Interpersonal Communication and the Self, Day 1

Course(s) Used:

  • Interpersonal Communication

Goals and Objectives:

  • Students understand how the self-concept is formed.
  • Students can identify how stigma affects self-disclosure decisions.
  • Students can apply the Johari window in comparing self-concept and other-concept.

Rationale: The self-concept has an important, reciprocal relationship with communication, driving decisions about self-disclosure while also being shaped by communicative interactions with others (reflected appraisal).

Materials Needed

Materials:

  • Note cards can be helpful for this activity, but are not required

Technology:

  • Classroom computer and projector

Outline of the Lesson

  1. Review of previous session’s content
  2. Self-concept
    1. Fundamentally subjective
    2. Developed from Reflected Appraisal
    3. Developed from Social Comparison
    4. Self-fulfilling prophecies (“You see what you are looking for”)
  3. Self-disclosure and Privacy Management
    1. Why do people share information?1
    2. What are the risks of sharing?2
    3. Stigma and self-disclosure
      1. Sexualities and gender identities (“coming out”)
      2. Psychological conditions
      3. Other invisible stigmatized issues
  4. Hands on group work: “Johari Window”3
    1. Find a partner that you know fairly well.
    2. Pick 5-6 words from the first slide that you believe describe you.
    3. Pick 5-6 words from the first slide that you believe describe your partner.
    4. Compare your lists.
      1. Things listed on both lists go in the “Open” section.
      2. Things listed only on your list go in the “Hidden” section.
      3. Things listed only on your partner’s list for you go in the “Blind” area.
      4. Things that aren’t listed by either of you might be in the “Unknown” area.
  5. Debrief the activity
  6. Lesson closing

Limitations

Several students may not be in class with individuals who know them well enough to select descriptions usefully for the Johari Window activity. This activity works best at a smaller school where students tend to be in several classes together and develop stronger relationships.

Variations and Accommodations

Follow guidance from local accommodation authorities.


  1. Ex: Catharsis, Self-clarification, Self-validation, Reciprocity, Impression formation, Relationship maintenance/enhancement, Moral obligation. ^
  2. Ex: Rejection, Negative impression, Decrease in relationship satisfaction, Loss of influence, Loss of control (over information, Hurting others. ^
  3. VA ^
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