COMM 101 - Fundamentals of Communication

Dr. Lee McGaan  

  Office:  WH 308  (ph. 309-457-2155);  email
  Home:  418 North Sunny Lane (ph. 309-734-5431, cell 309-333-5447)

Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016


Communication and Personal Identity


 Definitions: Our self concept (how we understand our SELF)  is composed of two aspects.

1.                  Self image - how we  PERCEIVE our SELF

2.                  Self esteem - how we evaluate ourselves


Sources of information for our self concept - "The self arises in communication with others."

  • Significant others define you for yourself

    • direct definition

    • identity scripts  - patterns others create for us to follow

  • Peers define you for yourself:  "social comparison" of self to other - "reflected appraisal"

  • The Generalized Self  helps you define yourself using elements of personal identity dthat are seen as important by our society

    • gender

    • race/ethnicity

    • sexual orientation

    • economic class

  • (once again)  Self-fulfilling Prophecy - Believing something is true makes it come true when it otherwise would not.   (e.g.,  Believing "I'm bad at tests." (a part of self concept) causes a low score.)


Homework for Discussion on Friday

    • List five important positive qualities about yourself.  (e.g loyal, helpful, logical, etc.)
    • How does each of these qualities reflect, result from or represent your interactions with others in your life.  (e.g. Who helped you develop this quality?  or helped you realize you had this quality? What kind of interacts have them most impact?  What sorts of people?  etc.)
    • In class we will form groups four groups of five or six to discuss the question above.  Have a recorder keep track of what most of you have in common and what are differences in your “identity development experiences.”  Report your conclusions back to the class.


In 203 a study (Michael Bond. "The Pursuit of Happiness."  New Scientist 4 October 2003. <>) of more than 65 countries published in the UK's New Scientist magazine indicates that the happiest people in the world lived in Nigeria.  The least happy people lived in Romania.  People in Latin America, Western Europe and North America are happier than those in Eastern Europe and Russia.

A 2013 study that is much more comprehensive showed different results but with similar region standings as reported in the Huffington Post.



  • The happiest

    1. Denmark
    2. Norway
    3. Switzerland
    4. Netherlands
    5. Sweden
    6. Canada
    • The least happy countries were generally in central Africa. 


      John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sachs.  World Happiness Report: 2013., 1/15/2013