitt,

chapter 2
Lecture: The Propositions
of Communication
Class Discussion
Case Study 1:
Up in the Air
Guidelines for the Graded Practice next week
Reading Control 02
The Propositions of Communication
Language is inherently ambiguous.

Court case
Communication can be described in
terms of probabilities.
Context indicates what a word means.
The sender sees one interpretation.
The sender can purposely be ambiguous.
The receiver can purposely misunderstand.
Context shapes the probabilities by creating
default assumptions that solidify interpretations.
Context is developed through the dynamic
process of individuals interacting.
Context is inside of individuals.
Culture helps shape context.
The context can become so powerful
that it acts like a black hole.
Context construction is uniquely
sensitive to time sequencing.
Previous words shape the context.
Communicative content and context
interact to produce meaning.
Frame message (transmission)
Outer message (rules)
Inner message (inner meaning)
Meanings may be constructed
without any message at all.
There are secondary messages in
every communication event.
I love the violin.

Ive been playing since I was five years old.

Im excited to share my love of music with others.
As I share music, I want to create passion for
music in others.
Even though interpretations are relative,
the process of meaning construction is not.
Be careful and intentional.
Explore the employees context.
Think about possible interpretations.
Cancel ambiguity with the blackout
Pay attention to secondary messages.
Be aware that misunderstandings WILL occur.
Frame messages carefully.
Sculpt the proper context.
Ambiguity in language
Case Study: Up in the Air
Case Study: Up in the Air
Which character, Ryan Bingham or Natalie Keener, follows the Arrow Model for communication in
his/her professional life? Give two detailed examples of how this character uses aspects of this
model at work. (4 pts)

2. Which character, Ryan or Natalie, follows the Communication as Dance Model in his/her
professional life? Give two detailed examples of how this character uses aspects of this model at
work. (4 pts)

3. Mention one time in which the film includes a situation described by Clampitts fifth proposition of
communication, the Black Hole proposition. Describe the situation and explain why this situation
fits proposition 5. (2 pts)

4. Using both Clampitts Implications of the Propositions and the ideas in the Active Listening
handout, explain why Ryan and Natalie began to have trouble firing Bob (the white haired
employee with blue eyes) and then fixed the situation. Use specific descriptive details from the
film as you connect the readings to the case. (4 pts)

5. Ryan uses several active listening techniques mentioned in the handout when he talks one-on-one
to Jim, his future brother-in-law. Mention two techniques he uses and explain how and why they
worked. (2 pts)

6. Alex and Ryan form a specific type of relationship at the beginning of the film, but they later run
into relationship problems. Explain why they run into relationship problems using Clampitts
propositions of communication. Mention at least 4 propositions of communication. (4 pts)
Graded Practice 1
In class
Individual effort
You may use a dictionary.
You may not use a mobile device.
You may not use any supplementary materials.
Assigned Reading
Clampitt: Chapter 6, pages 123-145
(See UEVirtual.)