The Role of Conflict LO9848
Mon, 9 Sep 1996 10:08:10 -0500

Replying to LO9779

Ben wrote:

>I don't think putting responsiblity on the sender or the receiver has
>any real benefit. However, I believe as we seek to share life, we will
>find a way to clearly communicate with others, regardless of whether
>we're the sender or the receiver.

Sperber and Wilson (in "Relevance: Communication and Cognition") write a
whole book about just this topic -- we communicate when the sender and the
receiver perceive that they have relevant information to exchange -and-
they have a communications scheme. One without the other won't do. And I
suggest that this applies to conflict, to learning, to movie reviews, to
poetry . . .

A couple sample quotes . . .
"The set of premises used in interpreting an utterance (apart from the
premise that the utterance in question has been produced) constitutes
what is generally known as the context. A context is a psychological
construct, a subset of the hearer's assumptions about the world. It is
these assumptions, of course, rather than the actual state of the world,
that affect the interpretation of an utterance. A context in this sense
is not limited to information about the immediate physical environment or
the immediately preceding utterances: expectation about the future,
scientific hypotheses or religious beliefs, anecdotal memories, general
cultural assumptions, beliefs about the metal state of the speaker, may
all play a role in interpretation." (p 15-16)

"Verbal communication is a complex form of communication. Linguistic
coding and decoding is involved, but the linguistic meaning of an uttered
sentence falls short of encoding what the speaker means: it merely helps
the audience infer what she means. The output of decoding is correctly
treated by the audience as a piece of evidence about the communicator's
intentions." (p 27)

Michael Ayers
IT Educ & Perf Svcs\3M Center 224-2NE-02\PO Box 33224\St Paul MN 55133-3224          Voice (612) 733-5690          FAX (612) 737-7718
- Ideas in this note represent the author's opinions and do not 
- intentionally represent the positions of anyone else in this galaxy.

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