Dialectic Tensions

Expectancy violations theory relates to responses expected from communication between two or more individuals. The response can be either positive or negative depending on the relationship between the two parties. Violation valence is the perceived value of breach of the expected response, whether positive or negative, and usually disregardful of who the violator was. Communicator reward valence is the summation of positive and negative impacts individuals bring to the discussion, and the likelihood somebody has to punish or reward in days to come. Communicators can reward each other by using a variety or rewards, such as head nods, smiles, physical attractiveness and credibility.

If we give value to the communicator and relate who he or she is to us, we will have used the communicator reward valence. On the other hand, violation valence concentrates on deviation only. Violation valence is more important because it does not give preferences to whoever is communicating. Communicator’s reward valence has a prejudgment towards the communicator.

Dialectic tensions and creating a happy medium.

Successful relationships require constant attention, but there exist dielectric tensions. Happy medium is difficult to achieve, and it  takes time to listen attentively to transformations of the mind of the listener who may feel that his conversation is taken seriously. For example, a conversation between an employee and his senior manager can pose two dielectric tensions, such as openness and shutting-up. If the manager asks the employee how he or she has spent the weekend, the junior staff’s answer definitely must leave out some details. The same employee is likely to share his whole escapades with a colleague, and the happy medium in this case would be achieved. Relationship between the two communicating parties directly influences the nature of dielectric tension.

Relationship between EVT and social penetration theory

There is no similarity between social penetration theory (SPT) and expectation valence theory (EVT). In SPT, the relationship from the other party is gradual and follows a sequence. Orientation between two total strangers is characterized by limited conversations and little information can be derived from either party. Progressive communication creates trust between the parties, and finally the two parties end up becoming close to the extent of sharing virtually all information. In the real world, SPT fails to recognize the diversity of individuals and assumes cordial relationships as usual. EVT, on the other hand, offers a more realistic approach to what people perceive and respond to as communication, the response can be negative or positive depending on the expected answers. In real life situations, it offers a more pragmatic approach and surpasses the SPT theory. But in situations where there is mutual attraction between two individuals, SPT theory holds relevant.

Groupthink. Is society aware of the phenomenon?

Groupthink stands for thinking as a group and leaving out an individual’s ideas to create harmony and common understand within a group. It is widespread across the world, since many people feel that being part of a group is teamwork. Teamwork encourages people to move along a common path, and therefore, share common ideologies and visions. At the individual level, many members of the group feel that their ideas could benefit their groups, but owing to mediocrity of masses, they are reluctant to voice their concerns. During group meetings, disagreements and debates can be used to point out that the society knows about the existence of groupthink but believes that going against the will and ideas of the group would make them anti-social. In other cases, such as religion, existence of groupthink cannot be challenged because doing so would cause alarm, and society may alienate individuals who may tend to think differently. Groupthink does not encourage innovations and the best ideas to critical solutions may be left out. Groups should, therefore, encourage rational thinking to reap the benefits of combined teamwork. Cohesiveness can be achieved by rational thoughts and ideas for the benefit of all group members.

Compare the criteria for evaluating objective and interpretive theories. Do any similarities exist between them?

Theories play a very vital role in almost all disciplines. They basically create a way or ways in which one becomes aware about something. The criterias are actually similar since both of them enlighten us and provide clarity, as well as a vivid and clear understanding. Both are comprised of predictive tools to enhance testing. Both elicit our understanding and experiences of our day-to-day lives, and how we perceive our diverse experiences. They are normally mutually inclusive and can perform both functions effectively.

They have to be carefully and systematically analysed. This is to reflect the abstractions of reality. All this is done first through observations and later by analysing the patterns. Do the happenings occur in cluster or are they sequential? This will greatly aid in making predictions. These predictions will have to be tested and re-tested to validate their viability. Testing will ensure that modifications are made or it is implemented as it is. At the same time, it could be completely done away with by abandoning it. It is imperative that a rationale be created for the purposes of making sense out of it.

