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The purposes of interpersonal communication: A survey to find the most likely general reasons why people engage in communication

Journal article
Authors Mikael Jensen
Published in Central European Journal of Communication
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 25-38
ISSN 1899-5101
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 25-38
Language en
Keywords purpose, interpersonal communication, emotion, cognition, relationships, joint activity
Subject categories Communication Studies


The purpose underlying this paper is to find out what purposes/functions people from a diverse background assess to be more important and central to human interpersonal communication. A list of 17 possible purposes and functions of interpersonal communication was derived from a literature review and used in a survey study. The questionnaire was filled out by 313 participants (international students being in Sweden) from diverse cultural backgrounds. The findings from this study suggest that the participants acknowledge very central aspects of human life to be the reason for communicating. The most agreed upon reasons why we communicate is to share and enhance enjoyment (share positive emotions) and to create and strengthen social bonds (manage relationships).

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