Final Exam

Comm 300: Communication Theory

Spring 2014

Part I: Multiple-Choice

Directions: Below are 35 multiple-choice questions. Please indicate the best answer from the selections given.


1. Cohesiveness of the group may emerge as a problem because

a. cohesiveness is generally experienced in the same manner across groups, and the results of cohesion can be generalized from one group to another

b. in highly cohesive groups, members generally feel dissatisfied with the group experience and other group members

c. highly cohesive groups sometimes exert great pressure on their members to conform to the group’s standards.

d. cohesiveness typically results in group members resisting the temptation to conform

2. All of the following are conditions that may lead to groupthink occurring EXCEPT

a. the ability of all members to step into the role of group leader at a given time

b. stressful internal and external characteristics of the situation

c. high cohesiveness among group members

d. lack of decision-making procedures established within the group

3. Group members who shield the group from adverse information are

a. conscientious objectors

b. self-appointed mindguards

c. dissenters

d. opinion leaders

4. As the decision whether to launch a new product to prevent tooth decay was being debated, one of the product development specialists commented, “What a great product! We have created something that will help Americans maintain the enamel on their teeth. I don’t know why those health critics are accusing us of putting a potentially harmful product out on the market. After all, our goal is to help people, not to hurt them. We’re interested in doing what is in the best interest of the public.” She has demonstrated which of the following symptoms of groupthink?

a. illusion of invulnerability

b. out-group stereotypes

c. belief in the inherent morality of the group

d. collective rationalization

5. According to your text, vigilant decision makers

a. focus mostly on the benefits associated with a decision

b. avoid addressing all possible solutions for a decision

c. create plans for implementing the decision

d. disregard the purpose of decision making to pursue their own agenda

Organizational Information Theory

6. All of the following are assumptions of Organizational Information Theory EXCEPT

a. equivocality of information is useful for assisting an organization in achieving its goals

b. the information an organization receives differs in terms of its equivocality

c. human organizations exist in an information environment

d. human organizations engage in information processing to reduce the equivocality of information

7. _______________ are systems or series of behaviors that are used by an organization in an attempt to reduce the equivocality of the information it receives.

a. Rules

b. Assumption

c. Cycles

d. Double interact loops

8. Helena is identified as the person who is most knowledgeable about the information that her organization has received regarding sales projections. Therefore, her supervisor decides that she should serve as the key resource for reducing the equivocality of new information that the organization receives. Which of Weick’s rules for processing equivocality is being applied?

a. duration

b. personnel

c. success

d. effort

9. Kendall’s project team is reviewing the information that it received from other teams in the organization. They focus on assigning meaning and interpreting the information they have received in order to determine its level of equivocality. Which stage of the process of reducing equivocality is Kendall’s team experiencing?

a. selection

b. enactment

c. retention

d. identification

10. The two options that an organization has for dealing with equivocality of information are its use of ______________ and ________________ .

a. rules, communication cycles

b. enactment, selection

c. reaction, response

d. requisite variety, double interact loops

Organizational Culture Theory

11. All of the following statements about symbols are true EXCEPT

a. symbols represent meanings that are held by members of an organization

b. symbols include only the nonverbal communication that takes place in the organization

c. members of an organization create, use, and interpret symbols in order to create and sustain a sense of organizational reality

d. organizational values may be communicated through a variety of symbols

12. All of the following are methods of investigation used by ethnographers to examine organizational culture EXCEPT

a. survey questionnaires

b. direct observation

c. interviews

d. participant observation

13. Renaldo always has a smile on his face when he enters the workplace. His colleagues comment on how much they appreciate his taking the time to stop and ask how their day is going as he passes by their desks. Renaldo is engaging in which type of communicative performance?

a. sociality

b. passion

c. ritual

d. politics

14. Organizational _________ are used to inform members about what standards and principles are viewed as being important by the organization.

a. stories

b. rules

c. values

d. performances

Uses and Gratifications Theory

15. The main idea behind Uses and Gratifications Theory (UGT) is that

a. people cannot articulate the reasons or gratifications underlying their media consumption

b. people do not realize they are being influenced by the media

c. people’s social reality is affected over the long term by media content and portrayals

d. people actively seek out specific media and content to obtain specific gratifications

16. Dan and Mona want to install a new window in their bathroom. They go to the video store and rent “How to Install Windows in 30 Minutes or Less.” Dan and Mona are satisfying which of the following needs?

a. affective

b. cognitive

c. personal integrative

d. tension release

17. Whereas activity refers to what individuals do with media, _________ refers to an individual’s freedom and autonomy in the mass communication process.

a. cultivation

b. congruence

c. activeness

d. activation

18. The argument that people have enough self-awareness of their own media use and motives to be able to provide an accurate picture of that use relates to which criterion for evaluating theory?

a. utility

b. heurism

c. parsimony

d. testability

Spiral of Silence Theory

19. Noelle-Neumann believes that the very fabric of our society depends on people to jointly recognize and endorse a set of __________, and public opinion will determine whether they are equally embraced across the population.

