Communications Question

Each essay is worth 20 points. I do not like to suggest a specific length for each essay because the length of your response should be related to the sophistication of your knowledge. That is, if you are well-prepared you should see complexity in the question that would demand a sophisticated, and longer, response. A sophisticated response will necessarily be longer than a less sophisticated response.

Question 1: As you respond to this question, be sure to draw on material that describes the nature and use of schemas from Fisk & Taylor and from our discussion of the relationship between cognition and communication. What are schemas? Describe their essential character? From where do our schemas originate? What social and communicative functions do schemas serve? Some have argued that schemas can be useful tools. On the other hand, Walter Lippmann in 1922 seems to allude to schemas when he says, “We are all captives of the pictures in our head–our belief that the world we have experienced is the world that really exists.” Some have argued that schemas may have deleterious consequences for our perception and our social behavior. Perhaps Lippmann might say that we are captives of the schemas we construct and hold in memory. Which position do you hold? Perhaps the answer to this question depends on the existence of moderating factors or the character of the schemas in question. Explicitly describe your position on the value of schemas. Then, be sure to support your position with evidence (in the form of research findings) that you have learned from our text and lectures/discussions. If you have not done so, describe how the concept of schemas has been used to explain sophisticated forms of communicative behavior in the field of communication (specifically, Constructivism). Be sure to introduce the concepts of interpersonal construct differentiation, interpersonal construct abstractness, listener adapted persuasion, reflection enhancing discipline, and comforting communication. How do the findings from Constructivism help us to understand our use of schemas as described by Fisk & Taylor?

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question 3

Use the following elements to construct a social situation that you analyze with Kelley’s Covariation Model. Assume that you are observing and attempting to explain the behavior of “Bill.” What could explain the way Bill (the Creative Director at an advertising agency) treats Don (an artist at his advertising agency)? Describe your situation in detail before you apply the model to that situation. The more thorough your description of the situation the better will be the application of the model. Construct your example (and this situation) around the elements of the Covariation Model. Based on your application of this model, what kind of attribution should be made to the actor’s behavior in your hypothetical situation? I provided you with visual representations of different forms of information evident in the Kelley’s model. DO NOT use these visual aids in your essay. They were intended to help you learn Kelley’s Covariation Model. Your goal is to demonstrate your understanding of this model by describing and analyzing this model. You may use the figures on a piece of “scratch paper” but do not incorporate them into your response.

Schemas
Abstract Declarative Knowledge
Structures
Schemas Defined and Previewed

Definition

Basic Principles
Categorical Basis
of Schemas

Types of Schemas

Person Schemas



Traits
Person in Situation Episodes
Goal Schemas
Types of Schemas


Person Schemas
Self Schemas
Types of Schemas



Person Schemas
Self Schemas
Role Schemas


Achieved Roles
Ascribed Roles
Types of Schemas




Person Schemas
Self Schemas
Role Schemas
Scripts



Props
Roles
Sequence Rules
Characteristics of Associative
Networks/Schemas

Memory is networks of concepts that have
been associated.

Memory is abstract.

Memory is semantic/declarative.
Characteristics: Information is
stored as propositions.
Professor
Introduced
Speaker
Characteristics: Information is
stored as associations.
Donald
assertive
outgoing
adventuresome
intelligent
Characteristics: Links are
strengthened each time activated
Donald
assertive
adventuresome
intelligen
t
outgoing
Characteristics: Automatic
Spreading Activation.
Donald
assertive
outgoing
adventuresome
intelligent
Characteristics: The More a particular
association is made the stronger it becomes.
Donald
assertive
outgoing
adventuresome
intelligent
Characteristics continued

Strengthening links creates alternative
retrieval routes.
Uses of Schemas

Encoding

Recall

Inferences
Uses of Schemas–Encoding


We label people based on snap judgments
We label people on the basis of group
membership

Out-group Homogeneity Principle
Uses of Schemas–Recall



Recall schema-relevant information more
easily
Self schemas & recall of information about
other people
Strain toward consistency in:


Well established schemas
Highly developed schemas
Correlation between strain toward
consistency and schema development
High
Strain
Consistency
Low
Low
High
Schema Development
Uses of Schemas–Inferences

In-group Favortism

Out-group Polarization

Black Sheep Effect
Factors Influencing Schema Use

Primacy

Salience

Accessibility

Mood
Primacy Information
Caring
Assertive
Good Advice
Pushy
Opinionated
Mean
Good Comforter
Hurtful
DAN
Thoughtful
Factors Influencing Schema Use (cont)



