Question Description

INTRODUCTION: Week 2: Relationships and Perceptions Between Self and Others

What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are.

—C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew

As you begin to work on Week 2 of this course, ask yourself this question: “Who am I right now?” You may be “the student” who is preparing to focus on coursework, “the parent” who has to leave the computer soon to tuck a child into bed, or any number of other “selves” that flow in and out of your daily situations. How do these “selves” change depending on the people around you? What are the changes in how you represent yourself when you talk with your coworkers compared to when you talk with your friends?

This week’s content moves from the interpersonal communication foundation introduced in Week 1 to looking at how your relationships and perceptions of yourself and of others impact how you apply interpersonal communication skills. In this week, you will consider your self-concept and how you present different “faces” in different contexts, and how these faces play in your relationships and communication with others.

You will also consider how one’s own perceptions develop and how that ties into identity formation, relationships, and communication with others. By the end of this week, you may have a new appreciation for the complexity inherent to your relationships and perceptions of others!

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Explain how communication shapes the self
  • Identify how particular others and the generalized other shape our identity
  • Explain the three-step process of perception
  • Appraise problematic stereotypes
  • Explain factors that affect individuals’ perceptions
  • Analyze methods for improving perception and communication

Photo Credit: Laureate Education

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Barna Group. (2015, March 19). What Most Influences the Self-Identity of Americans? Retrieved from…

Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies. Retrieved from

CNA Insider. (2014, June 2). Threat of Stereotypes | Social Experiments Illustrated | Channel NewsAsia Connect. Retrieved from

Jason, Keith. (2013, May 8). The Science of Stereotypes?: Keith Jason at TEDxEMU. Retrieved from /

HOMEWORK1. Discussion: Communication in Context

We develop selves by internalizing two kinds of perspectives that are communicated to us: the perspectives of particular others and the perspective of the generalized other.

—George Herbert Mead, American philosopher and social theorist

Would you say that you are the same person you were at age 5, 15, or 20? Probably not. Your readings this week focus on how self-concept develops over time and through interactions and communication with others. In this Discussion, you will consider and share the ways in which your “self,” or “selves” were developecd.

To prepare:

  • Read Chapter 2, Communication and Perception from the eBook, Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies
  • Read article Barna Group. (2015, March 19), What Most Influences the Self-Identity of Americans?
  • View the media located in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Consider how you present your “self” to others, or in other words manage your impression on others. Consider the various things you do differently to manage your own self-presentation.
  • Consider the people who have helped you become who you are today as well as the outside influences.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 1-2 paragraphs that include the following:

  1. Provide two examples of others (people or outside influences) that have been major influences in the development of your “self.” Explain how each of these others has impacted your “self” as it is today. Be sure to use concepts and ideas from your course resources when answering this.
  2. Give an example of a time where you had to manage your self-presentation or impression in order to be perceived a specific way. What things did you change? Did it work? Be sure to use concepts and ideas from your course resources when answering this.

2. Assignment: Week 2 Worksheet: The Perception Process

Which came first, the perception or the communication? This question, much like the “chicken or the egg” query, is an important one in the communication process because how we communicate is determined by how we perceive the things around us. But then again, how we perceive things is based upon how we have developed through communication.

Your readings on perception this week really grow out of what you read about the development of the self through communication. Thus, when it comes down to it, we can determine that communication came first, but perception was not far behind. Through this worksheet assignment, you will investigate perception a little further.

In preparation:

  • Review this week’s required readings.
  • View the media located in this week’s Learning Resources.

The Assignment:

Refer to the Week 2 Application Worksheet, “The Perception Process,” located in the Learning Resources.

  • Download the worksheet to your computer.
  • Save the worksheet with this submission title (using your own name): WK2Assgn+last name+first initial.doc”
  • Type your answers to the questions in the spaces provided in the worksheet you just downloaded and not in a separate file.
  • Save your work again in preparation to upload the file for grading.
  • Return the completed worksheet to the submission link in the Week 2 Assignment area for your Instructor to grade.