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bscom100 r1 introduction to communication worksheet

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bscom100 r1 introduction to communication worksheet
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Introduction to Communication Worksheet

Paragraph Questions

Answer the following questions in your own words. Each response must be written as an academic paragraph of at least 150 words. Be clear and concise and provide explanations for your answers. Format your sources consistent with APA guidelines.

1. According to Introducing Communication Theory (2010), what is the definition of communication? What does communication mean to you personally? Provide an example.

The authors of Introducing Communication Theory (2010) defines communication as a social process in which individuals employ symbols to establish and interpret meaning in their environment. If the question is asking what communication means to me in terms of its value, than I would answer, communication is essential to me personally. According to Beebe, Beebe, and Ivy (2013), we spend 80 – 90 % of our time awake communicating; how could it not be essential to me? I rely on good communication skills to have a healthy relationship with friends, family, and coworkers. And, most importantly, I use communication to express my needs and feelings as well as understand the needs and feelings of those around me. But, if the question is asking me what does communication mean to me in terms of defining it, then I would answer differently. I would say that communication is effectively relaying and efficiently receiving messages using both verbal and non-verbal methods. Verbal messages are spoken and written and non-verbal messages are any other form of communication, such as facial expressions and hand gestures.

2. Describe the differences between linear, interactional, and transactional communication.

Linear, interactional and transactional communication theories date back to the 1940s through the 1980s. Researchers created models to show the theories they had come up with about how communication works (West and Turner 2010). The theory of the Linear Model is that communication involves the sender of the message, a channel for the message to travel through, and the receiver of the message. This theory does allow for noise as well which is found in every form of communication. Noise is anything that effects the message such as an actual noise or psychological noise. The Interaction model of communication includes everything the linear one does, but adds to it. In this model, acknowledgment occurs that communication not only includes sending a message and receiving it, but also includes feedback on the message received. I think of it as cyclical; the sender send message, it gets received, the receiver responds and so on. Later, researchers found that this theory was still missing information. The transactional theory of communication adds that the process of communication is simultaneous. When a sender is sending a message it is being received while the receiver is communicating simultaneously either verbally or non-verbally. The process is constant.

3. Why is communication critical to developing self-concept? Provide an example of how communication has helped you to develop your self-concept.

In the book Communication: Principles for a lifetime, Beebe, Beebe, and Ivy refer to a study by Virginia Star where she recognized that family communication is the “largest single factor determining the kinds of relationships [we make] with others” (2013). When I read this, I thought of friends who grew up in homes where the parents communicated feelings of constant disappointment or worse, didn’t communicate their love efficiently. I have seen many of these friends have poor relationships with men because they either do not know their self-worth or they are searching for the acceptance they did not get from their parents. I, on the other hand, have a mother who has made it a point to say encouraging things to me regularly. Because of the positivity she has communicated to me, I have often been successful at achieving things I desired. For example, I have an excellent job that I would have never attempted to apply for had it not been for my mother’s encouragement. Because of her reassurance and positive words, I felt the confidence I needed to land the initial interview and four interviews later I was hired!

Myth or Reality?

Identify whether each of the following sentences is a myth or a reality. Explain your answers.

1. You communicate only when you consciously and deliberately choose to communicate.
Myth or Reality

There has been some disagreement on the subject of whether or not communication has to be deliberate and conscious to be considered true communication. In 1975, Mark Steinberg concluded that “if there is no intent, there is no message” (Beebe, Beebe, and Ivy, 2013). However, a group of scholars, the Palo Alto Team, later came out saying that all behavior is communication and that it is impossible to not communicate, even when being silent (Beebe, Beebe, and Ivy, 2013). The later theory was well liked for a while, but then folks noticed that the broadness of the theory made it nearly impossible to study. Personally, I am torn between the two theories as I believe that all forms of behavior can be seen as a type of communication. An example would be, if I am tired, I may lay down in my room. I am laying down simply because I am tired and not with the intention of making my husband aware. He will likely conclude that I am tired by my actions. In this situation, I have communicated to my husband that I am tired without the intent of communicating. But, for the purposes of this course, I believe this is a realty.

2. Words do not mean the same things to the listener as they do to the speaker.
Myth or Reality

This is a reality. Many things contribute to meanings of words and symbols, including someone’s upbringing and culture. For example, the word love means something different for my husband than it does for me. When I think of love, I think of patience, understanding, sincerity, intimacy, and gifts. When my husband thinks of love, he thinks of respect and of sex.  Of course I am joking a bit, but the point is, our views of the value of the word are different.

3. You communicate primarily with words.
Myth or Reality

This is just a myth. The majority of our time is spent communicating nonverbally. Even when someone is receiving a message, they are communicating without words by making certain facial expressions or with body language. When we walk down the street, we are communicating by our body language to the people around us. Non-verbal communication can also include our silence or suggestive things like the clothes we wear. I can communicate to everyone I come in contact with what president I support simply by wearing a shirt with the candidates name on it. In the realm of communication, words aren’t the half of it.

4. Nonverbal communication is not perceived solely through sight.
Myth or Reality

This is a myth. You can communicate to someone through touch by giving them a hug, for example. You can also communicate through sound by playing an instrument or hitting something when you are angry.

