- 27 July 2016
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Management of anxiety is the mainstay of Gudykutst’s Anxiety and Uncertainty management theory. Whenever two individuals meet for the very first time, uncertainty comes about, and it typically comes with feelings of uneasiness known as anxiety. The feelings often increase with the existence of intercultural encounter between two different people (Griffin, Ledbetter & Sparks, 2015).
Intercultural interactions are more often characterized by higher levels of uncertainty and anxiety; more particularly in case cultural variability is seems to be higher. Efficient communication is always facilitated by an individual’s aptitude to control his or her anxiety mindfully and simultaneously reduces his or her uncertainty about one’s self and other individuals involved in the communication (Griffin, Ledbetter & Sparks, 2015). Therefore, this paper is going to examine how the theory of uncertainty and anxiety management had been studied and described by other scholars in varied context. This approach has been tested and applied on many occasions over years, and it is still open for more testing. Thus, this paper is going to provide literature review by proffering illustrations for the findings as well as suggestions for different research done by most esteemed scholars. Some of them have published articles about it on essay writing services, so I’ve used some of them too. Read essaylab reviews for example.
In an early publication, Griffin, Ledbetter & Sparks (2015) gives an appropriate description for the reason why unfamiliar people in intercultural interaction come upon the feelings of anxiety and uneasy. As well, he provides many different axioms and illustrations for the phenomenon that takes place in the situations that exist within intercultural perspective. For instance, Axiom 12 which is among the axioms states that an increase in a person ability to complexly generate information about a stranger will enhance that person’s ability to envisage precisely strangers’ behavior (Griffin, Ledbetter & Sparks, 2015). For instance, Susan is out watching a football match together with her friends, Susan notices a guy wearing a puzzled look his face. Stephen, on the other hand, thinks he recognizes Susan from her communication class, and. Therefore, he starts to approach Susan. Filled with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty by seeing a guy she has no idea about approaching her, Susan’s face lets Stephen make out that she does not know him. However, Stephen could have still taken his chance saying “Hello, I am sorry, I thought I know you from somewhere, my name is ... ” for instance. Nevertheless, feelings of anxiety and uncertainty vetoed both two strangers from introducing themselves to each other. As mentioned prior, these feelings are stronger when two people involved come from different cultures.
The subsequent literature reviews are going to serve as significant, preliminary points that are more closely correlated with the research question.
Referencing to Hirsh, Mar & Peterson (2012) argue that management of anxiety and uncertainty can pose greater challenge regarding the nature of the information or rather the intrinsic complexity of the message that an individual is seeking and avoiding. Further, he noted that information could be readily available or less available depending on what an individual is yearning for. He states that information from varied sources could be inconsistent or as well contradictory, and consequently the information can accelerate or trim down uncertainty. Besides, Hirsh, Mar & Peterson (2012) say that social skills necessary to give information and the cognitive required to understand, integrate, and deliver it, can differ from one person to another and from circumstance to another. For example, if an individual is using hesitant language approach for credible information, other people may not recognize the expression of anxiety and uncertainty. The necessity to bring a sense of balance in uncertainty management in relation to other responsibilities always leads to competing goals. Dilemmas of social sustenance in managing uncertainty often come from the challenge of coordinating the aspirations of social support seekers and providers. That is some people may be centered to reduced uncertainty but at the same time, other people might be focused on increasing the latter. To that effect social support could be prohibited when exposure of a personal fault or inadequacy of knowledge make a person seem vulnerable or dependable.
Kagan & Bar‐Tal, (2008) remind us that people are capable of managing and manipulating anxiety and uncertainty of other people. For instance, physicians at certain times can communicate to the account on behalf of themselves as well as for their patients’ uncertainty, which comprises of withholding possibly stressful information, for example, a cancer diagnosis. Being supportive of others could also result from unsolicited facts and the guidance to the people they require uncertainty reduction. More still, he found that due to the concern of social and corporate liability, society and institutions are always apply the use of ambiguity in situations when faced with unethical behaviours. He argues that organizations at times handle others’ uncertain via smoke mechanisms that are premeditated to obscured, confuse, blur, distract or otherwise regulate attention away from certain aspects of some concern, and probably toward other, less adverse features of it. In a nutshell, Kagan & Bar‐Tal, (2008) say that uncertainty and anxiety management endeavours may need to be tailored to the impact of other individuals.
