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Introduction to Human Communication
Lesson 5 Short Answer
Read all of the directions for Part I and Part II carefully before you start your work.
Note: The groups referred to in this course are task groups where group
communication roles are played to increase the effectiveness of the communication
in the groups. This is not the same as a group of people who are doing their jobs and
their roles are their job titles.
Watch a prime time television show (or rerun) in which the episode focuses on a
group of people who are talking to each other in formal or informal meetings as the
context for the show. You may choose from the following: The Office, Law & Order,
the Shield, 24, The Unit, or reruns of shows such as Friends, Seinfeld, or Everyone
Loves Raymond. If you would like to use a different show, send a message to your
instructor to get approval for your choice. Take notes while you watch the show so
that you can notice and recall who played group task roles, group maintenance roles,
and any self-centered roles. Your notes in Part I should be integrated into your
answers to the assignment questions in Part II.
Note: This assignment is not referring to communication that occurs because of
peoples personalities or job skills. Please refer to Figure 9.1 in your textbook for
specific group communication roles.
If the show you have selected does not give you an opportunity to observe a small
group working together in the particular episode you have chosen, please choose
another episode or show. It will be difficult for you to answer the questions well if the
show does not match the purpose of this assignment. However, you can discuss
poor examples of group communication roles as well as good examples and show
your learning. You do not have to find only good examples of group communication
roles. If you cannot find a show with a group of people who are very clearly in a small
group communication situation, then you may need to discuss a real-life group of
people who are communicating with each other in a small group situation.
Read the following questions. Write the answers to the questions, review your work,
and submit your answers. Integrate the key concepts and key terms from this lesson
into your answers.
The answer to each question should be approximately 6 to 10 sentences in length.
You should write your responses in complete sentences free of spelling and
grammatical errors. Please type your answers in a Word document and then paste
your answers below each question in the space provided.
Before completing this assignment, review the Grading Rubric. These are the
questions you need to answer.
1. List the television show that you watched. Use the communication task
roles Chapter 9 and 10 discuss to describe two specific characters and
the communication task role(s) they played. How did these roles affect
the group communication? Give specific examples.
2. Describe each maintenance/social role in your own words, and explain
which were present in the television show you watched. Which
maintenance/social roles have you commonly seen happen in your
3. Briefly describe a “self-centered role.” How do you think self-centered
roles detract the group from its goals? Give specific examples.
4. Using the functional approach to leadership, analyze the leader of the
group from the television show you watched. Did this leader perform
mostly task functions or process functions? How did the persons
leadership affect the communication of the group? Give specific
examples and incorporate concepts from the textbook.
5. Of the variables that affect climate (found on page 267), which was the
most prevalent in the group communication that you observed?
Materials you may need to read before answer the questions
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