Reading Analysis

Reading Analysis

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Chapter 1

  1. Evaluate this chapter definition of communication. What are its strengths/ what are its weaknesses? If you were asked to improve it in one way, by adding, subtracting, or modifying something, what would you change?

Communication is defined or described as one way of passing across or sharing information. The author implies that for communication to take place, three crucial elements have to be present, and these include the sender of the message, the receiver of the message and the message itself. Communication, therefore, can take place across long distances through space and time, though at times the receiver of the message need not know that a message has been send to him, and what purposes the message or communication is intended. For communication to occur, however, the two parties communicating have to share a communicative commonality, and communication only becomes complete when the receiver of the message receives the message and understands its intentions. The chapter has a number of strengths, some of which are in regards to the fact that the author extensively covered methods of communication, types of communication and other factors associated with communication such as barriers to communication. However, the text is not without weaknesses. For instance, the author assumes that communication only takes place between humans and animals. If I were to improve this text, I would add that non-human organisms like trees, fungi and bacteria also communicate.

  1. Recall an incident in which you or an acquaintance experienced a communication breakdown because of a verbal or non- verbal linguistic barrier. Chronicle this incident.

There are numerous barriers to communication, which are categorized under verbal and non- verbal categories. All these barriers prevent individuals from communicating and passing or sharing messages effectively. Some of these include physical barriers, system design, attitudinal barriers, and ambiguity of words, information presentation, physiological barriers and linguistic abilities of individuals. Once I experienced one of these barriers that prevented me from receiving a message effectively. I was attending an important seminar once that did not go as expected. The presenter of one of the talks in the seminar had several charts that were supposed to ease our understanding of what he had to say. However, his charts were complex and too advanced for me to understand all the relationships he was trying to explain. As a result, of poor presentation, I was unable to understand what the presenter was talking about.

  1. This chapter questions the statement that no people can see the same thing because the statement is self- discrediting. If the statement were true, the person making the statement would have no way of knowing that it is true since, by his or her own admission, he or she could never gain access to what other people see for the purpose of determining this. What do you think?

This statement is true. This is because; people hold different ideas, interpretations and understanding of different phenomenon and concepts. This is to mean that people cannot have the same ideas about something; people disagree on different concepts and ideas because they have their own understanding of these concepts. When people are sharing ideas or putting across their messages, they usually have to leave space for doubt, disagreement and opposing ideas. When people are communicating, they cannot impose their ideas on their audiences, because they realize that their audiences have different opinions, and they might not agree with the ideas of the speaker.

  1. This chapter discusses stereotyping as a potential obstacle to communication. Provide five examples of stereotypes and explain, after each, how it can prevent communication from occurring.

There are different kinds of stereotypes in communication that essentially affect the effectiveness of communication. One common stereotype is the stereotype for boss. When one’s boss greets him or her, or even communicates to them, an individual will react differently than the way they react when their colleagues communicate to them. Another stereotype is the gender stereotype. In some cases, women are not regarded as men are, and, therefore, their messages are not adequately passed across. Between group interactions, also trigger stereotypes, emotions in such cases are provoked by group encounters that are uncomfortable, and are transferred to the group. The media also generate crucial stereotypes in its audiences, the experiences these individuals have with members of other groups are derived from the media, in which messages that are biased are communicated by under representing or stereotyping those groups. Social roles also lead to correspondence bias. Observing a group’s behaviors can lead to significant effects on an individual’s impressions. Numerous facts suggest that the groups’ stereotypes reflect the social roles that are assumed by members of the groups (Nelson, 2009).

Chapter 2

  1. Words are powerful communicational tools. Consider the following words of wisdom from James 3: 2- 10. Drawing from personal experience, write a 100- 200-word response in which you describe the power of words to be destructive and to be constructive.

