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UW / Communication / COM 202 / Is steve more likely to be a librarian or farmer?

Is steve more likely to be a librarian or farmer?

Is steve more likely to be a librarian or farmer?


School: University of Washington
Department: Communication
Course: Introduction to Communication II
Professor: Malcolm parks
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: Communication notes
Cost: 25
Name: COM 202 week 2 notes
Description: These notes cover the two lectures during week 2 and might be helpful for studying for the quiz and/or midterm. Hope this helps! Thanks and happy studying!
Uploaded: 04/08/2016
10 Pages 183 Views 1 Unlocks

Week 2 Lecture 3

Is steve more likely to be a librarian or farmer?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Our Brains have two systems for interpreting messages  

1. System 1 vs System 2  

2. "Dual Process" theories of persuasion

Example questions  

1. Steve is shy, withdrawn, always helpful, but has little interest in people or reality. He is meek and  tidy and has a need for structure and passion for detail.  

∙ Is Steve more likely to be a librarian or farmer?  

∙ Answer: He is more likely to be a farmer because statistically, there are more farmers than  librarians  

∙ Lesson: we ignore baseline information like the standard size of groups we are evaluating  

2. The cost of a donut and coffee is $1.10. The coffee is $1.00 more than the donut. ∙ How much does the donut cost?

What is it called when one thing is used to represent something else?

∙ Answer: 5 cents. 5 cents for donut + $1.05 for the coffee = $1.10 total  

∙ Lesson: this question takes advantage of our want to keep things simple  

3. Linda is outgoing, witty, and bright. She is a UW grad in philosophy and interested in social justice.  She has also participated in anti-war demonstrations.  

∙ Which is more likely?

a. Linda is a bank teller

b. Linda is a bank teller and active in the feminist movement  

∙ Answer: a. Linda is more likely to be just a bank teller because adding an additional criteria  narrows the pool  

∙ Lesson: This question takes advantage of our stereotypes  

Two systems our brains use to process information

How common is each choice generally in the world?

System 1- Automatic evaluation based on pre-set assumptions  

1. Instinctive, automatic mental programming based on stereotypes and pre-existing assumptions  and beliefs  

2. Happens almost instantaneously Don't forget about the age old question of What did piaget say about schemas?

3. Mental shortcuts that aren't questioned or examined

a. Our stereotypes about librarians

b. Our quick and simple math If you want to learn more check out What is the outcome for the plaintiff when the standard of pure comparative negligence is applied?
If you want to learn more check out What are animal methods?

c. Our stereotypes about feminists  

System 1- the largely automatic level of information processing that has evolved to help us respond  quickly- shared with other animals  

System 2- Slower, more effortful, deliberate processing

1. What we mean when we think about thinking  

2. Can over-ride the errors of system 1

3. But it is slow, takes effort, and not automatically triggered  

1. These are all limitations we share

2. We can only make corrections once you're aware of the assumptions and stereotypes 3. Knowing the limitations helps, so does knowing others shared limitations  

Positive steps  

You can use mental reminders  

∙ How common is each choice generally in the world? - Farmers vs librarians (baseline information) ∙ Slow down and do the math

∙ What are the exceptions to my stereotypes? Could the opposite be true? - the humility factor  More practical applications: persuading others more effectively  Don't forget about the age old question of What are disadvantages of being landlocked?

The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion

(ELM) Richard Petty and John Cacioppo (1986)  

Two pathways- Peripheral (system 1) and central (system 2)  

Is my listener motivated to process my message in depth?

 ↓ Yes  

 → System 2 is at work

∙ Help the listener by eliminating disractions  

∙ Prompt listener to bring in prior knowledge Don't forget about the age old question of How does conformity influence behavior?

∙ Use logical arguments supported by evidence  

This is used in public speaking and debate- classic persuasion  

Is my listener motivated to process my message in depth?  

 ↓ no  

 → System 1 is at work  We also discuss several other topics like What causes rigor mortis?

∙ Portray yourself as an expert  

∙ Focus on being attractive

∙ Phrase your message in terms of stereotypes and mental shortcuts  

∙ Appeal to listener's emotions

∙ Make it easy for other's to respond the way you wish  

EX: Magazine renewal form  

"3 years (18 issues) $36.00- Best Deal!"  

∙ Takes advantage of system 1  

∙ Bold letters, top of the list  

Daniel Kahneman's book: Thinking, Fast, and Slow

System 2 is slow and hard. When possible take advantage of the receiver's tendency to fall back on the  simpler system 1


a. Make your messages vivid, bright, shiny, unusual, memorable

b. Avoid complex language. Try not to sound too smart. Sound like your listener  c. Use rhythm and rhyme whenever possible  

EX: Nation Wide jingle featuring Peyton Manning  

d. If you quote a source- choose one with a name that’s easy to pronounce and memorable EX: fundraising groups addressing general letters specifically to you

e. Draw on listener's stereotypes whenever possible  

EX: elections- how do candidates draw on stereotypes?

