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Intrapersonal Communication: The Self and Perception


Topic: The dimensions of the self, & the processes of self-fulfilling prophecy and perception
Purpose: To extend/review the dimensions of the self and important processes in intrapersonal communication
Prior knowledge: Basic understanding of the topics

  • Questions from a hat: general/fun papers
  • Questions from a hat: 11 dimensions of self
  • Process worksheets (for tableaux)

Questions from a Hat: Dimensions of the Self
Prior to this activity, the leader will write questions on scraps of paper and place them into a hat. These questions may be silly, serious or range between the two. (i.e. “What is your favorite flavor of jellybean and why?” or “Where would you travel if you could go anywhere?”) Gather participants in a circle and explain that the hat will be passed around, and when it gets to them they must draw a question from the hat and answer it as quickly as possible.  There are no wrong answers, but they will only have a certain amount of time to get the hat all the way around the circle.  For a group of ten people, one minute is a good starting point.  Do three rounds, inform them of their time at the end of each, and encourage them to go faster each time.
Next, tell students we are going to use this same activity to review the Dimensions of the Self. Ask students to remind you what the eleven dimensions of self are. Once you have done a short review, explain that the papers in the hat now have different dimensions on them. When a student draws a dimension, he/she should offer a definition or an example of that dimension. Play three rounds. During the first round, students may “phone a friend” if they are unsure of an answer. To phone a friend, a student says “I want to phone a friend,” and other students who know the answer may raise their hands to be called on. During the second two rounds, time the students for speed.
Transition: Now that we’ve reviewed the dimensions of self, we’re going to look at a few larger concepts from the chapter.


Explain to students we are now going to use our bodies to create illustrations that might fit in the textbook. First, we need to practice how we might use our bodies to create a group picture. Ask for a few volunteers to come up and give them a picture caption like “the last second of the game.” Have them create a frozen picture. Ask the audience to share what they see that makes the picture interesting (e.g. levels, facial expression, frozen action). Reinforce that these are important elements of any tableaux.
Tell groups they will create images that explain the steps of two important terms in the textbook. Their goal is to create three images that could be illustrations in the textbook to help students learn the ideas better. Divide students into groups and assign each group to either “steps of self-fulfilling prophecy” or “steps of perception.” Give each group a worksheet on which they can write the titles or captions of each of their three images. Groups should create three tableaux that represent the steps of these two processes.
Once all groups have created their images, ask them to share with the class. Invite the class to reflect with questions like:

  • What do you see? What are the bodies doing?
  • What does this image tell you? What’s the story?
  • What does this tell you about the process of perception/self-fulfilling prophecy?

Describe: What did we do today?
Analyze: Why do we learn about the dimensions of the self? The processes of perception and self-fulfilling prophecy?
Relate: What can we do with this knowledge in our daily lives?