Intrapersonal Communicology

Macke, Frank 2008. Intrapersonal Communicology: Reflection, Reflexivity, and Relational Consciousness in Embodied Subjectivity. Atlantic Journal of Communication 16: 122-148.

In their landmark text, Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry, Jurgen Ruesch and Gregory Bateson (1951) theorize that the "intrapersonal network," that is, circumstance of interaction in which "both the place of origin and destination of messages are located within the sphere of one organism," ought to be considered one of the four fundamental levels of communication (p. 278). Neither Bateson nor Ruesch expended any significant energy defending this particular claim; at the time, it was merely a theoretical suggestion, offered as intuitively reasonable (especially given Ruesch's status as a psychiatrist) in the context of viewing the whole world of human interaction and culture in terms of general systems theory. For academicians of that era similarly enthused with systems theory and who were among the first to identify themselves as "communication scholars," the notion of an "inner" cybernetic network of information relay and feedback would, no doubt, have been a comfortable fit with toher contemporaneous assumptions having newfound currency regarding mind, nature, and culture. (Macke 2008: 122-123)
It is notable that Juri Lotman's concept of autocommunication similarly sprung from cybernetics and the notion of feedback.
In any case, the theory suggestion not only was not rejected out of hand in any published writing between 1951 and 1966 (when the first article on "intrapersonal communication" found its way into the Journal of Communication) but began to gather interest. (Macke 2008: 123)
Oh wow. I hadn't thought of it but now searching "intrapersonal communication" in this journal, I find several relevant papers. Thanks for the hint, Macke!
In this article, I seek to establish a theory of intrapersonal communicology. In doing so, I need to reconsider the concept of intrapersonal communication as an element of human experience. To begin, it is difficult to take issue with the collective hunch on which the theoretical suggestion of intrapersonal communication was put forth by Ruesch and Bateson. One can find complementary elements of intrapersonal or intrapsychic processes (the term later employed by Ruesch, 1972) in a wide range of flourishing theoretical positions and philosophical schools through the 18th and 19th centuries, from Kant's theory of perception to Hegel's phenomenology to Peirce's phaneroscopy and semiotics to Whitehead's process philosophy - and that is just for starters. (Macke 2008: 123)
It's good to see someone mentioning Peirce's phaneroscopy. Even more so seeing that someone is actually trying to make what we call autocommunication into a distinct field of study. I would call it simply autocommunicology, but that's me - I'm swayed by Lotman.
It was not that the term intrapsychic or intrapersonal were uniquely seductive to the audience for Ruesch and Bateson's extension of systems theory, it was that there was "already" an implicit sense of how such an embodied scheme might function as a system. (Macke 2008: 123)
It's not like systems theory hadn't the preoccupation for such a thing in the first place. Bertalanffy was taken by Uexküll, who gave him not only the concept of feedback, but probably something like the Ego-Ton as well.
The Anglo-American academic field of communication, from its inception, took on a mechanistic and Cartesian set of assumptions regarding the nature of human experience in the process of perception and expression. Likewise, the study of human interaction soon found its discourse openly conflating the usage of "communication" - a concept etymologically tied to the experience of intimate spiritual unity (as in "communion") and spiritual kinship (as in "community") - with information processing, a concept given form by behavioral psychology. From midcentury onward, the concept of "communication" began to fully emerge as one regarding "messages," as things, being transferred back and forth between existentially and ontologically separate persons operating with existentially and ontologically separate minds. (Macke 2008: 124)
My first reaction is: Bullcocky! Charles Morris dissected communication in the late 30s and early 40s without any reference to such a thing as "message". In that time, "information processing" was talked about in terms of sign-activity. The relation between messages and signs is a complicated, and seemingly ignored, one. Ruesch attributes to messages what otherwise would make sense as signs. Morris, Goffman and others talk about signs where you could as well talk about messages. It is diffficult to impose any concrete distinction without revisiting the whole theoretical field again with this distinction in mind. And I'm not about to do that - I'll settle with "signs" and "messages" being kind of interchangeable.
A thoroughgoing critique of the extant literature on intrapersonal communication was published more than a decade ago by Cunningham (1995). In this critique, Cunningham exhibited a notable skepticism regarding the validity of "intrapersonal" as a subcategory of "communication" and took great pains to establish some sort of criteria by which a private, inner experience can warrant recognition as meeting the conditions of "communication." Much of this argument is quite compelling. His comments on the inclusion of any and all mental operations, be they reflective, symbolic, oneiric, congitive, biological, neurochemical, and so forth, within the category "intrapersonal communication," are particularly well taken. Upon considering an incredibly broad range of subcutaneous neurological activities that had emerged in the literature, cunningham (1995) asked:
What psychological processing within the human agent is not intrapersonal communication? ... For example, the identification of intrapersonal communication or its message with an assortment of mentalistic and/or neurophysiological operations seems forced and hasty. No one would deny that any number of cognitive processes are somehow involved in communication behavior, but the descriptions of intrapersonal communication for the most part unguardedly set up an identity between the definiendum and one or more of these operations. (p. 11)
As I consider Cunningham's critique, it becomes even clearer that the conceptualization of messages as "things" transferred back and forth invites the consideration of all human organismic activity as some form of communication or another. If everything that takes place inside a person's skin can be considered intrapersonal communication, then a much more limiting sense of what is and is not communication becomes immediately necessary. (Macke 2008: 124-125)
This problem emerges also in semiotics, where it becomes difficult to distinguish semiosis from autocommunication. As Randviir put it - the "semiotic subject" is involved in all semiosis, so the notion of autocommunication is superfluous. I have tried to resolve this issue by attributing to autocommunication only messages that are "addressed" to the self, but even this is suspicious. Cunningham's paper appeared in a book titled Intrapersonal Communication Processes.
