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DescriptionComm 3319
Midterm—Spring 2023
Download this file and write your answers in the space provided. You cannot make an A on the
Midterm if you only provide one-sentence answers.
1. Some say conflict in our communication will always occur between us; that is, we can’t
change the fact that conflict in inevitable. Is it possible they are wrong? Martin Luther King and
others thought so. In fact, King said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we are in
the same boat now.” Can we at least reduce conflict, even if we can’t eliminate it?” Discuss and
defend your position: 5 points
2. A change agent may exhibit certain characteristics. Give an example where how you might
exhibit the following aspects of being a change agent: 1 ) a family conflict; OR
2) a work conflict
5 points each
. Recognizes the need for change and removes barriers;
. Challenges the status quo to acknowledge the need for change;
. Becomes a champion for change and enlists others to pursue it
. Models the change expected of others
3. One definition of interpersonal conflict is a problematic situation with certain characteristics.
Discuss how you understand the following issues from one of the following perspectives: 1) a
family conflict; OR 2) a work conflict.
The conflict may come from inside a marriage, at
work, or some other place.

The conflicting parties are interdependent.
They have the perception that they seek incompatible goals or outcomes; or they favor
incompatible means to the same ends.

The perceived incompatibility has the potential to adversely affect the relationship if
not addressed.

There is a sense of urgency about the need to resolve the difference.
4. Our early ancestors, to survive, had to practice “reciprocal altruism,” by working effectively in
a social system based on trust, honesty, reliability, and mutual aid. Soon, however, people
began to cheat, to take advantage of others. To reap the benefits of lying and deception,
people realized that cheating must be performed within a social system that values and expects
Explain how such an apparent contradiction can happen. 5 points
5. Words are labels for things. They have no intrinsic connection to the things they denote.
Thus, they are abstractions that capture some qualities of the things they stand for and
inevitably omit others. As we meet, in its $1.6 billion lawsuit, Dominion Voting Systems argues
Fox News Media repeatedly aired allegations that the company helped rig the 2020 election
against Trump despite many at the news organization privately believing the claims were
false. If successful, Fox News, owned by Rupert Murdoch, could be bankrupt. Should a news
station be immune from being sued if they report information as “facts” they know are not true?
6. When most of us talk about change we really mean incremental change. But deep change
requires new ways of thinking and behaving. Discuss the following descriptions of deep change
as they apply to your life expectations in one of the following scenarios: 1) a family/personal
situation, or 2) a work situation.
5 points each
. It is major in scope and generally irreversible.
. It involves distorting existing ineffective patterns of action and taking risks.
. Deep change means surrendering control. It means “walking naked into the
land of uncertainty.” What does this mean to you?
7. Slow Death occurs when someone, confronting the dilemmas of having to make deep changes
in their relationships or accepting the status quo, rejects the option for a deep change. Discuss
why these elements can be harmful to anyone in one of the following: 1) a personal situation,
or 2) a work situation.
5 points each
. Change is needed, but this need is denied (or avoided).
. People fake ignorance of the situation while fully understanding their situation is in
. People crave a vision that has credibility, but it is not forthcoming.
. People become burnouts.
8. We are thinking critically when we: a) recognize the relevance and/or merit of alternative
assumptions and perspectives; and b) recognize the extent and weight of evidence. Can you give
an example, in your own life, where you followed these principles of critical thinking above to
arrive at a good decision about a current event?
5 points
9. You went to YouTube to watch several short videos about Monty Roberts, known as the real
“horse whisperer.” He can take a young horse that has never had a saddle or rider aboard and
get the animal to accept both in half an hour–such an amazing feat. What did you learn from
watching Roberts’ videos that could apply to helping tone down the gun violence, road rage,
and anger we see in society today?
5 points
10. My mother was raised in a household where frequent beatings were the norm. She carried
on the tradition when I was born. One day, when I was 10 years old, I accidentally broke a glass
container. She went for a belt and came for me. As she raised her hand to hit me, I grabbed her
wrist. She switched the belt to the other hand, and I grabbed that wrist too. We struggled until
she gave up and went to her room, where I could hear her crying. My father came home and
went to talk to her. He came out and told me to take a walk with him. I expected to be
punished but he asked me if I understood why she was crying. He told me she was crying
because I was not her little boy anymore, that there was a better way to discipline me, and he
made her pledge to never hit me again.
There is an epidemic of child abuse in America. Mental health professionals often learn their
clients suffered beatings and worse, from parents and caregivers. Could you become an
advocate for eliminating beatings of children and the vulnerable? How?
11. My wife was raised in a household where she was afraid of her father. He was an alcoholic,
couldn’t hold a steady job, and acted like a tyrant to his wife and daughters. An unhappy man,
he intimidated everyone he met, not with threats of violence so much as being mean-spirited.
My wife could not wait until she was old enough to marry someone who would save her from
her family of origin. I was that person, and over the years I came to realize I often sought out
opportunities to help others who were vulnerable, that I had the power to intervene when
another person needed help. Can you identify with that thinking?
12. Practical theory establishes a set of principles by which a person can make difficult situational
decisions. From this stems the concept of a coordinated management of meaning, or CMM. One
of its most potent components is the idea that the stories of people are connected, forming a
relationship between the interactions that people live under and the stories they tell about
themselves and their relationships. Can you apply this theory to the stories of your own life?
I believe that professors don’t give students their grades. Students earn their
grades. Based on the answers you provided above, what grade do you think you
have earned on this midterm?

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