Power
Structure of Schemas
Individual Differences



Attributional Complexity
Need for Cognition
Cognitive Complexity
Schemas
Abstract Declarative Knowledge
Structures
Schemas Defined and Previewed

Definition

Basic Principles
Categorical Basis
of Schemas

Types of Schemas

Person Schemas



Traits
Person in Situation Episodes
Goal Schemas
Types of Schemas


Person Schemas
Self Schemas
Types of Schemas



Person Schemas
Self Schemas
Role Schemas


Achieved Roles
Ascribed Roles
Types of Schemas




Person Schemas
Self Schemas
Role Schemas
Scripts



Props
Roles
Sequence Rules
Characteristics of Associative
Networks/Schemas

Memory is networks of concepts that have
been associated.

Memory is abstract.

Memory is semantic/declarative.
Characteristics: Information is
stored as propositions.
Professor
Introduced
Speaker
Characteristics: Information is
stored as associations.
Donald
assertive
outgoing
adventuresome
intelligent
Characteristics: Links are
strengthened each time activated
Donald
assertive
adventuresome
intelligen
t
outgoing
Characteristics: Automatic
Spreading Activation.
Donald
assertive
outgoing
adventuresome
intelligent
Characteristics: The More a particular
association is made the stronger it becomes.
Donald
assertive
outgoing
adventuresome
intelligent
Characteristics continued

Strengthening links creates alternative
retrieval routes.
Uses of Schemas

Encoding

Recall

Inferences
Uses of Schemas–Encoding


We label people based on snap judgments
We label people on the basis of group
membership

Out-group Homogeneity Principle
Uses of Schemas–Recall



Recall schema-relevant information more
easily
Self schemas & recall of information about
other people
Strain toward consistency in:


Well established schemas
Highly developed schemas
Correlation between strain toward
consistency and schema development
High
Strain
Consistency
Low
Low
High
Schema Development
Uses of Schemas–Inferences

In-group Favortism

Out-group Polarization

Black Sheep Effect
Factors Influencing Schema Use

Primacy

Salience

Accessibility

Mood
Primacy Information
Caring
Assertive
Good Advice
Pushy
Opinionated
Mean
Good Comforter
Hurtful
DAN
Thoughtful
Factors Influencing Schema Use (cont)



Power
Structure of Schemas
Individual Differences



Attributional Complexity
Need for Cognition
Cognitive Complexity
Attribution Theory
Some Models
Assumptions of Covariation Model
Multiple Observations of Behavior
⚫ People Act as Naïve Scientists
⚫ Behavior Varies:

Who is behaving
⚫ The entities in the situation
⚫ Modality (Time)

Elements of Covariation Model
Person (P)
⚫ Time (T)
⚫ Behavior
⚫ Third Party Actors (a)
⚫ Entity (e1), secondary entities (e2, e3)

Types of Information in Covariation
Model

Consistency

Distinctiveness

Consensus
Consistency Information
P
High
eT1
eT2
eT3
P
Low
eT1
eT2
eT3
Distinctiveness Information
P
Low
e1
e2
e3
P
High
e1
e2
e3
Consensus Information
P
a1
e
a2
a3
High Low
Types of Attributions

Actor

Entity

Actor/Entity Interaction
Causal Schemata Model

Multiple Sufficient Causal Scheme

Multiple Necessary Causal Scheme
Schacter’s Theory of Emotional
Lability

Extends Attributions to the Study of Self
Perceptions

Emotional Reactions are forms of Arousal

Arousal Subject to Multiple Interpretations
Bem’s Theory of Self Perception

Use the same mental processes to
understand self that we use to understand
others
Use external cues to explain internal
states
⚫ Like Schacter, we look to our environment
to make self attributions.

Rotter’s Locus of Control Theory

Internals

Externals
Conflict Strategies

Passive-indirect

Distributive

Integrative

Links to LOC theory?
Refinements in Attribution Theory

Linking Attributions with Cognitive
Structures

Linking Communication with Causal
Attributions
Bias

Fundamental Attribution Error

Reasons

Stage Model
Stage Model for FAE

Stage 1: Categorization

Stage 2: Characterization

Stage 3: Correction
Bias

Fundamental Attribution Error

Actor/Observer Effect

Exceptions
Bias
Fundamental Attribution Error
⚫ Actor/Observer
⚫ Self Centered Bias
⚫ Self Serving Bias
⚫ Naïve Realism
⚫ Dunning Kruger Effect

Bias

Heuristics
Defined
⚫ Conditions promoting heuristics
⚫ Types

Heuristics

Availability
What is accessible?
⚫ Frequency/Recency of use?