For Mead, the Self does not exist prior to social situations. It is not as though it is "in hiding" somewhere, dressed and ready to make its appearance; it simply has no being, no existence prior to the social interaction that systematically signifies its position (i.e., it is "posited" by way of the social) and, thus, its meaning. The Self is not, therefore, an entity that can be observed and measured, nor can it be "mapped" through an analysis of its recorded expressions. (Macke 2008: 127)
"Articulating" the ineffability of the Self.
...a careful reading of Mead's concept of "social behaviorism" has me convinced that, for its time, it would closely parallel the human science concept of communicology. A number of writers have commented on the deep similarities between Mead and Merleau-Ponty, particularly in terms of the notions of habit, embodiment, and gesture (Aboulafia, 2001; Joas, 1993, 1997; rosenthal & Bourgeois, 1991). The "structure" of "behavior" that Merleau-Ponty (1983) addressed in his first major work fully emerged in Phenomenology of Perception (1962) as perception, expression, gesture, and speech. These are, as well, the primary terms of Mead's social behaviorism. (Macke 2008: 128)
This is new but not in the least surprising for me.
The psychological discontinuity of the "I" and "me" entails a communicology of a distance, a communicology of the intestice between our first consciousness of a world external to the womb and our first consciousness of ourselves as beings of consciousness. (Macke 2008: 128)
I think "distance" is the keyword here because autocommunication implies a distance (mostly, in time) between the self and that same self. In Meadian thinking, this distance is readily available in the I/Me distinction, given that "I" am immediate to myself but "Me" is mediated (no pun intended, mediation and immediacy are unrelated to these terms) through others.
Merleau-Ponty (1964) nated that the body
begins by being introceptive. At the beginning of life there emerges an entire phase in which extroceptivity (i.e., vision, hearing, and all other perceptions relating to the external world), even if it begins to operate, cannot in any case do so in collaboration with introceptivity. ... In the early stages of the child's life, external perception is impossible for very simple reasons: visual control and muscular coordination of the eyes are insufficient. (pp. 121-122).
As we get older, our range of perception entails a greater sweep of agency, embodiment, and space. Nonetheless, it is not until we arrive at a position of full skeletal and hormonal adulthood (both during and after puberty) that we begin to reach outside the parameters of our growth environment for a sense of selfhood that has not been ordained by our family and its discursive environment. (Macke 2008: 129)
Oh wow. I didn't know Merleau-Ponty also uses Sherrington's notions.
In this formulation I am very careful not to equate all aspects of mental activity or reflection, or even "self-talk," with intrapersonal communication. Simply, there is a fundamental distinction between information theory and communication theory (Lanigan, 1992), and it is the ambition of communicology to maintain the integrity of this distinction as it considers the phenomenon of communication from the context of the human sciences. For communicology, it is not axiomatic that "you cannot not communicate." Information transfer does not automatically give birth to communicative experience. The experience of communication is not a mechanical or logically reductive matter of sign production and sign processing. Even though semiotic theory has participated heavily in the intellectual history of the human science of communicology, a strictly semiotic approach to the event of communicative experience will drain the event of all psychological significance. (Macke 2008: 132)
It is nice to see someone keeping this distinction. It is one that often gets somehow lost in semiotics.
For Heidegger, the person is always already fundamentally connected with her or his world, to the point, as Dreyfus stressed, that even drawing reference to a conventional image of "relationship" invites equivocation. As such, communicating outside of oneself becomes one and the same with thinking (as Heidegger, 1967, would have it), and with perception (as Merleou-Ponty, 1962, would have it). (Macke 2008: 134)
Compare this to Peirce's view that when two minds are communicating, they become one.
For expressive and literary purposes, the poetic function concerns the tone of what is enunciated. (Macke 2008: 135)
No. You are confusing the poetic function with the emotive function.
Intrapersonal communication in particular is the modality of experience that lies at the essence of how, from infancy onward, we are connected to the world. (Macke 2008: 136)
This is not a simple matter, especially from an intrapersonal communication standpoint.
A key element of Foucault's thought lies in his claim that, through the proliferation of discourses and methods for assesing and improving the performance of individual subjects (ethically, morally, politically, educationally, psychologically, and medically), the person has been able to emerge - even under the seeming burden of so many administrative subjectivities and objectifications - with a new and creative freedom to "intervene" in the course of his or her own life. Rather than searching for an illusory truth of our Selves - that is, as an answer to a question someone else has asked - we can experience the possibilities of our selfhood as embodied pragmatics. Though we cannot foretell the experience of a communicative moment, it is a philosophical mistake to say that we know nothing of what is likely to occur in the course of our liven. Although as we invent ourselves, we are thinking along the lines or recognizable social formations (mythic, historical, literary, cinematic), our subsequent identity surfaces as a medium for new experience. (Macke 2008: 138)
A clearer interpretation of Foucault's care of the self.
