Interpersonal Communication: The Role of Assimilation

Paper Info
Page count 4
Word count 1149
Read time 5 min
Topic Sociology
Type Research Paper
Language 🇺🇸 US


Interpersonal communication is common in the current century because it instills the cohesive nature of bonding. Assimilation is a mode of communication where people exchange their feelings, information, and verbal or non-verbal messages. The mode of exchange is mainly through face-to-face communication because an individual can gauge the points of concern. Interpersonal communication has the communicators, the message, mode of feedback, and channel to be used. When the communicators decide on the mode of communicating, the process opens up a two-way channel whereby one speaks and listens (Flanagin 451). The message conveyed can be in gesture, voice, or body language based on the intended content. Interpersonal communication is affected by noise because it distorts the intention of communication. Noise forms the inconsistencies and occurs as a physical or emotional form. The channel for communication can either be physical or non-physical such as fax and telephone. The assimilation research gauges the theory of power currency, relational dialectics, and social exchange theory to find the communicator’s urgency informatics.

Theory of Power Currency

Power currency theory (PCT) explains how individuals can manage their identity and strategize based on their strengths and weaknesses. This theory assumes that their desire for self-image guides all individuals. PCT has two faces of dimension: the positive face and the negative face. The positive face is the need for appreciation and admiration that people tend to focus on (Flanagin 458). The behaviors of an individual are significant in viewing their affirmative actions during communication. The negative face assumes that their constraints of imposing others orient a person. Achieving the positive and negative face simultaneously is not possible.

Secondly, PCT assumes that people are guided by their goals and rationality. Therefore, they tend to achieve face needs more than other communicative choices to satisfy their humanistic needs. However, some human moves in terms of communication are fundamentally threatening. Upholding the threats means that the face value should be lowered to meet the expectation of other people (Flanagin 460). For example, when managers communicate with their juniors in a work environment, they are prone to subject their communication channels to complete orientation. Every employee should follow their guidance even if they do not conform to the reality of their boss. Preserving the self-image is vital in retaining their job and having hierarchical ascent in workplace.

Relational Dialectics

The relational dialectics explains the sustainability of the interpersonal relationship between individuals during communication. Every relationship is dynamic, and maintaining the level of satisfaction needed is problematic because it revolutionizes it basic analogy. Therefore, it takes constant tensions and contractions to keep interpersonal communication afloat. Relational dialectics is guided by four assumptions, namely change, praxis, totality, and contradiction. According to praxis, interpersonal communication is neither repetitive nor linear but a transforming reality (Suter and Norwood 292). The change analogy approaches dialectical approach with assumptions that it is virtually impossible to maintain stable communication because people come with different views based on their moods. Each day someone speculated as a well-known individual might come with a change of ideologies. At times, the synchronization of psychosocial outlook affects their response. The relational dialectic theory assumes that relationships are guided by an interdependent framework hence assuming the contradictions of counteracting tensions.

The totality sequence fluctuates the autonomy of connections and desires the self-disclose of someone’s privacy. The predictability is occasioned by the stability of a communication channel between people. For example, when someone has constantly kept the communication connection, they are guided by the last talk. However, when an individual has been silent for some time, they start communicating with someone they are prone to have some disconnection because their last talk has lost count on the point of connection (Suter and Norwood 295). It is hard to have togetherness when the communication analogy lacks a synchronization spectrum. This is known as revelation-concealment because the dialect tension reveals the aspects of normative emphasis. The segmentation integrates predicaments that sophisticate relational communication.

Social Exchange Theory

Also known as, SET, the social exchange theory predicts the interpersonal communication relationship based on the links created through mutualism.. The theory considers the rate at which satisfaction is established and maintained by every individual. This theory is similar to economic theory because it bases its analogy on comparing costs and rewards (Yin 874). The empathy of a relationship s therefore equated to the personal relationship it brings to the ambience in terms of benefits versus costs. In every interpersonal communication, there must be an objective. The objective is mainly analyzed through the perceived rewards gotten from the relationship. At times, the rewards might come after a cost has been neutralized.

The SET assumptions are intrinsically tied to the fact that people tend to capitalize more on the benefits while evading the costs. The minimax principle of nature guides the amount of effort an individual is willing to place to get their desired results. Secondly, every human has some selfish outlook affiliated to their personality (Yin 876). Therefore, people tend to safeguard their interests before considering other people’s interests. The SET analogy is based on three components: the comparison level, the outcome, and the comparison of alternatives. The SET matrix acknowledges the outcome of the relationship, and then it rewards it (Yin 877). Relational rewards are used to scrutinize the benefits that someone perceives to enjoy to achieve aspirations. For instance, a spouse can use companionship affection to save funds in a joint account.

The comparison level in the SET paradigm is based on the models of a relationship. It is essential to understand that everything expected by the outcome should match the rewards to the other person during a communication (Yin 878). The expectations must satisfy the positive outcomes of the communication to be termed as adequate. The comparison level determines the boundaries of satisfaction and dissatisfaction (Yin 880). For instance, everyone should know the other party’s limits for them to limit their communicative boundary. For instance, a personal relationship has boundaries, and whenever someone crosses the threshold line, they risk losing their friendship, marriage, or partnership.


The interpersonal communication perspective instils empathy amongst its users due to ontological satisfaction. The theories shape a person because they develop hypo telic attention. Sometimes people are unaware of the other person’s aspirations during a conversation. Therefore, it causes harm to the communicator and obstructs the intentions of the message being delivered. PVT theory instils autonomy that enhances an individual to embrace third party interests. Acceptances and resistances are affiliated with the urge to ignore third-party influences in a conversation. The directional components of interpersonal communication create awareness to various communicators hence dictating how people treat each other. The self-disclosure concept fosters the trust analogy that brings people together. Whenever someone discloses their intentions, they reveal confidential information that makes their perceptions understood well. According to relational dialectics theory, the separateness and connection patterns are in a constant cycle of mutual relationships.

Works Cited

Flanagin, Andrew J. “Online Social Influence and the Convergence of Mass and Interpersonal Communication”. Human Communication Research, vol. 43, no. 4, 2017, pp. 450-463. Oxford University Press (OUP), Web.

Suter, Elizabeth A., and Kristen M. Norwood. “Critical Theorizing In Family Communication Studies: (Re) Reading Relational Dialectics Theory 2.0”. Communication Theory, vol. 27, no. 3, 2017, pp. 290-308.

Yin, Nan. “The Influencing Outcomes of Job Engagement: An Interpretation from the Social Exchange Theory”. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 67, no. 5, 2018, pp. 873-889. Emerald.

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NerdyBro. (2022, December 14). Interpersonal Communication: The Role of Assimilation. Retrieved from


NerdyBro. (2022, December 14). Interpersonal Communication: The Role of Assimilation.

Work Cited

"Interpersonal Communication: The Role of Assimilation." NerdyBro, 14 Dec. 2022,


NerdyBro. (2022) 'Interpersonal Communication: The Role of Assimilation'. 14 December.


NerdyBro. 2022. "Interpersonal Communication: The Role of Assimilation." December 14, 2022.

1. NerdyBro. "Interpersonal Communication: The Role of Assimilation." December 14, 2022.


NerdyBro. "Interpersonal Communication: The Role of Assimilation." December 14, 2022.