COMM 2110 Final Exam Study Guide for Chapters 9,

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                  COMM 2110: Final Exam Study Guide for Chapters 9, 10, & 12

Chapter 9: Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships

      Why we form relationships – you should know how each of these factors influences
       relationship formation
           o Appearance
           o Similarity
           o Complementarity
           o Rewards
                    Must know the basic premise of Social Exchange Theory
                    Must be able to identify what „rewards‟ and „costs‟ mean within the context of
                       exchange theories
                    Study Tip: Must be familiar with „Comparison level‟ and „Comparison level of
                       the alternative‟
           o Competency
           o Proximity
           o Disclosure
                    Study Tip: Must know the two factors that influence satisfying self-disclosure in
                       relationships: reciprocity and timing

      Communication & Relational dynamics
          o Developmental models of interpersonal relationships
                 Should know Knapp‟s model of „Coming together‟ and „Coming apart‟
                 Should know what each of the stages entails
                 Study Tip: Should be able to identify the defining relational and
                    communicative characteristics of each of the stages
                 Should be familiar with the different strategies for gaining distance in
                    relationships (under „Avoiding‟ on p. 245)
                         Expressing detachment
                         Avoiding involvement
                         Showing antagonism
                         Mental disassociation
          o Communication and Relational maintenance
                 It is sufficient if you know the five maintenance strategies for maintaining
                    romantic relationships identified by Stafford & Canary (1991) – p. 248
                         Positivity – keep things pleasant by being polite, cheerful, & upbeat
                             and also by avoiding criticism
                         Openness – talking directly about the nature of the relationship and
                             disclosing your personal needs and concerns
                         Assurance – letting the other person know that he or she matters to
                         Social networks
                         Sharing tasks – helping one another take care of life‟s chores and
          o Dialectical perspectives on relational dynamics
                 Should be able to conceptualize what „dialectical tension‟ means
                 Study Tip: Be familiar with Table 9.2 on p. 249 in your text on internal and
                    external manifestations of the various relational dialectical tensions
                 You should also be able to identify what each of the terms listed in Table 9.2
                    mean and be able to infer from hypothetical examples (as multiple choice on
                    your final exam) which dialectical tension (& whether it is internal or external)
                    is being implicated

                     Strategies for managing dialectical tensions – you should be familiar with ALL
                      of the strategies described on p. 253 in your text (Study Tip: questions similar
                      to the ones that appeared on Quiz #5 are possible in your final as well)
                           Denial – communicators respond to one end of the dialectical spectrum
                               and ignore the other
                           Disorientation – partners fight, freeze, or leave the relationship in the
                               face of dialectical tensions
                           Alternation – partners choose one end of the dialectical spectrum at
                               some times, and the other end on different occasions
                           Segmentation – partners compartmentalize different areas of their
                           Balance – communicators recognize that both forces are legitimate and
                               try to manage them through compromise
                           Integration – communicators simultaneously accept opposing forces
                               without trying to diminish them
                           Recalibration – communicators respond to dialectical challenges by
                               reframing them so that the apparent contradictions disappear
                           Reaffirmation – partners acknowledge that dialectical tensions will
                               never disappear and accept, or even embrace, the challenges they

      Communicating about relationships
          o Know the difference between content and relational dimensions of communication
          o Study Tip: Know what „meta-communication‟ is

      Compliance-gaining in interpersonal relationships
          o Study Tip: You should know what the different types of compliance-gaining strategies
              are, what the relative advantages and disadvantages of each of them are, and be able
              to infer from examples which strategy is being used
                    Direct requests
                    Indirect appeals
                    Reciprocity
                    Rewards & Punishment
                    Face maintenance
                    Relational appeals

Chapter 10: Intimacy and Distance in Relationships

      Intimacy and Distance: Striking a balance
           o Dimensions of intimacy
                   Emotional
                   Intellectual
                   Physical
                   Shared activities
           o Dimensions of distance
                   Must be familiar with the most common strategies for creating distance among
                      college students – should know what each of these strategies entails
                           Withdrawal
                           Physical avoidance
                           Being reserved
                           Shortening interactions
                           Restricting topics
                           Using restraint
                           Deception

   Influences on intimacy and distance
        o Male and female intimacy styles
                 Sufficient if you know that men and women basically differ in the way they
                    create and maintain intimacy
        o Cultural influences on intimacy
                 Should be familiar with cultural differences in the way intimacy is expressed

