HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Perceiving Others

  1. Describe a time when you misperceived a person or situation. Which of the three steps in perceiving best help you understand the perceptual problem that took place?
  2. How are you most likely stereotyped? What characteristics of the stereotype would be generally true about you? What characteristics would be completely untrue? What does this tell you about the role of stereotyping in communicating with others?
  3. Describe a time when you were an outgrouper. What was the situation? How did this affect your self-esteem? How did this affect your perception of and communication with ingroupers?
  4. Recount a conflict situation where punctuation was an issue or, in other words, when you disagreed with someone else about how the conflict started. How did this difference in punctuation contribute to the way the conflict was discussed and resolved? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 78.)
  5. Given the five personality traits discussed in the chapter, which do you most like in your-self? How does your favorable opinion of this trait affect your perception of the way you see the trait in others? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 91.)
  6. Recall a time when you encountered someone whose beliefs, attitudes, and values appeared to differ from yours. How did you perceive this person on first meeting him or her? What challenges did you face in trying to find common ground? Would you consider yourself more world-minded after interacting with others from different backgrounds?
  7. One way we form impressions of others is to construct a Gestalt, a general sense of a person that’s either positive or negative. Think of someone for whom you have a negative Gestalt. How did the negativity effect shape your impression? Now think of someone for whom you have a positive Gestalt. How much do you think the positivity bias influences your impressions of that person? (Based on the Self-Reflection on p. 95.)
  8. Complete the Self-Quiz “Test Your Empathy” on p. 100. How did you score in each category? What do you think this indicates about your ability to show empathy? What are some situations in which it is easy for you to empathize? What are some situations in which it is challenging for you to empathize? What makes these situations challenging?