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Theories of Communication Essay

My understanding of Argyles communication cycle is an idea occurs, and then a message is sent through verbal or non-verbal communication to another person. The message is then received and decoded; then an idea occurs meaning the cycle is repeated forming a conversation. For effective communication to occur the cycle needs to be repeated continuously with no interruptions- also known as barriers. An example of a barrier in the cycle is when the message is sent, if the person receiving the message cannot hear then the cycle breaks down and effective communication will not occur. The cycle can be interrupted in any part; in order for barriers to be overcome intervention needs to take place for example, signing to a deaf person.

Some examples of the cycle breaking down in a health and social care setting are if someone’s had a stroke and are trying to communicate with their carer but their words are slurred. The carer receives the message but doesn’t understand it meaning the cycle had broken down from the very beginning- message sent. The cycle can be interrupted at message received, an example of this is at my placement when the teacher is trying to talk to a child, but the class are being too noisy, they shake a rattle in order for everyone to be quiet, meaning the message can be received.

However, the children are being too noisy therefore the message being sent from the teacher to the child can’t be decoded properly as the whole message isn’t being received which also means the message isn’t understood. As well as that example interrupting the cycle at message received, it also interrupts at message decoded and message understood. My understanding of conversational studies is that it suggests that meaning within conversation is created between speakers and hearers through dialogue and negotiation. I know that Grice proposed that conversations are organised around a number of unspoken rules, which are:

1. Make your contribution as informative as required to meet the purpose of the conversation. 2. Don’t give information that isn’t necessary. 3. Don’t say things you don’t believe are true. 4. Don’t state things as true without evidence. 5. Be relevant. 6. Be clear. 7. Do not be vague. 8. Be brief. 9. Be orderly. From studying the conversational study and Grice’s rule I came up with a set of criteria for good communication in health and social care. I believe good communication within the sector is important as it means you are more likely to have more knowledge on the service user’s background and situation, as well as a condition they may have. I know that Grice proposed it is important that meanings are clearly understood and agreed.

The criteria I came up with it: 1. Clarity= speak clearly with appropriate tone of voice. 2. Talk at a pace suitable for the client. 3. Stick to the point. 4. Don’t be vague. 5. Use suitable emotions. 6. Keep eye contact. 7. Use correct English pronunciation= no slang/abbreviations. 8. No use of inappropriate words. 9. Make sure the service user has access to an interpreter if needed. 10. Be patient= let them finish and don’t finish their sentences for them. My understanding of the cognitive dissonance theory is it is when there is conflict in a person’s beliefs. This makes people uncomfortable so they strive to resolve the conflict.

‘Do we say what we mean and mean what we say?’ This is a saying that relates to the theory because people say things they don’t actually mean. An example of the cognitive dissonance theory is a person may believe a woman has the right to choose whether she would like to keep a baby or not, however the person may also believe, abortion is wrong. In this situation the person believes that, logically, a women does have a choice however abortion is morally wrong. This theory also occurs when a person’s experience does match the research findings, for example if a few of a person’s family members died of natural causes despite drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, they may not believe alcohol causes liver disease. People also respond to the cognitive dissonance theory by justifying their views.


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