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Interpersonal Communication

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Kimberly Rushing

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of Interpersonal Communication


When this woman looks into a mirror and assume her own interpretation of how she may "think" she looks; her perception is based off of what she see's and understand from her own personal experiences, verses how others may see her.
The Process of Human Perception
CH3: Perception & Communication
CH 3: Key Terms
- The active process of creating meaning be selecting, organizing, and interpreting people, objects, events, situations, and other phenomena.
- The clearest of most representative examples of some categories.
Personal Constructs
- A "mental yardstick" we use to measure a person or situation along bipolar dimensions of judgment.
- A predictive generalization applied to a person or situation.
- A guide to action.
- The subjective process of explaining our perception in ways that make sense to us.
- An explanation of why something happened or why someone acts a certain way.
Self-serving Bias
- A bais towards ourselves and our interests.
Fundamental Attribution Error
- The act of overestimating the internal causes of others' undesirable behaviors and underestimating the external cause.
- The totality of beliefs, values, understandings, practices, and ways of interpreting experiences that are shared by a number of people.
- A point of veiw shaped by political awareness of the social location of group--the material, social, and symbolic conditions common for members of social group.
Cognitive Complexity
- The number of personal constructs used, how abstract they are, and how elaborately they interact to shape perception.
- The ability to feel with another person, to feel what her or she feels in a situation.
Implicit Personality Theory
- Helps to explain how the self influences interpersonal perception.
Mind Reading
- Assuming we understand what another person thinks, feels, or perceives.
The Ladder of Abstraction
Possession - A very abstract way of describing the particular person or thing. There are no specific details in reference to the person or thing.

Living thing - This label calls attention to what the person has in common with all phenomena but fails to specify how it differs from other people.

[Human] - This label is more general. A word is used to recognize what the thing is, but fails to note it's distinction from other similar entities; example: (mammal)

[Woman] - This label specify what is common to all members of the group in relation to the thing; example: (girl)

Sadie - A name is given to the particular person, but it only captures some qualities that we perceive in her; and obscures other features of who she really is.

Sadie as we perceive her. Out of the totality that she is, we abstract only certain features that we identify as Sadie.

The chemical, biological, and physical person that Sadie has specific qualities and makeup that cannot be fully appreciated by the human eye; example: (personality, talents)

Perception & Self-Concept
is the process by which you filter and interpret what your senses tell you in order to create a meaningful picture of the world (Galvin 73).

Your sense of yourself affects your perceptions and, therefore, your communication effectiveness. How communicate depends to a great extent upon how you define yourself (self-concept) and how you evaluate yourself (self-esteem) (Galvin 73-74).

is a set of relative stable perceptions each of us holds about ourselves; including: our conception abut what is unique about us and what makes us both similar to, and different from, others.
Perception & Attribution
Interpersonal Communication
As stated in Julia T. Wood's text, "Perception is the active process of creating meaning by selecting, organizing, and interpreting people, objects, events, and other phenomena" (68).
Therefore individual perception cannot be viewed as a central understanding of all things. Each person has individual perceptions based off their gender, ethnicity and other factors that take part in their unique process of finding meanings, through communication. Furthermore, it is through this process that people work to find meaning of themselves, others and of communication in everyday interactions.
In order to find meaning, we as individuals work diligently to make sense of the things around us. In order to do so, we select specific focal points, then organize and interpret what we have selectively noticed.
I am me.

In all the world, there is not one exactly like me

There are people who have some
parts like me but no one adds up
exactly like me. Therefore, everything
that comes out of me is authentically
mine because I alone choose it.
--Virginia Satir (1988,28)
Cognitive schemata
Qualities of the phenomena
The Process of Human Perception
Cognitive Schemata
The most representative example of a category

Often viewed as the example in which one should follow who aspires to imitate the likeness of a person in a specific category or position.
A predictive generalization about individuals and situations based on the category in which we place them
A guide to action in particular situations

Initially instilled by parents

Influenced and transformed by friends, experiences, and personal choices.
Personal Construct
A bipolar, mental yardstick we use to measure people and situations
By: Kimberly Rushing & Meghan Sharman
Influences of Perception
"Individuals differ in how they perceive situations and people. In this section, we consider some of the influences on our perception" (Wood 77).

Differences in sensory abilities affect our perception
If you are tired or stress you perceive things differently than you normally would
Biorhythm - the influence of the time of day you are most alert or fuzzy.
Medical conditions
The influence of hormones or drugs which may cause people to be severely depressed, paranoid, or etreemly happy.
Changes in your body such as injuries influence your perception.

Age is also an influential factor. Someone who is sixty may experience something completely different from someone who is twenty.

People of different cultural backgrounds may have different interpretations about the same event.

Social Location:

Standpoint - Depending on how your point of view is shaped by political awareness determines your perception
People who belong to powerful, high-standing social groups have a vested interest in preserving systems that gives them privileges; thus they are unlikely to perceive its flaws.
Our perception also are shaped by roles. Both the training we receive to fulfill a role and the actual demands of the role affect what we notice and how we interpret and evaluate the role.

Cognitive Complexity:
Most children have fairly simple cognitive systems: They rely on few personal constructs, focus more on concrete categories then abstract and psychological ones and often are unaware of relationships between personal constructs.

Personal-centeredness is the ability to perceive another as unique individuals. Our ability to perceive others as unique depends, first, on how well we make cognitive distinctions.
(example - i-thou relationships).

Feeling with another is an emotional response that some scholars believe we cannot fully achieve. Our feelings tend to be guided by our own emotional tendencies and experiences, so it may be impossible to feel what another person feels.

A final influence on our perception is ourselves. People with secure attachment styles perceive others as trustworthy and relationships in positive ways. In contrast, people with fearful attachment styles perceive themselves as unlovable and view relationships as dangerous and potentially harmful.

Improving Perception & Communication
Recognize that all perceptions are partial and subjective
Avoid Mind Reading
Check perceptions with others
Distinguish between facts and inferences
Avoid self-serving bias
Avoid fundamental attribution error
Monitor Labels
Influences on Perception Continued
Fundamental Attribution Error
The tendency to overestimate the internal causes of others' undesirable behavior and underestimate the external causes. Conversely, we are likely to underestimate the internal causes of our own misdeeds and failures and overestimate the external causes [...] (Wood 76)

In other words, as humans, we often try to find meaning behind other's behavior by assuming it is psychologically motivated. When, in fact, a lot of human's actions are motivated by influential factors from society. In another sense, we also tend to blame things we do, on society, refusing to acknowledge how our psychological "state" influenced our undesirable behavior.

For example:
In the event that a man is found guilty for the murder of someone, most would make the assumption that he has some type of "internal" psychological malfunction. When the reality may be that he was provoked by "external" influences, such as, the person's action's displaying a threat to his own life.

Symbolic Interaction Theory
Symbolic Interaction Theory (SI) originated in the works of the sociologist George Herbert Mead, although he did not publish much about his ideas himself. After he died, his students put together a book,
Mind, Self, and Society
(1934), based on his lectures detailing SI's theoretical framework. (Galvin 21).
LaRossa and Reltzes noted seven central assumptions that ground summarize the theory, which include:

Humans act towards others on the basis of the meaning those others have for them.
Meaning is created in interaction between people
Meanings are modified through an interpretive process
Individuals develop self-concepts through interactions with others.
Self-concepts provide an important motive for behavior.
People and groups are influenced by cultural and social processes.
Social structure is worked out through social interaction.
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