The Influence of Intrapersonal Communication on Interpersonal Communication. Perceptions of Journalism and Communication Students

Term Paper, 2019

36 Pages


Table of content



Chapter One
1. Introduction
1.1 Background of the study
1.2. Statement of the problem
1.3. Objective of the study
1.3.1. General objective
1.3.2. Specific objective
1.4. Research question
1.5. Scope of the study
1.6. Limitation of the study
1.7. Significant of the study
1.8. Organization of the study

Chapter -Two
2. Review of Related Literature
2.1 Defining communication
2.2 Function of communication
2.3 Types of communication
2.3.1. Interpersonal and intrapersonal communication
2.3.1. Intrapersonal communication
2.3.3. Inner speech
2.3.4. Social cognation
2.3.5. Self-disclosure and social penetration theory
2.3.6. Importance of intrapersonal communication
2.3.7. Factors that affect intrapersonal communication
2.4. Interpersonal communication
2.4.3. Function of interpersonal communication
2.5. The relationship between intrapersonal and interpersonal

3. Research method and Methodology
3.1. Research Method
3.2. Population of the study
3.3. Sample & Sampling technique
3.4.2. Sample size
3.5. Sources of Data
3.6. Data gathering method
3.6.1. In-depth interview
3.6.2. Focus group discussion
3.7. Data analysis method

Chapter four
4. Data Analysis and Presentation of findings
4.1. Discussion of interview and focus group discussion
4.2. Factors that affect intrapersonal communication
4.3. Effect of intrapersonal communication towards to interpersonal
4.4. Understanding of intrapersonal communication
4.5. Importance of intrapersonal communication

Chapter five
5. Conclusion and recommendation
5.1. Conclusion
5.2. Recommendation



First and foremost, my acknowledgment goes to Almighty creator who creates me; love me and abounding me peace.

I extend many thanks to my advisor, Instructor Kibrom Birhane for his guidance and support with straightforward comments.

Then my great respect goes to my respected Mother, W/RO Rahmet Ahmed, I thank her for being my Mother, and for being light in every dark path of life. I am here because she believed that I deserve to be here! And I need to thank my Friends Alemstehay Endashaw & Timnit Gorge for their support and invaluable care.


The main purpose of this research was to study students’ perception in intrapersonal communication and its influence towards their interpersonal communication. To conduct the study, qualitative method was used. The data was gathered in individual in-depth interview and Focus group discussion that are appropriate way of data gathering for qualitative study. For the purpose of gathering accurate and full information from the respondents about subject matter, the study use purposive and convenience sampling method. With Sample size of 27, who are 15 students from 1 s t , 2nd, 3rd year journalism & communication Department and 12,students from 1 s t ,2 nd ,3 r d psychology students. In-depth interview was conducted with total number of 6 individuals. The researcher selects journalism and communication students because it is known that communication is the major quality which a journalist should to improve and it is part the profession. They have a good and practical experience to give brief and experience based information. Alike journalism and communication students, psychology students also have a better understanding of the major affecting factors of intrapersonal communication. Focus group discussion was held with three groups having seven members each. Data’s gathered using the above techniques analyzed qualitatively. The study found out that students perceive intrapersonal communication as the important types of communication which have both positive and negative influence on their interpersonal communication. Among the stated negative influence of intrapersonal communication is being isolated and misunderstood by others. On the other hand the respondent’s state that intrapersonal communication has positive impact towards to their interpersonal communication, because it improves self-awareness and self-concept.

Chapter One

Introduction and Background of the study

1. Introduction

In this chapter the background information of the topic, statement of the problem, general and specific objective of the study is presented including to significance and limitation of the study.

1.1 Background of the study

Being part of this universe is a matter of great joy for our families. From the beginning of our birth in this world, in our first day we cry, our parents told everyone that we arrived in this world. Then we start communicating using our editions than words. When we cry we mean we are sad, when we smile, we mean we are happy. Begging to this, we will pass to use words to call our parents, and some stuffs around us. Then slowly we start speaking, Asking questions because we wanted to know about things around us. Latter when we go to school we learned the alphabets. Today we can gesture, speak and write to express our self. That is called communication.

Communication can be defined as the process of transmitting information and common understanding from one person to other (Keyton, 2011). Fred C. (2010) also defines Communication as the processes of transmitting information and common understanding from one to another (Fred C. 2010).

