The Meaning of "Relationship" in Interpersonal Communication

By Richard L. Conville; L. Edna Rogers | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Differences among species are real, and a comparative review of the data on nonhuman social and semiotic behavior suggests a number of dimensions on which such behavior appears to differ (for example, cognitive-perceptual, methods of learning, dependence on contextual constraints). Arbitrariness appears to be one of the more fundamental dimensions in that those other characteristics appear to rest on varying degrees of arbitrariness, which is defined as the extent to which a relationship is independent of genetic constraints.
I am aware that the nature of or what constitutes "reality" is the subject of some serious philosophical discussion. In my view, there are multiple realities -- biogenetic, cognitive, linguistic or symbolic, and so forth. I have tried to be specific about the kind of reality to which I refer and ask the reader sophisticated in the literature on differing views of reality to indulge my sometimes singular use of the term.
The case for evolutionary foundations of social behavior is more easily made using data gleaned from our close evolutionary relatives, the primates. However, comparison with a broad array of species makes the argument more pointed in that more distantly related species provide an especially good test of conservativeness in the evolutionary process.
A. Whiten and R. W. Byrne ( 1988) have collated data on what they term "tactical deception" in primates in order to explore patterns and examine functional consequences of deceptive behavior. Based on this analysis, they provide a typology of deception consisting of five major functional classes: concealment, distraction, creating an image, manipulation of target using social tool, and deflection of target to fall guy. The extent to which each type of deception is suggestive of social perception abilities is considered.
A parallel to this case is found in the development of pidgin languages that emerge where two or more distinct languages (and peoples) converge. D. Bickerton ( 1990), for example, observes that children are the progenitors of the pidgin language.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Meaning of "Relationship" in Interpersonal Communication


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 204

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?