XAT 2016 Question 13

Instructions

Analyse the following passage and provide appropriate answers for the questions that follow:

An effective way of describing what interpersonal communication is or is not, is perhaps to capture the underlying beliefs using specific game analogies.

Communication as Bowling: The bowling model of message delivery is probably the most widely held view of communication. I think that’s unfortunate. This model sees the bowler as the sender, who delivers the ball, which is the message. As it rolls down the lane (the channel), clutter on the boards (noise) may deflect the ball (the message). Yet if it is aimed well, the ball strikes the passive pins (the target audience) with a predictable effect. In this one - way model of communication, the speaker (bowler) must take care to select a precisely crafted message (ball) and practice diligently to deliver it the same way every time. Of course, that makes sense only if target listeners are interchangeable, static pins waiting to be bowled over by our words - which they aren’t.

This has led some observers to propose an interactive model of interpersonal communication.

Communication as Ping - Pong: Unlike bowling, Ping - Pong is not a solo game. This fact alone makes it a better analogy for interpersonal communication. One party puts the conversational ball in play, and the other gets into position to receive. It takes more concentration and skill to receive than to serve because while the speaker (server) knows where the message is going, the listener (receive) doesn’t. Like a verbal or nonverbal message, the ball may appear straightforward yet have a deceptive spin. Ping - Pong is a back - and - forth game; players switch roles continuously. One moment the
person holding the paddle is an initiator; the next second the same player is a responder, gauging the effectiveness of his or her shot by the way the ball comes back. The repeated adjustment essential for good play closely parallels the feedback process described in a number of interpersonal communication theories.

Communication as Dumb Charades The game of charades best captures the simultaneous and collaborative nature of interpersonal communication. A charade is neither an action, like bowling a strike, nor an interaction, like a rally in Ping - Pong. It’s a transaction. Charades is a mutual game; the actual play is cooperative. One member draws a title or slogan from a batch of possibilities and then tries to act it out visually for teammates in a silent mini drama. The goal is to get at least one partner to say the exact words that are on the slip of paper. Of course, the actor is prohibited from talking out loud. Suppose you drew the saying “God helps those who help themselves.” For God you might try folding your hands and gazing upward. For helps you could act out offering a helping hand or giving a leg - up boost over a fence. By pointing at a number of real or imaginary people you may elicit a response of them, and by this point a partner may shout out, “God helps those who help themselves.” Success.

Like charades, interpersonal communication is a mutual, on - going process of sending, receiving, and adapting verbal and nonverbal messages with another person to create and alter images in both of our minds. Communication between us begins when there is some overlap between two images, and is effective to the extent that overlap increases. But even if our mental pictures are congruent, communication will be partial as long as we interpret them differently. The idea that “God helps those who help themselves’ could strike one person as a hollow promise, while the other might regard it as a divine stamp of approval for hard work. Dumb Charade goes beyond the simplistic analogy of bowling and ping pong. It views interpersonal communications as a complex transaction in which overlapping messages simultaneously affect and are affected by the other person and multiple other factors.

Question 13

The meaning CLOSEST to ‘interchangeable’ in the ‘Communication as Bowling’ paragraph is:



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