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COMM 300 Final Exam
This is an open-source exam, so you are free to use the textbook, the PowerPoints, the lectures,
and any other resources you want when answering the questions. You must complete your
exam on your own, however, without collaborating with other students. Each question is
described below and its number of possible points is noted in parentheses.
First, type your name here:
Second, type your student ID number here:
To answer the questions, simply type your answer (single-spaced) underneath each question.
Use as much space as you need for each answer, bearing in mind that some questions are
worth more points than others, so you may want to allocate your time accordingly. You are not
required to cite any sources in your answers—if you do, however, then you need to include a
reference list at the very end of the document, and type the references in proper APA format.
I recommend that you read each question carefully, then answer what is asked and only what is
asked. Writing about something the question has not asked you for will only waste your time
and energy and will not earn you any extra points.
When you have finished answering the questions, save your document with your first initial
and last name as the file name. (For instance, I would save mine as: KFloyd.docx.) Make sure
you are saving the document as a Word document, not a PDF or any other format.
You will be submitting your exam via Dropbox. As with all other assignments in COMM 300,
absolutely no late exams will be accepted, so it is your responsibility to make sure you submit
yours before the deadline. Note that if you submit your exam in a format that we cannot
open, it will not be accepted.
Best of luck, everyone!
1. Family communication patterns theory identifies four family types—pluralistic, protective,
consensual, and laissez-faire—that differ from each other in their conversation orientation
and conformity orientation. Think about the family in which you grew up. Which of these four
types does your family best reflect? In your answer, make sure to define the family type you
choose and then give concrete examples of how your family exemplifies that type. (7 points
2. Suppose that Braden tells his brother Lee that he has tested positive for COVID-19, but he
asks Lee to keep this information to himself. Two days later, the brothers are planning to
attend their niece’s 12th birthday party, and Lee wonders whether he should mention
Braden’s COVID diagnosis to their mother. Even though Braden specifically asked him to keep
the information private, Lee wonders whether the family’s safety is more important than his
brother’s privacy. Besides, he and Braden are close. From the perspective of Petronio’s
communication privacy management theory, where does the boundary around Braden’s
disclosure lie? In your answer, explain whether or not Lee is a co-owner of the information,
and if so, whether he has control over who discovers it. Also, identify the kind of boundary
linkage Braden and Lee share. Is the boundary around Braden’s disclosure thick or thin? (12
points possible)
3. Imagine that, in an election for the governor of your state, you support one candidate but
your mom supports a different candidate, and you want to change her mind. As you know,
cognitive dissonance theory claims that persuasion can occur when people attempt to reduce
cognitive dissonance. Given that, explain how you might change your mother’s mind and
persuade her to support the candidate you prefer. As you describe what you would say or do,
be explicit about how your words or actions reflect cognitive dissonance theory. (10 points
4. Now imagine that your mom is trying to resist the cognitive dissonance you are attempting
to create in her mind. Four strategies for doing so are selective exposure, selective attention,
selective interpretation, and selective retention. For each strategy, explain what the strategy
is and then give a concrete example of how your mom could employ that strategy to avoid
cognitive dissonance related to the different gubernatorial candidates you support. (16
points possible, 4 for each strategy)
5. Recently, Claire has seen several television commercials advertising DNA testing. She is
curious about her family history, so she decides to take a DNA test. Along with providing
information about her ancestry, however, the results also tell her she is at elevated risk for
developing pancreatic cancer. This causes her to feel uncertainty, which motivates her to
learn more. Using uncertainty management theory as your guide, describe strategies of
information acquisition, information handling, and information use that Claire could use to
address her uncertainty. (9 points possible, 3 for each strategy described)
6. Suppose you have been asked to design a video message encouraging college students to
get screened for depression. You decide to apply the extended parallel process model to
appeal to students about the importance of depression screening. You recall that, according
to the EPPM, effective appeals include four elements. For this question, identify and define
each element and then give an example of what you would say or show in your video to
reflect that element. (16 points possible, 4 for each element)
7. Every October, Teri notices people wearing pink ribbons and pink clothing for Breast
Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the disease and money
for treating it. During this time there is extensive media coverage of events such as the Susan
G. Komen Race for the Cure, a fundraising event that takes place at various locations around
the country. When asked on a survey to name the most serious health threat to women,
therefore, Teri naturally thinks of breast cancer first, so she is surprised later to find out that
breast cancer is not the leading cause of death—or even the leading cause of cancer death—
for U.S. women. In comparison, however, Teri rarely sees media coverage of lung cancer,
even though it kills four times as many people every year as breast cancer. Use agenda
setting theory to explain Teri’s confusion. In your answer, make explicit reference to agendas,
agenda-setting, framing, and priming to explain why Teri has overestimated the health threat
posed by breast cancer. (20 points possible, 4 each for the concepts of agendas, agendasetting, framing, priming, and agenda setting theory overall)
8. Blake and Kaitlyn have been married for three years. While eating dinner one night,
Kaitlyn tells Blake about a conflict she had that morning with a customer at her job whom she
felt was being completely unreasonable. Blake responds by telling Kaitlyn what he thinks she
should have done differently in her encounter with the difficult customer. After having this
conversation with Blake, however, Kaitlyn feels worse, not better. Your task in this question
is to explain why Kaitlyn feels worse after talking to Blake, first from the perspective of
Tannen’s genderlects theory and then from the perspective of face negotiation theory. How
would each theory explain Kaitlyn’s negative feelings? (10 points possible, 5 for each of the

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