Communication 480 by 04Q4eg8s


									                                                                            Interpersonal, Spring, 2012, 1

                                       Communication 304
                                   Interpersonal Communication
                                    Spring, 2012, 11:00 to 12:20
                                 Tuesdays and Thursdays, ASC 231
                                         January 9, 2012

Michael J. Cody, 326C Annenberg                Nancy Chen, Ph.D. Office (GL, Annenberg)
Office hours: Thursdays, 1 - 3:00              Office hours: Before or after class, by appointment
or by appointment                              Nancy Chen <>, 213-740-3936 (o)                 213-568-7955
310-376-8565 (h)

Texts: Canary, DJ, Cody, M.J., and Manusov, V. (2008). Interpersonal Communication: A
goals-based approach. NY: St. Martin’s Press (4th edition).

NOTE: I have copies of this book for you to borrow. I have about 40 copies, numbered, you can
check out on the first day of class. You must sign out for them and return them. As noted below, we
will be working on a Wikispaces program to order to create and maintain over time an Annenberg
Interpersonal Relationship Wiki. One reason for doing so is to leave the world of expensive and
dated textbooks behind, and to provide updated materials embedded with relevant visuals.


Paper 1: Analyzing popular media/trends (individual grade)                     20% of grade
Paper 2: Wiki pages on content areas, presentation to class (group grade)      20% of grade
Paper 1: Review of literature paper (individual grade)                         20% of grade
Test 1 (multiple choice, true/false)                                           20% of grade
Test 2 (multiple choice, true/false)                                           20% of grade

The two tests are not cumulative. There is no “final” examination, but students may take Test 2 on
the last class day or on the date and time of the scheduled “final” examination.

Course Objectives

This course deals with communication in interpersonal relationships, including friendships (same
sex and opposite sex), dating and romantic relationships, family relationships, and work
relationships. We adopt a “goal orientation,” and we organize our discussions on three over-arching
goals – how one presents an image to the public (face-to-face, voicemail, Facebook, twitter, etc.),
how to initiate, maintain and terminate relationships (friendship or romantic), and how to achieve
instrumental goals (sell, buy, get into law or graduate school, etc.). Students enrolled in this course
should understand communication processes underlying self-presentation, relational maintenance
and achieving instrumental goals, explanations for why people behave the way they do and, ideally,
improve their own skills.
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The topics we will discuss include friendship formation, self-disclosure, relational growth,
escalation, decay, self-presentation, maintenance of friendships, face-to-face influence, conflict
styles and/or conflict, online relationships, family influences in studying communication patterns
[intergenerational], the effects of divorce (as a “stressor” or “disrupter”), “blended” families,
interracial dating, intercultural relationships, and “social support” derived from intimates, family
members and even strangers.

The instructors will provide a broad-based exposure to research and theory in the area of
interpersonal communication, providing examples along the way (one exemplary study each
lecture, some videos, etc.). Second, the instructors will advise and assist students in their paper
projects (described below). In this class, we want you to understand theories and communication
processes draw conclusions that are based on research findings, and apply the theory and research to
practical examples.

Paper 1. Analyzing popular media/trends.

Every topic we discuss is relevant to daily life, and you should see issues we discuss in popular
media – news, movies, television, online, music and even advertising. Each chapter in our book
starts with one news story about an important area of interpersonal life. But there are a lot of these.
Facebook stories, modern romance, apologies, etc.

Select one chapter from the text book. Read it and compile a list of video clips (movies,
television, music videos, even advertisements, online viral projects that can be used to highlight
principles from the chapter – examples of messages, examples reflecting theories or research
outcomes (reactions; severing relationships, failed flirting, successful apologies vs. failed; etc.). )[I
do not think you need to include SNL digital shorts, which are amusing but not sufficiently


Poor listening skills, relational breakup, “disconfirming” message:

In the film, The Notebook, Noah and Allie come from two different worlds. Noah is a poor
worker in the truck yard, while Allie is the daughter of aristocrats. Although the pair fall
quickly in love, their difference in social class causes a rift between them, especially after
Allie’s parents call Noah trash. After hearing this, Noah moves to leave Allie’s estate, but n ot
before she can stop him. Noah is the underbenefited partner [this is part of Equity theory],
and thus does not try to fight Allie when she appears to break up with him.

