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homework 2: verbal & nonverbal communication

based on chapters 6 & 7: communicating verbally & nonverbally

40 points possible



— to apply important concepts from chapters 6 & 7 to your own experience

— to reflect on the impact of (non)verbal communication in your personal relationships

— to recognize the various components that comprise (non)verbal communication



For this assignment you will be reflecting on pertinent examples of your own verbal and nonverbal communication. For instance, you will be sharing your experiences with personal idioms, and how words affect your thoughts. You should also reflect on a time when your nonverbal signals/codes conveyed something you did not intend to share. For instance, think of a time when somebody was upset with you based on the nonverbal communication you used, or when you consciously controlled your nonverbal cues to avoid an argument. Share your insights by answering questions 1 through 5 below.



In your responses, make sure that you mention, by name and in the correct context, relevant concepts from chapters 6 & 7. Your answers MUST INCLUDE the following five terms:  

(1)denotative meaning,

(2) connotative meaning,

(3 & 4) haptics, vocalics, proxemics, kinesics (pick any two of these codes), and

(5) affect display


1. Think of a specific close relationship for this question (e.g., your family, a friendship or group of friends, a romantic partner). Reflect on the personal idioms you have developed within this relationship. Then:

          a. Briefly explain a few of your personal idioms (so, more than one!). What are                  they, what do they mean, and how did they develop?

b. After reflecting on the use of idioms in this particular relationship, what                 conclusions can you draw about the association between idioms and                intimacy?


2. Carefully review the ‘Shaping Thought’ section on pp. 184-186 in our textbook. After reading, provide one detailed example of a way that a word or phrase (or lack of word or phrase) has shaped the way you think about something or someone.


3. Think of a time when you violated a nonverbal code (i.e., you did something that was “outside the norm” in a given situation or relationship):

          a. What was the situation, and which code did you violate?

          b. What was the interpersonal outcome of your nonverbal behavior?


4. Think of a time when you purposely changed your nonverbal cues to fit a situation:

          a. What was the situation?

          b. What nonverbal code did you change, and why?

          c. What was the interpersonal outcome of this change in behavior?



5. Think of the artifacts in your backpack, purse, or room. If somebody did not know you and took a look at what you had, what would they think about you, and why?



Note: Only 100 words are enough for each question..

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