5. Communication is not a one-way activity.
Myth or Reality

This is a reality. According to the communication as a transaction theory which came around in the 1960s, all communication is simultaneous (Beebe, Beebe, and Ivy, 2013). Therefore, communication is not just moving one way from the sender to the received and vice versa, but it’s going back and forth simultaneously.

6. The message you send is identical to the message received by the listener.
Myth or Reality

This is a myth. I believe I answered this question above, but I’ll give a different example using messages instead of words. For example, I might call my husband from work and tell him I am getting ready to leave and head home. I may know that I have about twenty minutes of work left before I plan on leaving, but he might think I literally mean I am walking out once we hang up. After a couple times of this sort of miscommunication and having to explain myself, I have learned to speak to him literally so as to not cause confusion. My mother has always exaggerated things, which is where I got that habit. Even to this day, I know if my mom says she’s right down the street that means she’s ten miles down the highway.

7. You can never give someone too much information.
Myth or Reality

Reality. Some people may not need a lot of information and only need what is pertinent to their situation. Too much information could confuse them and defeat the purpose of giving them information in the first place. In another context, media allows for us to give little or a lot of information about ourselves. It is definitely possible though social media to give someone too much information.


Match the seven contexts of communication with the appropriate definition by placing the letter of the definition in the blank.

1. _g__ Interpersonal
a. Communication within and among large, extended environments

2. __e_ Intrapersonal
b. Communication between and among members of different cultural backgrounds

3. _c__ Group

c. Communication with a group of people
4. _d_ Public/Rhetorical

d. Communication to a large group of listeners

5. _a__ Organizational
e. Communication with oneself

6. _b__ Intercultural
f. Communication to a very large audience through mediated forms

7. __f_ Mass
g. Face-to-face communication between people

Communication Theories

Match the communication theories with their descriptions by placing the letter of the description in the blank.

1. __C__ Social penetration theory

2. __F__ Communication accommodation theory

3. __D__ Spiral of silence theory

4. __A__ Relational dialectics theory 5. __G__ Rhetoric/dramatism/narrative paradigm

6. __B__ Muted group theory

7. ___H__ Communication privacy management theory

8. ___I__ Organizational culture theory

9. ___J__ Agenda-setting theory 10. __K___ Face-negotiation theory

11. __E__ Organizational information theory

12. _L__ Symbolic interaction theory

13. __M___ Cognitive dissonance theory

14. __N___ Expectancy violations theory

15. ___O__ Groupthink

A. Explains why parties to communication experience conflicting pulls that cause relationships to be in a constant state of flux. The closer individuals become to one another, the more conflict arises to pull them apart.

B. Explains why certain groups in society are muted, which means they are either silent or not heard

C. Explains why, as relationships develop, communication moves from less intimate levels to more intimate, more personal levels

D. Explains why people tend to remain silent when they think their views are in the minority

E. Explains how organizations make sense of the information that is essential for their existence

F. Explains some of the reasons for changes to speech as individuals attempt to emphasize or minimize the social differences between themselves and their interlocutors

G. Explains that people are essentially storytellers who make decisions on the basis of good reasons. History, biography, culture, and character determine what people consider good reasons.

H. Explains the process that people use to manage the relationship between concealing and revealing private information

I. Explains meanings for routine organizational events, thereby reducing the amount of cognitive processing and energy members need to expend throughout the day

J. Explains that mass media has a major influence on audiences by choosing what stories are newsworthy and how much prominence and space to give them

K. Explains how different cultures manage conflict and communication. The theory explains that the root of conflict is based on identity management on individual and cultural levels.

L. Explains how individuals act toward things on the basis of the meanings they assign to them. The meaning comes from the social interaction individuals have with others and with society.

M. Explains the tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions, such as beliefs and opinions. When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance. In the case of a discrepancy between attitudes and behavior, it is most likely that the attitude will change to accommodate the behavior.

N. Explains how people have expectations about the nonverbal behaviors of others. Violations of these expectations may trigger a change in the perception of exchange—either positively or negatively, depending on the relationship.

O. Explains how individuals may withhold their opposing opinions to promote cohesiveness. Individuals may also withhold their opposing opinions because they fear rejection by the group.

Communication Theories and Contexts

Match the communication theories to their contexts by placing the letter of the context in the blank. Note. Letters may be used more than once.

A. Intrapersonal
B. Interpersonal
C. Group
D. Organizational
E. Public
F. Intercultural
G. Mass

1. __b__ Social penetration theory

2. __b__ Communication accommodation theory

3. _c __ Spiral of silence theory

4. __b__ Relational dialectics theory

5. _e___ Rhetoric/dramatism/narrative paradigm

6. __f__ Muted group theory

7. __a__ Communication privacy management theory

8. __d__ Organizational culture theory

9. _e___ Agenda-setting theory

10. __f__ face-negotiation theory

11. __d__ Organizational information theory

12. __f__ Symbolic interaction theory

13. __a__ Cognitive dissonance theory

14. __b__ Expectancy violation theory


Beebe, S. A., Beebe, S. J., & Ivy, D. K. (2013). Communication: Principles for a lifetime (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2010). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

References: Beebe, S. A., Beebe, S. J., & Ivy, D. K. (2013). Communication: Principles for a lifetime (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2010). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

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