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COM 202 Week 1 notes

by: Taylor McAvoy

COM 202 Week 1 notes COM 202A

Taylor McAvoy
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Hey all! Hope you had a great first week! These notes cover the first week of lecture, two lectures, and will regularly cover quiz section activities but since this week was only discussion, there ...
Intro to Communications II
Malcolm Parks
Class Notes




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taylor McAvoy on Tuesday March 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COM 202A at University of Washington taught by Malcolm Parks in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 340 views. For similar materials see Intro to Communications II in Communication Studies at University of Washington.

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Date Created: 03/29/16
Week 1 Lecture 1 Monday, March 28, 2016 Syllabus is on canvas along with assignments and test dates No final during Finals week- last test will be the last day of class during dead week No textbook for the class No devices during class First Story: Words matter A. The study of communication is about how we influence each other. No influence, no communication B. We influence each other in many ways but words matter the most How we communicate is a deep reflection of who we are and can profoundly influence others Could talk reduce gaps between rich and poor? What we know: 19% of children live in poor families (<$22,000 annual income) 41% of children live in low income families (<$44,000 annual income) This is not just an economic issue but also a social justice issue- poverty hits some groups harder than others Poor children have a communication disadvantage Research by Anne Fernald At 18 months children from wealthier families recognize more words than those from poor families and by 24 months they recognize 30% more words than children from poor families Another study By age 3, wealthier children have 30 million more words than those from poor families It's not about wealth or about better education that makes kids smarter but its about talk- kids are smarter when they have more opportunities to talk and develop social skills If part of the problem is communication, part of the solution is too Research shows two kinds of talk that are especially important 1. Modeling interaction before the child begins to talk 2. Once the child talks, waiting for and responding to what the child says- engaging and responding is key New studies focus on helping low income and minority families to talk in particular ways with their children Ex: Univision- Barbara Bermudo - public service endorsements to encourage communication In Seattle, Bezos foundation program called "Vroom" Five skills are emphasized 1. Look- make eye contact 2. Chat- talk and create a narrative about what you see and do 3. Follow- follow the child's lead about what they are interested in 4. Stretch- elaborate and expand on what is happening and ask questions 5. Take Turns- encourage back and forth exchange with words, sounds, and gestures for conversation Three stories 1. Engaged talk spurs brain development, language, and social skills 2. How communication can encourage parents to speak effectively 3. Media can be used to spread and encourage social change Second story- Kisses count A. How we express affection is important 1. Helps relationships grow 2. Kissing is healthy B. Kissing reduces physiological indicators of stress: cortisol alpha-amylase and also reduces cholesterol Study by Kory Floyd at Arizona State University- 2009 a. 52 healthy people who were married or in cohabitating relationships b. Half males, half females ages 19-67 c. Randomly divided into two groups- kissing group and control group 1. Kissing group- instruction to kiss their partners more often- email reminders- later complete surveys 2. Control group- generic message and no instruction- later complete surveys Period of six weeks Measured three areas 1. Satisfaction with relationship 2. Perceived life stress 3. Total cholesterol (major cause of heart disease) Findings Kissing group was more satisfied, less stressed, and showed lowered levels of cholesterol- as effective as drugs used to treat cholesterol  The way we communicate (even kissing) has effects on a physiological level Third story- you can change the world Yearly 3.7 million babies die and an additional 3.3 million babies are stillborn That's 7 million deaths worldwide among the most vulnerable and precious 98% of these deaths occur in the developing world where babies are more likely to be born at home and with traditional methods and not proper training Causes are preventable 1. Not about expensive drugs or facilities 2. Instead about using communication intervention and providing training to birth attendants a. How to resuscitate babies who aren't breathing b. "Kangaroo care"- skin to skin contact and holding the infant close to a body This is really a communication problem because we know what to do but the message is not getting to the places that need it the most Solving the problem 2005-2007 a team of health providers in 7 countries trained birth attendants Researchers measured the rates of neonatal and stillborn deaths before and after training Results 1. No reduction in neonatal deaths 2. 30% reduction in stillborn deaths Your Challenge Find ways to communicate in order to make the world a better place  Dream big, dream real  What are you passionate about?  Practical way to improve it with communication Ways of describing the communication process  Avoiding the "common sense" trap - assuming that we already know all about communication  Maybe communication isn't so intuitive  A model of communication To better understand communication we need a model of the communication process 1. Receiver/decoding - who is the audience? a. Decoding- assigning meaning to a message b. Meanings are in people not in messages c. Messages influence meanings but do not fully determine them Source encodes → Message → receiver decodes Our brains often add or subtract based on our biases in order to create a "good" or "better" story The most important communication skill- anticipating how others are likely to interpret what you say and do- how others will respond to your message 2. Source/encoding- who is the source? a. Encoding- translating (expressing) inner thoughts and feelings into observable behavior b. Sources can be individuals, groups, or institutions c. Not automatic- inner thoughts and feelings are often not perfectly or completely expressed d. You can communicate without knowing it EX: someone wears something so distracting that it affects how you perceive and interpret their message- the other person may not know this thing is distracting from their meaning EX: When silence says something 3. Messages- what is being said? What are the receivers responding to? Anything receivers respond to whether or not you wanted them to a. Anything that can register on others' senses