How the names we give or the words we chose can shape our experience of a person, product, or  experience  

Example game

Write the first five words that come into your head when you see a specific word  Compare with the person next to you and see how many matches you get for each specific word  

Love- 2 matches

Trump- 0 matches  

Lesson: meanings are in people- set associations in words  

These examples illustrate four important ideas  

1. Each word, each perception instantaneously triggers a set of associations in the brain (system 1)  ∙ It happens rapidly

∙ We have little conscious control over it  

2. These associations don’t reveal inner secrets, but they do show the other words and ideas that are  most easily available to you once you think of the first word or idea  

3. No two people will have exactly the same set of associations (though there may be some overlaps)  ∙ Overlaps are more common when people have closer longer relationships

∙ Overlaps are common among people who share the same culture and same pattern of media  consumption  

4. The associations you have for a particular word or idea are part of your meaning for it Affective meaning- words are feelings  

We have words about feelings  

Most words provoke feelings and create emotional responses  

Whenever you encounter a word, person, or object you assign meaning along three dimensions  1. Evaluative: good ←→ bad  

2. Potency: strong ←→ weak  

3. Activity: active ←→ passive  

Think of this as a 3 dimensional space  

You can map the affective meanings of nearly anything



Semantic differential scales  




























Sources seek to take advantage of our automatic, emotional associations  

1. By using names of associations linked to positive meanings  

Ex: Weight watchers stock value jumps 20% when Oprah Winfrey endorses it in January 2016  commercial (up 90% since she bought 10% of the company in October 2015)  

2. Advertisers and marketers often just make up names that feel good emotionally but don't really  mean anything  

Guide to naming an apartment  

Pick one from this column







Then add one from this column







Then add "Apartments"  

3. Little things matter when creating positive emotional associations  

∙ Namebase.com  

a. Use sounds that require the speaker to open the mouth wider  

∙ EX: Omega

b. Pick a name that has a "plosive" sound  

∙ EX: Prozac, puma, fiesta  

∙ Bestselling trucks are Ford F-series, Dodge Ram, and Toyota Tacoma  

4. Use positive associations to distract customers from facts that would make your product look bad  if they thought about it  

EX: Coke introduces "handheld" new size of coke in 2011

∙ Aimed at convenience store market  

∙ Claims they were sensitive to hard economic times  

∙ If you think about it, the name doesn’t make sense

∙ Consider price: 12.5 oz for 89 cents when 16 oz goes for 99 cents  

∙ New 12.5 oz bottle is 7.1 cents per oz but the 16 oz bottle is 6.2 cents per oz. that's a 15% price  increase  

The word "Nike" estimated value of $7 billion

Apple brand itself has an estimate worth of $124 billion  

Almost half of apple's market capitalization  

Half of the value of apple is bound up in its trademarks  

Week 2 Lecture 4  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Language: meaning and change

We are made of words  

Humans are the language animals  

1. Other animals communicate

2. But human language- in its richness, variety, and flexibility- seems to be unique

Today's topics  

1. When did humans develop language?

2. What is language anyway?

3. Levels within language

4. What does language do?

5. How does language change?  

Origins of language  

Engraving (Blombos cave South Africa) - 77,000 BP

No one is certain, but our best guess is that symbolic representations started about 50,000 years ago 35,000 BP- Venus figure discovered in 2008 in a cave in Germany  

Brain Evolution  

a. Specialized brain centers associated with language develop in this period (Broca's and Wernicke's  areas)

b. FOXP2 gene suggests it may be associated with language- speculation of the mutation of this gene  50,000 years ago  

∙ Growing social and cultural complexity of this period would also have encouraged language- living  in larger groups and more complex relationships

∙ Brain evolution and social complexity come together to create language  

What is language anyway

All language communicates but not all communication is linguistic  

Definition of language- A collection of symbols, letters, or words with arbitrary meanings that are  governed by rules and used to communicate

Five characteristics of language  

1. Language is symbolic- it refers to or represents something else that it does not resemble  Ex: the word bottle doesn't look like a bottle- words are symbols that stand for something else

2. Humans share a universal grammar that enables language acquisition among the very young babies come hardwired to learn language

∙ Still helps language grow if it is encouraged, modeled, and practiced

3. Language allows the generation of an infinite variety of messages within a rule-governed system  (grammar)- no limit to correct sentences  

4. Language lets us communication about things not in the here and now: (temporal and spatial  displacement) This creates:

a. Social coordination- ability to work together in complex ways  

b. Group cohesion- feel a part of a group

c. Deception- its not a language if you cant use it to tell a lie - create false reality  Ex: recalling the past, planning the future  

5. Language works in conjunction with nonverbal codes to facilitate multi-faceted, even self contradictory messages

a. Irony

b. Strategic ambiguity/ equivocation  

c. Conflicted messages  

Four levels of language  

1. Phonetic- the sounds of language- every language has a distinct set of sounds  2. Semantic- words and word meanings  

Pairing two things: inner meanings and arbitrary symbols  

We pair a symbol with some inner idea we want it to refer to  

EX: For her "dog" is the symbol and that actual fuzzy white puppy- the referent- the thing she refers to puppy

For him, he may think of "dog" as "dawg" and think of the husky mascot- the referent- the thing he  refers to - husky  

