Have you ever walked into a situation then suddenly became filled with uncertainty about the situation all together? Have you ever just felt uncomfortable until you became knowledgeable with your situation? Undoubtedly the answer to these must have been yes, at least for one moment in your life. That uncertainty and uncomforted feeling that you were consumed with was due the "uncertainty reduction theory." The uncertainty reduction theory is a basic element of interpersonal communication. The theory is a huge part of each person's life and has a relation with a quite large number of events in the human life. During the explanation of the theory I would like to give a thorough explanation of the definition and the theory's axioms, give and explain the ways to "treat" this theory, and show an example and the relevance of the theory to the example. This particular theory of communication plays a large role in the average human life and once it is understood, it really gets quite interesting.
Uncertainty Reduction Theory: The application.
First of all, C.R. Berger and J.J. Bradac founded the Uncertainty Reduction Theory in 1975 (Kramer, 1999, pg. 305). They defined the theory as "the human drive to reduce uncertainty, to explain the world, and to render it predictable" (Bradac, 2001, pg. 456). According to Berger and Bradac, it is based of a foundation of seven axioms that include: 1) During entry phase a high level of uncertainty is present, as communication increases the level of uncertainty decreases; 2) As nonverbal communication increases, the level of uncertainty decreases; 3) High levels of uncertainty cause information-seeking behavior to increase; 4) High uncertainty causes low levels of intimacy in conversation; 5) The higher the level of uncertainty, the higher the rate of reciprocity will become; 6) Similarities reduce uncertainties; and 7) High levels of uncertainty create low levels of liking, while low levels of uncertainty create high levels of liking.