Among Rimbaud's (1871) most well-known aphorisms is his reflection: "Je est un autre" ("I is an other)" (p. 347). In broader context, the thougt comes up twice in his writing, first in a letter to Georges Izambard: "It's not my doing at all. It's wrong to say: I think. Better to say: I am thought. ... I is an other" (Rimbaud, 1871/1967, p. 100). And in a letter to Paul Demeny he wrote, "For I is an other. ... This is plain to me: I am present at the unfolding of my thought: I watch it, listen to it: I strike a chord: the symphony stirs in the depths, or leaps onto the stage" (Rimbaud, 1871/1963, p. 347; see also Lawler, 1992, p. 3). What Rimbaud demonstrates is that not only is "the I" not "the me," it is something that, if one is free to allow it, meets the phenomenological condition of "the other." The first "other" in our world is not external to our familiar range of perception and contact; to the contrary, it is that which gives meaningfulness and possibility to perception that can make magic out of opening one's eyes. (Macke 2008: 141)
Compare this to Peirce's talk of how we should not say that thoughs are in us, but that we are in thoughts.
As Rimbaud's aphorism deepens our sense of the otherness of thinking, the flesh of adult consciousness, now grasped as the recursive experience of identity and intimacy, leads us to a sense of the otherness of communication. As Merleou-Ponty (1962) wrote, "Bodily experience forces us to acknowledge an imposition of meaning that is not the work of a universal constituting consciousness" (p. 147). As such, as our bodies change, as they become other to themselves, as they become proprioceptively enabled during the waning of all of our growing pains and childhood discipline, and then as they become proprioceptively limited (and at what seems an ever-increasing pace) as infirmity and old age set upon us, we hunt, we gather, we consume, we breathe in and breathe out differently. Carmen (1999) effectively captured this theme:
The intentional constitution of the body is not the product of a cognitive process whose steps we might trace to the founding acts of a pure I. Rather, the body in its perceptual capacity just is the I in its most primordial aspect. (p. 224)
My body, my flesh, is the fundamental substantive agent for any and all of my perception. And it is only by way of my body that I can perceive and feel the strangeness of the strange situation from which an attachment can be experienced intimately. (Macke 2008: 143)
Somehow, all of this feels self-evident.
It may well be said that, as the flip side of human development, loss of memory in the process of aging represents the single most tragic fate of mind in the experience of intrapersonal communication. (Macke 2008: 145)
I am combating this in advance by writing everything significant down.

Barker, Larry L. and Gordon Wiseman 1966. A Model of Intrapersonal Communication. Journal of Communication 16(3): 172-179.

Numerous models to illustrate the communication process have been developed in the past two decades, most of these models have focused on interpersonal communication. Other communication theorists have developed models to describe: (a) mass communication (b) cultural communication and (c) man-machine information systems. But perhaps because communication within oneself is somewhat difficult to investigate, few models have been concerned primarily with intrapersonal communication. (Barker & Wiseman 1966: 172)
Only half a decade after the publication of this paper Juri Lotman developed such a model, but primarily for the study of cultural communication. What Barker and Wiseman mean by models of cultural communication, though, is firstly Lasswell, Harold D. 1948. The Structure and Function of Communications in Society. In: Bryson, Lyman (ed.), The Communication of Ideas. New York: Harper & Brothers, 37. and Ruesch & Bateson's 1951 social matrix.
Intrapersonal communication refers to the creating, functioning, and evaluating of symbolic processes which operate primarily within oneself. Levels of intrapersonal communication range along a continuum according to the extent messages are stored in the environment around the self cummunicating system. Such activities as "thinking," "mediating," and "reflecting," which may require no environmental storage outside the life space of the communicator, are on one end of this continuum and activities such as "talking aloud to oneself" and "writing oneself a note," which require considerably more environmental storage, are on the other end of this continuum. (Barker & Wiseman 1966: 173)
Oh my god. This model is essentially semiotic! And moreover, it has captured the distinction between internal signs and externalized "autocommunicative" signs.
The process of intrapersonal communication can more adequately be understood when it is considered in relationship to the interpersonal communication cycle. Intrapersonal communication is the foundation upon which interpersonal communication is based, but intrapersonal communication may also occur independently. In interpersonal communication acts, intrapersonal communication performs the primary role of feedback processing. In isolation, intrapersonal communication involves such considerations as the generation of stimuli for message development, the transformation and evaluation of the message, and the response to the stimuli. (Barker & Wiseman 1966: 173)
And here they have hit the nail on its head with the contention that autocommunication precedes, accompanies and follows communication; and can occur independently from (hetero)communication.
It is difficult to specify characteristics of intrapersonal communication with any degree of certainty, because the intrinsic personal involvement of the symbolic codification system is at best extremely difficult to investigate. Nevertheless, numerous differences seem evident when intrapersonal communication and other kinds of communication are contrasted. The most significant differences are associated with such considerations as participation of the communicator, location and destination of the message, and the possibilities for detecting and correcting errors. (Barker & Wiseman 1966: 175)
Or as Lotman put it: the grammar of autocommunication is still to be written. The "participation of the communicator" seems the crux of Ruesch's model, where the main principles are those of object- and metachannels (or proprio- and exterofunctions).
The internal processes which occur in communication are set in motion by certain types of stimuli. These include stimuli both internal and external to the communicator. Stimuli are received by the body's sensory organs (the process of reception). Both internal and external receptors transmit information to the central nervous system at the affective level in intrapersonal communication. Internal receptors such as nerve endings relate information in the form of feelings and/or sensations which reflect the psycho-physical state of the individual communicator. The external receptors, located on or near the surface of the body, react to physical and chemical stimuli to provide information concerning relationships between the communicator and his environment. (Barker & Wiseman 1966: 175)
Yup, this is basically a reiteration of Sherrington's model (through Ruesch). The stimuli that sets autocommunication in motion is termed the detonator, fuze or igniter (sütik) by Lotman, once again cruising on the cool side of theorizing (see also Culture and Explosion).
