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Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes
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Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  434 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
A perennial bestseller in hardback, now in Norton paperback—one of the best books ever about human communication, this book has formed the foundation of much research in interpersonal communication.
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published March 17th 1967 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1967)
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Jim Parker
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While I first read this book and listened to lectures on it in 1969 it still very much alive for me today. I'm posting this review today because once again I will be teaching from this text in one of my classes.

Some of the ideas have fallen out of favor such as using double binds as an explanation for schizophrenia but much of what is in the book is still very valuable for understanding how we humans interact.

Despite the oversimplification of the first axiom, which states "one cannot not communi
May 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Otro libro que cae en mi personal definición de "DEBE leerse". El texto presenta las "leyes" de la comunicación y una forma de analizar sistémicamente las relaciones de las personas para explicar ciertas enfermedades. Su efecto es como el de una vacuna, creando anticuerpos al reconocer cuando se está en relaciones enfermas, y permitiendo actuar en consecuencia.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adepti-e-addetti
Testo sacro per chi sia punto o punta da vaghezza riguardo all'argomento. Un tema centrale: la comunicazione paradossale come scambio relazionale in cui non puoi né essere né non essere chi sei.
Jesus (Ego)
Imprescindible. Obviamente dirigido a lectores especializados pero creo que es moderadamente accesible a gente fuera del ámbito de la psicología, el pensamiento y la lógica que guste de conocer ensayos y ampliar conocimientos. Considero que puedes sacar provecho no sólo si eres terapeuta familiar desde el modelo sistémico; todos los psicólogos y profesionales que traten individuos o familias, se muevan en el modelo que sea, deberían leer este libro alguna vez. Tiene claves importantes sobre la c ...more
Mona Dennaoui
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, psychology
During my second year of psychology, I had to take a course of counseling, in which the teacher practically made us learn by heart the five axioms of communication. This is where I first came across Watzlawick and his fellows work on the pragmatics of human communication. Very intrigued and honestly, quite fascinated by what the axioms imply on a practical level, I looked his publications up and there came this book.
When you first read the title (and subtitle), you immediately know it is not on
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La lectura de este libro me ha demostrado qué inútiles y complicadas pueden llegar a ser las recomendaciones bibliográficas universitarias sin una curación de contenidos previa. Estaba yo estudiando una asignatura del campo de la Comunicación y me decían que este libro era el más importante que podía leer por ser el núcleo del pensamiento de la Escuela de Palo Alto, la que nos traíamos entre manos en aquel momento. Lo que olvidaron mencionar, incluso en los apuntes de la asignatura, es que en Pa ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Será de cinco estrellas cuando me saque una A en el examen.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un libro imprescindible.
Plantea los cinco axiomas de la comunicación, explicados de una manera clarísima. Con ejemplos concretos y con un orden lógico impecable.
1. Es imposible no comunicarse:
2. Toda comunicación tiene un nivel de contenido y un nivel de relación, de tal manera que el último clasifica al primero, y es, por tanto, una metacomunicación.
3. La naturaleza de una relación depende de la puntuación que los participantes hagan de las secuencias comunicacionales entre ellos.
4. La comunic
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
Lettura fondamentale.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Pragmatica della comunicazione umana” non è solo un libro per addetti ai lavori, bensì qualcosa di più: è un’avventura entusiasmante. Gli autori, tra cui quello di spicco è sostanzialmente Paul Watzlawick, uno dei massimi studiosi della comunicazione nonché uno dei fondatori della scuola di Palo Alto, ridefiniscono il paradigma comunicativo statico e lo arricchiscono con modelli teorici mutuati da altre discipline: dalla filosofia della scienza (Popper un nome fra tutti), alla cibernetica (con ...more
Dec 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Notes from midterm:

Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson also assert the vital role of interpretation in communication. Like Mead, they touch upon the idea of intuition, but not in the way of gestures and reflexes, but rather, in their view that human intuition is expressed through the classification of the digital vs. the analogic modes of communication. The analogic means of communication, they contend, is deep-rooted in our system of understanding through relationships, and does not rely on verbal
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This has been by far one of my favorite books for quite awhile, it offers significant insight into the significance of patterns in communication, paradoxical communication, metacommunication, complementary and symmetrical schizmogenesis. If you have the patience to make your way through this publication, in my perception, you can gain valuable knowledge from authors that are proven experts in the field.
rated it liked it
Oct 09, 2013
Alex Giurgea
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: strategica
Unul din formatorii mei mi-a recomandat aceasta carte, numind-o "cea mai buna carte despre comunicarea umana". O carte revolutionara scrisa in anii '70 care a pus bazele unei noi modalitati de abordare a psihoterapiei plecand de la modalitatile in care comunicam si efectele comportamentale pragmatice ale comunicarii.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the must reads on human communications, one of my all time favorites. Fundamental. Language - and this is what Paul seems to have missed - is a meta-language too. You cannot not-talk about language without using (digital) language. And the use of this type of language implies I cannot convey the meaning of this gem.
Feb 23, 2013 marked it as to-read
a textbook from a class i took psych communications/interviewing at the Professional School of Psychology, San Francisco.
Kai Bauer
Oct 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Manchmal ganz schön auf dem Holzweg gewesen der Herr Watzlawick...
Bill Baer
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for anyone interested in Language and its meaning and use.
Laura Hunter
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mind adding and opening (and even some positive closing:)
Ryan Hartberg
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the smartest and most-readable book on communication theory ever written.
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Requires more than one read, but I believe it is a must read for everyone in the behavioral sciences.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: professional
Wacky. Best quote--"We can not not communicate."
rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2012
Nicola Maffei
rated it really liked it
Apr 14, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2017
rated it it was amazing
May 30, 2017
Barbora Romanovská
rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2015
rated it it was ok
Aug 18, 2014
rated it it was ok
Apr 01, 2014
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Was an Austrian-American psychologist and philosopher. A theoretician in communication theory and radical constructivism, he has commented in the fields of family therapy and general psychotherapy. He was one of the most influential figures at the Mental Research Institute and lived and worked in Palo Alto, California, until his death at the age of 85
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