Research Mentor(s)

Ee Lin Lee

Affiliated Department

Communication Studies

Sort Order

09

Start Date

15-5-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

15-5-2015 2:00 PM

Keywords

Uncertainty Reduction Theory, Computer-Mediated Communication, Eurocentrism, Methods, Contexts

Document Type

Event

Abstract

I sought to critique the theoretical implications and practical applications of the uncertainty reduction theory (URT) as utilized in the computer-mediated communication (CMC) context. In general, the URT is heuristic. It has been tested in multiple contexts, and provides valuable insights and predictions about interpersonal relationships. After almost four decades, despite cultural shifts, the URT is still widely used in the communication field. However, my analysis of the testing of the theory reveals its weaknesses. Particularly, the URT was generated within a Eurocentric framework, and it reinforces the practices of the dominant culture. The applications of the theory were mostly quantitative, and the large-scale testing across contexts was beyond the theoretical contexts in which the URT was initially proposed, which creates generalizations and stereotypes. To overcome these weaknesses, I propose that: (a) the URT needs to be studied intraculturally before interculturally, (b) qualitative studies should be conducted in addition to quantitative, and (c) emic approaches should be taken before further etic testing.

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this documentation for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 15th, 10:00 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

The Critique of Uncertainty Reduction

Communication Studies

I sought to critique the theoretical implications and practical applications of the uncertainty reduction theory (URT) as utilized in the computer-mediated communication (CMC) context. In general, the URT is heuristic. It has been tested in multiple contexts, and provides valuable insights and predictions about interpersonal relationships. After almost four decades, despite cultural shifts, the URT is still widely used in the communication field. However, my analysis of the testing of the theory reveals its weaknesses. Particularly, the URT was generated within a Eurocentric framework, and it reinforces the practices of the dominant culture. The applications of the theory were mostly quantitative, and the large-scale testing across contexts was beyond the theoretical contexts in which the URT was initially proposed, which creates generalizations and stereotypes. To overcome these weaknesses, I propose that: (a) the URT needs to be studied intraculturally before interculturally, (b) qualitative studies should be conducted in addition to quantitative, and (c) emic approaches should be taken before further etic testing.

 

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