At a given instant, countless numbers of stimuli are received by the sensory organs. The stimuli appear to be classified according to their relative strength. The process through which the stimuli are screened is called "discrimination." The weaker stimuli are usually "filtered out" prior to reaching the conscious level, but even so, multiple stimuli may affect communication at any particular moment. (Barker & Wiseman 1966: 175-176)
Peirce performed the very first psychological experiments in America (at Harvard) and found that although weaker stimuli may not reach the level of conscious acknowledgment, they nevertheless have an effect on conscious evaluations (the person weighing objects with fingers couldn't say which one weighed more when the difference was small, but "randomly" assigning scores arrived at results well above that of chance). He then incorporated this knowledge into his sign theorizing and thus we have Firstness. That is, although I like talk of sensory gating and discrimination, the matter is much more complex than theories sometimes make it out to be.
Exactly what these thought symbols are composed of is a question that has baffled science thus far. Most biologists, however, believe that man thinks in terms of electro-chemical impulses. (Barker & Wiseman 1966: 176)
E.g. what is the microphysiology of semeion? (Count 1969: 80-81).
Once stimuli have been decoded into thought symbols, the cognitive process of "ideation" occurs. Osborn [18, p. 146] defines ideation as "the part of the (communication) process which calls for thinking up all possible tentative ideas as tentative solutions or as leads to other ideas which in turn might lead to solutions." In brief, ideation is the process of thinking, planning, and organizing thoughts. It involves drawing together information and relating it to the proposed message you desire to communicate or problem you wish to solve. An adjunct to the ideation process is "incubation." This is the process of letting ideas "jell" in the mind and pick up the flavor of relationships already buried there. In intrapersonal communication the incubation period may be a fraction of a second or several days. Through the combined process of ideation and incubation the communicator attempts to satisfy the need posed by the original stimuli or to formulate a message to be transmitted interpersonally. (Barker & Wiseman 1966: 176-177)
A neat model of the way autocommunication precedes (hetero)communication. Lotman's contribution to this is the addition of an external code (preferably asemantic, syntactic code) that aids the reorganization of ideation.
Feedback in intrapersonal communication is somewhat different from that received on the interpersonal level. External messages are received overtly, through the sensory receptor organs. Internal messages are received covertly, through bone conduction, muscular contractions, or neurocircuitry in the central nervous system. (Barker & Wiseman 1966: 177)
Oh wow. Someone has actually noted bone conduction in relation with autocommunication! I made the same connection via Fry (1977) and arguing against Mead, according to whom we receive our own speech the same way we receive others' speech.
  1. In "thinking" does the brain encode and decode, or does it merely process information without going through an encoding and decoding procedure?
  2. Is it possible to think without verbal symbols?
  3. If verbal sybols are not used in thinking what is the nature of electro-chemical impulses which activate the brain?
  4. What sort of neurocircuitry provides the channel for feedback in the central nervous system?
  5. What factors determine the length of the incubation period in responding to message stimuli?
(Barker & Wiseman 1966: 178)
I believe these questions are still contended.

Washburn, Donald E. 1964. Intrapersonal Communication in a Jungian Perspective. Journal of Communication 14(3): 131-135.

The term "intrapersonal communication" may seem at times to be a misnomer. Communication ordinarily presupposes a relationship between at least two persons. Accordingly, some theorists regard intrapersonal communication as a special case of interpersonal communication. The outside person is represented internally by condensed memory traces - echoes, so to speak, of what has taken place earlier in two-person situations. This assumption makes interpersonal communication ultimately dependent on external factors. The psychology of C. G. Jung, on the other hand, posits a communication process that arises as a result of the self-regulatory activity of the psyche itself. (Washburn 1964: 131)
In terms of autocommunication this is called the "internal addressee" version, wherein a person has "other minds" inside him- or herself. In Lotmanian theory, not only "condensed memory traces" of other people but of texts can play the role of an intralocutor.
Jung did not deny the importance of conscious processes in which reason and reflection play the principal role. But his major emphasis was on the sepceial kind of communication that takes place between the conscious and the unconscious parts of the human psyche. At the conscious end of the spectrum lie those contents that may be voluntarily brought into awareness; at the opposite end are those which are accessible only when volition is suspended. "Shutting down" the will brings to the surface two kinds of images: those which reflect known experiences that have since been forgotten, and those which symbolically portray contents that cannot possibly derive from conscious experience. The latter, called "archetypes," Jung believed to represent the inherited structure of the psyche itself. (Washburn 1964: 131)
In my interviews on autocommunication with semioticians, this version also came up. But this special type of autocommunication between different parts of the brain or between consciousness and unconsciousness was more often than not related to schizophrenia.
For mental health and balance to exist, the acquired personality and the aboliginal Self must work in harmony. Needless to say, adequate intrapersonal communication is vitally important in this regard. (Washburn 1964: 131)
While early Jakobson and some of my interviewees related this kind of autocommunication with mental pathologies, here, like in Wescott's paper on coenesics, autocommunication is associated with mental health; that a healthy mind talks or otherwise communicates with itself.
Jung himself referred to this interaction as a kind of dialogue or colloquy. He pointed out that unconscious complexes usually enter our awareness as personalities or voices, even when they correspond to no known people of our aquiantance. Moreover, they are best approcahed as one would approach another person:
It is exactly as if a dialogue were taking place beween two human beings with equal rights, each of whom gives the other credit for a valid argument and considers it worth while to modify the conflicting standpoints by means of thorough comparison and discussion or else to distinguish them clearly from one another.
