International Communication Association

Communication Science - Evolution, Biology, and Brains

International Communication Association

Pre-conference to the 2013 Conference of the International Communication Association

This pre-conference takes up several of the core questions identified in the London 2013 Call for Proposals:

  • How communication research is conducted: its approaches, perspectives, assumptions, and methods: Biological paradigms can be integrated within traditional study paradigms, but also present new opportunities, which in turn, generate new perspectives about interpersonal communication, media effects, and intergroup relations, among other topics.
  • How communication research identifies, classifies, and understands its objects of study: As biological explanations are increasingly incorporated into communication studies, what can they tell us and how do we set up studies that maximally leverage these perspectives?
  • How communication research challenges society and public discourses that are increasingly dominated by powerful economic, political, and technical interests: These questions are core to evolutionary arguments about status and power or ingroup versus outgroup. Furthermore, biological paradigms often measure implicit processes that color our evaluations of other people, groups and ourselves, and hence may offer perspectives on these issues that are not easily accessed through other means.
  • How communication research challenges authority, privilege and power in times of uncertainty and change: A considerable body of data now demonstrate the powerful links between mind and body—environmental and interpersonal stress are coupled with most major disease categories and chronic conditions. Biological study paradigms identify mediators that may link the mediated environment to health and policy relevant outcomes of interest to our field.
  • How communication research challenges common, taken- for-granted conceptions about the communication process itself: Biological paradigms can provide new ways of measuring constructs, answering why questions, and as such, can directly serve as catalysts for updating taken-for-granted conceptions about the communication process.