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MDC Navigating Intercultural Communication Balancing Assumptions of Similarity and Difference Questions

MDC Navigating Intercultural Communication Balancing Assumptions of Similarity and Difference Questions

ANSWER

  1. Paula and Gary’s differing attributions for the demise of their marriage can be explained using causal attribution theory. According to this theory, people tend to attribute the causes of events or behaviors to either internal factors (dispositions) or external factors (situational factors). In the context of their divorce:
    • Paula is making an internal attribution by blaming Gary’s infidelity as the primary cause. She sees his behavior as a reflection of his character, suggesting that he made a conscious choice to cheat on her.
    • Gary, on the other hand, is making an external attribution by arguing that his affair was a symptom of a marriage that had become empty due to Paula’s demanding career and limited time at home. He believes that the situation (external factors) led to his actions rather than his personal disposition.

    This difference in attribution highlights how people can interpret the same event (the affair) in divergent ways based on whether they attribute it to internal or external causes. Paula focuses on individual responsibility, while Gary emphasizes the impact of their circumstances on his behavior.

  2. The halo effect and the horn effect are two cognitive biases that influence how people perceive others:
    • Halo Effect: This bias occurs when a person’s positive qualities or characteristics overshadow their negative qualities, leading to an overall positive impression. For example, if someone is physically attractive, we may assume they are also intelligent or kind, even if we have no evidence to support these assumptions.
    • Horn Effect: Conversely, the horn effect occurs when a person’s negative qualities or characteristics overshadow their positive qualities, leading to an overall negative impression. If we perceive someone as dishonest, we may assume they lack other positive attributes, such as competence or trustworthiness.

    The key difference between the two is that the halo effect biases us to see someone more positively overall, while the horn effect biases us to see someone more negatively overall based on a single trait or behavior.

  3. Assuming similarity and assuming differences can both be barriers to effective intercultural communication due to the way they influence our expectations and behaviors:
    • Assuming Similarity: When individuals assume that people from other cultures are similar to them in terms of values, beliefs, and behaviors, they may overlook important cultural differences. This assumption can lead to misunderstandings and cultural insensitivity when, in fact, there are significant differences in communication styles, norms, and expectations.
    • Assuming Differences: Conversely, assuming that people from other cultures are inherently different can lead to stereotyping and prejudice. It can result in overgeneralizations and a failure to recognize the commonalities and shared human experiences that exist across cultures. This assumption can hinder effective communication and create unnecessary barriers.

    To achieve effective intercultural communication, it’s essential to strike a balance between recognizing differences and seeking common ground. Acknowledging both similarities and differences while being open to learning and adapting to cultural nuances is key to overcoming these barriers.

  4. Sex and gender are distinct but often related concepts:
    • Sex: Sex refers to the biological and physical attributes that distinguish males from females. These attributes include genitalia, chromosomes (XX for females and XY for males), and secondary sexual characteristics like breast development and facial hair. Sex is typically assigned at birth as either male or female based on these biological characteristics.
    • Gender: Gender is a social and cultural construct that encompasses the roles, behaviors, expectations, and identities associated with being male or female in a given society. It includes concepts like masculinity and femininity and can vary across cultures and time periods. Gender is not solely determined by biological factors; it is also influenced by societal norms and individual identity. Gender identity can be diverse and may not necessarily align with an individual’s assigned sex at birth.
  5. There are four primary listening styles, each suited to different situations:
    • Appreciative Listening: This style involves listening for enjoyment and entertainment. It is most appropriate when you want to relax and enjoy music, storytelling, or any form of entertainment. It’s about taking pleasure in what you hear.
    • Empathetic Listening: Empathetic listening focuses on understanding and sharing the feelings and emotions of the speaker. It is most appropriate when someone needs emotional support, such as during personal discussions, grief, or when someone is sharing their concerns or troubles.
    • Comprehensive Listening: This style aims to understand the details and information presented in a message. It is most appropriate in educational or professional contexts, such as when you’re trying to learn, gather information, or analyze data.
    • Critical Listening: Critical listening involves evaluating, analyzing, and assessing the information presented. It is most appropriate in situations where you need to make decisions, solve problems, or assess the credibility of a speaker, such as during debates, negotiations, or when listening to persuasive arguments.

    The choice of listening style depends on the context and your goals for the communication interaction. Effective communicators can switch between these listening styles as needed to adapt to different situations.

MDC Navigating Intercultural Communication Balancing Assumptions of Similarity and Difference Questions

QUESTION

Description

Five questions

1.Paula and Gary are divorcing after eight years of marriage. Paula cites Gary’s infidelity as the primary cause of the divorce, but Gary says his affair was simply a symptom of a marriage that had been empty for years, ever since Paula’s career became more demanding and her time at home scarce. Use causal attribution theory to explain their differing attributions for the demise of their marriage

2.Discuss the difference(s) between the halo effect and the horn effect.

3.Your text claims that assuming similarity and assuming differences are barriers to effective intercultural communication. How can these two seemingly contradictory barriers both be true?

4.What are the differences between sex and gender?

5.Identify the four listening styles, and describe the situation in which each style is most appropriate.

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