The classic example of this kind of relationship was described by Plato. When Socrates wished to know whether he was doing the right thing, he consulted his daemon, or inner voice. This attitude, according to Jung, is the beginning of wisdom. (Washburn 1964: 132)
In Peirce we similarly find discussion of a critical Self, the voice of reason that must be convinced with sound arguments.
The language of the unconscious is ambiguous in that it is based partly on the imagery of the senses and partly on an underlying logic of equivalences. A dream, for example, does not merely repeat the details of the remembered experience. It condenses and rearranges the ingredients of outer life in such a way that a new pattern emerges. An important feature of Jung's theary is that the individual's inner growth needs may be dramatized in the form of a dream or visionary experienc. (Washburn 1964: 133)
Another iteration of Freud's concept of condensation.
Another barrier to understanding, and a source of communication difficulties, is the selectivity that seems to be fundamental to human awareness at all levels. It has a tendency to maintain those habits of evaluation and behavior that succeed and to eliminate those that do not. Since each communication environment has special requirements, there is a danger that the personality will become increasingly one-sided and rigid. An exceptionally specialized person may be able to communicate in terms of only a single dominant attitude. Such limitations are the subject matter of comedy, which is often based on the laughable spectacle of a human being behaving in restricted and meaningless way. (Washburn 1964: 133)
And another iteration of selectivity (or sensory gating).

Platt, James H. 1955. What Do We Mean - "Communication"? Journal of Communication 5(1): 21-26.

The speaknig, listening, writing, and reading approach would seem to be an over-simplified one. These are recognized as being forms of behavior. According to Lecky, one's behavior is in accordance with his system of values. If this is true, then the "behavior" approach is one in which we are working with manifestations rather than with the true basis of communication. Under such a program, one would predict that there would be only a minimum of lasting effect in improved communication resulting from our teaching. (Platt 1955: 21)
Platt seems to be arguing, like Jakobson, that instead of manifestations (in R. J.'s case, sound) we should be dealing with meaning or semantics (here, in the age of human relationism, democratic "values").
Communication cannot be considered only as involving the level of inter-personal relations because communication involves the inner workings of the individual as well. It can probably be best considered as involving four levels of personality integration, namely: the biochemical, physiological, psychological, and the sociological. Many of our problems emphasize only the sociological level. Yet, since communication is unitary in nature, by stressing communication aspects at this level only, we are attempting to divide an indivisable process. (Platt 1955: 22)
Although Ruesch & Bateson (1951) is also referenced, these four levels aren't theirs but originate from: Lecky, Prescott 1945. Self-Consistency: A Theory of Personality. (New York: Island Press.
Before we can expect to change the student's communication behavior, we must first cause changes to take place within his system of values and in his concept of himself. In order to accomplish this requirement, the student must be given a communication framework which he can use for purposes of self-evaluation. The process of self-evaluation must originate with the student himself Therefore, it seems logical that the communication skills course should focus considerable attention upon intrapersonal communication. (Platt 1955: 22)
Somehow this sounds violent. But then again so did other human relationists of the time, thinking they could manipulate human relations at will. Actually, the overall scheme is pretty close to Lotman's autocommunication, because he similarly uses the violent imagery of "insertion". E.g. the student (a malleable young mind) is inserted/given a framework/code that will change the structure of his or her personality.
We are, in reality, dealing with two general types of communication: (1) communication of silent messages (feelings, visual stimuli, taste, etc.), and (2) communication of the auditory type. One is just as important in the practice of daily affairs as is the other. (Platt 1955: 23)
This is the early version of the verbal/nonverbal distinction. Hall's 1959 book was similarly titled The Silent Language.

Barnlund, Dean C. 1962. Toward a meaning-centered philosophy of communication. Journal of Communication 12(4): 197-211.

One cannot have a superficial, or narrow, or opportunistic concept of communication and be thorough and responsible teacher of that same subject. (Barnlund 1962: 197)
And equally, you cannot be a thorough and responsible teacher if you go in too deep into the details, study the concept of communication in all its marvelous variety and get lost in the hodgepodge of theories and notions.
To be acceptable, a philosophy of communication should fulfill the following criteria: (1) It should provide a satisfactory explanation of the aim of communication. (2) It should provide a technically adequate description of the process of communication. (3) It should provide a moral standard that will protect and promote the healthiest communicative behavior. (Barnlund 1962: 198)
As unrelated this is to autocommunication, it does add something to the "ethics of nonverbal communication". Mainly because so many proponents of "body language" ignore the "healthiness" of people-watching, self-control, etc.
...the listener tends to be regarded as a passive object, rather than an active force in communication. Unfortunately, it is not that simple to deposit ideas in another mind. (Barnlund 1962: 199)
This is one of the problems I see with R. Jakobson's communication model.
Finally, it is too parochial. It neglects man's communication with himself - an area that is fast becoming one of the most vital in communication research - and it fails to accont for the fact that communication is as often a matter of hiding or protecting what is in men's minds as it is a matter of revealing their thoughts and intentions. (Barnlund 1962: 199)
A statement about the status of autocommunication and something to the effect of Danesi's mystification function.
Communication, as I conceive it, is a word that describes the process of creating a meaning. Two words in this sentence are critical. They are "create" and "meaning." Messages may be generated from the outside - by a speaker, a television screen, a scolding parent - but meanings are generated from within. This position parallels that of Berlo when he writes, "Communication does not consist of the transmission of meaning. Meanings are not transmitted, nor transferable. Only messages are transmittable, and meanings are not in the message, they are in the message-user." Communication is man's attempt to cope with his experience, his current mood, his emerging needs. For every person it is a unique act of creation involving dissimilar materials. But it is, within broad limits, assumed to be predictable or there could be no teory of communication. (Barnlund 1962: 200)
There is a long list of thinkers who at some point noted that communication is creative. I'm wondering if this distinction between messages and meanings could help clarify the distinction of messages and signs as well. And Berlo's quote comes from: Berlo, David 1960. The Process of Communication. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston.