a. hypotheses

b. arguments

c. opinions

d. values

20. When people agree on a common set of values, the fear of isolation

a. increases

b. decreases

c. evaporates

d. none of these

21. In Noelle-Neumann’s interviews with smokers, she found that in the presence of nonsmokers

a. smokers were adamant about their rights to smoke when and where they wish

b. smokers felt attacked about their opinions regarding smokers’ rights

c. smokers were more likely to argue with them about smokers’ rights

d. smokers were less willing to overtly support smokers’ rights

22. In his study that asked participants to indicate which of the lines on the right of the sheet were equal in length to the line on the left side, Asch discovered

a. participants gave the wrong answer after hearing several other individuals give the wrong answer

b. participants gave the right answer despite the fact that several other individuals had already given the wrong answer

c. participants indicated they were not affected by other individuals’ responses

d. participants were not able to determine the correct answer

Face Negotiation Theory

23. All of the following are true about face negotiation theory EXCEPT

a. it combines the concepts of face, culture, and conflict

b. there is some concern about the theory because it overlooks the impact of cultural differences in conflict management

c. the theory has been influenced by the work of other theorists (e.g., Goffman, and Brown & Levinson)

d. face is a central concept in the theory and is viewed as pervading all aspects of social life

24. Negative face is associated with the characteristic of

a. unpopularity

b. affiliation

c. autonomy

d. homophily

25. Michele realizes that it is time to discuss the decline in production at the factory with her shift managers, Alice and James. She decides that the best way to approach the discussion is to emphasize the prior quality of work and to attempt to minimize the amount of blame for the decrease in numbers. Which type of facework is Michele using?

a. tact

b. solidarity

c. approbation

d. politeness

26. According to face negotiation theory, excuses such as, “I thought it was her job!” and justifications such as, “I’m not a morning person,” that occur after an embarrassing event, are

a. face threatening

b. face saving

c. face restoring

d. none of the above

27. True or False? Stella Ting-Toomey believes that communication is an individual event.

a. true

b. false

Standpoint Theory

28. All of the following are characteristics of feminist theories EXCEPT

a. sex or gender is a central focus of the theory

b. feminist theory can be used to challenge the status quo when the status quo devalues women

c. sex or gender relations are viewed as being static they are consistent over time

d. sex or gender relations are viewed as problematic

29. Members of the Students for Environmental Concerns (SEC) organization submitted a request to university administrators to obtain a permit that would enable them to hold a demonstration on Parents’ Weekend. The university has agreed to issue the permit, but has designated that the demonstration can only take place between 8 and 10 a.m. and must be located on the far end of campus, away from the student center. If the SEC wants to demonstrate, it must follow the guidelines. Which of the assumptions of Standpoint Theory explains social life as experienced by SEC members?

a. The ruling group often structures life so as to remove choices from the subordinate group

b. The subordinate group often develops a clearer vision of social life than the dominant group

c. Material life promotes understandings of social relations

d. The vision available to an oppressed group represents a struggle and an achievement

30. All of the following statements about Standpoint Theory are true EXCEPT

a. the theory gives authority to people’s own voices

b. the theory argues that individuals’ assertions and statements are objective; we can therefore develop a standard for measuring standpoints

c. the theory criticizes the status quo because of the power structures it creates

d. experiences, knowledge, and communication of individuals are shaped by the social groups of which they are members

31. In her research project for her sociology class, Martha discovered that nontraditional students clearly understand the attitudes and opinions held by traditional students on campus. The nontraditional students say that often it is easier simply to go along with requests for late night study sessions and Sunday night group meetings with traditional students because there are fewer arguments. Which of the assumptions of Standpoint Theory explains the approach taken by the nontraditional students?

a. the ruling group has a vested interest in maintaining power

b. there is a sexual division of labor

c. material life promotes understandings of social relations

d. the vision available to an oppressed group represents a struggle and an achievement

Muted Group Theory

32. Which of the following is NOT consistent with the main ideas of Muted Group Theory?

a. The dominant group is better served by the language because they had the largest part in creating it.

b. In order to be heard, the muted group must translate its own worldview and experiences into a language that can be compared to that of the dominant group.

c. The language differences of the muted group and the dominant group are discussed, and a common language to use as a reference point is negotiated between the two groups.

d. The articulations of the muted group are often broken and less clear than those of the dominant group.

33. Labeling women’s talk as “gossip,” “chatter,” “nagging,” or “whining” is a type of silencing referred to as

a. ritual

b. ridicule

c. harassment

d. polarization

34. Which of the following is NOT one of the strategies identified by Houston and Kramarae for resisting the process of muting?

a. naming the strategies of silencing (e.g, ridicule, ritual, harassment)

b. studying diaries, journals, quilts, and other artistic expressions of women

c. developing a more representative language to capture women’s uniquely gendered experiences

d. negotiating a shared language that can be understood by dominant and subordinate groups

35. One of the primary benefits of Muted Group Theory is that it

a. advocates the status quo

b. essentializes men and women

c. has received extensive empirical support

d. challenges us to review what we accept and reject from public speakers


Part II: Communication Theory and Your Chosen Career Field (or Major) [10 points]

1. Go to the UMUC Library and click on “Search by Subject.”


2. Go to the Subject area that is most closely related to your major or career. Take a look around this UMUC Subject Guide to familiarize yourself with the materials available to help you in your field of study while at UMUC.

3. Click on the button for databases in your Subject Guide.

4. Choose a communication theory or the name of a researcher you found interesting in this course. Using one or more of the databases for your field, search that theory or person to see if communication research has been applied to your area. You may also want to limit the search by using other keywords for your specific area of career interest.

a. What subject area did you investigate? (1 point)

b. What database(s) did you use for your search? (1 point)

c. Provide full APA Citations for three articles you found which discussed the use of Communication Theory in your line of work/field of study. (3 points)

d. Using your three articles as support for your answer, write a short paragraph that answers the following question:

How can an understanding of Communication Theory supplement your skills and the insights you will need to succeed in your future work? (5 points)

Please be sure to write carefully and well, using good grammar and APA in-text citations for quotes and paraphrases.


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