Self-Concept and Perception

1. How would you describe Jim’s self-concept?

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My perception of Jim’s self-concept is that he has a negative image of himself. He feels he is trying as hard as he can but cannot make his father happy.

2. How is self-concept affecting the interaction? Is it helping it? Hindering it? Explain using concepts from the text.

Self is easily defined; it is one’s beliefs, attitudes, feelings and values. Jim’s self-concept is hindering. He feels that he cannot do better seeing that his father keeps telling him he is not trying hard enough. One’s self-concept affects one’s perception, attitude and behavior, which can be demonstrated during the process of interpersonal communication.

3. using the process of human perception starting on page 64, explain the situation from your perspective as a student. Selection- We select to attend to certain stimuli based on a number of factors (Wood, 2012). We notice things that stand-out, because they are larger, more intense, or more unusual than other phenomena (Wood, 2012).

Jim’s father is not seeing that Jim is trying his best he seems to feel Jim spends too much time with his friends. Organization-“Once we have selected what to notice, we have to make sense of it” (Wood, 2012). In order for Jim to make his father happy he has to study harder and try harder. Interpretation-Is the subjective process of explaining our perceptions in ways that makes sense to us (Wood, 2012). Attribution is an explanation of why something happened or why someone acts a certain way (heider, 1958; Kelley, 1967; Manusov & Spitzberg, 2008). Jim’s father did not have any problems in college that is why he acts that way towards Jim. “Self-serving bias this is a bias toward ourselves and our interests we tend to avoid taking responsibility for negative actions and failures by attributing them to external, unstable, and specific factors that are beyond personal control” (Wood, 2012). For example Jim feels his classes are harder and he will not do well.

4. Using the guidelines for improving perception and communication starting on page 79 of the text, provide at least two tips for both Jim and his father on how to handle the situation in an effective way. Make sure to incorporate the text guidelines with proper in-text citations to support your points. Jim’s father:

Distinguish between facts and interferences- A fact is based on observation. Interference involves an interpretation that goes beyond the facts (Wood, 2012). Jim’s father is making assumptions that Jim is spending too much time with friends and not studying. He thinks that because he did not have a hard time in school. Instead of making assumptions Jim’s father needs to ask Jim if he needs extra help or tutoring. Monitoring the self-serving bias also has implications for how we perceive others. Just as we tend to judge ourselves generously, we may also be inclined to judge others too harshly. (Wood, 2012) Because Jim is not making the grades his father wants he is judging him hard. He should stop being so harsh. Jim:

Guard against the fundamental attribution error-This occurs when we overestimate the internal causes of others undesirable behavior and underestimate the external causes, and when we underestimate the internal causes of our own failings or bad behaviors and overestimate the external causes” (Wood, 2012). Jim does not believe in himself because of all the negative pressure that his father puts on him. Jim has it already made up in his mind that he cannot make better grades. He is underestimating himself. Avoid mind reading-“Mind reading assuming we understand what another person thinks, feels, or perceives” (Wood, 2012). Jim is so use to his father fussing about his grades that he assumes that his father is upset with him each time he calls.

5. Please explain, using concepts from the course and text material, the most significant thing learned from this Assignment

The most significant thing I learned from this assignment was that there are many way our perception and communication can be affected. Our perceptions are always partial and subjective. They are partial because we cannot perceive everything; and they are subjective because they are influenced by factors such as culture, physiology, roles, standpoint and cognitive ability (Wood, 2012).

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