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Loose Versus Tight Coupling

  • By: Louis Cusella
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The theoretical and empirical relevance of the concept of coupling to any aspect of health communication dynamics can only be appreciated via a brief review of its conceptual etymology and its consequent emergence as a construct of interest in the social and behavioral sciences, especially the organizational sciences. The concept of coupling was first introduced in the biological sciences as systems theory was advanced to aid in the explanation of living systems, their organization, and their persistence. In particular, coupling was employed to further understanding of the coordination among parts of a living system or among variables of one system and those of another system.

Based on W. Ross Ashby's theoretical advances, Robert B. Glassman characterized coupling as interaction, or the degree of shared activity ...

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