communicators value the accuracy that research fosters. We need
to research the audiences, groups, or individuals with whom we
communicate in order to adapt to their wants, needs, and desires.
We need to research the topics considered in our messages in order
to provide valid and reliable data for our messages.
gain insight into others by getting to know them. We call this
process of getting to know a person or group “Transceiver Analysis.”
Audience research is often called “Audience Analysis.” Transceiver
analysis permits us to organize perceptions of people with whom
we communicate. Transceiver analysis allows us to anticipate
responses to the messages we send.
ability to research a topic is extremely important. Remember
the topics you listed in Unit 1? As you go through this unit,
you may want to begin discovering information for a future discussion
or speech. Ordinarily your personal experience with facets of
the topic provides you with some information. In addition the
interview is an important tool for discovering information about
your topic. However, you will need to gather library materials--facts,
illustrations, quotations, and statistics--that will support your
ideas. Such information can be gathered from newspapers, magazines,
professional journals, books, and government documents.
this unit you will learn about the factors involved in transceiver
analysis and how to construct a transceiver analysis profile.
Also, it will help you in gathering information from library sources.
the end of this unit, you should be able to
describe ways of obtaining information for a transceiver analysis
describe the self-concept aspects of transceiver analysis.
describe the participant-related, knowledge related, and topic-related
aspects of transceiver analysis.
For a specified
speech communication encounter, construct a transceiver analysis
ways of finding information in printed materials.
how to evaluate evidence and reasoning.
document relevant information.
Construct an annotated bibliography.
14: NAME AND DESCRIBE METHODS OF OBTAINING INFORMATION FOR
A TRANSCEIVER ANALYSIS PROFILE.
analysis must occur during a communication encounter if the event
is to be satisfying and rewarding. There must be a constant scanning
of transceiver responses as we are speaking and listening. We
must link our spontaneous observations with sound principles of
human behavior in order to adapt to moment-to-moment changes that
occur during the communication event. By the same token, transceiver
analysis following a communication encounter will give us valuable
clues about what to expect in future encounters with the same
or similar participants. However, many inexperienced communicators
overlook the importance of constructing a transceiver analysis
profile prior to the communication encounter
of Obtaining Information for a Transceiver Analysis Profile
In this unit
we will discover that there are four basic factors to be considered
in constructing a transceiver analysis profile. They are
self concepts of the participants in the communication encounter.
attitudes of the transceivers toward each other.
knowledge level of the transceivers (in terms of the topic of
communication and, in some cases, the type of communication
topic-related attitudes and ego involvement of the transceivers.
immediate concern, however, is with obtaining the information
necessary for a transceiver analysis profile. How do we get information
for a transceiver analysis profile? There are three basic ways
of obtaining such information: direct observation, reports from
others, and self-disclosed information.
we can make careful inferences based on our observation of the
transceivers' behavior. We ask ourselves certain questions concerning
the self concepts, attitudes, knowledge level, and topic-related
perceptions of the individuals we are observing. Sometimes, we
can make valid inferences by watching what transceivers do, listening
to what they say. Of course, these observations must be linked
with sound principles. In essence, we draw inferences about transceivers
by answering this question: "In the light of what I can
observe about these transceivers coupled with what I know about
human behavior, what reasonable conclusions can I draw?
REPORTS FROM OTHERS
we can make careful inferences based on reports given us by mutual
acquaintances or on available published records. Sometimes we
are not in a position to actually observe the behavior of our
potential partners in a communication encounter. But maybe we
know someone who knows the transceivers. For instance, in speechmaking,
we can gain useful information from speakers who have appeared
before the group at an earlier date or from individuals who are
acquainted with the members of the audience. A chairperson of
a communication event, who is scheduled to introduce you to the
other transceivers, may also be a good source of information.
It should be obvious that reports from others may be obtained
either through interviews or through written correspondence.
published records provide information about transceivers. Voting
records, census data, newspaper articles, and the like furnish
valuable data for a transceiver analysis profile. Some transceivers
are written up in sources like Who's Who. Much valuable information
about students on campus might come from the college yearbook
and back issues of the campus newspaper.
course, extreme care must be taken when secondhand and third-hand
reports are used because of the possible distortions of these
reports. We are often safer when we have reports from several
mutual acquaintances and published records to draw from.
we can make careful inferences based on information self-disclosed
by the transceivers themselves. We can discover important information
by corresponding in writing with the transceivers or by interviewing
them. As a matter of fact, you will be gaining practical experience
in interviewing in Unit 7. You may want to preview Unit 7 at
concept" refers to a person's perceptions of himself. These
self-perceptions are the product of our interactions with ourselves
and others. They begin forming early in infancy when the child
becomes aware of his/her own body and cognizant of the presence
of others. Once formed, self concepts tend to be stable and difficult
to change. Self concepts have a profound influence on communication--specifically
on the messages we choose to transmit and the messages we select
in input and process.
terms of the processing barriers discussed in Unit 4, these self
images may be the outgrowth of faulty assumptions we hold about
ourselves. Perhaps a person comes to view himself as a weakling
because of being stereotyped by parents or siblings when a child.
These destructive images may persist through time to the detriment
of the individual's personality.
an outside observer may view him "as strong as an ox,"
the person's scarred image of himself may prod him into seemingly
paradoxical types of behavior. On the one hand, he may attempt
to "live up" to his self image by obviously compulsive
avoidance of any conversations concerning athletics, sports, or
physical endurance. On the other hand, he may try to "live
down" his image by his obsessive avidity for sports, athletics,
and unnecessary risk-taking behavior.
terms of the inputting barriers explained in Unit 4, destructive
self concepts may act as a kind of unconscious censoring agent
cutting us off from receiving positive and rewarding aspects of
our physical and social-psychological environment. Although sometimes
we are aware of the intrapersonal censoring that goes on with
what we say, only rarely are we cognizant of the filtering that
occurs with what we see, hear, and sense in other ways. Destructive
self images compound the problem of selective perception.
constructive and realistic self concepts go a long way toward
reducing the barriers to communication and enhancing the unfettered
flow of information transmission and reception. The very same
strategies suggested for overcoming barriers to communication
in Unit 4 are the strategies for creating more appropriate and
valid self images. (One of the desirable side effects of a knowledge
of transceiver-analysis principles and techniques is a better
understanding of your own self perceptions.)
us explore the implication of self concept for the interpersonal
communication encounter. Let us say you and I are engaged in
conversation. As we communicate, we are constantly inputting
information not only about the topic we are discussing but we
are also inputting information about each other and forming impressions
or concepts of each other. I develop an impression of you, and
you develop an impression of me. But at the same time, I have
my own impression of myself, and you have your impression of yourself.
