The purposes of interpersonal communication:
A survey to fi nd the most likely general reasons why people engage in communication
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
ABSTRACT: Th e purpose underlying this paper is to fi nd out what purposes/functions people from a diverse background assess to be more important and central to human interpersonal communication. A list of 17 possible purposes and functions of interpersonal communication was derived from a literature review and used in a survey study. Th e questionnaire was fi lled out by 313 participants (international students being in Sweden) from diverse cultural backgrounds. Th e fi ndings from this study suggest that the participants acknowledge very central aspects of human life to be the reason for communicating. Th e most agreed upon reasons why we communicate is to share and enhance enjoyment (share positive emotions) and to create and strengthen social bonds (manage relationships).