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Situational Theory and Communication Behaviors

  • By: Jeong-Nam Kim, Arunima Krishna & James E. Grunig
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The situational theory of publics (STP) proposed by James E. Grunig holds a unique position in the field of communication. It is not only one of the earliest and most popular theories in the subarea of public relations, but it also is a theory that continues to evolve over 40 years after it was first proposed.

This theory explains the communicative behaviors of an individual who recognizes a problem. Using information seeking and information attending as two communicative behaviors, the STP identifies three antecedents of these behaviors. The STP proposes that when an individual recognizes a problem, is involved in the problem, and believes that there are few barriers in his or her route to the solution, the individual will be more likely to engage in ...

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