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CONCEPT OF INTERACTION.

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Defines interaction and feedback as forms of human communication.... More...
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Paper Abstract:
Defines interaction and feedback as forms of human communication. Focus on degree to which electronic interactivity (the Internet, etc.) can be considered interpersonal communication or some other form of communication. Discusses reshaping of interaction in voting and politics. Reduction of fact-to-face interaction. Dual effect of Internet interactions. The electronic portfolio.

Paper Introduction:
The concept of interaction has been adapted to a variety of situations. A central element in interaction is feedback. Wiener (1961) notes the biological importance of feedback in the organism, including the human organism, and explains why feedback is essential for life: We thus see that for effective action on the outer world it is not only essential that we possess good effectors, but that the performance of these effectors be properly monitored back to the central nervous system, and that the readings of these monitors be properly continued with the other information coming in from the sense organs to produce a properly proportioned output to the effectors (Wiener, 1961, 96). Feedback and interaction are forms of communication.

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(1961). Feedback was always a part of theprocess, of course, and the wise individual would make use of that feedbackto make changes. Yet, these are also the veryreasons why voters like the new approach and like to cut through some ofthe rhetoric and other barriers candidates create for themselves. Overall, though, the potentialis much greater for immediate feedback and correction. Internet interactions thus have a dual effect--they both empower andreduce the power of some who participate. Deetz, S. 2 . O'Sullivan concludesthat interactive computer networks are well-suited for facilitatingpluralistic political participation. For those who wish to maintaincontrol, the Internet may reduce their control even as it empowers others.Candidates feel that they lose control, while voters interacting onlinefeel that they are gaining control. Press. The concept of interaction has been adapted to a variety ofsituations. Online interaction enables the individualto shape his or her portfolio in the best way to appeal in the marketplace. "Citizen participation and theInternet: Prospects for civic deliberation in the Information Age." TheSocial Studies, 23-28. A central element in interaction is feedback. This gives this individual much more control over the process than wasever possible with a physical portfolio. The idea in cybernetics is forthe system to be self-correcting. ELECTRONIC PORTFOLIO The electronic portfolio could be improved greatly by interactiononline, allowing for changes to be made on an ongoing basis in order tocreate a more appealing and effective portfolio based on feedback fromthose who access the web page. One could assume that such institutions and normswould be developed as well by the information-gathering and disseminationof electronic media. The personinteracting displays multi-dimensionality and is also able to use all sensemodalities: "The interpersonal message is precisely the synergy of allessential inputs. The method of voting changes over time, and currently thisinteraction is being reshaped to take advantage of computer technology.This is being done in terms of campaigns, polling, and even the electionsthemselves, with efforts to institute online voting as a way of bringingmore people into the process. Critics, of course, find that such efforts are questionable becausethey reduce face-to-face interaction, though Schudson (1997) argues thatwhile some have claimed that face-to-face conversation is the heart ofdemocratic life, while Schudson finds that democratic institutions andnorms developed otherwise contribute to this conversation rather than beingcreated by conversation. "Computer networks and politicalparticipation: Santa Monica's Teledemocracy Project." Journal of Appliedcommunication Research 23, 93-1 7. (2 , Autumn). Cybernetics. You cannot see theother individual and so do not gain insight in that manner. (1997). It is not clear that the same synergy is at work when the personinteracting does so by means of a computer screen and a keyboard. Interaction is part of our political life, and one form it takes isvoting. Feedback and interaction are forms of communication. Wiener (1961)notes the biological importance of feedback in the organism, including thehuman organism, and explains why feedback is essential for life: We thus see that for effective action on the outer world it is not only essential that we possess good effectors, but that the performance of these effectors be properly monitored back to the central nervous system, and that the readings of these monitors be properly continued with the other information coming in from the sense