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3 PERCEPTION-CHECKING PRACTICE

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
 Describe how the processes of selection, organization, interpretation, and negotiation
shape communication in a given situation.
 Explain how the influences on perception listed in this chapter affect communication in a
specific situation.
 Demonstrate how you might use the skill of perception checking in a significant
relationship.

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Alone or with a partner, write a perception check for each of the situations below or
spontaneously create an oral perception check. If you write them first, practice delivering
them aloud to each other.

EXAMPLE
Yesterday your friend Erin laughed at a joke about “dumb blonds.” You found it offensive.
Perception-checking statement: Erin, when Joey cracked the dumb blond joke last night, you laughed.
I’m wondering if you disapproved of the joke but laughed just to make Joey feel comfortable, or if you really
think that blonds are not as smart as the rest of the population. Can you clarify things for me?

1. Last night you saw a recent date walking on the beach, holding hands with someone. You’d
like to date again, but don’t want to if a current relationship exists. You get a call from the recent
date, asking you to a movie and dinner this weekend.
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2. Ever since the school year began, your father has called weekly, asking how you are doing. He’s
just called and asked again.
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he grunts and turns his face away from you and keeps reading. but you haven’t seen it lately. but didn’t say anything then. “Oh. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 5.” _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ . _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 7. it’s OK. He sighs and says. Your friend was driving you home from a party last night when he began to weave the car between lanes on the highway. In one of your regular long distance phone conversations you ask your favorite cousin about his romantic life. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 6. You return home at night to find your roommate reading on the couch. You are in a hurry now. I guess. Your roommate has a car.” You have approached the instructor to discuss the remark. when you are leaving your house. and your roommate has just asked for another ride. You were uncomfortable. Last week your instructor returned your exam with a low grade and the comment. “This kind of work paints a bleak picture for the future. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Now it is the next morning and he shows up to take you to a class. For the last two weeks. your roommate has asked for a ride somewhere. When you walk into the room and greet him. You have decided to bring up the incident.3.

Last weekend your next-door neighbor. promising to clean them up after work on Monday.8. he’s called you at home a few times a week. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 12. . or spouse announces that she or he plans to spend next Friday night with friends from work. You usually spend Friday nights with each other. Black. You’ve decided to ask. At first she looked away quickly. You can’t understand why she keeps looking at you. One of your classmates sits by you every day in class and you’ve done a lot of homework together. raked a big pile of leaves near your property line. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 10. boyfriend. You’ve been under a lot of pressure at work lately and have been extremely busy. Your girlfriend. You’ve noticed one of your office mates looking over at you a number of times during the past few days. but now she smiles every time you look up and catch her looking at you. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 11. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 9. and the wind is blowing the leaves into your yard. gave you a big assignment. Ms. Steve. Last week your supervisor at work. He suggests that you meet for dinner this weekend. Three times since then she has asked you whether you’re having any trouble with it. It’s Wednesday.

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There is now a shortage of nurses. Marisa and Jorge are meeting to discuss the situation.  Analyze how the tendencies described in this chapter have distorted your perceptions of another person. he believes he deserves this because of his service and seniority. How can Marisa and Jorge communicate competently in order to come to a constructive conclusion to this situation? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 5 . Use this information to present a more accurate alternative set of perceptions.  Demonstrate how you might use the skill of perception checking in a significant relationship. Marisa. What factors are likely to influence the perceptions of Jorge and Marisa? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. INSTRUCTIONS Use the following case to explore the variety of communication issues involved in communication and perception. 3. 1. Jorge has been at the facility longer than any of the other nurses and has his choice of schedule. has been trying to hire new nurses.6 PERCEPTION LEARNING OBJECTIVES  Explain how the influences on perception listed in this chapter affect communication in a specific situation. some of whom will only work if they can have Jorge’s schedule. and hence your communication. CASE Jorge is a registered nurse at a facility that cares for about 80 elderly patients. Prepare perception-checking statements for Jorge and Marisa to deliver to one another. Jorge’s supervisor. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 3.

What suggestions would you give Marisa and Jorge advice based on information in this chapter? Cite information from the text to back up your suggestions.4. _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ 6 .

I can leave. I need to focus on the She’s so critical. STATEMENT SELF-TALK FALLACIES REAPPRAISE ANY FALLACIES Example: She never has Overgeneralization. 4. It would be nice to please her. I let her get to her happy. but I don’t need her approval to be happy. anything good to say. record the most common examples of your own self-talk. INSTRUCTIONS 1. the fallacies involved. and the reappraising you need to do to keep emotionally healthy. As a group. Approval say. Identify any fallacies contained in the self-talk: approval. catastrophic expectations.SELF-TALK  LEARNING OBJECTIVES  Identify and reappraise the fallacies that are creating debilitative emotions in an important situation. 1. No one 7 . I can’t stand her. Expand the self-talk behind each statement by using details from your experience to help discover things people often say to themselves. If I don’t like what she is saying at the moment. Explain how more rational thinking can lead to more constructive communication. shoulds. perfection.4 EMOTIONAL LANGUAGE . In groups. overgeneralization. 4. good things she does She drives me crazy. not the criticisms. causation 3. Reappraise any irrational self-talk. 2. I’ll She doesn’t make me never be able to make crazy. Helplessness. analyze the statements below. 1. helplessness. Causation. me.