Bordia, Jones, Gallois, Callan, & DiFonzo, (2006) recognized the fact that uncertainty experiences and the consequent consideration that is emotional responses and attributes that come with them disclosure significantly about communications functions in human interactions. He explains that in certain situations people could be in the need of controlling uncertainty to lower levels since they find it threatening. At some pint uncertainty can help people maintain anticipation and optimism. Across different contexts, people get involved in or avoiding communication so as to enable them to manipulate certainty to outfit their needs. The theory of uncertainty management that describes these facts is very crucial in any society, and for developing and maintaining rapport (Dewaele & Shan, 2013).
Andersson & Conley, (2008) ask for normative approaches, which specifically are striking given the relevance of certainty management of many fundamental human responsibilities and objectives, which is inclusive of disease deterrence and control. Anxiety and uncertainty management theory helps to clarify differences that exist between what a person does and what the person should do to sustain uncertainty effectively. For instance, Taylor, Conley and Kemeny (2008) deliberately studied gay guys that were tested for HIV/AIDS. According to their study, those gay men who chose not to know the results of their tests experienced was higher than the levels of anxiety in comparison to their counterparts that decided to learn the outcome of their tests, conceivably signifying that those people who had higher suspicions of being infected wanted to sustain their uncertainty. Conversely, these scholars established that HIV- seropositive as well as those who are HIV-seronegative individuals that at the beginning were not aware, never carried out the test, showed a reduction in their mood disturbance in knowing their status. This study shows that learning frightening information could be more psychologically significant than avoiding it. Information is vital to reduce anxiety, even for the individuals for initially shunning way from it. Uncertainty management theory should account for similarities between goals and results in uncertainty management situations.
Terror Management Approach by Andersson & Conley, (2008) posit that individual inspired to pursue active affirmative self- evaluation because since self-esteem offers a buffer against the ever-present ability of the anxiety provoked by the distinctively human awareness of mortality. The empirical evidence that has been reviewed by Andersson & Conley has shown that high levels of self-esteem offer a buffer against the constant potential for anxiety provokes by the exclusively human perception of morality. Empirical evidence which is very relevant to the theory has been reviewed and has revealed that higher levels of self-esteem lower anxiety and the related defensive behaviours. Additionally, higher levels of self -esteem often get rid of the influence of reminders of mortality both in self-esteem striving and the openness of death related feelings, fascinating people of the existence of an eternal life get rid of the effects of mortality salience about self-esteem striving (Kuklicke & Demeritt, 2016).
Contrarily, Jonas et al. (2014) offer criticism that anxiety and uncertainty management depends on the consciousness of an individual. They say that they do not comprehend the intensity of the AUM theory or the ideas mindfulness. Moreover, they argue that even though human beings are expected to be conscious in order to manage anxiety, as well as certainty mindfully in given situations, over-reliance on consciousness, pose the difficulties to describe contexts in which emotions and illogicality overcome consciousness hence void rational descriptions. For example, the anxiety and uncertainty management theory could apply to those individuals coming from a culture that has high effective neutrality; on the other hand, it should not be applied to those from a culture of high affectivity. No any element in the theory suggests that those who are communicating are supposed to be mindful in most occasions. Even if the communicators are careful, communication efficiently to a stranger does not need vigilance (Jiang & He, 2012).
Gydukunst Uncertainty and anxiety management theory prove to be one of the unique fully developed that gives the basic of communications. As such it comes out to be a meaningful input to the development of intercultural communications studies. Besides, it points out various critical areas that each intercultural communicator should master to enable him to communicate information effectively.
The theory concentrates on communicating information and ideas and is thus somewhat incomplete as far as the entire picture of successful communication is concerned. However, in the theory’s limited scope, it provides principles or rather axioms which could lead to conveying message efficiently, which is the very significant component of effective communication. It provides some of the required features to communicate effectively, what people do with such knowledge is the subsequent step towards the effective intercultural communication.
People should continue to concentrate on the three linked parts, that is the experience and meaning of uncertainty, evaluation and emotional reply to uncertainty, and situational context which exhibits increasing consideration of these kinds of matters. The necessity to further enlarge and apply the theory of certainty management and the demerits of focusing utterly on information seeking and the uncertainty diminution are willingly apparently in health education and the disease prevention efforts.