Now if I am interested in effectively communicating with you,
which is the most important knowledge: knowing my concept of
you or knowing your concept of your self? Make a choice:
my image of your self.
your image of your self.
I am going to get into your frame of reference, if I am going
to understand your view of reality, if I am going to evoke meanings
similar to yours when words are exchanged, I need to know your
image of YOUR self. Let us state it in the form of a principle:
If I am interested in effectively communicating with you, it is
important for me to communicate from your point of view; this
means I must know your concept of YOUR self.
be more precise, I must have a knowledge of your MANY self concepts.
A person has as many concepts of self as he has ways of identifying
herself. Let us explore three of the ways a person can view self.
someone were to ask you the question, "Who are you?"
what would be your reply? Of course your first response might
be to give your name. Suppose the person was persistent and said,
"No, I am not interested in your name; I want to know: Who
are you?" We have found that in such situations people typically
respond in one or more of three ways: they describe themselves
physically, psychologically, and/or socially.
SELF AS A PHYSICAL BEING
as a Physical Being Some people tell us that they are male or
female. Others tell us their age. Still others tell us they
are short or tall, a little too heavy or too thin. Some describe
themselves as having big feet, dimples, captivating eyes, beautiful
hair. A few will candidly assert that they are plain, attractive,
or unattractive. One or two have complained (or bragged) in fairly
explicit terms that they are nothing but sex objects.
course, these physical characteristics may be internal as well
as external. Some people see themselves as basically healthy;
others may say they are out of shape and lack endurance. Knowing
that you have a bleeding ulcer or asthma or a slipped disk certainly
affects how you see yourself physically. All people identify
themselves in one way or another in terms of their physical characteristics
SELF AS A PSYCHOLOGICAL BEING
as a Psychological Being People often tell us they are smart or
not too smart, happy or sad, "a law and order man" or
"an equal rights advocate," "blue grass" or
"heavy metal." In other words, people see themselves
as psychological beings. People identify their psychological
selves when they stress their intellectual makeup or ideas, emotional
nature or feelings, beliefs, interests, and needs.
person may express her image of her intellectual makeup in less
direct ways than stating she views herself as being smart, intellectual,
stupid, not-so-bright, etc. She may reveal her image through
indicating the types of ideas, books, theories, etc., which are
difficult for her to comprehend and what things she masters easily.
When a student tells another that certain subjects are rough and
a waste of effort, that she is really in college to get away from
home and have a good time, and that deep subjects bore her, she
is exposing a view of her intellectual makeup just as much as
when another student reveals her accomplishments in the academic
area in terms of grade point, scholarships, etc.
people are open about their views of self as an emotional creature.
They speak of themselves as being happy-go lucky, moody, introverted,
warm and loving, angry, aggressive, anxious, tense, enthusiastic,
excitable. These clues that are volunteered so often in everyday
conversations are a rich source of understanding a person's view
of her feelings and emotions.
is common to hear a person typify himself, in terms of his beliefs.
When a person tells us that he believes "gun control legislation
is dangerous" or "abortion is immoral" or "flying
saucers are real," he is telling us a great deal about his
perceived identity. Beliefs are specific, situational expressions
that combine both cognitive and affective elements.
person often identifies herself through her interests. She may
reveal interests in a variety of areas--for example, vocational,
recreational (sports, hobbies), family, aesthetic (music, art,
view needs as those fundamental wants and desires common to humankind
that seem to transcend cultural and historical boundaries. That
is, they are the wants and desires most people seem to have, regardless
of the culture in question or the historical period under consideration.
Two frameworks for the classification of basic human needs are
found in the work of Abraham Maslow* and William Schutz.**
H. Maslow, Motivation and Personality (New York: Harper &
Row, 1954), 80-92
C. Schutz, The Interpersonal Underworld (Palo Alto, Calif.: Science
and Behavior Books, 1966), 13-20.
Hierarchy of Needs
views the needs of people arranged in a hierarchy with five levels.
The bottom levels represent wants and desires that are most basic
to sustaining physical life; the top levels represent wants and
desires related to people's aspirations for the full development
of their potentials. The five levels are (1) physiological or
survival needs, (2) safety or security needs, (3) affection or
affiliation needs, (4) achievement or self-esteem needs, and (5)
self-fulfillment or self-actualization needs. They are represented
in their hierarchical order in the diagram below.
self-fulfillment or self-actualization needs
achievement or self-esteem needs
affection or affiliation needs
safety or security needs
physiological or survival needs
or survival needs include the basic necessities for life: food
and drink; avoidance of pain, injury, and disease; etc. Sometimes
these are called "tissue needs." Unless this level
is satisfied, none of the remaining four levels becomes operative.
or security needs in both the physical and psychological realms
constitute the second level. Freedom from the fear of personal
bodily harm and freedom from anxieties associated with the psychological
self are wants and desires common to most of humankind. Unless
this level is satisfied, none of the remaining three levels becomes
or affiliation needs make up the third level. The need to love,
the need to be loved, the desire to "belong" or to be
affiliated with another (object, person, group, etc.) are included
here. Unless this need is satisfied, levels four and five will
not motivate behavior.
or self-esteem needs include the desire for reputation, attention,
recognition, etc. These needs find fulfillment in the exercise
of power--physical power, intellectual power, social power, etc.