On-and-off Gossip Girl couple, Blair Waldorf and Nate Archibald, break-up after issues
regarding commitment. However, in the days before their cotillion ball, Nate begins to see
that Blair has grown and is not the same girl he dated in the past, reigniting his attraction to
her. In a mature move, Nate goes to visit Blair and asks that she allow him to be her escort
                                                                         Interpersonal, Spring, 2012, 3

even though she already has one. Blair agrees on the condition that they go just as friends.
This demonstrates how both characters push their past behind them to make the first move in
developing a friendship after their break-up. Research on forgiveness indicates that after a
person apologizes we are more likely to forgive the harmdoer if the apology is “full,” and
sincere, and we still feel “empathy” or can recall happier times; Nate’s wearing the
sweater with the Blair’s pin is quite strategic here:

Sex and the City: Carrie and Alexander break up in Paris (Sex and the City). Carrie is the “more
involved” partner, the “underbenefited” – doing more and getting less out of the relationship;
the Principle of Least Interest states: the individual with the least interest in initiating and
maintaining a relationship has more power in the relationship, as the individual who is
more interested in it puts in more effort and resources to initiate and maintain the

Be alert: there will be a lot of break ups in the spring:

While we gave some examples of breaking up above, note that there are great examples in
other areas, like personalities, flirting and more:

Narcissist personalities/using “negs”

Know your flirting style:
Here is the study:

The Paper. Your paper should be a set of paragraphs that “set up” or describe the importance of a
video clip, song, blog page, etc. That is, describe why the example is a example of a
“disconfirming” message; it is an example of a good, effective apology; it is a poor apology. The
link can also reveal an important element of a theory or an outcome. There is no page limit or
limit on the number of examples, and the content of some chapters will involve more media links
(self-presentation, relational escalation, maintenance, disengagement, self-disclosure, non-verbal
communication), etc. The grade is based mostly on your description of the relevance of the
clip to content in the chapter; followed by whether the grader (Dr. Cody) agrees with you
that it is a good example. This paper should be e-mailed to Dr. Cody by midnight both
instructors by Midnight February 10 ( Dr. Cody grades this and will give
feedback right away.

Don’t forget that you can include music (songs, videos), and narratives from any particular
source (blogs on “modern romance”).
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You may want to visit the “Wiki Pages” folder on Blackboard for ideas, other examples….

There are many examples placed on Blackboard…..see “Wiki pages.”

Paper 2. Developing Wiki Pages (Group)

After each person compiles his/her ideas about visual, mediated examples on a specific topic (the
content of one chapter, or parts of a chapter) people who selected similar, parallel and related
topics will be placed into groups and Dr. Cody will distribute the students’ individual Paper 1
papers (Analyzing popular media/trends) to the students in the groups for them to view.
However, feel free to e-mail Dr. Cody if you have preferred group members enrolled in the class;
and e-mail him with this information around February 9 – 14.

Groups will work collaboratively on “wiki” pages for that content after test 1 (see schedule). In
fact, we will allocate two class days on the Wiki assignment – March 6 and March 8, the days
before Spring Break. One person in each group should e-mail the document to the two instructors
before midnight Friday, March 9th. Grade of “A:” the creation of pages bridging theory and
research (from text) with exemplary cases from diverse media clearly illustrating
communication principles.

The topics can be quite diverse, but we want to be inclusive. You are free to incorporate one of
the Wiki pages already begun by previous students (see Blackboard) – download one, say on
“Forgiveness,” edit on it in Word with “tracking mode” on, and then add new content and
examples. Also, feel free to use or paraphrase sections from the text book (cite the book), and
references when creating the wiki pages (again, see the first drafts on Blackboard).

