The Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication

The Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication

Third Edition  ©2018 Steven McCornack; Kelly Morrison Formats: Digital & Print


  • Photo of Betsey Stevenson

    Steven McCornack

    Dr. Steven McCornack grew up in Seattle, Washington, where his love for mountains, the ocean, and grunge/emo music was forged. For as long as he can remember, he has been fascinated with how people create, maintain, and disband close relationships, especially the challenges confronting romantic couples. Steve is currently a Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he coordinates the public speaking program, and team-teaches the introductory interpersonal communication course with Kelly. Other than his love of teaching, Steve’s principal passions are his family, music (especially spinning vinyl records), meditation, movies, mechanical watches, yoga, karate, Kona coffee, and his 1985 Carrera Targa.

  • Photo of Betsey Stevenson

    Kelly Morrison

    Dr. Kelly Morrison is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her scholarly interests include health communication and deceptive message production. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on gender, health, persuasion, instructional, and interpersonal communication. She has earned several teaching awards, including the Lilly Endowment Teaching Fellowship, served as an Honors Faculty Fellow, and Engaged Scholarship Faculty Fellow.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Interpersonal Basics
What is Communication?
What is Interpersonal Communication?
           Interpersonal Communication Competence
Chapter 2: Interpersonal Foundations
           Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
           Constructing Gestalts
           Calculating Algebraic Impressions
           Feelings and Moods
           Emotional Intelligence
Chapter 3: Interpersonal Skills
Verbal Communication
           Cooperative Language
           Inclusive I and We Language
Nonverbal Communication
           Communicating through Body Movements
           Communicating through Voice
           Communicating through Touch
           Communicating through Personal Space
Chapter 4: Interpersonal Relationships
Relationship Foundations
           Liking and Loving
           Exchange of Resources
Relationship Types
           Romantic Relationships
           Family Relationships
Relationship Maintenance
           Sharing Tasks
Chapter 5: Interpersonal Challenges
Managing Relationship Tensions
Handling Conflict
           What is Conflict?
           Conflict Approaches
           Empathy and Support

Product Updates

  • All content is new with updated coverage throughout.
  • New examples that students can relate to and learn from.
  • Self-quiz for student reflection.
  • New section about emotional intelligence

A concise guide to navigate interpersonal communication in your personal and professional life.

Newly authored by Steven McCornack and Kelly Morrison from scratch, this new  The Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication is a brief and inexpensive, supplemental text that can be packaged with any of our texts or purchased on its own. It is a good alternative for OER situations either for the interpersonal course or combined with other guides (like The Essential Guides for Group or Intercultural Communication) for larger survey courses.  This edition is fully up--to-date with today’s interpersonal scholarship, includes examples that connect with students’ experience, and includes new self quizzes to engage students in self-reflection.

Looking for instructor resources like Test Banks, Lecture Slides, and Clicker Questions? Request access to Achieve to explore the full suite of instructor resources.


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