Table of Contents

General Contexts

Intrapersonal Communication (Persuasion)

Interpersonal Communication

Small Group Communication

Organizational Communication

Intercultural Communication

Mass Communication

Applied Contexts

Health Communication

Instructional Communication

Honors Capstone Home Page

Last updated March 21, 2000

Produced by:

Luke Riddle


Mass Communication Context
Click Here to Go Back to Mass Communication Context Page

Rules Based Theory

Explanation of Theory:  Lullís rules-based theory describes three rule-governed behaviors during family television viewing.  Habitual rules are non-negotiable with negative consequences for violation.  Parametric rules are somewhat more negotiable and are understood boundaries (not always verbalized).  Lullís last rule is tactical, which are set by the culture in general.  

Theorists:   J. Lull 

Date:  1980

Primary Article: Lull, J. (1980). Family communication patterns and the social uses of television. Communication Research, 7 319-34.

Metatheoretical Assumptions:

Ontological Assumptions: 
determanistic--------X-----------free will 

Epistemological Assumptions: 

Axiological Assumptions: 
value neutral-X--------------------value laden 

Individual Interpretations and Critique:  Lullís rules-based theory is rests in the middle between scientific and humanistic.  Epistemologically, the rules-based theory believes that although families all have television viewing rules they all do it in different ways.  The theory is value neutral.  Lastly, the theory rests in the middle between free will and deterministic.  Lullís rules-based theory does not do much more then describe an everyday, common sense action.  Lull does put names to things most people are familiar with; however, the theory does little more.

Ideas and Implications: It is easy to see the rules-based theory in work anytime a parent tells a child that they can not watch television after ten oíclock or not to change the channel without asking.

Relevant Researchers:
Chaney, David

Relevant Articles:  Chaney, D. (1996). Media, communication, culture: A global approach. The Sociological Review. August v44 n3 p 565(10).

Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:

    Anderson, R., & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press.
Page N/A 
     Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Page N/A 
     Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Page N/A 
     Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Page N/A 
     Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.
Page 381 
     Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Page N/A 
     West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.
Page 44 
     Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Page N/A