Words can be manipulative, in that they can influence the actions of an individual and behavior. It is common for universities and colleges to engage in strikes and protests. Once I was involved in such protests, which were entirely influenced by the words of the student leaders. The student leaders made speeches that made us believe that our rights were being violated, and that the only way to get back our rights and freedom was through demonstration and protests. Needless to say, that these protests led to violence, which left a number of fellow students, injured. The most essential thing I learned from this protest was that words could lead people to engage in destructive and even dangerous actions. We were comfortable in school before the student leaders made their speech. It was only after the inciting speech that we realized that we had to fight for our ‘rights’ which we thought we had all along. After a couple of days, the student leaders reconsidered and the made other speeches that later made us decide to go back to school and abandon the protests. This is an excellent example of how powerful words are.

  1. In a paragraph or two, answer the following questions about your use of artifacts to send people information about yourself. a) Which colors do you like to wear? Which do you not like to wear? b) Why do people like or not like them? Which ideas or feelings do or might they communicate to other people?

Artifacts can be essential communicators of our emotions, feelings and who we are. Colors are particularly excellent communicators of our characters. For instance, I like wearing dull colors that do not draw attention to me. I like colors like brown, dark green, grey, dark blue and any other colors that are not ‘shouting’. The reason why I like these colors is because they do not draw unnecessary attention to me, and helps me blend well with the others. I do not like to wear colors that are too bright or bold colors like purple, red, pink, yellows, or bright green. These make one be the center of attention, and I prefer not to be the midpoint of attention. People like me like these colors, because these colors because they help them stay unrecognized among their colleagues, they make them blend well with others. People who are not like me do not like these colors because they think that they reflect lack of interest in grooming or confidence. However, the colors I like communicate the feeling of comfort to those around me, people feel like they can talk to me because of the way I dress.

  1. Consider the following statement by Cornelius LaPide, a 17th century Jesuit priest. Write a 100- 200-word response that states your agreement, partial agreement or disagreement with this statement. State your position clearly and succinctly, and back it up with information that supports your position, such as testimonies from experts, illustrations, or examples from your personal experience or that of someone else.

This statement is true. I agree that one’s face and eyes are the true indications of one’s heart or character and behavior. People who are kind and happy show it with their soft facial expressions and with their smiling eyes. People who are unkind, rude and uncomfortable around people show this through their tight expressions, scowls, and rudeness in eyes and hatred in their eyes. One can easily distinguish a person who is kind and nice from one who is unkind and unhappy by the way, they carry themselves around and through their facial expressions. Facial expressions are one or more positions or motions of the skin’s muscles. These positions show the emotional state of the owner of the face to those observing him. Facial expressions are a type of nonverbal communication (Freitas-Magalhaes, 2007).

  1. Share an example of a strange regional word or expression that you or a friend has encountered during your lifetime. Be sure for each of these to identify your hometown or region where you were when you encountered the strange expression. Who said it? What was his or her home region? What did you think when you first heard the expression? How did you learn the intended meaning of the strange expression? Which term do people from your home region use for the same thing?

Numerous phrases and expressions are used by different individuals to mean something that is known in another region by a different phrase or name (Berlo, 1960). Once we went on a trip to a beach in south Jersey. My friend and I went for a walk in the afternoon and maybe a swim at the beach. We were enjoying our time at the beach when all of a sudden we heard a man calling; he was selling ice cream. We did not want any so we declined pleasantly and kept on walking. Then he asked, ‘you are shoobies, aren’t you?’ we were confused as to why this man was insulting us even after we had reacted pleasantly to him. We asked him why he was insulting us, and that is when he laughed loudly and explained that in Jersey shoobie was a phrase used to depict individuals who like to frequent the beach. We apologized and told him we were not familiar with the phrase.




Berlo, D. K. (1960). The process of communication. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston

Freitas-Magalhaes, A. (2007). The Psychology of Emotions: The Allure of Human Face. Oporto:               University Fernando Pessoa Press

Nelson, T. (2009). The unbearable accuracy of stereotypes in Handbook of prejudice,         stereotyping, and discrimination. Psychology Press.


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