Representativeness
Attention to vivid information
⚫ Ignore base-rate information

Heuristics continued

Simulation Heuristic
Imagining hypothetical scenarios
⚫ Examples

Anchoring and Adjustment
Using prior experiences
Cognitive Experiential Self
Theory
CEST
Implicit Theories of Reality
▪ Self Theories
▪ World Theories
▪ Propositions connecting the two
▪ Organization of Theories
Two Systems
▪ Rational System
▪ Experiential System
Four Needs of Self System
▪ Establish and Maintain Positive Sense of
Self
▪ Maximize Pleasure and Minimize Pain
▪ Accurate Model
▪ Maintain Relatedness
Four Implicit Schemata
▪ Self Esteem
▪ World Benevolent/Malevolent
▪ World Meaningful/Meaningless
▪ People Trustworthy/Untrustworthy
Two Tiered System Produces:
▪ Explicit Self Esteem—Rational System
▪ Implicit Self Esteem—Experiential System
Two More Important Concepts
▪ Self Enhancement
▪ Self Verification
A Test
521 Communication
Lecture
Role Category Questionnaire

Describe Liked Other

Describe Disliked Other
Cognitive Complexity

Cognitive Differentiation

Cognitive Abstractness

Cognitive Integration
Construct Abstractness

Level One: Physical constructs. Such
constructs provide a description of the other’s
physical qualities and appearance.

“She’s short, has brown hair, and brown eyes.“

“He’s real skinny and has freckles all over his
face.”
Construct Abstractness




Level Two: Social role, demographic,
behavioral, and specific interest, ability
constructs. Such constructs refer to specific,
concrete aspects of the other’s social status,
actions and preferences.
“She’s a student at this school.”
“He’s a good kick-ball player.”
“He’s always hitting and pushing other kids.”
Construct Abstractness



Level Three: Global evaluation and general
interest, ability constructs. Such constructs
express a general affective evaluation of the
other or psychological characteristics of the
other relevant only in a specific context.
“He’s really intelligent and always does well in
school.”
“She is a pure WITCH when she is with other
women.”
Construct Abstractness



Level Four: Abstract, psychologically
centered constructs. Such constructs refer to
general traits, dispositions, and motivations that
have implications for the other’s conduct and
character.
“He’s the kind of person who knows what he
wants and will do anything to get it.”
“He’s kind and gentle to others due to his
pacifist upbringing.”
Cognitive Complexity Influences
Cognitie Processes
◼ Abilitiy
to Integrate Information in an
Impression
◼ Affective
Perspective-Taking Ability
Unintegrated Aggregation

Description of positive and negative traits with
no attempt to recognize or explain conflict.

Thoughtful, Helpful, Brave, Two-faced, Cheater
Unintegrated One Sided
Emphasis

Inclusion of only positive or negative traits

Helpful, Brave, Thoughtful
Integration Successive
Subordination

Description is characterized by successive
rationalizations. Some information is
discounted.

Many people think that Howard is nice and
thoughtful. He really is not. When he behaves
this way he is really putting on an act to
accomplish his own goals.
Integration Superordination

Description deals with conflicting traits by
utilizing a concept or trait that subordinated and
explained the conflict, yielding a coherent
impression of Howard.

Example next slide
Integration Superordination
example

Howard really cares a great deal about
academics. He also wants his friends to care
about academics in the same way because he
cares about his friends and wants them to live
up to their potential and to succeed. Sometimes
this leads him to say and do some harsh things
with his friends.
Affective Perspective Taking

Children were asked to think of a time their
mother/friend asked them to do something they
did not want to do or said something that hurt
them.

Child was asked to describe what the other
person was thinking/feeling and why they acted
the way they did.
Logic of Affective Perspective
Taking Task

Assumes that most people see their own actions
in a positive light. Real perspective-taking
requires suspending your hurt feelings in order
to understand the thoughts and feelings of
another.
Lowest Level of Affective
Perspective Taking

Indicates a failure to suspend evaluation of the
hurtful act and almost no awareness of the view
of the other.

“Billy is just a big jerk.”
Mid Level of Affective
Perspective Taking

Evaluation of the hurtful act is clearly suspended
and an explanation of the act is introduced but
in an ambiguous form.

