Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice, 5th Edition, 5th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Skilled Interpersonal Communication

Research, Theory and Practice, 5th Edition

By Owen Hargie

© 2011 – Routledge

632 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

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There is a fundamental, powerful, and universal desire amongst humans to interact with others. People have a deep-seated need to communicate, and the greater their ability in this regard the more satisfying and rewarding their lives will be. The contribution of skilled interpersonal communication to success in both personal and professional contexts is now widely recognised and extensively researched. As such, knowledge of various types of skills, and of their effects in social interaction, is crucial for effective interpersonal functioning.

Previous editions have established Skilled Interpersonal Communication as the foremost textbook on communication. This thoroughly revised and expanded 5th edition builds on this success to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the current research, theory and practice in this burgeoning field of study. The first two chapters introduce the reader to the nature of skilled interpersonal communication and review the main theoretical perspectives. Subsequent chapters provide detailed accounts of the fourteen main skill areas, namely: nonverbal communication; reinforcement; questioning; reflecting; listening; explaining; self-disclosure; set induction; closure; assertiveness; influencing; negotiating; and interacting in, and leading, group discussions.

Written by one of the foremost international experts in the field and founded solidly in research, this book provides a key reference for the study of interpersonal communication. This theoretically informed, yet practically oriented text will be of interest both to students of interpersonal communication in general, and to qualified personnel and trainees in many fields.


"Hargie covers the research, theory and practice aspects of communication exceptionally well. The language he uses is pitched perfectly to be reader friendly, and the content will be of value to novices, as well as experienced professionals." - Mark Pittman, North Bristol NHS Trust, UK, in Nursing Standard

"This is an excellent textbook for basic studies on communication. Based on an extensive amount of research, it offers a thorough review of skills for interpersonal communication, and presents the most important theoretical viewpoints. It will be useful for students and teachers of communication as an introductory book on this research area, but also more advanced experts of communication can become acquainted with new issues as well as review the central points of interpersonal communication from it." - Pekka Isolatus, Professor of Speech Communication, University of Tampere, Finland

"This book is very comprehensive. The cues that emanate from the many chapter titles will raise interest and the writing is so clear that the reader is encouraged to continue reading. Concepts are analysed systematically into sub-concepts, and every new concept is defined, explicated and illustrated with reference to relevant research. Students will encounter many inspiring topics and find many original references." - Klaus Fiedler, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Importance of Interpersonal Skills. Interpersonal Communication: A Skill-based Model. Nonverbal Communication. Rewarding and Reinforcing. Questioning. Reflecting. Listening. Explaining. Self-disclosure. Set Induction and Closure. Assertiveness. Influence and Persuasion. Negotiating. Groups and Group Interaction. Concluding Comments. Bibliography. Name Index. Subject Index.

About the Author

Owen Hargie is Professor of Communication at the University of Ulster, and visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University Aberdeen and University of Chester. He is an elected Member of the prestigious Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters, and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has published over 20 books and 120 book chapters and journal articles.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Personality
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adulthood & Aging