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Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal Communication

Fourth Edition

January 2019 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Now published by SAGE!

Interpersonal Communication, Fourth Edition empowers students to become more confident communicators by providing them with both the knowledge and the practical skills they need to make effective communication choices in today's rapidly changing and technologically advanced society. Rather than "telling" students how to communicate, authors Richard L. West and Lynn H. Turner offer a toolbox of key skills so students can actively choose and experiment with strategies appropriate for a given situation. Filled with realistic examples and scenarios that reflect the diversity and interactions of today's students, this practical text makes clear connections among theory, skills, and the life situations we all encounter on a daily basis.

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Chapter 1. Foundations of Interpersonal Communication
1.1 The Evolution and Foundation of the Communication Field

1.2 Defining Interpersonal Communication

1.3 Three Models of Human Communication

1.4 The Principles of Interpersonal Communication

1.5 Dispelling Myths About Interpersonal Communication

1.6 Interpersonal Communication Ethics

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 2. Communication, Culture, and Identity
2.1 Defining Culture

2.2 Diversity Around the Globe and In the United States

2.3 Why Study Intercultural Communication?

2.4 Dimensions of Culture

2.5 Challenges of Intercultural Communication

2.6 Skill Set For Intercultural Understanding

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 3. Communication, Perception, Identity, and the Self
3.1 Understanding Interpersonal Perception

3.2 Influences on Perception

3.3 Dimensions of the Self

3.4 Identity Management

3.5 Online Identity Management

3.6 Skill Set for Improving Perception Checking and Self-Actualization

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 4. Communicating Verbally
4.1 Understanding Verbal Symbols

4.2 Factors Affecting Verbal Symbols

4.3 The Destructive and Constructive Sides

4.4 Skill Set for Improving Verbal Communication

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 5. Communicating Nonverbally
5.1 Assumptions of Nonverbal Communication

5.2 Nonverbal Communication Codes

5.3 The Influence of Culture on Nonverbal Communication

5.4 The Influence of Technology on Nonverbal Communication

5.5 Skill Set for Increasing Nonverbal Communication Effectiveness

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 6. Listening and Responding Effectively
6.1 Lend Me Your Ear: Differences Between Hearing and Listening

6.2 The Components of the Listening Process

6.3 The Value and Importance of Listening

6.4 The Barriers: Why We Don’t Listen

6.5 Poor Listening Habits

6.6 Styles of Preferred Listening

6.7 Culture and the Listening Process

6.8 Skill Set for Effective Listening

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 7. Communicating and Emotion
7.1 Defining Emotion

7.2 Explaining Emotion: Biology and Social Interaction

7.3 Emotion and Communication

7.4 Influences on Emotional Expression

7.5 Recognizing Blends in Emotional Communication

7.6 Skill Set For Emotional Communication

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 8. Sharing Personal Information
8.1 Definition of Self-Disclosure: Opening Up

8.2 Reasons for Revealing and Concealing Personal Information

8.3 Factors Affecting Self-Disclosure

8.4 Principles of Self-Disclosure

8.5 Explaining Self-Disclosure

8.6 Skill Set for Effective Disclosing

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 9. Communicating Conflict
9.1 Defining Conflict

9.2 Communication Patterns and Styles in Conflict

9.3 The Destructive and Constructive Sides of Interpersonal Conflict

9.4 Explaining Conflict

9.5 The Relationship of Conflict to Power

9.6 Skill Set for Effective Conflict Management

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 10. Communicating in Close Relationships
10.1 Understanding Close Relationships

10.2 Thinking and Talking About Close Relationships

10.3 Influences on Close Relationships

10.4 Developing Interpersonal Relationships Through Stages

10.5 Explaining Communication in Close Relationships

10.6 Skill Set for Communicating In Close Relationships

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 11. Communicating With Families, Friends, and Romantic Partners
11.1 Family Relationships

11.2 Close Friendships

11.3 Romantic Relationships

11.4 Skill Set for Improving Your Interpersonal Communication With Family Members, Close Friends, and Romantic Partners

Chapter Wrap-Up



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“This textbook hits the ball out of the park! The authors did a great job of giving the student/reader the tools to become a more effective interpersonal communicator.”

Daron M. McDaniel
Panola College

 “Interpersonal Communication (4th edition) offers fresh examples of established theories to fully engage students. . . . The direct links to careers make this text distinct from other interpersonal communication texts.”

Ann Vogel
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

“. . . Not just for a college-level interpersonal communication course, but also for anyone who thinks interpersonal communication matters.”

Erting Sa
SUNY Albany

“Practical application of theory so it is understandable to freshman through sophomore students. They will be able to read it, apply it, and use it.”

Tracy R. Frederick
Southwestern College

“A practical, well written text that students should be able to read and use to understand IPC concepts.”

Tony Strawn
Henderson Community College

 “This mid-level interpersonal textbook pulls from extensive interpersonal research and theory to help students assess their communication experiences and futures.”

Colleen Warner Colaner
University of Missouri

 “A fresh approach using comprehensive theories of interpersonal communication. Career focus will be helpful to some of the lost speech students.”

Diane M. Ferrero-Paluzzi
Iona College

 “A book that students are likely to find interesting and readable and that uses many examples to illustrate the concepts of interpersonal communication.”

Erica J. Gannon
Clayton State University

 “Appropriate readability with a good attempt to demonstrate the inherent connections and inseparability between theory and skill.”

Dr. Joan Gibbons-Anderson
Riverside City College

 “I think this is an excellent textbook for a four-year college lower-division interpersonal course, especially if you have no other course in interpersonal communication. If interpersonal communication is a general education requirement and this is the only exposure to IPC, again, this book does a better job than the average lower division textbook does in my opinion. It incorporates lots of theory and research.”

Dr. Kathleen Czech
San Diego State University
Key features
  • New personal reflection questions for the IPC Careers and IPC Around Us features help students discover the relevance of interpersonal communication in their everyday lives.
  • A new applied theory feature, IPC Praxis, shows students how to apply the theories outlined in the chapter narrative to their life experiences.
  • New chapter wrap-ups, key questions for application, and communication application tests provide students with opportunities to assess what they have learned in the chapter.
  • SAGE coursepacks allows instructors to import high-quality content into their school’s learning management system (LMS) with no access codes.
  • SAGE edge provides students with helpful tools, including eFlashcards, practice quizzes, and more, in one easy-to-use online environment.
  • Communication Assessment Tests” within each chapter allow students to build their skills by completing a self-assessment of their communication behaviors and attitudes and taking personal responsibility for their own skill development.


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