Level four needs may be expressed by a desire for success.
or self-actualization needs become engaged only if all other levels
are satisfied. It is not unusual for a person to never reach
this need level. Represented at this level is the desire of a
person to fulfill her unique human potential, whatever it is.
For a biochemist, it may be the desire to discover a substance
that inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Even if a person is
motivated by self-actualization needs, these needs are self-perpetuating
and self-renewing--that is, they are seldom if ever totally satisfied.
important feature of this hierarchy is that before a given level
of needs can become active, lower level needs must be satisfied.
For example, before a starving woman can become concerned about
the appropriateness of how she is dressed, she must be fed. Likewise,
it is of little use to appeal to a person's civic pride when she
fears she may be mugged or killed on her way to work one day.
work focuses on the interpersonal nature of basic human needs.
He examines an individual's needs in terms of how they work in
concert with the needs of other individuals. Schutz identifies
three needs that determine our behavior with others: the need
for affection, inclusion, and control. Each of these needs can
be expressed in two ways. Affection needs are those motivated
by our desire to love and to be loved, to care for others and
to be cared for by others. Inclusion needs are prompted by a
need to belong and to involve others, to want others to make the
effort to include us and to include others ourselves. Control
needs stem from a desire to influence and to be influenced, to
exert power and to give power.
of these three basic needs--affection, inclusion, control--can
be demonstrated in a variety of ways. For example, a person could
want to both give and receive affection, or he could want neither
to give or receive affection, or he could give affection but not
need to have it returned, or he could want affection but not give
it to others. These variations in needs work in a similar fashion
with the dimensions of inclusion and control also. Where a person
falls in terms of wanting to give affection or receive it, of
wanting to be involved or involving others, of wanting to exert
control or being controlled plays a significant role in how he
will behave and what will motivate him.
summarize, a person's view of himself as a psychological being
is a complex, many-faceted aspect of self concept. We have suggested
a fivefold framework on which the psychological self can be considered:
the (1) intellect, (2) emotions, (3) beliefs, (4) interests, and
(5) needs of a person.
SELF AS A SOCIAL BEING
A person reveals her self images as a social being
when she answers the question "Who are you?" in terms
of the roles she plays, the groups to which she belongs, the degree
to which she feels she belongs to these groups, her status within
these groups, and her values that are supported by these groups.
women identify themselves through reference to their perceived
role by responding to the poll-taker and others, "I'm just
a housewife!" You might answer that you are a student.
Roles can be categorized in terms of the occupational-vocational
roles (brick mason, tax attorney), marital roles (husband, wife),
familial roles (father, mother, son, daughter), political roles
(conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat), religious roles
(Christian, Jew, church member), etc.
often see themselves in terms of their group affiliations--real
and imagined. "I'm a member of the Afro American Society";
"I'm a member of Alpha Alpha Sorority"; "I'm a
member of the American Medical Association"; "I'm a
member of Campus Crusade for Christ." These responses answer
in terms of the groups to which the individuals belong. However,
a person may not actually belong to a given group, and yet he
may see himself as a part of that group. He may behave in reference
to the norms and values of this group. For instance, rock-music
groups, political organizations, socially elite cliques, etc.,
are important aspects of the social self. Perceived reference
group affiliations may be more important to a person's self concept
than his "dues-paying" membership in other groups.
degree to which a person perceives that she belongs to a given
group is a significant part of a person's image as a social being.
People often belong to many groups. However, in some cases, a
person really may want to belong to a given group and to be an
integral part of that group. In other cases, her belonging to
a group may be perceived to be an obligation and of peripheral
importance to her.
person's picture of his status within a group is also important
in understanding a person's social self. Does he see himself
as a follower or a leader in the group? Does he perceive himself
to be influential in the group? How does he view his place in
the hierarchy of social relationships? Who influences him? Whom
does he influence?
are culture-bound conceptions or standards of desirability which
people of a particular culture or group use for selecting among
alternative points of view or courses of action. Clearly, values
are cultural products. They are the criteria that people of a
particular group use to make choices and decisions. While the
people of a culture may use the same value clusters in making
a given choice, a group of people within that culture may give
a higher priority to a particular value in a cluster while another
group may give a higher priority to other values in that cluster.
present six of the major value clusters currently prominent in
American culture.* Each cluster has several values related to
it. These values are named, and the value is described in terms
of typical questions that are asked consciously or unconsciously
when a person engages that value in making a choice or decision.
*These clusters are synthesized from the theoretical
framework presented by Jim D. Hughey, "A Study of Variations
in College Student Value Orientations Preceding and Following
Selected Types of Oral Communication Training" (M.S. thesis,
Purdue University,1964), 15-61.
One: Values Regarding Man's Relation to Other Men
Is this what authorities say to do? Is it what our leaders,
supervisors, etc., want us to do?
(External Conformity). Is this what everyone wants? If anyone
disagrees we won't want to do it this way. Or, if we don't
do it this way, what will people think and say?
Is this the best for the individual?
Is this the most democratic way of doing things? Have we
voted on it?
Will doing it this way give us the most freedom? We don't
want to do it this way if it infringes on anyone's freedoms.
Is this the generous, considerate, or thoughtful way of doing
and Pioneer Morality. Is this the right, honest, ethical,
legal, just, or fair way of doing things?
Two: Work, Activity, and Involvement Values
Detached, Uninvolved. Does anything have to be done at all?
Won't things take care of themselves? If we have to do something,
which way will require the least effort on my part?
Has this way of doing it been carefully planned? Have all
contingencies been thought out beforehand?
Does this way of doing it let me put all that I am capable
of doing into it? Does it give me the greatest chance to
actively do something? Will it keep me busy?
Enjoyment, Fun. Is this the most clever way of doing it?
Is this the most enjoyable way of doing it? Is this a "fun"
way of doing it?
Three: Materialistic-Scientific Values
Comfort. Will doing it this way give us the greatest material
comfort? For example, will it give us the greatest financial
Is it the biggest? Does it yield the greatest number of ___?
