Compare social penetration theory and uncertainty reduction theory

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  1. Berger’s approach to getting to know someone conflicts with Altman and Taylor’s social penetration
    theory, yet they share important assumptions about communication and the human psyche worth
    discussing with your class. Although they differ on the motivation for communicating with strangers,
    both theories view communication as primarily informative in nature and the self as a stable, fixed
    entity that exists prior to interpersonal interaction. As previously mentioned theorists such as Mead and
    Pearce emphasize the transactional or ontological function of communication and would likely suggest
    that the process of talking not only provides desired information about people, but actually shapes
    those engaged in the conversation. Thus, to a symbolic interactionist or social constructionist, the act of
    “reducing uncertainty” not only reveals, but creates, the individuals involved.
    Compare social penetration theory and uncertainty reduction theory, explain how they can be applied
    to relationship development. Cite other theories when necessary.

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