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Anxiety Uncertainty Management Theory

Tsukasa Nishida


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William B. Gudykunst (1985) extended Berger and Calabrese's (1975) →  uncertainty reduction theory to explain the reduction of uncertainty in intergroup encounters as the first step in developing anxiety/uncertainty management (AUM) theory. He developed a model of intergroup communication by integrating URT and social identity theory in several stages. Gudykunst and Hammer (1988) also developed a version of the theory that used uncertainty and anxiety to explain intercultural adjustment. This version contained 24 axioms. Uncertainty involves the inability to predict or explain others’ attitudes, behavior, and feelings. Anxiety involves feelings of being uneasy, tense, worried, or apprehensive. At about the same time, Gudykunst (1988) included notions of intergroup anxiety into a general theory of effective interpersonal and intergroup communication . This version of the theory contained 13 axioms. Neither of the 1988 versions of the theory was designated AUM. According to Gudykunst, intercultural communication is one type of intergroup communication. He used the notion of the “stranger” as a central organizing concept. “Strangers” are defined as individuals who are present in a situation, but are not members of the ingroup. Besides intergroup factors, anxiety, expectations, and outcomes were included in the theory. Gudykunst regarded anxiety as the fundamental problem ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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