Will it do the best job in the least amount of time?
Pragmatism. Will it work? If it works, let's use it regardless
Secular Rationality. Is this the most scientific approach?
Is this the most rational or logical approach?
Four: Man-Nature-Supernatural Values
Success. Will this way of doing it result in the greatest
achievement? Will it lead to advancement? Will if lead to
the greatest success for mankind, myself, or my social group?
Is this way of doing it in harmony with the laws of nature?
It must not disturb the balance in nature. Is this the "natural"
way of doing it?
Is it God's Will that we do it this way? Is it in keeping
with the forces of destiny?
Five: Time-Related Values
Is this the traditional or time-tested way of doing things?
Regardless of whether it has been tried before or whether
it might present problems for the future, is it the best way
to treat the situation right now?
Is this the most innovative way of doing it? Is it the best
way of doing it in terms of future prospects?
Six: Nation, Ethnic, and Group-Related Values
and Nationalism. Is this the patriotic way of doing things?
Is it the (e.g., American) way of doing things?
Pride and Group Pride. Is this the (e.g., Indian, Jewish,
etc.) way of doing things? Is this the (e.g., Mormon, Stanford,
etc.) way of doing things? Is this the (e.g., youthful, masculine,
etc.) way of doing things.
course, when a person makes a specific decision, all of the values
in a cluster may be engaged. However, usually they are not of
equal weight in making the decision: they are of different priorities.
In some decisions, none of the values within a cluster may be
perceived as salient.
a transceiver analysis profile, we must answer this important
question: which values are used most of the time by the individual
for making most of decisions? Are there important exceptions?
What are these exceptions?
Thus an insight may be gained into a person's social
self by examining her perceptions of (1) the roles she plays,
(2) her group affiliations, (3) her "degree of belonging"
to a group, and (4) her status within these groups, and (5) her
FRAMEWORK FOR INVESTIGATING SELF CONCEPTS
our discussion of physical, psychological, and social self concepts,
we have examined most of the concepts necessary for the development
of an investigative framework for a person's self concepts. However,
we need to stress that self concepts per se are not open to direct
observation. They must be inferred from our observations, reports
of others, and self-disclosed information.
each of the three aspects of self concept we have discussed may
be viewed from different perspectives. The Johari Awareness Model
(see Figure 6-1) helps illustrate those perspectives and shows
what perspectives are possible when any of the aspects of self
concept are discussed in a conversation.
of self ..Aspects of self
.............known to you
.....NOT known to you
Aspects of | AREA I ............|
self known | The Open Area .....|
to the ....| or ................|
other .....| (The Public
Aspects of | AREA III ..........|
self NOT ..| The Hidden Area
...| Unknown Area
known to ..| or ................|
the other .|(The Private
6-1. The Johari Awareness Model. Reprinted From Of Human Interaction
by Joseph Luft by permission of National press books. Copyright
c 1969 National press Books.
you communicate with another, there are aspects of self known
to you and to the other and aspects of self not known to you and
to the other as shown in Figure 6-1.
Area I represents those aspects of self known to you and others,
valid inferences are easily drawn from observation, reports from
others, and self-disclosure. For instance, demographic factors
like height, weight, where you are from, etc., are generally easily
obtained. However, Area II and Area III present greater problems
for valid inference-making.
observation and reports from others, I may find out that you put
your hand to your mouth whenever you are nervous or anxious. However,
because this Area II information is unknown to you, it is not
a part of your self image; you may believe you are always able
to hide your emotions from others. Thus there is a conflict between
my impression and your impression in this case, and I must take
the conflict into account when I draw conclusions.
I will not be able to discern Area III information unless it is
given to me by others with whom you discussed the matter or unless
you self-disclose the information to me. Because there is often
a discrepancy between the the Area I public aspects of self concepts
and the Area III private aspects of self concepts, inferences
must be drawn with care. For instance, inferences about the person
who is publicly "happy-go-lucky" and privately depressed must
be made with extreme caution.
definition Area IV information is unknown to you or to others.
Thus this information cannot be disclosed by you or others; it
must be discovered. However, interaction with others frequently
provides the stimulus for flashes of insight into self; for example,
a professed atheist may be surprised to hear himself strongly
censure another for religious reasons. These religious sentiments
may have been unknown to either transceiver.
framework for investigating the aspects of self concepts should
be viewed from the four-area perspective illustrated by the Johari
Awareness Model. As you approach the task of transceiver analysis,
you should remember that each of the aspects of self concepts
can be considered in terms of the Public Area, Blind Area, Private
Area, and Unknown Area. This should be kept in mind as you consider
each aspect of self concept:
A. the Physical
B. the Psychological
C. the Social
addition to knowing the self concepts of those with whom you are
communicating, transceiver analysis requires that you discover
the attitudes of the transceivers toward each other, the knowledge
level of the transceivers, and the topic-related attitudes and
ego involvement of the transceivers.
are interested in the attitudes all participants in the communication
encounter have toward each other in interpersonal encounters.
In public communication situations, we are typically concerned
with the attitudes the listeners have toward the speaker or speakers.
At any rate, the aspects of concern are credibility and attraction
(attractiveness). (You may want to review "Climate"
from Unit 1.)
refers to the expertness, trustworthiness, and dynamism projected
by a transceiver when the person takes on the role of a transmitter.
Some transmitters have low credibility with receivers because
they project images of inexpertness, dishonesty, and dullness.
Receivers lack confidence in these transmitters' intellectual
abilities; receivers lack respect for these transmitters; and
receivers perceive these transmitters as not worthy of their attention.
Other transmitters have high credibility with receivers because
they are perceived as knowledgeable, sincere, and dynamic or interesting
to listen to.
second area of analysis centers around the interpersonal attraction
participants in interpersonal encounters have for each other.
