HDF 304/WGS 301 – Family Relationships
Communication is key Review Sheet
1. What is meant by the term “interpersonal gap” and what implications does it have for
relationship functioning? (know the graphic very well) –
Interpersonal gap: Senders
intentions often differ from listener’s experience. This can cause communication problems in
terms of encoding and decoding messages. (refer to graphic)
2. What are the two forms of nonverbal communication discussed in class and in what ways
do they ‘provide valuable information’?
: women sit with little space as
possible- more symmetrical , men sit with as much space as possible- (communicate
dominance) Body language shows nervousness once stimulated.
cultural/ same across all cultures) mood changes. Feedback to the body.
3. Why did I say that body language is “leaky” – i.e., why is it leakier than facial
– harder to control than facial expression.
4. Are facial expressions learned or are they innate (i.e., are we born with them)? How do
you know this?-
Innate because even blind people show basic expressions
. What are the 6 ‘basic’ facial expressions? Why do you think these expressions, in
particular, are ‘basic’? (i.e., what types of information do they provide to make them
particularly important?) –
anger ,fear, sadness, joy, disgust, and suprise
6. What is the importance of nonverbal sensitivity in close relationships? Be familiar with
how studies are conducted to determine who is bad at encoding/decoding as well as the
findings reported in class (i.e., see the handouts on blackboard). Also be able to define
encoding and decoding. –
Encoding: how we package a message. decoding
This is important because it leads to good communication and
relationship satisfaction. To determine problem, experts are introduced into the relationship
to see whether the husband and wife have encoding/ decoding problems.
7. You should be able to draw out a diagram that would depict how to determine whether or
not particular individuals are good/bad encoders/decoders (e.g., Jack and Jill are having
communication problems. Their therapist thinks it’s because Jill is a poor encoder. What
would you do to determine if this is the case?) .
Have Jill encode a message and have the
therapist and Jack decode the message, both would fail to decode the message properly, and
at the same time have Jack and the therapist encode a message, and Jill should be able to
decode the message with no problems.
8. What are the five of the most common topics about which couples tend to argue? –
issues, intimacy, household tasks, mate being overly critical, and driving style
. How do researchers tend to study how couples communicate? In other words, if you
wanted to know whether or not a couple’s arguments stressed them out, how would you set
up such a study? –
Identify problem areas, record conversations, and “code” for specific
behavrors. Wound healing?