This pairing process is called semiosis and the study of it is called semiotics  

Semiotics- the study of how we connect symbols and meanings  

Denotative vs connotative meanings  

a. Denotative meanings- the most used, most agreed upon meaning for a word, like dictionary  definitions  

b. Connotative meanings- personalized meaning for a word, a meaning that reflects an identity and  experience. The receiver's connotative meaning will be different than the sender's  EX: sex- we all have different ideas of what sex means to us based on experiences, media consumption,  learned ideas that differ from the dictionary definition

EX: Coca-Cola is one of the most widely known symbols in the world and means different things to  different people and have different associations with the company or product  

3. Syntactic

a. Grammar: set of rules and patterns for forming words into larger thought units like phrases and  sentences  

∙ Learning to diagram sentence structures will make you a better writer and thinker  b. Word order matters  

∙ "I am going tomorrow" vs "Am I going tomorrow?"  

∙ Same words different order and different meaning  

Grammar is about more than the order of words

It is more about the relationships among speaker, listener, objects, and actions- Grammar connects  them all  

a. Consider this phrase: "I love her cooking"  

∙ How many different interpretations can you give this?

∙ I love what she cooks

∙ I love that she cooks

∙ I love being there as she cooks

∙ Could be in a sarcastic tone

When you re-interpret, you change the grammar  

b. Two lessons:  

∙ Interpretation involves more than just words

∙ We often leave out important aspects of grammar when talking  

Knowing grammar helps interpret ambiguous messages  

4. Pragmatic- refers to the way our use of language is affected by the social situation we are in  


∙ Phonetic- sounds we use

∙ Semantics- the words we use and what they mean  

∙ Syntactic- Organization of words to phrases and sentences- Grammar

∙ Pragmatics- how we use language in different social situations  

What does language do  

a. Language is our primary tool for influencing others  

b. Language is a primary tool for social bonding- how the words change our relationship  Examples: wedding vows, pledge of allegiance, citizenship, ceremonies, membership  c. Language also shapes the way we think and remember

∙ We often remember "in words" that is, organize our memories as language  d. Language also influences the way we think and perceive- makes some things more visible than  others  

Linguistic determinists- your language determines and controls the way you think- Sapir-Whorf  Hypothesis  

EX: Inuit (Eskimo) having 100 words for snow- Myth btw- If there is no word for it, we don't see it or  perceive it  

Today, researchers generally believe that language influences but does not rigidly determine or control  perception (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis incorrect)  

Three things language does  

Influence perceptions, help social bonding, influence how we think and remember Language is ALIVE- responding to changes in culture over time

Languages split into different languages, converge to create new languages

1. Fueled by migration, isolation, invasion, colonization, travel, communication- as the world  becomes more inter-connected, languages become more shared

2. The result is that there are between 6,000 and 7,000 languages being spoken in the world today  and there are many in danger of extinction  

Language families- many languages share common origins and create families  

Some are small- The Khoisan family includes about 30 languages with 100,000 speakers in Southern  Africa

Some are large- The Sino-Tibetan family

The Indo-European family includes about 150 languages and has 3 billion speakers  

Language with the most speakers: Indo-European

Language with the most countries: English

∙ Due to modern geo-politics, English speaking countries are often world powers  Language with the most people speaking: Mandarin Chinese with 1.2 billion people  That's more than Spanish 329 million, English 328 million, and Arabic 221 million combined  

First language class survey


Class percentage















Dialects- a form of a language that shares much with the standard language but differs in many ways  (more than accents)

Speakers of different dialects will sometimes have difficulty understanding each other  EX: "Black English" African American Vernacular English (AAVE)  

Appalachian English  

Sometimes dialects evolve into different languages- French and Italian come from dialects of Latin  Different words and different grammar  

Ways language adapts or changes to fit a large group in a certain region  

What's the difference btw language and dialects  

∙ Not just having different words or pronunciation  

∙ No clear line between dialect and language

∙ Calling something a dialect is about politics and culture as much as language  

"He been done work" vs "he finished work earlier"  

People who view "Black English" as poor English make a political judgement  

∙ Comes down to power

∙ Linguist Max Weinreich (1945) "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy"  






Regional influences  

Sometimes regional influences become dialects  

Ex: Appalachian English  

∙ More likely if the region is isolated  

There are many smaller regional differences or regionalisms  

EX: different ways to say carbonated beverage like soda, pop, dope, coke, pepsi or different ways to say  sandwich like sub, torpedo, croissant, bagel  

Jargon and technical talk  

Specialized language used to facilitate discussion on technical issues

∙ Legal, professional, business, sports  

Two good things about jargon  

1. Makes communication more precise  

2. Enhances group cohesion- sense of belonging when you use the same jargon

Specialized relationship talk works much the same way as jargon  

∙ Special nick names, insults, words and phrases, inside jokes  

∙ Makes communication more precise  

∙ Enhances bonding in a relationship  

Slang and colloquialisms informal language used by people who belong to the same group or share an  interest. Sharing slang reinforces group membership- who's in, who's not  

Difficult to separate sometimes from technical jargon- but generally less precise, more informal

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