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Chapter 3

This outline can be a helpful study tool to assist you in seeing the order and sequence of the chapter and the relationship of ideas.  Use it to take notes as you read and/or to add concepts presented in lecture.

  1. The ways in which we perceive ourselves and others shape our communication.
    1. Our self-concept is a set of relatively stable perceptions that each of us holds about ourself.
    2. The way we think others view us is most important with respect to the opinions of significant others.
    3. Culture shapes our notion of self through language, individualistic patterns versus collectivistic, and context.
    4. Self-concept is a very powerful force; it influences our behavior and that of others.
  2. When a person's expectation of a certain outcome, and subsequent behavior, increase the likelihood that the outcome will occur, the phenomenon represented is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    1. Sometimes one person's expectations govern the actions of another; this is another form of self-fulfilling prophecy.
  3. How we perceive others shapes our interaction with them.
    1. We make sense of others' behaviors through selection, organization, and interpretation.
    2. Our degrees of involvement, personal experience, assumptions, expectations, and knowledge of others create an ongoing perception process.
    3. Narratives are the personal stories we and others create to make sense of our personal world.
    4. Perception checking can help bridge the gap between different narratives.
  4. When we use attribution, the process of attaching meaning to behavior, we sometimes commit errors that are due to common perceptual tendencies.
    1. We make snap judgments and judge ourselves more charitably than we judge others.
    2. We pay more attention to negative impressions than positive ones, and we are often influenced by what is most obvious.
    3. We cling to first impressions, even if wrong, and tend to assume that others are similar to us.
  5. Overcoming the challenge of differing perceptions is assisted with empathy, the ability to re-create another person's perspective.
    1. The three dimensions of empathy are perspective taking, emotional dimensions, and a genuine concern for the welfare of the other person.
    2. Sympathy differs from empathy in that it involves feeling compassion for the predicament without the degree of personal identification present in empathy.
  6. People use communication strategies known as identity management to influence how others view them.
    1. Each of us possesses a perceived self, or face, and a presenting self, also called facework.
    2. We have multiple identities we reveal in a collaborative process, sometimes consciously, sometimes not; but people differ in their degree of identity management.
    3. We manage our identities to follow social rules, to accomplish personal goals, and to meet our social needs.
    4. Despite the availability of common nonverbal cues, computer-mediated communication involves identity management with clarity or ambiguity, seriousness or humor, logic or emotion.
  7. Identity management is not manipulation or phoniness but rather a part of being a competent communicator in choosing the best role for a given situation.
    1. There is more than one honest way to behave in most circumstances.
    2. Too much honesty can be inappropriate.

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