Communication Theories


Thefollowing is a case study of a real life case. The objective of thiscase study is to apply communication theories to a real case thattook place. This type of research falls under a human being’ssocial aspect and interpersonal relationships. In this study we aregoing to apply both intrapersonal and interpersonal theories. Thetheories help us to predict behavior in communication, clarifyobservations made and also to generate personal and social change.


Fromthe case, we see that the lady’s feelings began conflicting aftershe heard about what friend ‘A’ said about friend ‘B.` Shedecided to trust the words she was told and never went ahead toquestion ‘B.` In this case, the theory that should have applied isthe Uncertainty Reduction Theory (Littlejohn,et al. 2008).The lady is not sure about what she was told but still goes ahead totrust the friend she thinks is right.

Asecond finding is when the lady went ahead to hurl insults at ‘B’without any solid proof and even avoided him like the plague. Thetheory applicable here is the politeness theory (Cragan,et al. 1998).This theory uses a strategy of politeness and interaction to manageother people’s identities and our own.

Theother time was when she decided to build a better relationship with‘A’ while avoiding ‘B.` This was a naïve decision as she hadnot considered both sides of the story. The Social exchange theoryshould have been applied in this case. It explains when and thereason individuals keep developing some relationships while ignoringothers.

Discussionand recommendations

Inthe first instance, the lady could have used information seekingbehaviors and use verbal communication skills to reduce theuncertainty he had about friend ‘B.`

Thelady should have maintained her cool and approached friend ‘B’politely to seek out the truth about the stories she had listened to.

Althoughhuman beings are naturally selfish, the lady was very wrong to dropfriend ‘B’ for no good reason. The relationship between the threewas based on the comparison of gain versus costs to benefit (Wood,2004).


Thenarrator admits to being a poor communicator that is so evident inher case. With a little knowledge of communication skills andapplication of theories, she will be able to avoid such instances infuture. I’m hopeful that the case study above has enlightened thenarrator on some instances where she went wrong.


Wood,J. T. (2004).&nbspCommunicationtheories in action: An introduction.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Cragan,J. F., &amp Shields, D. C. (1998).&nbspUnderstandingcommunication theory: The communicative forces for human action.Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Littlejohn,S. W., &amp Foss, K. A. (2008).&nbspTheoriesof human communication.Australia: Thomson Wadsworth.