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The Four Perspectives

There are four different theoretical perspectives on communication (Psychological Perspective, Social Constructionist Perspective, Pragmatic Perspective and Cultural Studies Perspective). Consider each of these perspectives and answer the questions below as well as provide one example each about these perspectives.

1) Consider the psychological perspective. In what ways do you believe that what goes on inside people's heads (beliefs, values, attitudes, etc.) affects their communication?
2) Consider the social constructionist perspective. How do we "build worlds" through communication? Think of some ideas we talk about in our culture that may not exist in other cultures. How do these concepts contribute to our happiness or success (or lack of them) in our culture?
3) Consider the pragmatic perspective. How is communication like a game? How is it different from a game?
4) Consider the cultural studies perspective. What is the goal of a researcher who takes a cultural studies approach?
5) Which of these perspectives is closest to your own view of communication?

Solution Preview

1) An individual's beliefs, values, and attitudes have a definite effect on their communication, due to the fact that what goes on inside these individuals heads manifests itself in physical actions. It is common knowledge that the way that an individual thinks determines how the individual acts, which includes the way that they communicate with other individuals. An individual's attitudes or beliefs about the individual or individuals that they are communicating with will have a tremendous bearing on the way that they communicate with these individuals. An example of this perspective would be the negative thoughts that a police officer has towards ...