The Process of Communication between People with Categorical Knowledge: An Exploratory Study
Rohani Tabatabai, Mina
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This thesis investigates the process of communication between a person who has in-depth and technical knowledge about certain items and a person who has very broad and non-technical knowledge. For example, a doctor has detailed knowledge about all types of diseases, whereas, an ordinary person only knows a few common type of them. People use categories to communicate; the language, which is used in communication, is categorical. In addition, knowledge can be expressed in categories, and the categories are formed based on the knowledge that the person has. If the person has a superficial knowledge about a specific subject, he then creates superficial categories; whereas, if he has in-depth knowledge, he creates detailed and technical categories. The communication process between a person with technical categories of knowledge and a person with non-technical categories can be presented by the way that they match their categories. Shared cognition is formed if a category exists or is formed that is completely understandable for both parties. Literature on communication studies have never focused on the way that people with categorical knowledge communicate; therefore, an exploratory study is designed to figure out the process of communication when people have categorical knowledge. The task that is used in this study simulates the situation that two persons with categorical knowledge are communicating. The results of this thesis introduce a new representation for the communication process between a technical and non-technical communicators and the way that shared cognition can be analyzed.