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Atone level, this literature provides Insights Into the “gamesmanship” of Interpersonal behavior, looking at how people use and conceal information to accomplish their objectives. Many of the best selling self-help books in the psychology and business sections of bookstores similarly deal with how to exert social influence by making the right Impression on others (e. G. , Dale Carnage’s How to win friends and Influence people; David Lewis’ The secret language of success: using body language to get what you want; Michael Koran’s Success: How every man and woman can achieve it; Roger Fisher’s Getting to Yes).

Such books tell us how to look and dress; what to say and how to say it; how to move, sit, and gesture; when to smile or raise an eyebrow; ND all manner of Information that seems vital If we are to do well at the game of life, winning and keeping lovers, money, power, friends, etc. Advertising is simply the art 1 org for the conscious and systematic application of ideas about how to sell people and ideas. The common thread through all of this is the notion that, to survive and prosper, we must get people to form the “right” impression, about us and the things about which we care.


At another level, though, impression management involves more than gamesmanship. I have argued that impression management is not simply a type of behavior that occurs only under limited circumstances, such as during a Job interview or on a date, or that is evidenced only by certain types of people, such as those high in self-monitoring or Machiavellian. Instead, impression management is a fundamental feature or characteristic of interpersonal experience.

It is inconceivable to discuss human social behavior without employing the concept. People do not deal with information randomly or dispassionately. Our opinions about what constitutes the “truth” are affected by our personal agendas. To help us to accomplish our objectives in life, we “package” information to help audiences draw he “right” conclusion. This packaging is a pervasive feature of interpersonal behavior. Packaging is not necessarily deceptive or immoral, although it certainly can be used for illicit ends.

In order to communicate information accurately (as we see it) and without misunderstanding involves being able to gauge how an audience is responding and to package one’s presentations accordingly, fitting the message to the beliefs, values, and competencies of the audience so that they will draw the “proper” conclusion. Impression management is like presenting an edited work designed to convey key information effectively to others. Just as a textbook author must pick and choose information so that a reader gets the point without getting overwhelmed or confused, so must we all pick and choose information to make our points in everyday life.

We simply cannot reveal everything about ourselves too particular audience; it is impossible. We must edit the information to make it germane to the occasion. It may take Just as much social skill to create an accurate impression as to create a misleading one. In fact, research has shown that people who have better acting skills also are more successful at presenting themselves accurately to others (e. . , who have the smallest discrepancies between their own self-evaluations and the evaluations of them by their friends). Impression management also can be used for beneficial ends.

Although people act in ways that advance their own self-interests, they also seem to regulate information in order to support and protect the identities of others, to make others feel good, to help others cope, and to inspire them to seek new challenges. An example of such beneficial impression management is the father who helps his child interpret a failure in a way that preserves the child’s self-confidence and promotes effective coping, even if the father is privately unsure about the real causes of the failure. Impression management activities can involve altruistic goals and proboscis conduct. Acts. We will consider the history of the topic, examine theoretical approaches, and discuss content areas in which impression management approaches have been applied. The focus will be on relevant theory and research. Yet, throughout I hope we will also have time to discuss some of the popular applied classics in impression management. Course Objectives 1. Learn the key concepts, principles, findings, and methodological techniques elevate to the study of impression management and self-presentation. 2. Learn how to analyze social psychological phenomena in terms of impression management. 3.

Learn how everyday social events can be better understood through the understanding of impression management. COURSE REQUIREMENTS Each week we will discuss a new set of readings dealing with impression management. The requirements for the course are straightforward and involve two facets: (a) active class participation and serving as a discussion leader with presentations, and (b) a final term paper. Active Participation Everyone in the class will be expected to participate actively, not to sit back passively and let others do the talking. You must do the readings prior to class and be ready to discuss them.

I know that some people are more talkative than others and find it easier to speak up in class. Remember, though, this is a seminar, not a lecture section. It is important to the class, and in professional activities generally, for you to be willing and able to discuss ideas. I want to establish an atmosphere in the class where everyone feels free to speak up, question, and communicate ideas. It will help class discussions if you critically analyze what you are reading. Do not read the material in passive mode, akin to watching television with one’s critical capabilities disengaged.

What is the theme of the paper? What are the key points and conclusions? How do these differ from the contentions of other theorists or researchers? How do these differ from your own intuitions or experiences? What data support the points? What data are inconsistent? What alternative explanations exist for the findings? How would you test these alternatives? Will the effects occur all of the time or only under specific conditions? What are the boundary conditions for the effect (I. E. , when will it not hold, or when might the reverse occur)?

How would you test these boundaries? What processes might be responsible for the effects? Information be applied in business, clinical, or other real world settings? Arrive at each class with several questions you would like to discuss about the weeks readings. You should do this regardless of whether you are a discussion leader that week. Graduate seminars usually contain a mix of students with varying degrees of prior knowledge and experience in the area. The feeling of having little prior background n the area can be uncomfortable. Don’t worry about it.

Everyone can contribute according to his or her unique skills and knowledge. Everyone will be expected to know the materials in the readings, but you will not be expected to have identical background knowledge in which to fit the material. Diversity in a course is a strength, not a weakness. Diverse prior experiences do raise the dilemma of how much background and detail to provide when covering the readings in class. These are always Judgment calls. There will be times when I skip over material, unthinkingly assuming that everyone knows about (say) a particular theory, when this is not the case.

Please feel free to ask questions or indicate that you would like to spend some time going over the basics off particular theory that I may have skimmed over. We can then either use class time to cover the material or I can give a condensed interpretation and refer you to the appropriate materials for more in-depth coverage. The old cliche is applicable: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you have a question, someone else in the class may, too. Term Paper A term paper will be due by noon on Friday, December 8. The paper can be on NY relevant, approved topic of your choice that involves impression management.

Once you have selected a topic, check with me for final approval. I’ll offer some suggested readings to get you started and let you know if you’re on the right track before getting too far along. The paper should be in PAP format and examine theory and research on the topic. The paper can take one of two general forms. First, it can be a review of theory and research. An exemplar for such a paper would be an article in the Psychological Bulletin or Psychological Review. This form is the traditional term paper. Second, it can be a research proposal.

A proposal consists of an introductory section, containing your thesis or hypothesis and a review of relevant theory and research, and a method section, containing the description of how you plan to test your hypothesis. An exemplar for such a paper is a thesis or dissertation proposal. Project. Remember, the class deals with impression management, so theories and research in the area should be prominently featured in your paper. You can select any topic, issue, or question you want, and I’d recommend picking a theme from your own area that might help in your own research.

However, do not focus Just on your area with only passing references to impression management, as if your paper was a summary of a thesis proposal with a few mentions of impression management. I will not set a recommended length because this will be governed by your topic and your motivation. I cannot imagine, however, how an acceptable paper could be done in less than ten pages of text. In an important sense, the paper is for YOU; it is an opportunity to explore an area that interests you and help in your own research.

Accommodations for students with disabilities Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean f Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation. Honesty Policy In course work and research, as in life generally, ethical principles are of paramount importance. Integrity and fidelity are vital to the scientific enterprise and are core components of Papa’s ethical code. Students are expected to exhibit exemplary ethical conduct in the course.

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