For the public encounter, this aspect is referred to as speaker
attractiveness. Whether we refer to it as interpersonal attraction
or speaker attractiveness, the basic issue is likability. Do
the members of the group like each other? Or do the audience
members like the speaker?
should be noted that credibility and attraction (attractiveness)
can operate independently of each other. For instance, an employee
may not like a supervisor but may respect her competence, integrity,
and vigor. Or a father may love his child but may not respect
his judgment when it comes to money matters.
We should discover the knowledge level of transceivers
with respect to (1) the topic of communication and, in some cases,
(2) skill in the form of communication encounter being used.
any of the transceivers had personal experience relating to the
topic? What articles, books, etc., have they read on the topic?
What experts and written sources on the topic do they know? We
do not want to communicate above or below the knowledge level
of the other transceivers in interpersonal or public encounters.
some types of encounters, such as group discussions, it is important
to estimate how skilled the participants are in using that particular
form of communication. If members of the group lack knowledge
of how group discussion works, allowances will need to be made
in preparation for and participation in the sessions. Similarly,
if as an interviewer we should find that the respondent has never
been interviewed before, we should adapt to the interviewee's
lack of experience in this form of communication.
Related Attitudes and Ego Involvement
you know the difference between attitude toward and ego involvement
in something? We express our attitude toward a statement to the
extent we agree or disagree with it. We express our ego involvement
in terms of how important the statement is to us. Take the statement
"Professors should be required to wear academic gowns to
class." You may express your attitude by disagreeing (or
agreeing) with the statement. You may even say you strongly disagree
with it. But how important is it to you personally, one way or
another? Most students say they could care less. The point is
that knowing a person's attitude does not tell the whole story.
You also need an estimate of the person's ego involvement.
of the type of communication encounter, we should discover the
attitudes toward and ego involvement in the topic under consideration.
In some communication encounters, such as persuasive speeches,
we need to consider additional topic-related aspects. If as persuaders
we try to convince others that a problem exists and that our proposal
is the best one to cure the problem, we need to estimate the attitude
and ego involvement of others in three areas:
the following case study: Audience X feels that the subject of
abortion is very important and feels favorably disposed toward
hearing a speech about it. However, the audience is made up mostly
of young married couples who are very concerned with the population
explosion. So when the speaker announces her topic, the audience
has a favorable attitude toward the topic and is ego involved
in the subject. But it turns out that the speaker focuses on
the plight of the unwed mother-to-be. Now while the audience agrees
with the speaker's statement of the problem, they don't feel the
problem is particularly important to them.
the speaker comes to her solution of making it easier for the
unmarried mother-to-be to get an abortion but more difficult for
the married mother-to-be to get an abortion, the audience disagrees
with the solution; and the solution becomes very important to
them (very ego involving). They will take steps to see that the
solution is not implemented!
that attitudes toward the topic, problem, and solution can be
fairly independent of each other; the same holds true for ego
involvement. So, for the problem-solution persuasive presentation,
the astute transceiver analyst needs to discover this information
about her proposed presentation:
attitude toward the topic.
attitude toward the problem.
attitude toward the solution.
ego involvement in the topic.
ego involvement in the problem.
ego involvement in the solution.
a Transceiver Analysis Profile
transceiver analysis profile is a document which systematically
orders all the inferences that we have made about the participants
prior to a particular communication event. Because it is prepared
before hand, it enables us to anticipate what may occur and to
adapt ourselves to the thinking and behavior of the others. This
profile will help us to anticipate potential communication barriers
and to plan strategies that will deal with them.
Based on our observations, reports from others, and/or
self disclosed information from the participants themselves, we
can prepare a transceiver analysis profile by drawing careful
inferences in all of the areas outlined below.
transceivers tend to resist transmitting and receiving messages
that are inconsistent with their self concepts, discovery of
self-concept information is imperative.
perceptions of physical self do the transceivers possess?
perceptions of psychological self do the transceivers possess?
Perceptions of the intellectual side of self?
Perceptions of the emotional side of self?
Perceptions of the beliefs of self?
Perceptions of the interests of self?
Perceptions of the needs of self?
Maslow: Physiological or survival needs?
Maslow: Safety or security needs?
Maslow: Affection or affiliation needs? Schutz:
Affection and Inclusion needs?
Maslow: Achievement or self-esteem needs? Schutz:
Maslow: Self-fulfillment or self actualization needs?
perceptions of social self do the transceivers possess?
Perceived group affiliations?
Perceived degree of belonging to these groups?
Perceived status in these groups?
Values regarding man's relation to other men?
Work, activity, and involvement values?
Nation, ethnic, and group-related values?
transceivers tend to resist transmitting messages to and receiving
messages from those they perceive to be of low credibility or
attractiveness, it is important to discover transceiver attitudes
toward each other.
do the transceivers perceive each other in terms of credibility?
Perceptions of expertness?
Perceptions of trustworthiness?
Perceptions of dynamism?
much attraction do the transceivers have for each other?
transceivers tend to resist transmitting and receiving messages
inappropriate to their knowledge level, we need to discover
how much the other transceivers already know about our topic
and the type of communication encounter being used.
do the participants know about the topic?
do they know about interviewing, group discussion, etc.?
transceivers tend to resist transmitting and receiving messages
they view in a negative way or are not interested in, we need
to discover transceiver attitudes and ego involvement related
to our topic.
attitudes do the transceivers have toward our topic, and how
ego-involved are they in our topic?
other topic-related attitudes do the transceivers hold, and
how ego-involved are they in these aspects?
Once you have completed the transceiver analysis profile
you are ready to plan how you can adapt your message to fit the
participants or audience members so that the encounter will be
successful and satisfying.
Information in Printed Materials
material can be placed into one of the following categories:
books, newspapers, periodicals, and reference works. Some libraries
have computer systems that index their holdings, and terminals
make it possible to locate material much more rapidly. However,
if you are using a library that is not so equipped, you will need
to use the card catalog, newspaper and periodical indexes, and
you are trying to find information in books, the library card
catalog is the place to begin. All books found within a library
are listed in the card catalog alphabetically by author, title,
and topic. For example, if you wanted to find books related to
inflation, you might begin by looking up "inflation"
in the card catalog. You should also check the listings for "prices,"
"wages," "cost of living," and "economics."
