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Argyle’s Theory

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Michael Argyle’s theory formed in 1972, he considered social communication as a skill, which could be advanced by learning and practising it. The cycle was formed to understand and explain how communication works between two people. He believed there were just six basic stages to the cycle-

Stage one: an idea occurs- a person thinks of something that they want to communicate about, it could be passing on an idea. Stage two: message coded- this is the consideration of what you’re going to say and what format you’re going to say it so that the person you’re communicating with understands it fully. This could be the use of sign language, hand gestures or spoken words. Stage three: message sent- this is sending the message in the most appropriate way which you have chosen at the previous stage. Stage four: message read- the person you are communicating with receives the message and they actually hear or see the message. Stage five: message decoded- the receiver decodes the message by processing and interpreting the message that you expressed. Stage six: message understood- the receiver will have made sense of your message at this stage and understand what you meant. Occasionally there are problems at this stage and the person you’re communicating with don’t fully understand the message you put forward and this can cause confusion. The person you are communicating with responds, this repeats the above process and turns it into a communication cycle.

An example of Argyle’s Theory being applied to a health or social care scenario would be someone visiting their local GP for an appointment with an idea that they were unwell, this would be the first stage of the cycle. The second stage would be considering how to tell them, as they are face to face, verbally would most likely be the most effective method. Next they verbally tell the doctor the symptoms and what they think might be wrong. The fourth stage is the doctor actually hearing what the patient told them. After this the doctor will take on board what the patient told them and process it, thinking about what symptoms the patient has given them. Finally, after considering what they had been told the doctor will now understand the patient and respond to them and correctly diagnose them and prescribe them medication which will be effective, this is when you know the doctor has fully understood. Information found at studymode.com

How knowing and understanding Argyle’s theory helps health and social care workers communicate more effectively- -Makes it easier to communicate if they understand the cycle -Allows the message sender to evaluate the vocabulary they are going to use according to the receivers level of understanding -So you can see where the communication went wrong by the response you were given, you can then go back through the stages and try again to make the communication more effective -Missing a stage or not considering what you’re going to say could cause confusion and the communication won’t be as effective

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