“Billy isn’t very happy right now. Usually, we
play together and have fun.”
Highest Level of Perspective
Taking
The child clearly represents the situation from
the other child’s point of view and supplies a
clear motivational analysis representing the other
child in a favorable light.
“Billy’s Daddy doesn’t live with Billy and his Mom, now.
Billy’s Daddy was supposed to take him to the Zoo this
weekend but he didn’t come. He’s pretty upset about that.
Usually, we are good friends. He’ll probably apologize at
recess.”

Cognition Influences
Communication

Cognitive Complexity predicts:
Comforting
Reflection Enhancing Discipline
Listener Adapted Persuasion
Listener Adapted Persuasion

Definition:
The extent to which a message is adapted to the
unique qualities or beliefs of a listener.

Levels on following slide

No Discernable Recognition of
the Listener’s Perspective

Unelaborated Requests


“Mommy, can I have someone sleep over on
Friday night?”
“Could you please take care of this puppy?”

Next
Implicit Recognition of the
Listener’s Perspective



Elaboration of necessity, desirability or request from
the perspective of a third party.
“My friends like me a lot and will miss me when I go
away to military school. They would like a party and
they would like you to have them sleep over”
“Would you keep this dog safe so that he won’t run
into the street and would you keep it in your house so
he won’t be scared by other dogs.”
Explicit Recognition of and Adaptation
to the Listeners’ Perspective

“You have been saying that you wanted to get to know my
friends. If you let me have a party, you can meet my friends and
get to know them.”

“If I were you and I lived alone, I’d like a good watch dog like
this one.”

“I’d tell her how he might have an owner and if she was in the
same situation, if she lost her puppy, she would want someone to
take care of it for her.”
Comforting

Messages intended to relieve the distressed
state of another

Assumptions:
Everyday hurts
◼ Occurs in the context of friendships

Examples of Comforting Messages

I) Denial of individual perspectivity–The speaker condemns
the feelings that exist in the situation for the person
addressed.

“There is nothing to be upset about–it’s just
an old party.“

“I’d tell her there have been other parties and
that she should be happy about going to them.”
Examples of Comforting Messages

II) Implicit recognition of individual perspectivity–The speaker provides
some implicit acceptance of and/or positive response to the
feelings of the others, but does not explicitly mention, elaborate,
or legitimize those feelings.

Divert attention

“When I have a party, I’ll invite you.“

“I know your feeling a little down. Hey, lets
blow this pop stand and grab a few blue cups
at He’s Not Here.“
Examples of Comforting Messages

II) Implicit recognition of individual perspectivity–The
speaker provides some implicit acceptance of
and/or positive response to the feelings of the
others, but does not explicitly mention,
elaborate, or legitimize those feelings.

Nonfeeling centered explanation of the situation

“Maybe your invitation got lost in the mail.”
Examples of Comforting Messages

III) Explicit recognition and elaboration of individual perspectivity-Speaker explicitly acknowledges, elaborates, and legitimizes the
feelings of the other. . . may include coping strategies used in
conjunction with an explication of the other’s feelings.

“Well, I’d say I understand how he feels, that I’ve done
poorly on exams before. It can make you feel bad. But that
it is only one test and there will be others. And I’d say that
I’ve had classes with Waltman and sometimes he grades on
improvement. So, Waltman probably doesn’t think your
not capable of getting an ‘A’. You’ve done well on other
assignments in his class. And look at your GPA. That is the
real reflection of your abilities.”
Reflection Enhancing Discipline

Verbal discipline messages specifically designed
to encourage the child to reflect on the causes
and consequences of their misbehaviors and to
view those consequences as a reason to change
their behavior.

Discipline designed to teach moral principles.
Reflection Enhancing Discipline

1. Explicit Discouragement of Reflection.

“I’d tell him to take it back to the store and
ground him.”
“If you ever take anything from the store again
I’ll blister your bottom.”
Taking people’s things is wrong. Now
apologize.”


Implicit Encouragement of
Reflection

“Stealing is wrong. It is against the law and you
can end up in jail.”

“As a child you have to go to school. It is a job
like I have a job. Now get your clothes on or
you’ll be late.”
Explicit Encouragement of
Reflection

“First I’d get him to tell me why he called his
friend a name like that. You know, talk about
why he felt that way. He’s had names thrown at
him, in fact not long ago. I’d ask him how he
felt when it happened and tell him his friend felt
the same way. If he wants to have his friend to
play with he probably should apologize and tell
his friend why he did it. Is that what he wants ?
Another Example of Explicit
Encouragement

So, you just took the truck away from you little
brother because you wanted to play with it? Do
you remember how you felt last week when the
older boys from down the street took your
wagon? That did not feel good. You cried, right?
Well that is how your little brother feels right
now. So what do you think you should do?
Communication Influences
Cognition

Reflection Enhancing Discipline predicts

Cognitive Complexity

Resistance to Temptation
Moral Reasoning
◼ Sophisticated Comforting

Identity Management

Positive Face—The extent to which strategies
allow the other to maintain a positive/desired
self-image.

