Communication Theory Mid Term

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Communication Theory – Comm 300 F’14

Task 4 – Mid-point Test – Week 5 (6 pages)

Due in your Assignment folder by 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday, Week 5

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Save the test as an MS Word document with the following filename:  Test_Yourlastname

 

Your name:  ____________________________

Part I. Match the term to its definition.  The terms come from Chapters 1-4 of the course textbook. (20 points – 1 point each)

Answer Term Definition
  symbol 1.positivistic, value-neutral study of phenomena
  environment 2.  transmitter of a message
  public communication 3. studying cause-effect relationships
  feedback 4.  term often used in organizational communication to show rankings among people
  semiotics 5. Research moving from theory to specific cases
  narrow theory 6.  arbitrary label or representation of phenomena
  Socio-psychological research 7. tries to explain all aspects of communication behavior in a manner that is universally true
  mediated communication 8. verbal and nonverbal responses to a message
  nominal concept 9  Research moving from specific cases to theory
  channel 10. looking broadly at the systematic processes of communication
  validity 11. Usually, a speech given by a person to a live, present audience.
  critical scholarship 12. research observations and measurements accurately capture and report on a real-world phenomenon
  deduction 13. Rapidly changing context for communication
  grand theory 14. ideas or phenomena that are not directly observable
  source 15.  study of signs and how they change meaning over time
  cybernetic tradition 16.  a person talking to him or herself
  inductive 17.  studies certain people in certain situations
  hierarchy 18.  questions social power relationships
  empirical 19.  situation or context where communication occurs
  Intrapersonal communication 20.  visual, aural, tactile, etc. pathways of communication

Page 2

 

Part II. Multiple Choice Questions. These questions relation to your assigned reading in Weeks 2, 3 & 4 (5 points – 1 point each). Highlight the correct answer.

 

1.      Which of the following is an assumption of Cognitive Dissonance Theory?

 

a.                human beings desire inconsistency in their cognitions

b.                dissonance is created by physiological discomfort

c.                dissonance is an aversive state that drives people to change attitudes and/or behaviors

d.                none of the above

 

2.      All of the following are assumptions about Uncertainty Reduction EXCEPT

 

a.                it is unreasonable to attempt to predict people’s behavior in a lawlike fashion

b.                uncertainty is an aversive state, generating cognitive stress

c.                people experience uncertainty in interpersonal settings

d.                when strangers meet, they want to reduce their uncertainty and increase their predictability

 

3.      At the heart of Social Penetration Theory is self-disclosure.  All of the following statements about self-disclosure are true EXCEPT

 

a.                nonintimate relationships typically progress to an intimate level without engaging in self disclosure

b.                self-disclosure can be strategic, which means that disclosures are planned

c.                self-disclosure can be nonstrategic, which means that disclosures are spontaneous

d.                stranger on the train refers to instances in which people reveal personal information to complete strangers in public places

 

4.      According to Social Exchange theory, we are likely to stay in relationships when our satisfaction is __________ and our comparison level for alternatives is __________.

 

a.                low, high

b.                low, low

c.                all of the above

d.                none of the above

 

5.      According to Relational Dialectics Theory, all of the following statements are true about dialectical tensions EXCEPT

 

a.                people are not always able to resolve the contradictions they experience and may become comfortable believing inconsistent things about relationships

b.                partners in a relationship experience ongoing tensions between contradictory impulses

c.                dialectical theorists support the idea that there is typically one point of view that should dominate a relationship.

d.                researchers Baxter and Montgomery are associated with Relational Dialectics Theory

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Part III. Multiple Choice Questions. These questions focus on your Week 5 work.

 

Groupthink(5 points).Highlight the correct answer.

 

1.      Cohesiveness of the group may emerge as a problem because

 

a.                cohesiveness is generally experienced in the same manner across groups, and the results of cohesion can be generalized from one group to another

b.                in highly cohesive groups, members generally feel dissatisfied with the group experience and other group members

c.                highly cohesive groups sometimes exert great pressure on their members to conform to the group’s standards.

d.                cohesiveness typically results in group members resisting the temptation to conform

 

2.      All of the following are conditions that may lead to groupthink occurring EXCEPT

 

a.                the ability of all members to step into the role of group leader at a given time

b.                stressful internal and external characteristics of the situation

c.                high cohesiveness among group members

d.                lack of decision-making procedures established within the group

 

3.      Group members who shield the group from adverse information are

 

a.                conscientious objectors

b.                self-appointed mindguards

c.                dissenters

d.                opinion leaders

 

4.      As the decision whether to launch a new product to prevent tooth decay was being debated, one of the product development specialists commented, “What a great product! We have created something that will help Americans maintain the enamel on their teeth. I don’t know why those health critics are accusing us of putting a potentially harmful product out on the market. After all, our goal is to help people, not to hurt them. We’re interested in doing what is in the best interest of the public.” She has demonstrated which of the following symptoms of groupthink?