Typically, as you all know, a Wiki page will contain a “contents” or “table of content” box, and a
discussion of history, definitions, theories, and research spanning years, lots of citations and a
“sources” section (which you may call “sources cited,” “references,” etc.). Our class Wiki will
differ in that there should be media examples highlighting “exemplars” (clear examples of the
definitions of terms, or communication processes). The media examples can come from any
source – clips from programs, news, music videos, or interactive or online quizzes.

We will be posting your Wiki pages on Wikispaces over the Spring Break. Each contributor
should have a “Credit line” (i.e. “Updated by XXX, YYY, ZZZZ, March 9, 2012,” etc.)

Paper 3. Classic Term Paper

 The third paper is a traditional term paper; a “review of the literature.” Some term paper topics
from recent semesters include

Attachment styles                              Personalities (apprehensiveness, etc.)
Intergenerational communication                Friendships among older people
Friendship formation                           Mate selection
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Same sex and opposite sex friendships           Relational maintenance (business, friends, lovers)
Flirting, success and mistakes                  Attachment theory
Controlling intimacy                            Escalating relationships
Disengaging from relationships                  Maintaining relationships
Self-disclosure                                 Politeness theory
Need complementarity/compatibility              Conflict escalation and control
Conflict coping styles                          Forms of “love”
Accounts (and forgiveness)                      Stereotypes and their impact
Friendships over the life span                  Online friendships
Long distance relationships                     Online self-presentation
Accuracy of self-presentation                   Self-presentation and employment interviews
Humor in dating, work                           Self-disclosure of secrets
There are many other topics….

Select one topic that is of interest to you, and possibly one that has a bearing on the real world or
has real world implications, perhaps one relevant to your future career. Do the following:

(1) Research the interpersonal area of your choice using library databases. (We recommend Google
    Scholar, First Search or ProQuest. PsychInfo provides limited Full Text articles. There are a
    number of choices.) NOTE: Use the citations in the text book. There will also be some folders
    on “impression management,” “attachment,” etc. uploaded on Blackboard.
(2) Identify 12 to 20 primary sources you will use in your paper, download those papers and read
(3) Write a paper following APA guidelines.

Papers are graded on how well you followed the steps above, and by demonstrating that you have
learned to research primary sources, read publications and synthesize the main findings, write a
well-written coherent paper in APA format, and incorporate your findings into a line of research. It
is to your advantage to link the findings to at least one theory.

The paper you write will include

(1) A cover page [page 1]
(2) An Introduction. This is often a one or two paragraph discussing the problem, its significance,
    and justifying the reason for conducting the study.
(3) Body. The literature reviewed should be 12 to 20 studies, usually organized chronologically, or
    grouped on the basis of content area. For example, “friendships” can be defined and discussed
    in general (common interests, perceived support, etc.), and then one can write on “same sex
    friendships” and then on “opposite sex friendships,” followed by a conclusion. The 12 – 20
    studies is an arbitrary designation – some excellent papers are written based on 2 books, a
    book chapter and 8 publications (journal articles in peer-reviewed journals).
(4) A Summary and Conclusion section contains one paragraph in which you overview the goals of
    the paper. There may be a paragraph discussing any unusual findings.

This is an academic paper, but you can express your opinions in the conclusion and in the
                                                                            Interpersonal, Spring, 2012, 6

introduction. The grade is based largely on how well written it is, that you have demonstrated
reasonable exhaustiveness and comprehensiveness in your review, and that you have demonstrate
that you can synthesize materials from the different source materials. Typical papers are 12 to 15
pages in length—starting with the cover page as page one and references at the end – meaning that
the length of the text is 9 to 11 pages. The instructors have copies of papers previously written for
this course.

You should submit paper 3 to Dr. Cody ( and to the Drop box on Blackboard by
midnight Friday April 13th.