   Self-disclosure in relationships
        o Defining self-disclosure
                 Self as subject
                 Intentional
                 Directed at another person
                 Honest
                 Revealing
                 Availability of information
                 Context of sharing
        o Degrees of self-disclosure
                 Study Tip: Plan on knowing Social Penetration Theory/Model – Figures 10.1 and
                    10.2 (p. 276 – 277)
                 Be able to differentiation between breadth and depth of information sharing
                 Study Tip: Be familiar with the different types of information that can be
                    revealed during self-disclosure (end of p. 277 and continuing on p. 278)
                         Clichés
                         Facts
                         Opinions
                         Feelings
                 Factors that help determine the relationship between “optimal” level of self-
                    disclosure and happiness in the relationship
                         Perceived disclosure vs. actual disclosure
                         How well the disclosure matches the expectations of the
                         Fit between the amount of information offered by communicators
        o Model of self-disclosure
                 Should know Johari window (Figures 10.3 and 10.4 on p. 278 – p. 279)
                 Should be able to differentiate between the four windows: open, blind, hidden,
                    and unknown
        o Risks & benefits of self-disclosure
                 Benefits of self-disclosure – Study Tip: you should not only know the
                    terminology under this section, but should also know what each of the terms
                    mean and be able to justify why they are benefits
                         Catharsis
                         Self-clarification
                         Self-validation
                         Reciprocity
                         Impression formation
                         Relationship maintenance & enhancement
                         Moral obligation
                         Social influence
                         Self-defense
                 Risks of self-disclosure – Study Tip: again, you should not only know the
                    terminology under this section, but should also know what each of these mean
                    and be able to justify why they are considered “risks”
                         Rejection
                         Negative impression

                               Decrease in relational satisfaction
                               Loss of influence
                               Loss of control
                               Hurt the other person
                               Increased awareness

      Alternatives to self-disclosure
           o Silence
           o Lying
                   Study Tip: Plan on knowing the difference between benevolent vs. malevolent
                   Reasons for lying
                             To save face
                             To avoid tension or conflict
                             To guide social interaction
                             To manage relationships
                             To gain power
                             To protect other relationships
                   Also useful to be familiar with the conditions when we are most likely to let
                       statements that we know are untruthful go unchallenged (p. 289). Study Tip:
                       Typically, knowing this information will come in handy when answering a
                       multiple choice or True/False question
                             When we expect others to lie
                             When the lie is mutually advantageous
                             When a lie helps us avoid embarrassment
                             When the lie helps us avoid confronting an unpleasant truth
                             When we have asked the other person to lie
           o Equivocation
                   Should know the definition of equivocal language
                   Plan on knowing Figure 10.6 on p. 291 depicting the inter-relationships
                       between equivocal vs. clear language and truthful vs. false statements
           o Hinting – it is sufficient if you know that “hinting” is one of the alternatives to self-
              disclosure. Study Tip: Familiarize yourself with the examples of direct statements vs.
              Face-saving hints given on p. 292

      Guidelines for self-disclosure - Study Tip: Familiarity with these guidelines may come in
       handy when answering a multiple choice question (e.g. Which ONE of the following guidelines is
       NOT recommended….?) or even a True/False question
          o Is the other person important to you?
          o Is the risk of disclosing reasonable?
          o Is the self-disclosure appropriate?
          o Is the disclosure relevant to the situation at hand?
          o Is the disclosure reciprocated?
          o Will the effect be constructive?
          o Is the self-disclosure clear and understandable?

Chapter 12: Managing Conflict

      Defining conflict - Study Tip: Plan on knowing what each of these aspects mean
           o Expressed struggle
           o Perceived incompatible goals
           o Perceived scarce rewards
           o Interdependence
           o Inevitability

   Functional and dysfunctional conflicts
       o Must be able to differentiate functional from dysfunctional conflict
       o Study Tip: Should definitely plan on knowing the characteristics of functional &
           dysfunctional conflicts
                Integration vs. Polarization
                Cooperation vs. Opposition
                Confirmation vs. Disconfirmation
                Agreement vs. Coercion
                De-escalation vs. Escalation
                Focusing vs. Drifting
                Foresight vs. Short-sightedness
                Positive vs. Negative results

   Conflict styles
       o Study Tip: Familiarize yourself with Figure 12.1 on p. 340
       o You should be able to infer and identify from hypothetical examples the style that
            partner(s) are using. You should also know what the relative benefits/disadvantages of
            each of the styles are
                 Avoidance – lose/lose
                 Accommodation – lose/win
                 Compromise – lose/lose
                 Competition – win/lose
                         Study Tip: Plan on knowing the conceptual difference between passive
                            aggression and direct aggression – see p. 343
                         Collaboration – win/win
       o Factors to consider when determining which style to use
                 Situation
                 The other person
                 Your goals

   Conflict in relational systems
       o Study Tip: You should know the conceptual definition of relational conflict style – see
            p. 349
       o Complementary, Symmetrical, and Parallel Styles
                  You should know the difference between each of three styles
                  In addition, you should also know the difference between constructive and
                     destructive complementary and symmetrical styles
                  Study Tip: Review Table 12.2 on p. 352
       o Intimate & Aggressive Styles - Study Tip: You should understand the following styles
            enough to be able to infer and identify which style is being used by partners in a
            hypothetical example
                  Non-intimate-Aggressive
                  Non-intimate-Non-aggressive
                  Intimate-Aggressive
                  Intimate-Non-aggressive

   Variables in conflict styles
        o Gender – be familiar with major study findings on gender differences in conflict styles
        o Culture – same as above

   Conflict management in practice - Study Tip: Know the 7-step approach to successful problem
    solving developed by Deborah Weider-Hatfield (1981)
        o See p. 358 – p. 361