organs to produce a properly proportioned output to the effectors (Wiener, 1961, 96). Studies ofcommunication are especially valuable for defining us as human beings andfor demonstrating ways in which we relate to ourselves, to others, and toideas. Briggs(2 1) emphasizes the amount of time adults spend online today and findsthat compared to their entire day, the time spent away from direct humaninteraction is relatively small, though she fears that this will change ina few years as computer use expands. Stromer-Galley (2 ) in fact sees the Internet as bringing increasedinteraction between citizens and leaders, though she also points out thatmany candidates avoid online interaction and so reduce their ability tocommunicate and interact with the voters they want to attract to theircampaign. This is one reason whythe new technology has been so embraced by outsiders whose candidaciesotherwise might be ignored. Wiener, N. Candidates who embrace the newtechnology, of course, gain control in other ways by being able to reachvoters directly and appeal to them on a new level. However, making changes is more difficult and time-consuming for a physical portfolio and may not be possible in givensituations, while interaction online can be achieved more quickly andefficiently and with more attention given to precisely what is needed. O'Sullivan (1995) reports on the TeledemocracyProject in Santa Monica, California, used to improve the flow of politicalinformation and opinion between citizens and leaders. The reciprocity possible in democratic political interactions alsobenefits from the advent of the Internet, and this idea has been tested invarious pilot projects. Newhagen, J.E., J.W. Deetz (1982) refers to thiswhen noting how interpersonal communication involves the individual "in themost thorough and integrated sense" (Deetz, 1982, 2). (1995, Summer)."Nightly@nbc.com: Audience scope and the perception of interactivity inviewer mail on the Internet." Journal of Communication, 164-174. Analysis of interpersonal dialogue must recognize thissynergy" (Deetz, 1982, 3). "Why conversation is not the soul ofdemocracy." Critical Studies in Mass Communication 14, 297-3 9. Schudson, M. (1982). O'Sullivan, P.B. References Briggs, P. (2 1, January 12). "Hermeneutics and Communication." InInterpersonal Communication: Essays in Phenomenology and Hermeneutics,Polotta, J.J. "Cutting Edge." The Times HigherEducation Supplement, Section 1469, p. (1995). The otherperson also has to respond and do so in a way that provides neededinformation, and many will fail to do this. "On-line interaction and whycandidates avoid it." Journal of Communication, 111-132. Wiener's work on feedback in a cyberneticsystem has become part of the way such efforts are being developed.Newhagen, Condes & Levy (1995) indicate that this has something to do withthe way the mass media was structured, for the mass media generally hasbeen a one-way system with little potential for a return information loopbetween message producers and receivers. However, in the current age an important issue is the degree to whichinteractivity by means of electronic means such as the Internet can beconsidered interpersonal communication or some other form of communication. White also notes that the Internet "is currentlyhome for the full range of human experience" (White, 1997, 26) whether goodor bad, and interaction is at the heart of all of these. At the most, viewers could maketheir altitudes known by writing letters. In terms of broadcast media, the FederalCommunications Commission has a policy on audience mail promoting the ideathat viewers will send mail to stations with critical comments, someone atthe station will read it, and the information gleaned will be used insubsequent programming decisions. (ed.) Washington, D.C.: Center for Advanced Research inPhenomenology & University Press of America: 1-14. The feasibility of such a system islimited even if it works as intended, but the use of the Internet makes theprocess faster, more direct, and more like a persons interaction. She sees computer use as seductiveand clearly finds it less valuable than direct interaction, though sheoffers no evidence to support this idea. Cordes, & Levy, M.R. Stromer-Galley, J. New York: The M.I.T. (1997, January-February). White (1997) finds numerous opportunities in the Internet age forincreased and improved citizen participation, noting first that theincrease in the use of the Internet for this purpose can be traced first tothe fact that the people perceive major problems with government andpolitics as conducted. White, C.S. She finds that there are three reasons why candidates avoid suchinteraction: 1) they see it as burdensome; 2) they feel a loss of controlover what they can achieve in staged press-conferences and similarappearances; and 3) they experience a los of ambiguity when they have toanswer questions directly and in real time. The drawback is that you have to trust such interactions as you havewithout having any external clues as to reactions.

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