Article Critique: Masking Poor Communication
Read “Close Relationships Sometimes Mask Poor Communication.” Then, write a two-page paper (excluding title and reference pages) about your thoughts on this article. In your paper, be sure also to address the following:
- Have you ever had a miscommunication with someone close to you simply because you assumed that they understood you? What happened?
- How can you make sure that this kind of miscommunication does not happen in the future? Or when it does happen, what could you do to make your communication more clear?
Be sure to reference the article and at least one of the other course readings from this week in your paper. This can be your textbook or one of the recommended articles. The paper must be formatted according to APA style. Cite your resources in text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.
lose Relationships Sometimes Mask Poor Communication
People may think loved ones understand them better than they actually do, research shows
January 24, 2011
MONDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) — For many people, their communication skills with loved ones
are not as strong as they think.
In fact, spouses sometimes communicate with each other no better than strangers do, a new study
“People commonly believe that they communicate better with close friends than with strangers. That
closeness can lead people to overestimate how well they communicate, a phenomenon we term the
‘closeness-communication bias,’” study co-author Boaz Keysar, a professor in psychology at the
University of Chicago, said in a university news release.
In the study, researchers asked 24 married couples to take part in an experiment in which two sets of
couples sat in chairs — with their backs to each other — and tried to figure out the meaning of phrases
whose meaning isn’t entirely clear.
The spouses thought they communicated better than they actually did, the study authors noted.
“A wife who says to her husband, ‘it’s getting hot in here,’ as a hint for her husband to turn up the air
conditioning a notch, may be surprised when he interprets her statement as a coy, amorous advance
instead,” said study author Kenneth Savitsky, professor of psychology at Williams College in
Williamstown, Mass., in the news release. “Although speakers expected their spouse to understand them
better than strangers, accuracy rates for spouses and strangers were statistically identical. This result is
striking because speakers were more confident that they were understood by their spouse.”
According to Savitsky, “Some couples may indeed be on the same wavelength, but maybe not as much as
they think. You get rushed and preoccupied, and you stop taking the perspective of the other person,
precisely because the two of you are so close.”
Study co-author Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth
School of Business, explained the differences this way: “Our problem in communicating with friends and
spouses is that we have an illusion of insight. Getting close to someone appears to create the illusion of
understanding more than actual understanding.”
Close relationships sometimes mask poor communication. (2011, January). U.S. News & World Report, 1.
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