The Psychological Model

I. Revising the theory

Exercise 1. Provide the definitions of the following notions.

  • The psychological perspective;
  • Mental sets;
  • encoding a message;
  • decoding a message;

Exercise 2. What are the elements of the psychological model? Add to the list below.

A sender, a receiver, a message …

Exercise 3. Insert the missing words.

  1. In a psychological model, messages are filtered through an individual’s store of , attitudes, , and emotions.

  2. A psychological model depicts communication as a psychological process whereby two (or more) individuals exchange meanings through the and of communication stimuli.

  3. A consists of a person’s beliefs, values, attitudes, feelings.

  4. is any distraction that interferes with or changes a message during transmission.

  5. Communication is most successful when individuals are “of the mind” – when the meanings they assign to messages are similar or identical.

  6. Communication is unsuccessful whenever the meanings intended by the source differ from the meanings by the receiver.

Exercise 4. In what case is communication considered to be unsuccessful? Think of the ways to improve faulty communication.

Exercise 5. What are the shortcomings of the psychological perspective? Add to the following list.

  1. The psychological model locates communication in the psychological processes of individuals, ignoring almost totally the social context in which communication occurs.
  2. ...
  3. ...

II. Practicing

Exercise 1. Give examples of communicative situations where the channel is as follows.

A telephone line, the air, paper, a computer, radio, television.

Exercise 2. Describe your own mental set. What values, beliefs, attitudes do you share? What feelings do you have at the moment? Recall a situation when differences between your and your partner’s mental sets led to miscommunication.

Exercise 3. According to the psychological perspective, noise can be of different types and may occur at any stage of communicative process. Provide your own examples of the following cases.

A. Physical noise, physiological noise, psychological noise, semantic noise

B. Noise that occurs at the stage of encoding a message, noise that occurs at the stage of transmitting a message, noise that occurs at the stage of decoding a message

Exercise 4. In the following situations communication is unsuccessful. Explain why it is so. Think of at least one way to improve communication.

1. Two friends are talking in a bar. They can hardly hear each other because of the music, and there are lots of other people speaking rather loudly.

2. A passer-by has been approached by a stranger in the street. The stranger addresses the passer-by in English as he is a foreigner. He needs to find the way to his hotel but, unfortunately, he gets no reply.

3. A qualified architect from India came to Britain. He found it very difficult to understand the British: sometimes travelling to the office by train he started a conversation with people and even was given their telephone numbers. But when he rang and heard the surprised “Who?” he felt embarrassed and hung up.

4. Nick, who is nineteen, has been going out with his girlfriend Lucy, since he was sixteen. His parents do not seem to like Lucy. They have never actually said that they dislike her, but they are silent when he talks about her. Now Nick has stopped bringing her to his house and never talks of her.

5. Carla, a student, is very bad with her money. Every month she spends it all on clothes and then does not have enough for books. Her parents are annoyed with her. They say that she has to learn to be more careful and will not give her any extra money. But Carla’s grandmother secretly gives her cash every time Carla sees her. Carla’s parents know what is happening!

III. Applying the model

Exercise. Think about your favorite book. Analyze a communicative situation described in the book from the psychological perspective.