Now in its third edition,
Communication: Motivation, Knowledge, Skills (previously Human Communication: Motivation, Knowledge, and Skills)
is a textbook for the basic (hybrid) communication course at 2- and 4-year colleges and universities.
Beginning with the premise that all forms of communication can be important, this text helps students develop a framework for choosing communication messages and behaviors that will allow them to communicate competently in any situation. Through a theoretically-based and skills-oriented approach, the text emphasizes the basic themes of motivation, knowledge, and skills across the contexts of interpersonal communication, small group communication, public speaking, and computer-mediated communication and mass communication. Building on the success of the first two editions, this third edition is unique in that it:
– Features the collaborative work of three recognized experts in the communication discipline, each of whom is a specialist in one of the three areas covered in the hybrid iteration of the basic communication course: Interpersonal communication, Brian H. Spitzberg; Small group communication, J. Kevin Barge; Public speaking, Sherwyn P. Morreale.
– Offers a unified approach to the basic processes of human communication based on a communication competence model pioneered by Brian H. Spitzberg.
– Includes extensive coverage of mediated competence and mass communication.
In addition to theoretically based but accessible content, all chapters have features designed to enhance teaching and learning. These include the story of a student experience that opens each chapter and is discussed and used to illustrate the chapter’s content; tables and boxes related to important topics presented to intrigue student readers and «lock in learning»; self-assessment tools students can use to evaluate their own motivation, knowledge, and skills related to real-world situations; and knowledge-building discussion questions and competence activities for home assignments or in-class groups at the conclusion of each chapter.
A new Test Bank to accompany the third edition is available to instructors as a free PDF. Please email
to obtain a copy of this highly valid and reliable assessment resource. In addition, the lead author, Sherwyn Morreale, is happy to participate in a Q&A session with students via a video call every semester that the book is used. To arrange this, please email the author directly at