Meaning is not apparent in the ordinary flow of sensations. We are born into, and inhabit a world without "meaning." That life becomes intelligible for us - full of beauty or ugliness, hope or despair - is because it is assigned that significance by the experiencing being. As Karl Britton put it, "A world without minds is a world without structure, without relations, without facts." Sensations do not come to us, sorted and labeled, as if we were visitors in a vast, but ordered, museum. Each of us, instead, is his own curator. We learn to look with a selective eye, to classify, to assign significance. (Barnlund 1962: 200)
Lotman's semiosphere is this vast sorted, labeled and ordered museum but we still have to be our own curators (semiotic subjects) within its halls. Quote: Britton, Karl 1939. Communication: A Philosophical Study of Language. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
To say that communication occurs whenever meaning is assigned to internal or external stimuli is to enlarge greatly the span of our discipline. Communication, in this sense, may occur while a man waits alone outside a hospital operating room, or watches the New York skyline disappear at dusk. It can take place in the privacy of his study as he introspects about some internal doubt, or contemplates the fading images of a frightening dream. When man discovers meaning in nature, or in insight in his own reflections, he is a communication system unto himself. Festinger refers to this as "consummatory communication." The creation of meanings, however, also goes on in countless social situations where men talk with those who share or dispute their purposes. Messages are exchanged in the hope of altering the attitudes or actions of those around us. This can be characterized as "instrumental communication," as long as we remember that these two purposes are not mutually exclusive. (Barnlund 1962: 201)
This is not the first time in this paper when the author confuses communication theory with information theory (above it is said that communication reduces uncertainty, which is the main function of information, not communication). Viewing an individual or person as a communication system is at the core of autocommunication, but I'd rather take the Rueschian perspective that it is merely one of the "lowest" levels of communication. I do find the notion of "instrumental communication" useful. One theorist (I don't remember the name) had a definition of communication that involved changing the behaviour of others as its function. I would call it the regulatory function (related with social control and regulation).
A theory that leaves out man's communication with himself, his communication with the world about him and a large proportion of his interactions with his fellowman, is not a theory of communication at all, but a theory of speechmaking. (Barnlund 1962: 201)
Saucy! And indeed Jakobson's "communication model" is actualy a "speech act" model.
Communication is not a thing, it is a process. Sender, message and receiver do not remain constant throughout an act of communication. To treat these as static entities, as they often are in our research, is questionable when applied to the most extreme form of continuous discourse, is misleading when used to analyze the episodic verbal exchanges that characterize face-to-face communication, and is totally useless in probing man's communication with himself. Changes in any of these forces, and few forces remain constant very long, reverberate throughout the entire system. Students of communication are not dissecting a cadaver, but are probing the pulsing evolution of meaning in a living organism. (Barnlund 1962: 202)
When approaching culture with these terms (sender, message and receiver), we should equally consider if we are not using inappropriate notions.
Communication is complex. Someone once said that whenever there is communication there are at least six "people" involved: The person you think yourself to be; the man your partner thinks you are; the person you believe your partner thinks you are; plus the three equivalent "persons" at the other end of the circuit. (Barnlund 1962: 203)
Dayum. Aren't you making things more complex than they need to be?
Communication involves the total personality. Despite all efforts to divide body and mind, reason and emotion, thought and action, meanings continue to be generated by the whole organism. (Barnlund 1962: 203)
A truism.
Wheelwright, P. The Burning Fountain. (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1956). (Barnlund 1962: 206)
Among his list of suggested readings, alongside Allport, Burke, Festinger, Fromm, Langer, Osgood, Ruesch and Wiener, is this seemingly non-academic book. As it turns out, The Burning Fountain, a Study in the Language of Symbolism is a work of neo-criticism, something I know absolutely nothing about, and seems to touch upon the same stuff thet Langer discusses in her philosophy in a new key. Why in the world aren't semioticians referring to this? It's as if some stuff is skipped merely because it's title doesn't sound academic enough.
Tenure in the academic community is rightly contingent upon respect for the original contributions of a discipline. (Barnlund 1962: 207)
I'm not sure it is so anymore or in my field, but it should be.
There is a whole universe of communication currently being neglected that could, and should be, studied. (Barnlund 1962: 207)
This is how I feel about internet communication. I am aware that it is being studied somewhere by someone, but why aren't we informed of this field? That is, why aren't semioticians heavily involved in this?

Hefferline, Ralph Franklin 1955. Communication theory: II. Extension to Intrapersonal Behavior. Quarterly Journal of Speech 41(4): 365-376.

The human organism, unlike the most ingenious "self-controlled" robot, acquires its repertory of performable acts, not from arbitrary design, but from organic growth and learning. Physical development is relatively standard for the species, but what the individual is taught and how he is taught depends largely on accidents of time, place, and parentage. (Hefferline 1955: 365)
It almost sounds like the creationist vs evolutionist paradigms carried over to the study of behaviour. The behaviour of robots is created (arbitrarily designed), while humans develop their behavioural repertory incrementally.
