Interest Groups: Communication Traits
From the earliest days of ECA, our members have been concerned with the study of such communication traits as speech anxiety and avoidance behaviors. Beginning in the late 1960's, ECA members began researching other traits related to anxiety. But until the 1990's, many researchers thought that communication anxiety was learned and that it could therefore be reduced, if not eliminated, through speech classes. In the 1990's, this view was challenged significantly. We now know that these kinds of communication problems are caused to some extent by both learning and genetics.
To advance our knowledge of the causes and effects of communication traits, further research in this area needs to be encouraged and the findings disseminated throughout our field. The Communication Traits Interest Group seeks to fulfill this function. It is our hope that, through the efforts of this interest group, communication scholars will be able to identify more communication traits and understand how to control or influence them (if possible) and to apply the knowledge gained to various areas of the study of human communication.
Trait research is a thread that runs through and can potentially inform every area of study within our field. Therefore, we encourage scholars from all areas of study to consider joining the Communication Traits interest group.
Jerry L. Allen, Ph.D.
Department of Communication, Film, and Media Studies
University of New Haven
300 Post Road
New Haven, CT 06516