Theme 2 Assignments

Answer both tasks (Reflection and Observation)

1. Reflection (1-2 pages)

1) Choose from the Identity texts three dimensions of identity to which you feel a strong sense of belonging. Describe briefly why they are important to you. Discuss how these identities affect your communication (verbal, nonverbal, communication style, etc.).


2) Think of some stereotypes you have on certain groups (national, regional, spiritual, etc.). Write down some of them and answer to the following questions:

  • Where do these stereotypes come from?
  • Are they accurate, based your experiences in real life?

Now think of a concrete situation where you met someone from a group to which you have attached strong stereotypes. Analyze the situation according to the five perceptual biases from Greenberg & Baron (cited in Jaakko Lehtonen's article).


2. Observation (1 page)

4) Observe one (1) of the phenomena of nonverbal communication when being, for instance, among friends or in another environment/situation.

Describe the phenomenon you observe.
What are the different factors that describe the phenomenon of this particular nonverbal behaviour?

Now make an experiment with your friends or with strangers, and try to break the rules of this nonverbal behaviour in a certain situation. (For instance, if you describe proxemics, stand "too close" or "too far" from someone, see how the others react.) How do you feel in that situation? On a more general level, how can you connect this to nonverbal communication theories?

(Note! After you checked the reactions of the people you observed, it might be good to explain to your friends that this was just a scientific experiment!)


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