The original source of co-orientation theory is an article written by Theodore M. Newcomb, published in the Psychological Review in 1953, under the title “An Approach to the Study of Communicative Acts.” Newcomb outlined his framework of analysis in this way: Communication, in its essence, serves two ends, to establish a common orientation of two (or more) individuals with respect to each other and, simultaneously, to link them to a shared object of concern. The originality of his conception resides in this recognition of interpersonal adaptation as mediated by a joint interest in the state of an objective world, one that communicators are mutually connected to and by. Interaction is now seen through a new lens, that of some aspect of the world to which more than one person orients. This idea of social interaction contrasted with the then popular mathematical theory of communication associated with Claude Shannon, commonly called information theory, which concentrated on information quantities in messages and how to encode messages most efficiently in linking a source to a destination. Shannon and his colleagues had denuded messages of reference to interaction. Newcomb’s innovation served to correct this abstraction from ordinary reality by reestablishing communicative acts as embedded within both a social and a material reality.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.654

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Gayes Mahestu
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan