Essay Questions Answer Sheet
Make sure each question is answered fully in order to demonstration your understanding and application of the material. Most will require more than a few sentences – and all answers should be appropriately edited and paragraphed into small, readable sections in order to receive the most points possible.
1. Communication theorists differ in how they define communication. Do you think this term needs to be universally understood or interpreted? Explain and defend your answer.
2. Griffin separates theories into two “camps” – objective and interpretive. Where do you feel
more at home? Why?
3. Is the Expectancy Violations Theory a good scientific theory? Why or why not?
4. Considering the Speech Code Theory, is a speech code socially constructed (and thus dynamic) or predictive and deterministic?
5. Does knowledge of Tannen’s theory make us better or worse communicators?
6. Are there generational features to male-female communication? Do couples from your parents’ and grandparents’ generations converse differently from couples in your own generation?
7. What social groups to which you belong shape your standpoint? Are some more influential than others? How do they affect your worldview? How possible is it for you to answer these questions objectively?
8. Provide and discuss an example that contrasts how the powerful in society might define a concern or experience of a marginalized group with how members of the marginalized group themselves might perceive the same issu
9. Considering constructivism, what is the relationship between cognitive complexity and socioeconomic status? Why is this an issue? Suggest why and how researchers/social activists might seek to alter this relationship.
10. According to Petronio, once you know a piece of private information, you have rights and responsibilities. What are they? What is afforded with ownership and what must be negotiated?
11. Have you or someone you have known ever undergone a major—perhaps life-altering—change of mind or heart? How would social judgment theory account for such conversion experiences, which cause sudden, radical shifts in position?
12. How would Elaboration Likelihood Model theory assist you to prepare to address a high-school audience on the dangers of drugs?
13. According to Petty and Cacioppo and the Elaboration Likelihood Model, why do most people pay less attention to the communication than to the communicator?
14. Discuss the concept of framing. In what ways is it relevant to the agenda-setting theory?
15. Compare individualistic and collectivistic cultures, particularly with respect to the concept of face and conflict negotiation.
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