And Now it's Time For a Little Warner Theory...

And Now it's Time For a Little Warner Theory...

Communication Theory is a weird class. We learn about these high and mighty psychologist-type people who come up with these wacko theories (and give them long and nutty names) ta describe how folks communicate with each other. I thought the Warners could have a field day with the subject.

The following Animaniacs song saved my grade in my Communications Theory class. I wrote it as extra credit in a desperate attempt ta pull my grade up in an extremely difficult subject that was a requirement to pass for my Communication Arts major. My teacher, Dr. Jody Morrison, was awesome (she liked Animaniacs and Xena!), and I enjoyed the class, but the tests were so hard and we only had two the whole semester, the mid-term and the final. I failed the first test and I immediately went ta work on my extra credit project, which is the song ya see before you.

I even made a makeshift recording ta show Dr. Morrison kinda how it might sound. It's not a great recording because this song is very hard to do and it took so long ta write it, I didn't have much time to actually record it! It's all me though, I play the parts of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot...poorly, ya might say... well, at least my Yakko is. My hard work paid off though. I brought my grade up from an "F" to a "C"! It was the hardest "C" I ever worked for in my life!

Please listen to the recording and sing along! It's a bit rough in places (a few trip-ups and places where the three parts didn't merge quite right), but it's worth it! And it'll be even more worth it if/when I ever redo it. Are you lost? No prob! Just follow along with the lyrics and try ta keep up!

Yakko, Wakko, and Dot Warner's Communication Theory Song

To the tune of Aaron Copland's Hoe-Down from RODEO
(Better known as the "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" music)
Lyrics by Suzanne Smiley, Arranged by Leonard Bernstein

Let's talk about some of the theories
Of Communication Theory
Come along with us let's go!
Let's go, let's go, let's goooooooooo

Communication Theory
Is so fun you see
You learn it if you want to be
On radio or the TV

Sit back be entertained
While the three of us try to explain
What's going on inside these theorist's brains

Although we may just seem like pains

And we'll probably drive you insane

Symbolic Interactionism by George Mead
Is a neato theory, yes indeed
Folks act toward events, people, and things
On the basis of assigned meanings

Coordinated Management of Meaning
Persons-in-Conversation, Pearce and Cronen's theory
Sharing stories lived, told, and yet untold
You don't need to understand in order to get along

WAKKO Expectancy Violations Theory
From Judee Burgoon; she must live for us toons
Our favorite theory is exactly what it says
We do just the opposite of what's expected

With Interpersonal Deception Theory
Buller and Burgoon show us how to lie and get away

We think we're so smart and know when people lie to us
We miss many signs due to our strong truth bias

Constructivism from Jesse Delia
The only cognitive processing theory
Make sense of the world through personal constructs
RCQ judges who is cognitively complex

Altman & Taylor's Social Penetration
Is really fun; they use a big onion
To demonstrate the way we meet and then get closer
Through reciprocal self-disclosure

Uncertainty Reduction Theory by Charles Berger
Occurs -

(Proven by… his millions… of theorems)

When people meet on the street
What they need is to reduce the uncertainty

Watzlawick with the Interactional View
Families need to reframe when troubles brew
Need outside help from someone who
Can apply the communication glue

DOT Relational Dialectics of Baxter and Montgomery
Close relationships show all's fair in love and war
How we deal with struggles, tensions, and contradictions
May result in the end or the start of something more

Sherif shows with the Social Judgment Theory
How we evaluate what we hear-y
The closer to Acceptance Latitude
The more improved our attitude


By Petty & Cacioppo

Shows you can -

Through message elaboration

Motivate -

The unbiased listeners

Ain't it great?

Central route of persuasion!

Symbolic Convergence -

Ernest Boorman's theory!

Group members -


Create fantasy chains -

You'd think you're watching Seinfeld!

Into cohesive groups individuals are propelled!

We hope by now you're starting to see
The importance of Communication Theory!

We've covered the Interpersonal Messages
Cognitive Processes, Relationship Development
And Maintenance, then we moved to Influence
And topped that off with Symbolic Convergence
Which is the first, you see, of Group and Public theories
And now we think we'll go to sleep

Functional Perspective of Hirokawa and Gouran
Groups in high quality decision making
The job gets done through problem analysis
Goal setting, consequences, and alternatives

Adaptive Structuration Theory
Marshall Scott Poole's structure critique

Rules and resources used to produce
The reality of a group
What happens in a group influences the same things
That influenced the group in the first place

Information Systems Approach to Organizations
Karl Weick had his fun
Explaining how big businesses got along and got things done

The end of our song
It was fun
But was long
Now it's done
And we're gone
Hope you learned something from
The Communication…
Theory Song!

Get Back, Jojo, Get Back!

LAST UPDATED: Thursday, November 6, 2008

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