Among different types of communication, Interpersonal communication and intrapersonal communication are the two basic types of communication. Group, organizational and mass communications are the others. People exchange their ideas, believes, opinions or emotions by communicating with each other. During their day to day interaction, peoples send and receive message.

Interpersonal communication occurs when peoples communicate on a one to one basis – usually in an informal, unstructured setting. This kind of communication occurs between two people, though it may include more than two (Shedletsky, 2009).

Intrapersonal communication takes place within a single person. As it is stated above, in interpersonal communication there are sender and receiver. But In intrapersonal communication, both the sender and receiver are one self. That is why it also called self –talk or inner speech (ibid).

Intrapersonal communication and interpersonal communication are highly related with another. The way we communicate with our selves’ directly affects the way we communicate with each other.

According to communication scholars, such as Berko and Wolvin (2007) the starting point of any communication is self- talk. But still there are some factors that affect. Self-concept, self- reflection, intra monologue, self-love, ability to understand one self are the other factor that are stated as affecting factors of our intrapersonal communication.

As Berko and Wolvin (2007) stated, self-concept, self-reflection, inner speech and self-love, most of these factors are related with self. Which means the way we talk within ourselves affect all the above terms. Or our intrapersonal communication is deepened up on all this factors (Berko & Wolvin, 2007).

Peoples communicate with others when they want to. They share ideas whenever they believe they have to. It is depend up on the habit of sharing our feelings with peoples. But it is difficult to choose where and when should we communicate with in our selves. It is our daily life experience. We just cannot be out of inner communication even just for a couple of hour.

Therefore, this study is focused on analyzing student’s’ perception on the influence of intrapersonal communication towards their interpersonal communication. And it wills also asses factors affecting intrapersonal communication and students’ perception towards it.

1.2. Statement of the problem

Human beings are social animals. So that, most people care for their interpersonal communication. Of course that is important. But when we came to strong relationships or when we communicate with peoples from different identity, communication becomes more complex. That means the concept “self” will be the input to the relationship of individuals. Real self, ideal self and public self will be defiantly separated. There will be no way other than talking to our self’s to be a success full communicator. When we succeed with our inner conversation, our social interaction will be more successful. Intrapersonal communication is a subjective concept. Depending on our communication skill or point of view, peoples can perceive the concept in different way.

Considering the above points, this study will analyze the perception of students towards the influence of intrapersonal communication. The researcher believe that the way communicates perceive their intrapersonal communication substantially influence their interaction with others.

1.3. Objective of the study

1.3.1. General objective

The general objective of this study is to analyze the perceptions of students towards the influence of intrapersonal communication on their interpersonal communication.

1.3.2. Specific objective

- To scrutinize students’ perception on the impact of intrapersonal communication on their interpersonal communication.
- To investigate factors that affect intrapersonal communication.
- To analyze the effect of intrapersonal communication towards to interpersonal communication.

1.4. Research question

1. How do students perceive the impact of interpersonal communication towards to their intrapersonal communication?
2. What are factors that affect intrapersonal communication?
3. What is the effect of intrapersonal communication towards to interpersonal communication?

1.5. Scope of the study

As it is elaborated in the above section, this study analyzes the perceptions of students on the influence of intrapersonal communication towards to their interpersonal communication. Geographically the research is conducted in Mekelle University. In order to get appropriate and reliable information, the researcher will select two departments from Mekelle university collage of social science and language who are relatively close to the selected topic of the research.

Sample units are students from phycology and journalism and communication students. With the sample units of six interviewee and three FGD who have seven participants each.

1.6. Limitation of the study

One of the main problems to be mentioned as a limitation of this study was the access to archive documents, like research papers that are done on intrapersonal communication, so that it was require to explain the meaning and concept of intrapersonal communication to the respondents. Misunderstanding of students about intrapersonal communication was the other difficulty of the research. During interview, some students were shy to freely share their ideas, in order to manage this problem; the researcher uses different methods of interviewing.

1.7. Significant of the study

Social interactions have a great value on human beings life activity. To build this relationship, we have to start on our one to one relationship with peoples around as. And to communicate with others, it is necessary to talk with our selves firstly. But most of the time peoples didn’t recognize this connection of intrapersonal communication and interpersonal communication. Depending on its nature as a concept, peoples can perceive it in indifferent way. So that this study will be relevant to show how students perceive interpersonal communication, its influence towards their interpersonal communication and also factors that affect this relationship. And Studying this is help full to understand into what extent do our interpersonal communication influence on the day to day interaction of people.