Autonomy Granting Strategies—The extent to
which statements allow the persuadee the
freedom to determine their own desired selfimage and behavior
Positive Face

1. Speaker threatens positive face by criticizing
or condemning the other person.

“Who do you think you are? You party and
drink too much and when you drink you have
the mouth of a ______ clock and the brain of a
retarded chicken.”
Positive Face

2. Strategies that acknowledge positive features
of the persuadee but balance both threatening
and supportive statements.

“You’re a good friend but this being late all the
time is threatening to mess up our friendship
and our jobs.”
Positive Face

3. Strategies that directly approve of the
persuadee’s positive face by providing approval,
praise, and liking.

“You’ve been doing a heck of a job and your
pulling more than your fair share of the load.
Listen I have a problem that I’m hoping you can
help me with . . .”
Autonomy Granting

1. Deny the autonomy through overt use of
power inherent in the speaker’s role.

“Be here on time or I’ll report you to the boss
and you’ll be fired.”
Autonomy Granting

2. Strategies that implicitly acknowledge the
ability of the persuadee to reason through the
situation and grant him/her freedom to act.

“If you keep up this partying it will hurt your
grades.”
Autonomy Granting

3. Strategies that explicitly acknowledge the
persuadee by encouraging him/her to come to
their own conclusions about needed actions.

“I know I’m not your mother and I can’t make
you do anything but think about the kind of
relationship you want us to keep here.”
Self Presentations

Beliefs about self that we ask others to accept.

Manage our own impressions.
Interaction Involvement

Degree to which people are engaged, cognitively and
behaviorally, in their conversations with others.

Involved interactants are more aware of the demands
of the situation and respond appropriately to others.

Uninvolved interactants are more preoccupied with
their own thoughts.
Interaction Involvement

7-point scale (Not at all like me; Very much like me)

I am keenly aware of how others perceive me during
my conversations.
I am very observant of others’ reactions while I’m
speaking.
Often in conversations I will pretend to be listening,
when in fact I was thinking about something else.


Verbal Aggressiveness

A personality trait that predisposes persons to
attack the self-concepts of other people instead
of, or in addition to, their topics of
communication.

Teasing, ridicule, profanity, character attacks,
insults

Outcomes: anger, embarrassment, hurt feelings
Verbal Aggressiveness

5-point scale (1=Almost never true; 5=Almost
always true)

When I attack persons’ ideas, I try not to
damage their self concepts.

When people behave in ways that are in poor
taste, I insult them in order to shock them into
proper behavior.
Verbal Aggressiveness

I refuse to participate in arguments when they
involve personal attacks.

When individuals insult me, I get a lot of
pleasure out of really telling them off.

I like poking fun at people who do things which
are very stupid in order to stimulate their
intelligence.
Argumentativeness

Trait Argumentativeness—General tendency to
approach/engage arguments.

Operationalized:

Trait argumentativeness = Approach
Argumentativeness (ARGap) – Tendency to
avoid arguments
Argumentativeness

Associated with:

1. Employee satisfaction with work
communication.
2. Effective upward communication
3. Skillful argumentation
4. Success in college
5. Perceived as dynamic communicators




Argumentativeness—Tendency
to approach items

1=almost never true of me; 5=almost always
true of me

I am energetic and enthusiastic when I argue.
I enjoy a good argument over a controversial
issue.
I enjoy defending my point of view on an issue.
I feel refreshed and satisfied after an argument.



Argumentativeness — avoidance





I prefer being with people who rarely disagree
with me.
I enjoy avoiding arguments.
When I finish arguing with someone I feel
nervous and upset.
I try to avoid getting into arguments.
I find myself unable to think of effective points
during an argument.
Receiver Apprehension

Listening anxiety to inhibits one’s ability to
adequately (and accurately) decode messages.

Associated with:
Physiological arousal during listening
◼ Lower apprehension as receivers than as sources

Receiver Apprehension Test

5=strongly agree, 1=strongly disagree

I often feel uncomfortable when listening to
others on the phone.
I often have difficulty concentrating on what
others are saying.
Receiving new information makes me feel
restless.


Applications to Social Cognition?

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