Of course, if you are interested in one or more books written
by a specific author, you can simply find the listing under the
author's name rather than search through a listing of all the
books on your topic.
are an excellent source for all kinds of evidence. Not only do
news stories provide facts on a variety of topics, but editorials
often provide points of view that you need to consider in presenting
a speech or participating in a discussion. Among the best newspapers
that can be found in most libraries are these four: The New York
Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the National Observer, and
the London Times. These four newspapers have the additional advantage
of being indexed. Most other newspapers are not indexed.
libraries will use microform (a general term which includes microfilm,
microfiche, microcard, and microprint) to store back issues of
newspapers. If you are uncertain about where to find microforms
of back issues of newspapers or how to use the microforms, do
not hesitate to ask a reference librarian for help. Librarians
are eager to teach you how to make use of this resource.
Guide to Periodical Literature indexes articles in more than one
hundred popular magazines on an annual basis. Thus it is your
best source for finding articles on your topic. Articles are indexed
both by author and by topic. As in looking for books, do not
limit yourself to a single topic heading when looking for information.
Some magazines with excellent articles on a wide variety of topics
are Reporter, New Republic, Nation, Black World, and Harvard Business
indexes of a more specialized nature are also available to help
you find information on your topic. Among these indexes of professional
journals are the following: Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Index, Applied Science and Technology Index, Art Index, Business
Periodicals Index, Education Index, Engineering Index, Index to
Legal Periodicals, Public Affairs Information Service, and the
Social Sciences and Humanities Index.
Much useful information can be found in specific books
designed to provide current information on a wide range of topics.
Many of these sources are included in this list:
of National Biography
of American Biography
Who in America
Sources of Facts
Almanac and Book of Facts
Abstract of the United States
of the United Nations
Books of Quotations
Dictionary of Quotations
other reference works enable you to find more specialized information
on your topic.
Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications arranges
all departmental publications of the U.S. Government by topic.
Because this document is somewhat complicated to use, you may
need to get assistance from a reference librarian.
States Congress, Congressional Record.
Evidence and Reasoning
You will find that skill in evaluating evidence and
reasoning is needed (1) when you make a decision about whether
the quality of the evidence justifies taking notes or Xeroxing
the material and (2) when you are actively engaged in communication
encounters where evidence and reasoning are being presented.
the first case, recording information can be quite time consuming
if you are taking notes or expensive if you are Xeroxing the information.
For this reason it is important not to record information which
is of such poor quality that you will be unable to use it.
the second case, you need to be able to evaluate information you
and others use in ongoing communication interchanges. You do
not want your opinion unduly influenced by arguments based on
faulty evidence and reasoning.
In evaluating evidence you should ask five questions about the
evidence. First, Is the evidence relevant to my topic? Evidence
which is interesting but has no relevance to your topic is not
worth recording. Especially during early stages of your investigation,
however, you should not be as concerned about the relevance criterion
as you will be later because what is relevant may change as your
The second question you should ask yourself in evaluating a piece
of evidence is this: "Will the evidence be clear and understandable
to other transceivers?" If the evidence will not be clear
and understandable to others or if you will have great difficulty
making it clear, it will probably not be worth your time and effort
to record the evidence.
The third question in evaluating evidence is whether the evidence
comes from an authority considered to be a current expert in the
field involved. If the person is not considered expert, then
his/her opinion may be no better than yours and to record the
information would not be worthwhile. Of course, if the source
of the evidence supports his/her viewpoint by pointing to other
evidence, you may find the person useful in leading you to other
sources of evidence.
(4) Fourth, you should ask whether the authority is
biased. If the person is biased, you may want to record the evidence
only if the authority is stating a position contrary to his/her
natural bias or if his/her point of view is important in establishing
the position of his/her particular interest group.
Finally, you should determine whether the evidence is firsthand.
If the evidence actually comes from a source other than the one
you are consulting, you would be wise to consult the source who
has firsthand experience in the matter. Be especially wary of
evidence that includes statements such as "most experts agree"
or "informed sources indicate."
is used to show that a specific inference has a high probability
of being correct because of related observations and/or accepted
inferences. Four of the most common kinds of reasoning are reasoning
from example, reasoning from general principle or rule, reasoning
from causal relations, and reasoning from analogy.
from example involves pointing to a number of examples that support
a generalization. We test this form of reasoning by asking if
the examples supporting the generalization are known, sufficient,
someone asserts, "Farm prices have gone up." If she
supports this statement by simply saying that there are several
instances that she knows of and then fails to cite them, the examples
are unknown to us. Hence we should consider the generalization
of dubious value until examples are cited.
the statement concerning farm prices is supported by only two
or three price increases, we might question whether there are
sufficient cases available to draw a conclusion about farm prices
in general. If sufficient cases are not available, we might say
that a hasty generalization was drawn.
third question in reasoning from example is whether the examples
noted are representative. If you simply noted price increases
on eggs, chicken, duck, and turkey, you could hardly conclude
that all farm prices had risen. At best you could conclude that
poultry prices had risen.
Reasoning from General Principle or Rule
reasoning from general principle or rule, we find individual cases
relevant to a general principle or rule and reason that what is
true generally would also be true in the specific case. If you
know that as a general rule no one is allowed to graduate from
your school without a basic math course, you are not surprised
when you are advised that you must take a basic math course before
evaluating reasoning from a general principle you need to ask
if the general principle or rule is actually true. Many "truisms"
are passed from one person to another even though they are absolutely
false. Simply because all of your friends say that a basic math
course is required for graduation does not mean that such is the
second question you should ask yourself in evaluating reasoning
from general principle or rule is whether the general principle
or rule applies to the particular case being dealt with. Most
general principles or rules do have exceptions.