1.8. Organization of the study

This paper has five chapters. The first chapter gives introduction about the study, contains background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study and scope of the study.

The second chapter provides a related literature review. And the third chapter is about methodology of the study which consist method of data collection, sampling, and so on.

The fourth chapter shows the data presentation and analysis; the final chapter gives conclusion and recommendations based on the result of chapter four.

Chapter -Two

2. Review of Related Literature


This chapter is dedicated to the presentation of literature review survey that relates the concept of communication, intrapersonal communication; intrapersonal communication and it also review the concepts of communication scholars that reflected about intrapersonal and interpersonal communication and their relationship.

2.1 Defining communication

From the starting point of human beings live, communication is among the main important things that have undeniable value. It has been the life blood of our existence. And even though they change the way and the reason that they communicate, peoples are always in communication and they also believe that communication is important for their life. It’s part of their daily life. But what does communication by itself mean?

According to Gordon Coates (2009) communication can have three main definitions. The first one is that communication is the sharing of information. Or communication is the giving and receiving of message. The last one is that the transfer of information from one or more to one or more people to one or more other people is called communication (Coats, 2009). He also stated that communication is not one simple process. The sender, who has a message, somehow sends it in the direction of the receiver. The receiver than somehow receives it, somehow gets it into their brain, and somehow attributes meaning to it (ibid).

Communication is the process of sharing our ideas, thoughts and feelings with other people and having those ideas, thoughts, and feelings understood by the people we are talking with. When we communicate we speak, listen and observe (Bass, 1998 p. 80).

According to Adler and Towne (1978), all that ever has been accomplished by humans and all that ever will be accomplished involved communication with others. Communication process can uses written messages, spoken words and gestures. It is the transfer to the sharing of ideas facts opinions, information and understanding from one person to another. (Adler & Towne, 1978)

Coates (2009) listed the component of the communication processes in the following way

1. Idea or impulse that arises in the senders mind
2. Formal expression of idea or impulse using a medium and channel ;encoding
3. Interpretation of the message by the receiver ; decoding
4. Reaction or response of the receiver
5. Conveying the reaction /response in the feedback using a medium and channel
6. Decoding of the desired response and feedback (Gordon Coates, 2009 p.15)

2.2 Function of communication

Depending on the situations and the environment, communication can be used for different purpose. Not only in day to day activity of people, but in work place, educational institution, political areas. etc communication can be used for different purpose.

According to Rajendr N (2007) communication has the following functions.

A. The information functions; serves to provide knowledge to the individuals need for guidance in their actions. It also fulfills workers desires for awareness of things that affects them.
B. The command and instructive functions; serve to make the employee aware of his obligation to the formal organization and to provide him with additional guidance on how to perform his duties adequately.
C. The influence and persuasion function (also known as motivational function); encourage the appropriate individual to perform or to exhibit a certain behavior. Message communicated are used to convince individuals that their action can be personally or organizationally beneficial.
D. The integrative function; refers to the fact that the communication of message / ideas, if properly handled, should help to relate the activities of the workers to their effort complement rather than detract from each other. Work effort are unified rather than fragmented as a result of properly integrative communication. (Rajendr N 2007 p, 4)

Gordon Coates (2009) explained that effective communication can create a common communication environment. And it is essential in order to cooperate between the sender and the receiver. Selection of an appropriate channel, correct encoding and decoding of the message and recipient of the desired response and feedback are the other relevance of effective communication. But still peoples can use different types of communication types.

2.3 Types of communication

2.3.1. Interpersonal and intrapersonal communication

2.3.1. Intrapersonal communication

According to Gardon Coats (2009) much like the concept of communication itself, intrapersonal communication is subject to a range of definition. Some say that intrapersonal communication concerns the message we send to ourselves. Some scholars define it as talking out loud to one’s self. Intrapersonal communication often is said it include one’s self –view as an outcome of interpersonal communication. Other scholars see intrapersonal communication operating as we take part in all other scholars see intrapersonal communication operating as we take part in all other level of communication , interpersonal , small group, public and mass communication , as well as computer-mediated communication. Some have questioned whether or not communication applies below the level of the dyad, making the concept of intrapersonal communication an oxymoron (Coats 2009).

In the middle part of the 1090s, psychologist began arguing for a cognitive approach to understanding human behavior, rather than focusing solely on external causes (stimuli) and behavioral effect, these scholars argued that we should be concerned with the mental processes that are used to process stimuli and generate particular effects. The major proponent of this approach was Noam Chmsky, then, refers to the processes of reducing, elaborating transforming, and storing stimuli (Neisser, 1967). It refers to what happen in the minds that cause us to behave in particular ways (Neisser 1967).

