How does perception influence our interpersonal communication?


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

Jim is a student who believes that no matter how hard he studies, he will never get As. However, his parents think that he does not work hard in school that is why he is getting C’s. They further suggest that Jim is hanging out with friends instead of working hard to attain the best grades. On Jim’s view; He thinks that the father is too harsh and does not understand how difficult Jim’s course is. He sees that the grade he scores is okay since he studies hard. On the other hand, Jim has instilled a perception that he can never get A’s and he is unable to convince the parents that he cannot score highly due to the hardness of the course. He is a student who knows what he can get and what he cannot and he is not going to change it whatsoever.


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

Jim is trying toconvince the friend how hard the parents are to convince on the complexity of the course for instance; “all my classes are hard. I mean that no matter how much studying I do, I am not gonna get all A’s”(85). This implies that the friend is convinced on Jim’s perception and is not able to question Jim on how he will work towards getting high grades. Jim’s self-concept is not helping the interaction since he is the one who is explaining what he sees as facts. He does not give the friend a chance to question or advise him on how to improve his reading habits in order to score As. Similarly, the interaction is being hindered by Jim’s self-perception since he explains that there is no further ways he can improve so as to attain better grades.all these imply that Jim is a student who believes in himself and he is not going to be convinced that there are ways his grade can improve. Instead, he wants someone to advise him on how he can explain to his parents that the course is hard and he cannot score A’s as they want.


  1. Using the process of human perception starting on page 64, explain the situation from your perspective as a student.

The process of human perception is a process that involves selecting, organizing and interpreting. Since the choice of one of the processes influences the other, it is therefore a challenge to students to select appropriately before they organize and interpret self-perception. Jim has already selected that the course is hard for him. No matter how easy a paper might be, he will still see it as hard. In his organization, Jim realizes that even if he works very hard, he will never score A’s since the subjects are hard. This means that in the process of organization, he has interpreted that he cannot score as his parents want. On the other hand; the father thinks that Jim is partying too much that is why he score C’s. In the father’s selection, he has already selected that Jim is not working hard since he is parting with friends. In organizing and interpreting, the father sees that the course is easy and Jim can score A’s since he himself scored A’s; and there is no reason as to why his son cannot score the same. From the perception concept, it is evident that what we select greatly influences how we organize and interpret an idea.

  1. 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.

Since perceptions are always partial and subjective (79), it is evident that the disagreement between Jim and his father displays both of them as being right each of them in his own way. This means that Jim’s father attended school long time ago when there was no partying and thinks that partying is the reason as to why Jim is not performing well at school. On the other hand, Jim feels that he is working hard and partying has nothing to do with his average grades. This is because some of Jim’s friends whom he goes to party with perform better than him.

First, Jim’s father should avoid ‘mind reading’ wherebyhe perceives that partying is eating most of Jim’s time which could have been used for reading.”The danger of mind reading is that we misinterpret others (80)”. This means that Jim’s father misinterprets Jim’s efforts of trying to score good grades at school.

Secondly,” because mind reading is an ineffective way to figure out what others think, we need to check our perceptions with others” (80). This means that instead of Jim’s father complaining about partying and low performance of his son, he should call the son and talk to him on better ways to improve his grades. Similarly, Jim should be able to talk to his father that he is working hard and is not able to perform well due to the complexity of the course. By discussing together, they will get a solution on how Jim will study and the father will not have to complain about Jim’s performance in future.

Thirdly, there is “the fundamental attribution error. This occurs when we overestimate the internal causes of others’ undesirable behavior and underestimate the external causes, and we underestimate the internal causesof our own failings and bad behaviors and overestimate the external causes” (81). Jim’s father should not overestimate the capability of his son when he really knows how tough Jim’s course is. He should averagely grade his son bearing in mind that the current students do study under a different culture and environment which is contrary to his. This way he will be able to appreciate his son’s grades.

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