I don’t know why I even bother to study for her stupid tests. Why can’t he be more sensitive to my feelings? 5. 8 . 6. STATEMENT SELF-TALK FALLACIES REAPPRAISE ANY FALLACIES 3. She is so embarrassing because she has no manners. 2. He’s so moody. 4.appreciates me around here. He’s a jerk just like his brother.

She’s the perfect boss. STATEMENT SELF-TALK FALLACIES REAPPRAISE ANY FALLACIES 9. It’s no use talking to him. I can’t believe you told me to buy this worthless car.7. 10. I’ll never get out of here with all her talking. 9 . 8. he’s so unreasonable. I’ll be completely satisfied in this job.

10 . 4. 2. YOUR OWN EXAMPLES: SELF-TALK FALLACIES REAPPRAISE ANY FALLACIES STATEMENT 1. 3.

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Bev did “x. INSTRUCTIONS In each of the situations below. 1. Get organized. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 5. EXAMPLE 1 John’s a live wire. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 3. You can’t rely on Randy. 12 . change the language to describe behavior in specific terms. EXAMPLE 2 Go over that way. turn right. Will you just wash the car the right way this time? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Remember to focus on the behavior (e. and then danced at a party until dawn..” rather than Bev is “x”).g. Natasha needs to get real. That teacher is hard-headed. 5. be specific enough (low abstractions) to clearly get your idea across to someone else. Go across the footbridge. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 4.2 BEHAVIORAL LANGUAGE  LEARNING OBJECTIVES  Construct a message at the optimal level of specificity or vagueness for a given situation. If you are giving instructions. volunteered for two hours at the homeless shelter in the afternoon. go up the five large steps to the third building on your left. John ran a 5K in the morning.

He acts weird. My parents are understanding. Josh just blows me off when I have something important to say. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 13 . Do the report correctly this time. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 10. I like it that your family is emotional. Get a decent movie this time. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 11. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 9. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 12. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 6. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 7.

How could this change their perceptions? Improve their situation? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 3.  Recast “you” statements into “I” or “we” statements to reflect your responsibility for the content of messages.5 LANGUAGE LEARNING OBJECTIVES  In a given situation. Make notes on this page. and didn’t care about all the commitments Magda had. concrete language. Add your own experiences to individualize the analysis. After three weeks both Matt and Magda came to their professor to complain about the other. CASE Professor Polle paired Matt and Magda as class project partners. add other pages on your own. Rewrite the high level abstractions that Matt and Magda use with specific. Magda said that Matt was “arrogant. 5.  Construct a message at the optimal level of specificity or vagueness for a given situation. It was too late in the semester for the professor to give them new partners. or prepare a group report/analysis based on your discussion. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 14 . Matt called Magda a “flake” and said she didn’t work hard enough and didn’t take the project seriously. What effect does using this language have on their perception of each other? On the successful completion of their project? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2.” wanted the project done only her way. analyze how gender and/or cultural differences may affect the quality of interaction. Give an example of an “I” language statement from any of the three persons that could improve the situation. INSTRUCTIONS Use the case below and the discussion questions that follow to discuss the variety of communication issues involved in effective communication. 1. Identify the language that Matt and Magda are using about one another.

Add your own experiences to individualize the analysis. INSTRUCTIONS Use the case below and the discussion questions that follow to discuss the variety of communication issues involved in effective communication. Sam has been engaged four times. Larry has been happily married for ten years.4. What types of ineffective listening are likely to occur if Larry doesn’t carefully consider his listening options? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 3. or prepare a group report/analysis based on your discussion. add other pages on your own. Gender and culture may influence the way language is used. 1. Identify differences mentioned in your text and describe how those differences might apply to this situation. Sam has just announced another engagement. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 15 .  Demonstrate a combination of listening styles you could use to respond effectively in a given situation. What listening style(s) could Larry use that would be most helpful to Sam? Why? Construct a response for Larry using that style. and each time has broken it off as the marriage date approaches. Make notes on this page. CASE Larry and Sam have been friends since elementary school and are now in their thirties. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 7.5 LISTENING ANALYSIS LEARNING OBJECTIVES  Identify the response styles that you commonly use when listening to others. What are the likely barriers that would prevent Larry from listening effectively? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2.

Suppose that the two friends described here are both women.4. How would your responses to the preceding questions change? 16 .

During this same time period. Make notes on this page. Malcolm dated around. Evaluate the alternatives to self-disclosure in this situation. equivocation. or prepare a group report/analysis based on your discussion. 9. add other pages on your own. or hinting might be more effective than full disclosure? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 17 . Cite times when full disclosure may be more harmful than helpful? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 3. INSTRUCTIONS Use the case below and the discussion questions that follow to discuss the variety of communication issues involved in effective communication. CASE Alora and Malcolm dated one another exclusively for three years.2 RELATIONAL DYNAMICS LEARNING OBJECTIVES  Outline the potential benefits and risks of disclosing in a selected situation. partial disclosure. and now are back together and talking about getting married. 1. Alora became intimate with a casual friend of Malcolm’s for a brief time before she realized that she really loved only Malcolm. but he did not get serious about any one. They broke up for six months. Malcolm has now told Alora that he believes they should tell one another everything about the time they were apart. Use other relationships (your own and others) to evaluate how important full self-disclosure is to committed relationships. Explain how lies. benevolent lies. While they were broken up. Do you think full self-disclosure is important in this relationship? Why or why not? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Add your own experiences to individualize the analysis.

18 . evaluate how much Alora and Malcolm should disclose to each other about the six months they were apart. __________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Using quotations from the text.