Comparison Between Two Interpersonal Theories

Topics: Interpersonal relationship, Communication, Intimate relationship Pages: 2 (546 words) Published: December 5, 2012

A desire to understand how to improve relationships has fueled the study of interpersonal communication. People assume that if they better understand the processes of interpersonal communication, they can explain how relationship grow, remain static or deteriorate (Knapp, in Robert, 2000). Ever since scholars demonstrated that people grow personally and relationally through communication, scholars have been sensitive to the importance of interpersonal interaction. According to Robert (2000), interpersonal communication research and theory address a wide array of topics, especially five major themes that is co-created during interaction, quality of relationships, social conflict, accuracy of people’s understanding of one another, communication planning and competence.

How people communicate and affects and reflects the quality of relationships. For instance, although all couples seem to voice the same number of complaints to another, the quality of their relationship influences the types of complaints the voice. Couples who enjoy a good relationship complain about each other’s behavior, make complaints that carry positive affect and deal agreeable with their partner’s complaints. To understand interpersonal communication requires insight into how relational partners interact to provide and obtain information each other, themselves and their relationship.

Hence, this assignment is to compare and contrast two theories within the scope of interpersonal communication that is Theory of Interpersonal Relationship and Social Penetration Theory. This assignment will then discuss the effectiveness of these two theories in explaining the cause and effect of communication situation such as conflict in an intimate relationship.


Communication is one of the perspectives that give us the most insight into the human nature. Understanding the phenomena...
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