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Some Evident Truths about Communication in Everyday Relationships
Human Communication Research (1991)
  • Steven W. Duck, University of Iowa
  • Amy Starch
  • D. J. Rutt

Get PDF (1822K) This article presents a program of studies that map out daily conversations and so establish a geography of everyday communication. A new method (the Iowa Communication Record) is offered to extend research using diary methods and focus the researcher on communication in daily life. Three studies collectively show (a) consistent sex differences in the quality and nature of conversations across different types of relationships, (b) a consistent rank ordering of relationship types that differs from that intuitively included in previous models of relationship formation, and (c) a consistent difference between conversations held on different days of the week, with Wednesdays associated with greater degrees of conflictive communication. Self-disclosure is much less frequent in everyday life than assumed on the basis of laboratory work, and the predominant form of communication in intimate relationships is not only nonintimate but not simply distinguishable from communication in other relationship types. Communication quality distinguishes female from male partners, suggesting that previous findings on preference for female partners are truly founded in communication variables, which have previously been underrated. The article shows that closer attention must in future be paid to communicative variations created by daily events and circumstances, and the role of routine communication in daily life must be explored in future studies of social participation.

Publication Date
December, 1991
Citation Information
Steven W. Duck, Amy Starch and D. J. Rutt. "Some Evident Truths about Communication in Everyday Relationships" Human Communication Research Vol. 18 Iss. 2 (1991)
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