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Self-Concept & Perception Impact Interpersonal Communication Kaplan University

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1. How would you describe Jim’s self-concept?
Jim’s self-concept is described as reflected appraisal. How we think others appraise us affects how we see ourselves (Wood, 2012 pg 42). His reflected appraisal affects him through self-fulfilling prophecies, which occur when we internalize other’s expectations or judgments about us and then behave in ways that are consistent with those expectations and judgments (Watzlawick, 2005)

2. Explain, using examples from the video and course concepts, how Jim’s self-concept impacted his interaction with his father. Was it positive or negative? My perception of Jim’s self-concept is that he has a negative image of himself. He feels as if no matter how hard he tries, he cannot make his father happy. He has blocked himself from possibly attaining good grades and achievements. Jim stated “no matter how much studying I do, I am not going to get all A’s. What should I do, I mean how do I convince them that I’m doing everything I can”. He is using his father’s experiences and expectations as a negative example which is not allowing him to see the potential he may have. Instead he should see it as a positive thing, that way it will motivate him and be able to prove his father wrong.

3. Explain, using examples from the video and course concepts, how the father’s self-concept impacted his interaction with Jim. Was it positive or negative? As his father, he believes Jim’s grades are based on his irresponsibility by spending time with his friends, instead of focusing on his grades. His father stated “I’m not paying for you to go to school so you can party with your friends. I paid my own way and still made Phi Beta Kappa. You have a free ride, and you’re still pulling C’s. You just have to study harder”. Jim’s perception is based on self-serving bias; as he is not taking responsibility for his actions, instead is looking for an explanation to his situation. This is creating a negative communication outcome between him and his father.

4. Apply the process of perception, starting on p. 64 to explain the interaction between Jim and his father. The process that best explains the interaction between Jim and his father is interpretation. Interpretation is the subjective process of explaining our perceptions in ways that make sense to us. To interpret the meaning of another’s actions, we construct explanations for them. (Wood 2012 pg. 70) Instead of his father asking Jim as to why his grades are low, he is interpreting his actions for his behavior. It is best to ask questions rather than to make assumptions because when you assume something, they may not always be what you think they are. An attribution is an explanation of why something happened or why someone acts a certain way. (Heider; 1958, Kelley; 1967, Manusov & Spitzberg 2008)

5. Offer two tips for Jim and two tips for his father, using the guidelines for improving perception and communication (starting on p.79) and explain how these tips could be applied in an effective way. For Jim is Recognize that all Perceptions are Partial and Subjective, because you should not perceive everything as negative. The next tip would be Guard against Self-Serving bias because you should take a look at yourself first and make sure you are doing everything and pushing yourself harder in order to be able to receive higher grades. For his father I recommend the following two tips.

Avoid mind reading because if you are assuming something, you are not giving the other person a chance to explain themselves. It is best if you allow Jim to speak up and explain what the real problem is. The second tip is Distinguish between Facts and Interferences. This will allow Jim to open up more, if you use words like “seems” because it is easy to confuse facts and that will allow you both to have a better relationship and an understanding for one another.


Wood, Julia. Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters. 7th Edition. Cengage Learning, 2012. VitalBook file. Bookshelf. http://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781133711575/page/85
Wood, Julia. Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters. 7th Edition. Cengage Learning, 2012. VitalBook file. Bookshelf. http://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781133711575/page/70

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