Reasoning from Causal Relations
reasoning from causal relations we reason that a given condition
has come about as the result of certain causative factors, or
we reason that certain conditions or factors will bring about
a specified result. Most of us believe that every condition has
certain causes. We do not simply perform poorly on an examination;
certain conditions caused us to perform poorly. Perhaps we did
not have sufficient time to study; perhaps the examination was
unfair; perhaps we were ill. When certain events occur, we predict
that other events will occur as a result of the earlier events.
A story about a scandal involving a politician is printed in the
newspapers, and we predict that the politician will lose the next
election as a result of the story.
evaluating this kind of reasoning we need to ask if the cause
is sufficient to produce the claimed result. Can two or three
newspaper stories really cause a politician to lose an election?
also need to ask if other causes could also have produced the
result. Could the popularity of the politician's opponent have
had anything to do with the loss? This question is especially
crucial because most events have more than one significant cause.
we need to ask if the cause has been mistaken for the result.
In the case of poor performance on an examination because of illness,
which really came first--the poor performance or the ill feeling?
And just because two events occur at approximately the same time,
does that necessarily mean that one caused the other?
Reasoning from Analogy
from analogy involves showing that two objects or events are similar
in all important respects. We then reason that what is true in
one of the events or objects will be true in the other also.
For example, in determining whether a complete pass fail grading
system would work at a large state university, we might reason
that because such a system has worked successfully at the private
liberal arts college a few miles away, a pass-fail system would
work at the large state university also.
evaluating reasoning from analogy we need to ask if all important
characteristics of the two things being compared are similar.
In our example we would want to know if the quality of faculty
members, quality of students, administrative procedures, image
of the university in the minds of potential employers, difficulty
of courses, and the time spent in nonacademic activities by students
are similar to the situation at the liberal arts college. Even
then, there might be differences in the two situations which we
have overlooked. Because such differences are easy to overlook,
reasoning from analogy is one of the weakest kinds of reasoning
used to support inferences. In a sense, reasoning from analogy
is reasoning from one example.
and Documenting Information
we have decided that a piece of information may be of use to us,
it is important to record the information to aid our memory and
save us the trouble and time of finding the information again
at a later date. We may either photocopy the material or we may
of the method of recording the information, it is important to
accurately indicate the documentation: the source, the date,
and the page numbers must be recorded on the Xerox copy or note
cards. Citing the source includes more than naming the source.
You should also include the qualifications of your source. You
need this documentation not only for your presentation but also
for the question-answer period that typically follows a presentation.
Listeners may want to know where they can find the information
you cite. If you cannot document your material, your credibility
hours we spend in the library can be reduced if we make photocopies
of the information that we need. If the material is taken from
a periodical, the task of documenting it is simplified because
most periodicals identify the magazine or journal and date at
the bottom of each page. Care does need to be taken especially
if we are photocopying from a book because this information is
not automatically included. In this case we need to write the
documentation on our copy.
photocopying is quicker than taking notes by hand, it should be
noted that photocopies are more difficult to organize and handle
when we are actually discussing or preparing for a speech. For
example, there may be three important pieces of information on
one page that we want to use in different places in our presentation.
Working from photocopies can cause much shuffling back and forth
in an attempt to find that one ideal piece of support for a particular
point. Sometimes in public discussion, the pressure of the moment
will not allow us to take the time that we need to find it. Although
taking notes by hand is slower, note cards can be easily organized.
Therefore, we need to transfer the relevant material from our
photocopies on to note cards.
there are a number of techniques in constructing note cards that
do save time and effort. It is a good idea to use either 3 X
5 or 4 X 6 note cards for note taking. Also, not more than one
idea should be included on any one note card. Following this
advice avoids the problem you have when using photocopied material.
Having only one idea on a card will save you time when you begin
to arrange your ideas into some systematic order for a speech
or when you need to find a piece of information quickly in a group
discussion. You should place the documentation at the top of
each note card (see Figure 8-1).
general, it is better to spend a little more time constructing
note cards than you think is necessary early in your search for
information. Extra time spent in locating and preparing material
for effective participation in communication encounters will be
rewarded when the time for your participation approaches.
Topic: AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION
A. Iacocca, "In Order to: Compromise and Competency,"
Vital Speeches of the Day, LIII(October 1, 1987), 747.
Mr. Iacocca is the former chairman of the board for Chrysler
as cars get safer, the number of lawsuits involving them
goes up. Automobiles are involved in 50% of all the tort
cases in the United States and they account for 50% of
all compensation paid.
8-1. Sample of a note card.
Nothing is more disconcerting than the feeling that
your really do not know what your are talking about or the frustration
that can occur when you are unsure about where you got your information.
an Annotated Bibliography
you have collected the information you intend to use in the discussion
or speech, construct an annotated bibliography of the sources
you tapped. In an annotated bibliography, you cite the source
in proper bibliographical form. Then, immediately under the citation,
you write a brief summary of the information obtained from the
source. A good annotation will give another person who has not
researched the source the essential, significant information you
obtained from the source. A secondary purpose of the annotated
bibliography is to remind you of what your have researched.
are a number of style sheets currently in use. The MLA (Modern
Language Association) style sheet has been used for the references
cited in this book. Probably you have used this style sheet in
your English composition courses. A growing number of professional
societies in the social and behavioral sciences are shifting to
the style sheet developed by the American Psychological Association.
Most business and science journals use a style similar to the
APA. The APA style sheet is used for constructing our sample
Red Cross. (1986). AIDS: The facts (AIDS-1).
Washington, DC: Public Health Service, U.S. Department
and Human Services.
This 1986 pamphlet attributes the cause of Acquired
Deficiency Syndrome to the HTLV-III (or LAV) virus.
95% of the persons with AIDS belong to one of the
groups: sexually active homosexual or bisexual men
of intravenous drugs (17%), patients who have had
transfusions (2%), hemophiliacs (1%), and infants
born to infected
mothers (1%). Approximately 5% of persons with AIDS
classified into any of the above groups.
proposes ambitious plan for clean air. (1989,
June 13). Tulsa World, pp. 1, 4.
