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Uncertainty Discretion Theory Used In An Episode Of How I Met Your Mother

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Uncertainty Discretion Theory Used In An Episode Of How I Met Your Mother
In the field of Interpersonal Communication there are plenty of theories that can be applied to everyday life from Social penetration theory to Self-disclosure. For this paper though we will be exploring Uncertainty reduction theory and how it was applied in the television sitcom How I Met Your Mother. How I Met Your Mother was a sitcom that aired on CBS from 2005-2014 based on a group of 5 friends living in New York City. It follows the main character Ted Mosby on his quest to find true love and all the adventures that he goes through with his friends on that journey. For the rest of this paper we will dive into how the uncertainty reduction theory was used in an episode of How I Met Your Mother, and how the theory is applied in everyday …show more content…
People can form opinions of people solely on the way they appear on their social media pages. The halo effect and confirmation bias can apply as you may attribute positive attributes to a person just because they look good in a photo, and because you find this person attractive you want to like them so you search through their social media pages until you find what you’re looking for something that supports your belief that you’d like this person. All of this can be done without having a real interaction with a person, and when you do meet this person it can lead to a failure to live up to lofty expectations you’ve created in your own head. In an article titled When Online Meets Offline the authors quote research stating that (Jacobson 1999) “When reality cannot meet the expectations formed through computer-mediated interaction, MS diminishes communication processes and social outcomes.” This is exemplified in the episode when Ted finds out from his friends all this information about this woman and once he knows all of this information and his uncertainty about her is reduced he’s unable to communicate in an effective manner as this woman now has to live up to the unrealistic expectations that have been thrust upon her by Ted discovering this …show more content…
Something that is problematic in online settings is that the disclosure process seems to move much faster. People who haven’t met in person tend to use uncertainty reduction processes to reduce their uncertainty of the other person in a very fast manner. According to (Gibbs, Ellison, Lai 2011) “participants who used uncertainty reduction strategies tended to disclose more personal information in terms of revealing private thoughts and feelings, suggesting a process whereby online dating participants proactively engage in uncertainty reduction activities to confirm the private information of others, which then prompts their own disclosure.” As we’ve seen in the show uncertainty reduction can lead to finding out some very private information about a person in a relatively quick time after meeting them. This type of information usually isn’t discovered in a face to face communication setting until later in a relationship. Another journal written (Ramirez Jr., Wang 2008) “Continuing to interact via CMC, provides information that is significantly less expected.” Once again this information supports my argument that engaging in uncertainty reduction strategies online leads to faster disclosure of more personal information which can lead to less likeness and less likelihood of becoming friends with that

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