Thursday, August 1, 2019

Constructivism Theory Essay

Constructivism is a communication theory that seeks to explain individual differences in the ability to communicate skillfully. Jesse Delia and his associates at the University of Illinois initially developed the theory of constructivism in the communication discipline during the 1970s (Delia, O’Keefe, & O’Keefe, 1982). Those who developed the constructivist approach to human communication were interested in understanding how people’s interpretations of the social world influenced their communicative behavior. Much of our early theorizing was influenced by scholars such as the Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget (1896–1980), and the American philosopher, George Herbert Mead (1863–1931), both of whom believed that effective communication depended on the ability to â€Å"take† (or imaginatively construct) the perspective of others. Because we viewed communication as a skill—as a practical art for accomplishing social purposes—we were particularly interested in understanding how individual differences in the perception of people and social events were related to the use of more and less effective forms of communication. Constructivism is the ability of a person to communicate with other people in social situations that present proficient correspondence with others. Constructivists in general are more concerned with mental structures than mental processes. It is based on the ability to speak with other person, which also means that messages must be created. Constructivism builds on how individuals build meanings. It is how we make sense of the world, interaction and ourselves. It is a humanistic theory and deals with individuals processing impressions. It is concerned with the cognitive processes that precede the actual communication within a given situation. Measuring and observing these cognitive processes can be a difficult task. While I agree that people who are able to adapt their messages to particular situations and audiences are more successful than those who are not able, saying that those who are more cognitively complex are always more successful is probably misrepresenting the truth. It is also a theory which emphasizes different layers of cognition. It shares Ontological and Epistemological assumptions. Constructivism deals with the cognitive complexity of an individual. Those who are cognitively complex are understood to be capable of perceiving interpersonal messages better and forming more â€Å"elaborate impressions of others† (Waltman, 2002).

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