The uncertainty reduction theory, developed by Charles Berger, states how communication is used to gain knowledge, create understanding, and reduce uncertainty (Griffin, 1991, p.136). Both articles used in the research for this assignment, incorporate many views or points seen in the uncertainty reduction theory. Article #1, Interrogative Strategies and Information Exchange in Computer Mediated Communication, uses uncertainty reduction processes to relate to relationship development, which naturally, is facilitated by the use of questions. The relationships being studied are those, which take place over the Internet through e-mail (Pratt, Wiseman, Cody, Wendt, 199, p.46). Article #2, Uncertainty Reduction and Communication Satisfaction During Initial Interaction: An Initial Test and Replication of a New Axiom, states that communication satisfaction associates positively with uncertainty reduction during initial interaction (Neuliep, Grohskopf, 2000, p.67). This article focuses on interpersonal communication, whereas article number one focuses on computer mediated communication. Either way, both articles prove certain aspects of URT to be compatible with the studies that were conducted.
Uncertainty reduction theory (URT) was originally proposed by Berger and Calabrese in 1975 as an account of the strategies employed to reduce uncertainty in order to better understand others (Pratt et al., 1999, p.49). Berger's uncertainty reduction theory focuses on how human communication is used to gain knowledge and to create understanding (Griffin, 1991, p.136). Berger believes that it's natural to have doubts about our ability to predict the outcome of initial encounters. Berger also believes that beginning relationships are full of questions, anxiety and confusion. URT focuses on predictability, which is straight from Shannon and Weaver's information theory. "As the ability of persons to predict which alternative or alternatives are likely to occur next decreases, uncertainty increases" (Griffin, 1991, p.