Metacommunicative competence  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Metacommunicative competence is the ability to intervene (in a guiding or constructively controlling way) within difficult conversations and to correct communication problems by utilizing the different ways of practical communication:

Within the metacommunicative competence the aforementioned ways of communication can be used in a balanced and therefore credible, authentic way as well as simultaneously observed (Meta-analysis), if necessary corrected and adapted to an evolvement, a new influence or a new situation.

When metacommunicating, you are trying to constructively control the situation. Within metacommunicative competence you are trying to find a way of analyzing conversations to avoid and correct problems. Many authors have come up with theories that help to do the same things and correct communication problems, such as David Morley’s, “Communication”, A revised vocabulary of culture and society. In Morley’s essay he states that, “Communication refers to the activity of imparting, or transmitting messages containing, information, ideas, or knowledge is known as interpersonal communication or the idea of conversation.” This relates back to metacommunication because you need to be able to analyze the content of the communication process. When communicating we have two models we use. These models are called standard or transmission and constructionist. It’s easier to think of these models, such as the standard or transmission, which means just sending and receiving messages, and the constructionist, as the screening process, and then to communicate is actually determining what the message is. When metacommunicating you are basically using the constructionist model of communication, the screening process, to screen out all the messages that could possibly be conveyed during communication and using that to figure out what the message being conveyed to you actually is. In Daniel Chandler’s essay, “The Transmission Model of Communication”, he states “that there is no allowance for interpretation, differing purposes, unequal power relations, and situational context”, In reality there must always be room for this and within metacommunicative competence, you learn how and when this can be a really effective way to do so.

Bennett, Tony, Lawrence Grossberg, and Meaghan Morris. "Communication”, New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Blackwell (2005): 47-50.

Chandler, Daniel. "The Transmission Model of Communication." UWA (1994):


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Metacommunicative competence" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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