A clue to the development of "bottled-up" behavior emerges from a review of our early training. At that time we are held accountable only for behavior which is directly observable. Parents reward and punish what they actually see. What we learn to do privately - in thought, dream, or waking fantasy - escapes detection and thus seems entirely different, as indeed it is in its successful avoidance of immediate social reprisal. However, the actual presence in the intrapersonal system of behavior which is not directly observable may be inferred or even brought under observation by special techniques. For instance, the so-called lie-detector exploits the fact that it is exciting to tell a lie and, furthermore, that evidence of excitement may be found in changed respiration, pulse-rate, blood-volume, skin-resistance, and so on. (Hefferline 1955: 365)
This is as obvious as it is valuable. It is relevant that in the 21st century, or, on the internet, we feel held accountable only for behaviour that can be related to our persons. Anonymous behaviour escapes detection, or at least that the feeling we get when we aren't aware of being monitored by some agencies. The situation is thoroughly different in dystopias where even private behaviour - thoughts, dreams and waking fantasies - are detectable for the "thought police" or "guardians".
Less sensational, but more systematically revealing, is the faint, but unmistakable, behavior disclosed by electromyography. The movements which constitute visible behavior are produced by muscular contractions, and these are attended by electrical phenomena called action potentials. Now suppose that a person, with electrodes suitably attached, is told to "think of" or to "imagine" performing a particular action. While carrying out the instructions, he may make no visible movement; nevertheless, if the instrument for picking up and amplifying action potetials is sufficiently sensitive, it will be found that the appropriate muscles have run through a patterned sequence of activity which is the same, except in magnitude, as that involved when the action is performed "in reality." Thinking and imagination, in the instances thus far susceptible to this kind of test, prove to be a kind of doing in miniature. That is the genuine doing now beyond question. (Hefferline 1955: 366)
This is cool. Reference: Jacobson, Edmund 1932. Electrophysiology of Mental Activities. American Journal of Physiology XLIV: 677-694.
The fact that faint behavior may be invisible to an external observer does not necessarily indicate that it is so faint as to be unobservable by the person himself. He is in a privileged position, not with respect to seeing his own behavior as others see it, but with respect to "feeling" it proprioceptively, or, to use the older term, kenesthetically. Through sense organs embedded in muscles, joints, and tendons, he may respond to his own movements, to patterns of tension, or even to diffuse changes in his over-all tonus or readiness for action. These are inmportant intrapersonal communications which, especially if talked about internally - that is, subvocally - constitute a good part of what has traditionally been called consciousness. (Hefferline 1955: 366)
This is something that I have frequently remarked upon in terms of "nonverbal self-communication". And indeed, looked at this way, proprioception constitutes a good part of consciousness.
When we say, after staying for a time at a dull gathering, "I think it is time to go," we might more precisely, if less politely, report, "I find myself more and more oriented toward the door, and the muscles which would lift me from my chair are already somewhat contracted." (Hefferline 1955: 366)
Wow. This is an operation of replacing discourse (somewhat abstract or ritual utterances) with concourse (verbal descriptions of nonverbal behaviour).
Formal education works directly to set up such "invisible behavior." When educators, for instance, try to "teach the student to think," they proceed in ways calculated to promote miniature, intrapersonal functioning. Ultimately, of course, they are concerned with what the student does in full view, but, since they believe that his public doings are more likely to be correct if preceded by a private "dry run" or rehearsal, they discourage impulsive, premature reactions and uphold the motto: "Think before you act." The way to think, they say, is to "consider the consequences," "follow up logical implications," "visualize the whole situation," "check on whether there are other possible solutions," and so on. Carrying out such instructions constitutes training in speaking subvocally, making minute gestures, attending to images of various kinds - in short, training both in building and in operating the intrapersonal communication system. The value to the individual and to society of "pre-behaved" behavior is that many actions which would prove regrettable, or at least inadequate, are rejected after their "private showing" and those which do get lived out in the full social context are likely to be in better accord with the situation's genuine requirements. (Hefferline 1955: 366)
Wow. Hefferline even manages to relate autocommunication to social control!
A difficult textbook may, on first reading, be incomprehensible. But we can re-expose ourselves to it again and again as we cannot to a speaker. A second reading will clear up some items, which shows that even the initial encounter was not without effect. We may go over key passages slowly, perhaps whispering them aloud, or we may stop while we "think about" the argument just presented. The more we behave with it, the more the material becomes organized in our own behavior as it was organized in the behavior of the author. We fully understand the author when we can say what he says for good and sufficient reasons - that is, when we can say it on our own as if we ourselves were the author. (Hefferline 1955: 367)
This is a good point to add to the "internal addressee" version of autocommunication. When we read a specific author or listen to a specific thinker long and thoroughly enough we can as-if take their position, internalize their voice so to say, and speak and argue as they would.
At a point far back we posed the question: "What manner of tape, if any, runs the human organism?" Subsequent discussion has roughly traced the development of the human repertory, stressing the fact that the organismic system, unlike the man-made robot, is capable of undergoing change and reclassification of the behaviors which it carries in stock. (Hefferline 1955: 368)
I feel as though Lotman argues the same point through the notion of code switching.
Other close observers of the social scene have glimpsed the coming of "unitary man" or "man for himself" or simply the "healthy human roganism"; and in their efforts at description they have employed such terms as flexibility, as opposed to rigidity, interaction as poosed to forced adjustment, breadth and depth of functioning as opposed to narrowness and superficial contact. It is as if an ability to "see through" the socialization process results, not in cynicism or disillusionment, but in a relatively conflict-free, genuinely productive orientation. Such individuals, it would seem, must have been spared the common lot of excessive conformity-pressures in childhood, or else, in later years, through good fortune or expert assistance, had the robotizing effects of early "internalizations" significantly diminished. (Hefferline 1955: 369)
I consider myself such a man. References: Whyte, Lancelot Law 1948. The Next Development in Man. New York. and Fromm, Erich 1947. Man for Himself. New York.