can be a message b. Messages may be intentional or unintentional c. The Key: The message you think you sent is often not the one others understand 4. Channel- The medium through which the message moves- Source to receiver a. Channels: face-to-face, phones, writing, internet, videogames, etc. b. Channels: Hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste c. Key: channels influence the message and how it will be interpreted  Same messages and different channels = different meanings  Hard to convey some messages in certain channels EX: party invitation over text vs same invitation in a formal letter EX: Break ups over text, call, or face-to-face 5. Noise- what might interfere with the message reaching the receiver? a. Noise in the channel itself b. Noise in the source or receiver (distractions) 6. Feedback - Any messages the receiver creates in response to the source's original message a. Feedback links the source and receiver b. Source and receiver become interdependent- each person's behavior depends on others' Source encodes → message → Receiver decodes ← Feedback ← 7. We are sources and receivers simultaneously a. Meaning can be assigned to nearly anything and we can receive feedback without knowing it b. Silence can be a message c. Sending and receiving at the same time sometimes creates problems- failing to listen while planning a response Seven Key terms to think about 1. Source (encoding) 2. Receiver (decoding) 3. Message 4. Channel 5. Noise 6. Feedback 7. Simultaneously sources and receivers Week 1 Lecture 2 Friday, April 1, 2016 Making sense of messages Core process- perceiving and assigning meaning a. Meanings are not given in advance, we construct them- assigning meaning involves choices Ex: Teenage Wrath video- comments went from technical aspects to the interpretation of the video as satire and a commentary on teenage angst Major steps in the perceptual process Your view of other people, of what they say and do even of yourself is inherently selective 1. Selective exposure (what you seek)  You choose some types of information and sources for information rather than others EX: Types of TV shows - Types of music- Types of people you avoid and seek- places you avoid and seek Reinforcement principle: We seek information that agree with our current views and avoid information that disagrees with them EX: if you don't like opera, you are more likely to make choices that lead you away from it rather than learn about it and thus less likely to develop a fondness for it 2. Selective attention (what you dwell on)  A 2009 study by Roger Bohn and James Short at the University of California in San Diego  The average American consumes about 34 Gigs or about 100,500 words per day from media alone  Leaves out conversations with other people and face-to-face interactions- lectures We can't give equal attention to all information so we have to be selective Principles guiding where we place attention: 1. Potential danger or threat- physical or social 2. Things that are comforting and that are in line with our desires and expectations (reinforcement principle) - immediate gratification 3. Vividness and novelty (bright and shiny object effect)- cell phones, lap tops, distracting actions, out of the ordinary things 3. Selective perception (organizing and interpreting perceptions)  Once you orient to something, you next have to make sense of it and we do that through selective perception by: 1. Organizing the stimuli into patterns 2. Interpreting them by relating them to past experiences and expectations All perception is influenced by the context Examples of selective perception Poor sales of early bread making machines that got better after a more expensive model was  introduced  The more expensive model made the other models seem not as expensive and sales shot up  Restaurants do the same things with menu items  Putting high priced items on the menu to provide a context for other items 4. Selective memory  We forget most of what we say and do, what happens  We do a better job at remembering things that reinforce our previous perceptions that were particularly striking EX: something really mean someone said Memory is not fixed- It is like a book being revised by each new experience  The memory of today will change over time  Especially with social relations- like a book re-written with each new experience EX: Breakup- After time and a new relationship, you re-evaluate past perceptions of that person Police do about 75000 eye witness identifications every year- New York Times 2011 But eyewitnesses are often wrong a. About 1/3 are incorrect b. In one study of 40 cases in which convictions were overturned by later DNA evidence, 90% of involved mistaken eyewitness identification Memory in communication  Transactive memory  Contested memory Is memory always in your head? 2500 years ago, writing was new in Greece and there was a debate about its value Socrates worried about writing and the diminishment of our memory by writing things down He said it ruined the internal memory by making it external Modern examples  Planners  Notes on computers  Google  GPS  Calendar notifications Computers replace our memory  Studies published in Science by Sparrow, Liu, and Wegner in August 2011  We automatically think of using the computer when we are asked a general knowledge question that we might already know  We are more likely to forget what we're told if we think it can be found online - better memory if we are told the information is not found online  We make more mistakes recalling information if we have been told we can find it online Transactive memory- Social- How we use other people to remember something for us 1. Transactive encoding: asking others to remember something for you. Other people become our external storage 2. Transactive retrieval: Thinking about who in a group of people would be the most likely to have remembered something 3. Co-construction: no one has all the pieces but instead a joint memory is re-assembled through conversation with multiple people about what happened to all of them EX: shared experience with a group of friends and together each piece together the memory of that shared experience Transactive summary  Not just in heads- social  Rely on others  Sensitive to the best source  Collaborate to have memories constructed Contested memory- Disagreements about memory can happen in couples, groups, communities, and cultures EX: Jim Owens- Head football coach of Huskies 1959-1974- won Rose Bowl in 1959, 1960, and 1964  Loved by many alumni but he had charges of abuse and racism  1969 four black students did not sign the loyalty oath and were suspended  2003 protests when the statue of Owens went up  Memory of Owens was contested and there were conflicting versions of the story and of the present situation  Resolution? Some think it is still a problem  76 years old, Owens met with some players to reconcile  UW agreed to make another statue outside Mary Gates Hall


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