According to Sheldletsky (2017) intrapersonal communication is defined as communicating with one self. Some scholars have expanded communicating with one self to include a vast range of cognitive behaviors, mental entities like traits and comparison.

Zelly and Edwards (1989) says that the communication processes involve the sending and receiving of message through some channel with a resulting response. However, the process does not always require two or more participant. Intrapersonal communication, communication within oneself-involves all of the elements of other level of communication such as interpersonal, public speaking, or mass communication, but the processes takes place within a single person (Zelly & Edwards 1989).

Leonard and Joan (1998) also argue that intrapersonal communication is a communication with oneself. It includes in aimed interactions, mental verbal exchanges with one self, voice mail to oneself, letters and more.

Even though the concept of intrapersonal communication is relatively narrow, it can be used in conjunction with all types communication interactions (Leonard & Joan, 1998 P.13).

2.3.3. Inner speech

As Shedletsky (1998) Inner speech is a specific kind of intrapersonal communication. Inner speech is when one uses direct language to talk to one self’ those who question the existence of inner-speech may have poorly developed skills and thus are unable to understand the concept, because of social taboos associated with inner speech or talking to oneself, people seldom discuss inner speech . The improvement of inner-speech skill competency should be an objective of all effective communication (Shedletsk,2017).

2.3.4. Social cognation

A closely related field of study to intrapersonal communication is called social cognation. Social cognation is associated with social psychology and cognitive psychology.

According to Leonard Shedletsk (2017) it looks at the cognition underlying how we perceive one another, mental processes that operate as we come to know things about people. Our thoughts about what we see and hear from others. It is concerned with attitudes and beliefs, implicit theories of human behavior, social anxiety and self-monitoring.

2.3.5. Self-disclosure and social penetration theory

As Baldin. Perry and Mofit (2004) describes that social penetration theory gives some insight into the idea of how self-disclosure will take place. The social penetration theory, one of the most widely identified theories of relationship closer. However, before we self-disclose to a stranger, or even our best friend, the theory suggests that we mentally consider the threat of vulnerability and the discomfort of sharing (and other coasts) with the rewards of companionship and intimacy (Baldin, Perry And Moffit. 2004)

Activity of self-discloser, once undertaken follows the principle of operant behavior, in that its structure is shaped by reinforce that are yielded as feedback. Thus (Baldin , Perry And Moffit. 2004 p. 22).

Jourad also stated that the form and content of his discloser, once he have chosen to disclose his self, is affected by his experience of partial rein forces that guide him , like signposts, to the goal he seek in commencing to disclose, namely evidence provided by the changing his concept of him accordingly (Jourad,1997).

As Jouard (199) describes, self-discloser does not merely affect a person interpersonal communication. It also has a significant effect on a person intrapersonal communication as well. Quite simply, intrapersonal communication is the communication with in one self, it is how individuals analyze others behavior, attitudes and message to assign meaning to give event (ibid). And as Tubs (1988) & Chelune (1979) stated self-discloser must have the following component to be considered self-discloser. 1,) must contain personal information about person 2) person must verbally communicate this information. 3) Person must verbally communicate this to a target, person (Tubs, 1998 and Chelune, 1979).

According to Culbert (1968), self –discloser has been identified as the information one reveal about one self that is unobservable to the interact ants. The two important attribute of this concept include the idea that 1. ) the top is private, and 2) they act is risky. Corcoran and Spencer (2000) discuss how self-discloser can be used as weapons against the discloser.

Corcoran & Spencer (2000) said that we may reveal to a friend or a lover an embarrassing secret only to have our confidentially betrayed and find ourselves the brunt of ridicule from a wider community. Like so many other valuable possession, the gift of intimacy through self-disclosure carries with it the risk of loss, intrusion and exposure by ones confidant to individuals or groups to whom this discloser was not intended (Corcoran &spencer 2000).


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The Influence of Intrapersonal Communication on Interpersonal Communication. Perceptions of Journalism and Communication Students
Mekelle University  (Collage of Social Sciences and Languages)
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influence, intrapersonal, communication, interpersonal, perceptions, journalism, students
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Newal Abubeker (Author), 2019, The Influence of Intrapersonal Communication on Interpersonal Communication. Perceptions of Journalism and Communication Students, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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