Day 1; January 10.             Introductions.
Day 2; January 12.             Read chapter 1. Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication
                               In class: An Active Listening exercise

Day 3; January 17.           Read chapter 2. Fundamentals of Verbal Messages
                             The focus is on Grices’s Principle of Co-operation, Staying on
                             Topic, Changing Topics and Confirming and Disconfirming
                             Messages, and Communication Accommodation Theory
Day 4; January 19.           Read chapter 3. Fundamentals of Nonverbal Communication
                             Take the test:

Day 5; January 24.             Culture and nonverbal communication
Day 6; January 26.             Read chapter 4. Fundamentals of Listening

Day 7; January 31.             Read chapter 5. Fundamentals of Social Cognition
                               The focus is on Schemata, Interpersonal Expectancies, and
Day 8; February 2              Read Chapter 14, Self and Society
                               Focus is on personalities and communication principles:
                               Machiavellianism, Self-monitoring, locus of control (skip
                               argumentativeness), Communication Apprehension, Loneliness and

Day 9; February 7.             Read Chapter 15. Family and Life-Span Issues
                               Focus is on Attachment Styles and interpersonal goals over the life
Day 10; February 9.            Read Chapter 6. Presenting the self – Strategies of self- presentation
                               Paper 1 submitted electronically to Professor Cody
                               ( midnight Friday February 10
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Day 11; February 14.   Review for test 1. Introduce group members for “wiki” Paper.
Day 12; February 16.   Test 1 [no lecture follows]

Day 13; February 21.   Test Returned. Groups meet about “wiki” Paper.
Day 14; February 23.   Read Chapter 7. Disclosing the Self

Day 15; February 28.   On line self-presentation and self-disclosure
Day 16; March 1.       Read Chapter 8. Defending the self
                       The formal lecture on this chapter will take place after Spring Break.
                       On this date we want to discuss visual examples of successful and
                       failed apologies and ways of defending the self in Entertainment,
                       Sports and Business.

Day 17; March 6.       Class time is devoted to Groups working on Wiki page(s).
Day 18; March 8.       Groups should finish wiki page(s) Paper. Submit digital version
                       this day or by midnight Friday March 11.

Spring Break           We will be posting your Wiki pages on Wikispaces over the
                       break. Access is open only to individuals enrolled in the course.

Day 19; March 20       The formal lecture on Chapter 8, Defending the self, will take place
                       on this date.
Day 20; March 22       Read Chapter 9. Escalating Relationships
                       Today: The classic literature on “flirting”

Day 21; March 27       We will watch the first half of Science of Sex Appeal
Day 22; March 29       We will watch a few more segments of the Science of Sex Appeal,
                       the brain and “love;” Do pheromones work?

Day 23; April 3        Read Chapter 10.Maintaining Relationships
Day 24; April 5        The literature on Long Distance Relationships

Day 25; April 10       Platonic Friendships and Love
Day 26; April 12       This day is intentionally left open for us to finish the classic term
                       paper – no lecture is given and no attendance is taken – but both of
                       us are in class to talk about final issues for the term paper.
                       Paper 3 is due Midnight Friday April 13th. E-mail it to Professor
                       Cody ( Dr. Cody will grade the tests in the order
                       they are turned in and give feedback. You may revise paper 3
                       once to improve grade, if needed.

Day 27; April 17       Read Chapter 11. De-escalating Relationships
Day 28; April 19       Coping with trauma and loss
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Day 29; April 24                  Review for Test 2
Day 30; April 26                  Test 2*
*Students may also take Test 2 during the normally scheduled “Final examination” if they select to
do so.
Students requesting academic accommodations based on a disability are required to register with
Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved
accommodations can be obtained from DSP when adequate documentation is filed. Please be sure
the letter is delivered to the instructors as early in the semester as possible. DSP is open Monday-
Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. The office is in Student Union 301 and their phone number is 213-

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