The term inhibition, as ordinarily used, covers both the behavior held back and the behavior which accomplishes the holding back. It involves the simultaneous contraction of those muscles which are the agonists - or doers - and the opposing muscles, or antagonists. The result is behavioral deadlock, or at least behavioral friction, with one part of the intrapersonal communications system tied up in the work of keeping another part in chronic check. This is what was hinted at earlier when it was suggested that the individual could commit partial suicide by "killing off" portions of his repertory. (Hefferline 1955: 370)
Could this explain the "frozen style" in Hall and Joos?
Electromyograptic investigations have been made by Malmo and coworkers at McGill University of headaches produced by chronic contraction of the musculature of head and scalp. They find these related to unexpressed resentment. They also suggest that leg cramps of a certain kind may be related to sexual inhibition, and arm and shoulder cramps to the inhibition of aggression. (Hefferline 1955: 371)
Wow. I immediately remembered an ex-girlfriend with chronic headaches who worked as a cashier and had a ton of "unexpressed resentment". The reference: Shagass, Charles and Robert B. Malmo 1954. Psychodynamic Themes and Localized Muscular Tension during Psychotherapy. Psychosomatic Medicine XVI: 312.
Since muscles are well equipped with sense organs, the proprioceptors, which supply information to the organism of movements, or even states of muscular tension without movement, it is paradoxical that chronic muscular blocking should not be more readily recognized as such. After a fashion it is recognized, but ascribed to recent strain, to "nervousness," to annoying circumstances, to rheumatism, arthritis, and a host of other conditions of which the organism seems to be the passive, innocent victim. (Hefferline 1955: 371)
Maybe because it is easier to "delegate the blame"?
If reminded that he has the voluntary muscles needed to wiggle his ears and yet cannot wiggle them, he is unconvinced or regards this as an irrelevant coincidence. He will readily acknowledge, however, that skills to which he once had to devote painstaking attention now run themselves off automatically because they have become "second nature." If he tries to watch how he performs such automatized activity, the result is interference with or disruption of the sequence. (Hefferline 1955: 372)
Relevant for my interests insofar as those same muscles that wiggle the ears are involved in lifting the eyebrows.
It is paralleled by the equally invalid assumption that, if one wishes to know something about a person's behavior, it is quite sufficient to "ask him." It is true, of course, that if the information sought lies within the area where the person has been schooled to observe himself in action and to verbalize what he is doing, his answer may be as accurate as could be obtained from prolonged observation of him by a trained investigator. But if asked by a trained investigator. But if asked about personal activities which he was never taught to observe and talk about - and therefore is likely to have no knowledge of - it is the rare individual who still does not feel qualified to answer or, if he confesses ignorance, does not feel he ought to have the information. Frequently he will promise to "think about it." (Hefferline 1955: 374)
This touches upon self-reports and nonverbal ethics.
Such "thinking" is nearly certain te be of the kind which has earned the bad name of "introspection." The person stares inwardly at himself, splitting his behavior into a part which does the staring and a part which gets stared at. It is not at all surprising that whatever is observed in this peculiar state should be so distorted in the process as to be peculiar, too, and not representative of the person's behavior under more natural circumstances. In the "Informal Experiments in Self-Awareness" referred to previously, the matter is put as follows:
...you will be at first unable to distinguish true awareness from introspection, and you will probably conclude that we intend you to introspect; however, this is not the case. Awareness is the spontaneous sensing of what arises in you - of what you are doing, feeling, planning; introspection, in contrast, is a deliberate turning of attention to these activities in an evaluating, correcting, controlling, interfering way, which often, by the very attention paid them, modifies or prevents their appearance in awareness. ...
Awareness is like the grow of a coal which comes from its own combustion; what is given by introspection is like the light reflected from an object when a flashlight is turned on it. In awareness a process is taking place in the coal (the total organism); in introspection the process occurs in the director of the flashlight (a split-off and highly opinionated part of the organism which we call the deliberate ega). When you have a toothache, you are aware of it without introspection, but you may also, of course, introspect it - bite down on the sore tooth, wiggle it with your finger, or, deliberately neglect it, force attention stoically away from it.
It is commonly assumed that if a person becomes more aware of his techniques and idiosyncrasies of functioning, he will then be under the constant strain of "having to watch everything at once." Actually, it is only the person very mistrustful of himself or others - afraid of being taken by surprise - who must exercise sugch hyper-alertness. If a person's communication channels are open, he does not have to examine them constantly for arrival of messages. These attract attention without effort, if they involve his interests. For instance, the good driver does not need to listen deliberately to the sounds of his motor. This is in the background of awareness. But should the motor develop a knock or other noise indicating something amiss, the good driver becomes aware of it quickly and takes appropriate action. The same thing is true of the individual who has not been trained to be afraid of his own behavior or who, if formerly afraid, has leaned the value of keeping open the channels of communication with himself. (Hefferline 1955: 375)
Invaluable for my "nonverbal self-communication".
While private, in the sense of invisible behavior, will no doubt always have its merits, it will no longer need to be a reservoir for impounding the backwash of the socially inexpressible. By further development of the methods and techniques for co-ordinating the verbal and non-verbal systems which are crucial to communication "in the full human sense," it appears that man can progressively de-robotize himself and more and more take rational charge of his affairs. (Hefferline 1955: 376)
This is one good paper.


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