Application: Differing Perceptions, Part 1

You may have heard the expression: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” What’s beautiful to one person may be quite the opposite to someone else. It is all a matter of perception, and different people may have very different feelings about the same object. There are many reasons why this might be the case, as you have learned in this week’s reading. This week’s Application is the first part of a paper that will be submitted in Week 5. This week, you will do an exercise with perception involving some of your friends or family members and fill out a worksheet. In addition to filling out that worksheet, you will write only the introduction for the Week 5 paper and outline the Week 5 paper. You will NOT write the full paper this week. There is also a section in that worksheet where you fill out information based on the exercise with your friends and family. Then, you will submit this worksheet to your instructor. Your instructor will provide you feedback to help you change the components of the worksheet (the outline and introduction) into a full paper, which you will submit in Week 5.

In the perception experiment, you will share the photograph provided for you in the Week 4 Learning Resources with friends or family members. We will call the people you selected to see the photograph your “observers.” Then, in the  Perception Analysis Grid  (located at the end of the worksheet), you will record the words the observers use as they form their perceptions of the photograph. Finally, you will compare and contrast your observers’ perceptions of the photograph, and develop an outline that demonstrates how you will analyze what factors might lead to these perceptions. You will also write an introductory paragraph for the essay  due  in  Week 5.

So that you understand what will go in the full paper, please go into the Week 5 Assignment area and read the instructions. But remember, you are not writing the full paper until NEXT week.

To prepare for this Application:

 Review the photograph provided in this week’s Learning Resources and print it out if you need to, to show it to people.Show this photo to at least three other people separately. Please show it to people whom you know fairly well, such as friends, family members or co-workers. Do not tell the observers about why you need them to look at the photo, nor explain to them about the assignment. Also, do not show it to all three observers at one time; make sure they view it separately so they do not influence one another’s descriptions. Simply ask each observer to write down 10 words (or short phrases) that describe the person and/or the scene in the photograph and what that person may be doing or feeling. After they are done, you may explain to them why you are doing this.In the Week 4 Assignment Worksheet (an explanation of how to retrieve this is below in the “To complete this Application” section) you will find a grid in “Section 3”. Take the lists of words from your observers and transfer them to that part of the worksheet. There are enough spaces on the worksheet for 30 words and it is divided by observer number.The Perception Analysis Grid Demonstration, located in the Learning Resources, provides guidance for filling out Section 3 of the worksheet. Watch this demonstration and then fill out the grid accordingly. Doing this is not worth points, but you may find it helpful for completing the analysis.In the course text,  Communication in a Changing World, read the section titled “Steps in the Process of Forming Perceptions” located on pages 68–83 (Chapter 3). Think about which elements of this process might have influenced the observers’ choice of words the most.

To complete this Application:

You will need this worksheet called “Week 4 Assignment Worksheet .” To retrieve and complete the worksheet simply click on the underlined title. ThenDownload the worksheet to your computer.Save the worksheet with this submission title (using your own name): “COMM WK4Assgn+lastname+first initial”Type your answers to the questions in the spaces provided on the worksheet you just downloaded and not on a separate file.Save your work again in preparation to upload the file for grading.Return the completed worksheet to the submission link below for your instructor to grade.

This worksheet has 6 pages consisting of the the Perception Analysis Grid, directions and examples to help you complete the worksheet, and the grading rubric for your instructor. 


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