Life I Can Cite an Experience Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1877 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Psychology

¶ … life I can cite an experience of a self-discrepancy. In one particular situation, I was very much against the idea of drinking and driving, or smoking and driving, or doing anything but driving when you are supposed to drive. However, one night I went out with several friends I hadn't seen in years. You guessed it, one thing led to another and before I realized it we'd been drinking. By the grace of God I drove home without hurting anyone else. Looking back now I am horrified at my actions. While I could have endangered myself, more importantly I could have endangered someone else. This caused me to become more proactive about my personal attitudes.

Rather than shirk the reality of the situation, I started volunteering with a local organization promoting awareness in teens and college students about the hazards of drinking and driving. We also share with the people we work with tips for minimizing their risk any time they drive, including talking on the telephone. The more information I put out there, the better I feel about myself and past, enabling me to resolve the dissonance created by my ideal self and the actual behaviors and attitudes I demonstrated on more than one occasion during my earlier years as a student.

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2. Fear-arousing communications have many effects. Typically fear-arousing communications do not often encourage people to change their attitudes, but they may cause people to change their behaviors. Fear-arousing communications are most effective when used on a vulnerable population. Say for example you use fear-based communications to arouse a response among 9-11 survivors, the children of their survivors, by telling them if they don't do X action they too will become a victim. Someone that lived with a family member that died during these events is more likely to react or change their attitudes or behaviors to prevent fear than someone detached from the situation. The closer one is to a situation, the more likely they are to act out.

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People all respond to fear differently though. Usually trying to arouse a group of people using fear-arousing communications fails, because often individual member of the group will rally to protect their independent self-interest, not the interests of those around them. This means they may take on a fight or flight response rather than think logically about the arguments presented and work with others to find meaningful solutions to the problem at hand.

There are many models that studies suggest are more beneficial and universally accepted then fear-based models; these include self-efficacy models or those models that effect arousal by other means including through rules or policies and regulations. These can be established in a non-threatening manner so that people are more inclined to take action based on their actual preferences instead of take action based on any fears aroused by a particular situation (Block & Keller, 1997). In fact many suggest arousal more often occurs when someone has the ability to paint pointed or vivid images to the intended party, in a way that is not threatening but in a way that will arouse the individual in question to take positive action (Block & Keller, 1997). There are many ways one could test this theory among small groups by presenting the groups with a set of policies, rules or regulations and then using proactive forms of leadership vs. fear tactics to see which resulted in a more efficient and beneficial response from the parties in question.

3. The six basic universal emotions or nonverbal expressions of emotion are as follows: happiness, anger, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust (Atwood, 2006). The survival function of each of these variables differs, although cultures tend to express these emotions in similar and yet unique ways; studies suggest people incapable of expressing these six emotions are more likely to suffer grave social and emotional problems leading to social withdrawal than others (Atwood, 2006). One reason for this may be that these survival emotions act as a primary tool for communication; even in the absence of language with proper understanding of one's emotions, and individual can usually express their needs to other people clearly, which may prove life saving in a foreign environment or in a situation where danger is present or imminent.

On a functional level (Atwood notes individuals must be able to engage successfully in "social interactions" by communicating effectively (p 12). This does not suggest however that all people face social exclusion if they fail to use proper nonverbal emotions, but does explain how rampant miscommunication could occur if someone was not familiar with how to use nonverbal communications and emotional expressions in another country. For example, consider infants; when they are born they are capable of verbal and nonverbal communication. Most parents rely on nonverbal cues to understand what the infant needs because their language is impaired; thus, when a child is hungry the parent may look for signs of distress or sadness and the child may suck their thumb. These are all cues that communicate a need for comfort and food from the child. Some cultures forbid or limit use of nonverbal communication; this may be a cultural defense mechanism or a tool through which an organization or culture might exclude others or may establish a patriarchy within the society.

Consider for example, the many countries requiring women to cover from head to do; those who follow such stringent religious practices limit the ability of women to communicate using nonverbal communication except through their eyes. This may prove an effective communication tool for some, but may also lead to much miscommunication if the nonverbal cues are not received correctly. Most cultures embrace the universal nonverbal expressions commonly used but may also have other tools of nonverbal communication that differ; these may include nonverbal signals representing ones class or caste in the society in which they live. For example, those of a lower caste or category may have to bow before members of royalty, a signal of respect and deference.

4. Impression management is an interesting sociological phenomenon that describes a person attempting to shape or change another's or a group's impressions of them. The idea is that one may control another's impressions of another to help bolster one's status or limit individuals from thinking negatively about someone. Impression management may also be described as the way one presents themselves, in order to influence others or engage others in a positive or negative manner.

Theory related to impression management suggests the way one presents themselves may reflect a message the person wants to deliver to others, whether to gain influence and understanding among members of a group or to enjoy more social acceptance within a group. This aligns with other sociological concepts suggesting individuals form their own reality through other people's reflections of them. If people then, suggest you are a kind and helpful person, you likely present yourself as such, offering our services to them to gain respect and a specific status within a community.

Those most heavily involved in impression management include politicians, who are always trying to manage the way the public perceives them, so they gain favor among people usually and capture their loyalty. Murphy (2007) notes impression management is often a tool people use to appear "smart" or intelligent among others. This may be to capture their interest or to gain entrance into a group or organization. I for example, attempted to manage the impressions others had of my while applying for a part-time job as a volunteer coordinator of community affairs. The job description described the ideal candidate as someone that was knowledgeable of community events, friendly, personable and capable of supervising a group of ten.

Other important characteristics included sharp thinking and decision making skills; given this information during the interview I tried to present myself as quick-witted, someone with much experience in community affairs, and someone capable of handling more than one task at a time. Much of my impression management came not from speech alone but also my posture and the clothing I chose to wear on this particular occasion.

While many of the candidates were dressed in stiff formal suits, I wore casual but well put-together styled clothing. This gave the impression I wanted; someone that could easily integrate with members of the community without being threatening, but also someone capable of giving and taking orders and working in a disciplined manner. As a result of my efforts I was awarded the position. Now my role serves more to maintain the impression I've gained in this group so my status remains unchanged.

5. To address the subject of drug and alcohol problems among high school students I would first attempt to manage the impressions the students had of me. It is important in this situation to gain their trust; therefore while I would want to establish myself as an authority figure on the subject, I would also want the students to engage in frank and comfortable conversation so they… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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