Interpersonal communication

Your major assignment this semester will be a term paper that assimilates information from three

theories discussed in class to explain a phenomenon common in identity formation or close

relationships. You may choose any phenomenon that you have witnessed or experienced in the

context of personal identity or personal relationships. Some examples of topics include, but are not

limited to, self­esteem, body image, narcissism, shyness, jealousy, sexual intimacy, conflict, relational

abuse, aggressiveness, humor, “cold feet,” stalking, long distance relationships, power, emotion,

infidelity, “hooking up,” polygamy, or “friends with benefits” to name a few. Pick a topic that you

consider to be an interesting or fascinating aspect of human relations. The paper should begin with a

literature review about that phenomenon. Then, you must select three theories that we covered in

class and use the assumptions of that theory to explain your phenomenon of choice. How would the theory account for this phenomenon in people or their relationships? To what would the theory

attribute this phenomenon? What would the theory suggest as a means of addressing this

phenomenon. To accomplish this task, you should first summarize the assumptions of the theory.

Then, link those assumptions to aspects of your phenomenon of interest to explain how the theory

accounts for the phenomenon.

We will discuss some of the nuts and bolts of writing this paper as the semester progresses. For the

time being, you should start thinking about a phenomenon on which you would like to focus your

paper. The sooner you have selected a topic, the sooner you can begin reviewing the literature on

that phenomenon.

You can choose three of the theories here: Social penetration theory

speech act theory

ducks evolution model 5 stages theory

expectancy violation theory

uncertainty reduction theory

I would want you to choose a situation such as friends with benefits, and apply those theories to the

situation.

 

 

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