ERIC Number: ED219830
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Images of Communication: World Views and Future Visions.
Littlejohn, Stephen W.
Communication theories are always based upon assumptions about human nature and knowledge. Ways of thinking about these two dimensions can each be divided into two opposing groups. Actional thinking emphasizes freedom of choice, while nonactional thinking attributes little or no freedom to individuals. Elementalist thought sees the world in terms of empirically observable preorganized phenomena, while projectionist thought sees knowledge as a product of the observer. Combining these ways of thinking produces four world views: (1) "intuitive" thinking, combining nonactional and projectionist thought, is popular in the general population; (2) "reactive" thinking, combining nonactional and elementalist thinking, treats human beings as objects of study; (3) "adaptive" thinking, combining elementalism with actional assumptions, is especially strong in the scientific and technological community; and (4) "creative" thinking, combining projectionist and actional assumptions, is prevalent in the arts. All four world views have roles to play in future communication theory: intuitive thinking as a result of its deep cultural roots; reactive thinking in behavior modification, theories of mass society, and sociobiology; adaptive thinking in communication technology and in investigations of communication competence; and creative thinking in its ability to give perspective to the insights of the other views. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the World Future Society Conference (Washington, DC, July 18-22, 1982).