 

a.                illusion of invulnerability

b.                out-group stereotypes

c.                belief in the inherent morality of the group

d.                collective rationalization

 

 

Page 4

5.      According to your text, vigilant decision makers

 

a.      focus mostly on the benefits associated with a decision

b.      avoid addressing all possible solutions for a decision

c.      create plans for implementing the decision

d.      disregard the purpose of decision making to pursue their own agenda

 

Organizational Information Theory(6 points).Highlight the correct answer.

 

1.      All of the following are assumptions of Organizational Information Theory EXCEPT

 

a.      equivocality of information is useful for assisting an organization in achieving its goals

b.      the information an organization receives differs in terms of its equivocality

c.      human organizations exist in an information environment

d.      human organizations engage in information processing to reduce the equivocality of information

 

2.       _______________ are systems or series of behaviors that are used by an organization in an attempt to reduce the equivocality of the information it receives.

 

3.      Rules

4.      Assumption

5.      Cycles

6.      Double interact loops

 

 

3.      Kendall’s project team is reviewing the information that it received from other teams in the organization. They focus on assigning meaning and interpreting the information they have received in order to determine its level of equivocality. Which stage of the process of reducing equivocality is Kendall’s team experiencing?

 

a.      selection

b.      enactment

c.      retention

d.      identification

 

4.      True or False?  Organizational Information Theory uses a Systems Approach to communication theory.

 

a.      True

b.      False

 

 

 

Page 5

5.      The two options that an organization has for dealing with equivocality of information are its use of ______________ and  ________________ .

 

a.      rules, communication cycles

b.      enactment, selection

c.      reaction, response

d.      requisite variety, double interact loops

 

 

6.      Helena is identified as the person who is most knowledgeable about the information that her organization has received regarding sales projections. Therefore, her supervisor decides that she should serve as the key resource for reducing the equivocality of new information that the organization receives. Which of Weick’s rules for processing equivocality is being applied?

 

a.                duration

b.                personnel

c.                success

d.                effort

 

Organizational Culture Theory(4 points).Highlight the correct answer.

 

1.      All of the following statements about symbols are true EXCEPT

 

a.      symbols represent meanings that are held by members of an organization

b.      symbols include only the nonverbal communication that takes place in the organization

c.      members of an organization create, use, and interpret symbols in order to create and sustain a sense of organizational reality

d.      organizational values may be communicated through a variety of symbols

 

 

2.      All of the following are methods of investigation used by ethnographers to examine organizational culture EXCEPT

 

a.      survey questionnaires

b.      direct observation

c.      interviews

d.      participant observation

 

 

 

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3.      Renaldo always has a smile on his face when he enters the workplace. His colleagues comment on how much they appreciate his taking the time to stop and ask how their day is going as he passes by their desks. Renaldo is engaging in which type of communicative performance?

 

a.      sociality

b.      passion

c.      ritual

d.      politics

 

4.      Organizational _________ are used to inform members about what standards and principles are viewed as being important by the organization.

 

a.      stories

b.      rules

c.      values

d.      performances

 

Part IV. Symbolic Interaction Theory– Essay. (30 points)

 

Analyze this scene from the movie “You’ve Got Mail.”  It takes place in an elevator where Joe Fox (the Tom Hanks character) and his girlfriend (Parker Posey) and two other people get stuck in an elevator:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7eMH8QoMZk

 

 

Using the list of seven “assumptions” about Symbolic Interaction Theory in the West and Turner textbook (in the 5th edition of the book, look on page 81 in Chapter 4; in the 4th edition of the book, look on page 85 in Chapter 5), describe how this scene in the elevator explains four of them.  Hint:  Look at nonverbal as well as verbal behaviors.  Be specific.

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