When building a rationale, it is imperative that key concepts are highlighted. Another important aspect is stipulating clearly the assumptions. A set of tests will further be conducted for documentation and review purposes. The only differences made in this approaches are the kind of assumptions made and the testing procedures. The surveys and experimental procedures normally differ. While the assumptions made in the objective theory may be dictated by some determiners, the interpretive theory is purely the will and choice of the involved parties. Quantitative methods are the preferred modes for the objective theory, while qualitative methods are used for the interpretive theories.

However, both have attracted the use of major stakeholders, such as social scientists, scholars and humanists. Both theories are also characterized by aesthetic appeal and simplicity. One also notes that the aim of both theories is to make the world a better place through practical means. Both theories also bring about a better understanding and enhance clarity. Both theories have also been very effective when it comes to ensuring that the public have a choice to invoke the best theory that in their opinion would be suitable for their diverse needs.

According to social penetration theory, why do relationships deteriorate? Explain the process.

The theory basically states that as a relationship grows, communication will shift from light and shallow level to a more deep and personal one. This theory was introduced by Altman and Taylor, the theorists who were of the opinion that the more time we spend with others the more chances we have to share information about our lives. The theory also assumed that high levels of self-disclosure would lead to a development of a relationship or relationships. The theory stated that most behaviour occurred regardless of the values one possessed.

The theorists drew a comparison with a multilayered onion. They were of the opinion that beliefs and obsession with something were all layered around that person. The more people got familiar with each other; the more layers basically fell apart and withdrew from revealing the real person. Two important terms evoked in this theory. One was breadth which referred to topics that were in a person’s life. Depth, on the other hand, referred to the amount of available data or information concerning the topics. The outward shells carried more visual information, such as clothes or speech. Inside, there was more discrete information, such as the feelings and thoughts of the person.

As that relationship grows and blossoms, the partners will share the aspects of the self–creating in a more in-depth way. This will be through the exchange of information and feelings. The activities they engage in will also be shared. This relationship will go on to develop as long as they are rewarding, but will come to a halt if they are relatively costly. The rate at which these relationships deteriorate will be determined by various factors, such as the genders of the partners, as well as the ethnic backgrounds and race of the partners. Self-disclosure will be highly influenced by these factors.

Basically, the theory is of the opinion that relationships begin to deteriorate once a person avails personal information. A person will have allowed the public to interfere with his/her public self once they have indiscriminately availed their personal information. The desire to disclose or withhold information will be dictated by the benefits or risks posed by doing so. A relationship will deteriorate if the costs of disclosing information will be significantly higher than the rewards of disclosing information. The closer one gets to the core self, the higher the perceived costs of disclosing the information and vice versa (Altman, I., & Taylor, D. (1987).

5) Have you ever been in a group that had too much cohesiveness? If so, how did you know and what, if anything, was done about it?

A scholar once said that if more than three people agree on everything, only one is thinking. I tend to totally agree with him due to a personal experience. In my subject area, group discussions are part and parcel of our everyday learning. They cannot in any case be done away with or their importance dismissed. The groups were formed through the sequence of registration numbers, thus it mainly comprised of friends. Late comers would later be incorporated into the groups.

The group leaders were chosen by the members at the beginning. Actually, in the group that I joined as a late comer, the leader was self-proclaimed  The guy was very vocal and smart, so other members felt inferior and they dared not go against his wishes. The main reason why groups are formed is to ensure that the members come up with diverse ideas concerning the subject matter. This, however, was not the case in our group, since different opinions would be met by objections by the leader who later influenced the other members (friends). As a newcomer, I was perplexed, since this was not meaningful and in the spirit of discussion.

The main reason I yearned to join the group is because I admired the way they finished their assignment on time. They also spent very little time discussing, thus saving the members much time. This would be my perfect group, since I had just got a part-time job. The group was absolutely cohesive and they worked in perfect harmony. I was shocked to realise the reason behind all this. The group leader was taking the assignment as his work. I was alienated and seen as a spoiler who wanted to inform the administration on what was happening. Group meetings were not compulsory. The members just ‘sorted’ the leader out. This was in fact corruption.

The problem, however, was that I could do nothing about it. There was no proof so I had to remain quite or quit. The members saw me as a threat who could not tolerate their laziness. Group discussions are only effective and objectives are achievable when everyone is participating.

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