President Bush announced a plan to clean up urban
smog by the
year 2000. His plan targets coal and autos in an
combat three forms of air pollution: smog, acid
rain, and toxic
pollution. His proposal would require auto manufacturers
produce vehicles that use alternatives to petroleum,
alcohol and methane. It would order that emission
dioxide from coal-burning power plants and vehicle
reduced from 20 million tons a year to 10 million
tons a year by
1995. It would require industries that produce toxic
use the "best available" technology to
reduce those emissions.
R., & Jahoda, M. (1954). Studies in the scope and
method of the authoritarian personality. Glencoe,
IL: Free Press.
This group of studies used questionnaires on political
economic conservatism, fascism, family relations,
interviews of early family life. The authoritarian
submissive and uncritical toward authorities of the
person believes it is important for children to learn
P. (1990, January). [Personal interview with a
professor of speech communication at Oklahoma State
Dr. Harper summarized the results of a recent survey
from the department of speech communication. He
more than 90% of speech communication majors were
with their college major. Graduates often make
their careers in
the public media, public relations, human resource
marketing, personnel management, and in professions
teaching, counseling, ministry, and law.
J. E. (1964). A semantic evaluation of
misleading advertising. Journal of Communication,
Kottman's hypothesis in this paper is that there
concrete conception of the terms "misleading
tested this hypothesis by taking a group of nine
house wives, ten
retailers and thirteen advertising students. Each
exposed to ten prints which had been selected by
students as examples of misleading advertising.
The data were
tabulated by using a formula which yielded the degree
agreement among the subjects. The findings supported
B. (1989, May 22). Second life for styrofoam.
Time, p. 84.
A major factor in the growing refuse problem is the
that plastics will not deteriorate. The U.S. produces
pounds of plastic soda, milk, and water bottles yearly.
only 1% of all plastic waste is being recycled.
companies are involved in the recycling of plastics.
plastic is cheaper to produce than new plastic is
to make by 20
cents a pound. One of the biggest obstacles to recycling
consumer indifference. People do not want to take
the time to
separate their used plastic product containers from
Note that the entries in the annotated bibliography are arranged
in alphabetical order. Note also that the form of each entry
is slightly different. The first entry gives you the correct
form for a government pamphlet. The second entry is an example
of the correct form for a newspaper article. The third is the
correct form for a book. The fourth entry shows how a personal
interview should be cited. The last two entries are both from
periodicals; however, they are treated differently. The Kottman
entry demonstrates the correct form for an article from a professional
journal, whereas the Rudolph entry demonstrates the correct form
for a magazine article. Note also that in each case the information
presented by the source has been summarized in a paragraph.
You have met the objectives of this unit if you can
describe ways of obtaining information for a transceiver analysis
describe the self-concept aspects of transceiver analysis.
describe the participant-related, knowledge related, and topic-related
aspects of transceiver analysis.
For a specified speech communication encounter, construct
a transceiver analysis profile.
ways of finding information in printed materials.
how to evaluate evidence and reasoning.
document relevant information.
an annotated bibliography.
this unit we have suggested a systematic means by which you can
organize your inferences about transceivers in order to become
acquainted with them. The observations upon which your inferences
are based can come from one or all of the following sources:
your own observations of the transceivers' behavior, what others
have told you about the transceivers, and what the transceivers
order to get into the frame of reference of others so that you
can prepare messages that will be meaningful to them from their
perspective, you need to make inferences about the transceivers'
self concepts. You need to infer how they see themselves physically,
internally as well as externally. You need to infer how they
regard themselves psychologically in terms of their intellect,
emotions, beliefs, interests, and needs. Two systems of classifying
needs, one by Maslow and the other by Schutz, are useful in doing
a transceiver analysis profile. Finally, you need to determine
how they see themselves socially by determining their perceived
roles, groups, degree of belonging, status, and values. Values
can be classified according to a six cluster scheme. The
Johari awareness model provides a framework for investigating
self concepts with attention given to the open, blind, hidden,
and unknown areas.
also need to make inferences regarding how the transceivers will
perceive you in terms of your credibility (expertise, trustworthiness,
and dynamism) and your attraction (likability). Also, in order
to plan a message that will be meaningful and acceptable to them,
you need to discover how much they already know about the topic
in question and how familiar they are with the type of communication
encounter being used. Finally, it is important for you to ascertain
their attitudes about the topic (as well as the problem and your
solution, if the encounter is a persuasive one). Not only do
you need to determine how they feel about the topic, you also
need to discover how important the topic (and the problem and
your solution, if you are trying to persuade them) is to them
These systematically considered and constructed inferences,
drawn prior to an encounter, constitute your transceiver profile.
this unit we have identified four sources of potential information
in which you can find support for your inferences and assertions:
books, newspapers, periodicals, and reference works including
an effort to help you choose among the materials that are available,
we have given you guidelines by which you can evaluate the evidence
and reasoning of others. A good piece of evidence should be relevant
to your topic, clear and understandable to others, from an authority
currently working in the area, and first hand. The bias of the
source should be examined also.
presented four types of reasoning and the questions by which each
should be evaluated. To test reasoning from example, you should
ask if the given examples are known, sufficient, and representative.
To test reasoning from general rule or principle, you should determine
if the rule is actually true and, if it is, does it apply in this
particular case. Reasoning from causal relations is evaluated
by asking if the cause is sufficient to produce the claimed result
and if the cause has been mistaken for the result. Reasoning
from analogy is tested by asking if the two things being compared
are really alike in all important respects and if any important
differences have been overlooked.
which has stood the test of evaluation can be collected for further
use by taking notes on note cards. It is important to document
the information by indicating its source, date, and page numbers.
your information can be assembled into an annotated bibliography.
This document includes two items for each entry: bibliographic
information so that another person can locate the same material
and a paragraph that summarizes the information you gained from
the source. An annotated bibliography serves a dual purpose:
It gives another person the essential information from each source
and it reminds you of what you have researched.