All posts by Brianna 03

Final Survivor Blog- Farewell for now!

1. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being consistently), how consistent were you with submitting your blog posts in a timely manner?
4 – I submitted my blog posts in a pretty timely matter every time.

2. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being consistently), how consistent were you with posting at least one thorough comment on a peer’s blog?
5 – I consistently submitted one thoughtful comment to a peer’s blog for each post that was due. I took the time to read through several of my peer’s blogs as well.

3. One a scale of 1-5 (5 being very well), how well did you integrate class concepts into your posts about the Survivor show?
5 – I feel like showed the effort & time I dedicated to finding evidence of theories & quotes that supported my thoughts. I feel like I did well when integrating that class concepts to the series. This helped me to remember the course information a little easier as well. When posting I also tried to include multiple instances from the show as well as multiple connecting concepts.

4. Please describe what you think your strengths were with regard to blogging and participation.
My newly discovered strengths in blogging is my security level with writing and having others read my writing, because that is not something I would usually be comfortable with. It helped me hone my writing skills, and watch my peers progress. Participation was fun when I had the time carved out to put together the type of blog post I would want to submit and have others read. I enjoyed being a part of it as a class discussion.

5. Please describe how you think you could improve on your blogging and participation.
I could improve on my blogging and participation if it was not such a consistent assignment- just more time to watch these episodes and read the course information. I could also improve on adding more direct quotes from the series to help my writing skills.

6. What did you like about blogging?
I really enjoyed learning how to use this technology and knowing I have this available through my school. I liked the freedom of design and comfortable outlet.

7. What did you dislike about blogging?
There is not anything I particularly disliked with the blogging itself, it was quite easy to follow and navigate through independently.

8. What suggestions do you have for this assignment in the future?
My suggestions would be less due dates for the blogs but overall themes we could identify over two weeks. So, one blog every two weeks, covering two episodes so it could be more clear. This may be bad for those who fall behind though. Also requiring more detail in the blogs so they prove they have watched the episodes and there is more diversity in the blogs.

Cheers to a great semester!

Chapter 5 Group Leadership

This episode focuses in on the power dynamics of Jeremy and Josh. Jeremy is the leader we have identified form the beginning, he pushes that persona of himself. Josh is a leader that you feel a certain magnetism too because of his liveliness and wittiness. This is their face off for gaining power and we can begin to identify what strategies they are using, as well as what they can be categorized as. We see Jeremy thrives off of this personal power and being a leader, whereas Josh uses coercive power which is identified as someone who “controls and deals out sanctions and punishments”. We specifically see this in his attempt to convince Baylor to be his alliance because he was hers earlier on in the season. If we analyze Josh using the 5M Model of Leadership Effectiveness we can determine his manner of approaching Baylor was ineffective as a leader because for her to agree, she would have to feel like she can trust him as a leader…which she obviously doesn’t. Now if we analyze the leadership skills of Jeremy using the Fidler’s Contingency Model of Leadership Effectiveness, we would certainly categorize him as a task-motivated leader. Like stated earlier on, he enjoys his power. These two very different men are face to face, and this is getting very interesting to see which leadership type is more successful, but it is important to remember this leadership type can be most fitting for one situation and setting but not the other.

Decisions…decisions (Chapter 9)

Finally what we have all been waiting for, the Merge of the new Huyopa tribe! This episode of Survivor begins with the tribes arriving back after tribal council, and Keith is noticeably upset that Missy and Baylor betrayed by placing a vote for him. We then watch Julie fracture her alliances as well when she hoards some of the trail mix from their feast. John searches through her purse while she is away and exposes and shares what he finds with the group. At that moment Julie was being questioned for credibility by every tribe member. A very strong alliance throughout the episodes has been Baylor and Josh, but since the merge; she is choosing loyalty to her mother leaving Josh very bitter. It is immediately obvious that this merge has disrupted the loyalty of everyones alliances.
In chapter 9 Structured and Creative Problem Solving in Groups we cover decision making which is displayed individually and as a team in Survivor. I found it interesting that “groups often make better decisions than individuals working alone”(195) but Jaclyn and John came to mind. I did not think this statement could be completely true because groups can go very good or very bad, but it all depends on the strength of what everything revolves around in Survivor…alliances. Jaclyn and John are a couple, which makes the alliances in this type of game much more trustworthy than anyone else. They also happen to be a couple that everyone goes to to be aliened with, therefore they are once again in a tough place. Missy and Baylor have a very strong accord as well, but Baylor shows signs of using the dependent decision making style. The book states that this style is characterized by someone that “seeks the advice and opinions of others before making a decision.”(200) Throughout the episode she is filling her mom in on conversations with other members and her options, seeking advice and approval from her. I can’t wait to find out who will trust who once more loved ones are not there for unconditional support.

“Tribe Talk” (Ch. 6 Verbal & Nonverbal Communication)

In chapter 6, Verbal and Nonverbal Communication in Groups we are presented with the ideas that our plural pronouns “announce that the group depends on everyone rather than on a single member”(127). This was very evident in Episode 6 showing the merge, where emotions were on the rise and alliances were being put in line. Alec displays a strong tie to his tribe and their abilities, and to make sure they know it he says phrases such as “our tribe”; creating unity. Jeremy also claims his tribe with encouraging phrases such as “we can win as team”, and usually gravitate to that in a group. Where this differed was during the stressful time before tribal council, because hidden agendas are all about the “I” language we use. This is a language of taking responsibility, and they will use phrases such as “I need you”. Saying that still gives you a sense of dependency but it is for a personal reason.
The team talk dimension I noticed was that of Social Equality when using casual and informal language. This was not equal throughout the tribe, Alec contributed to the social equality between the men by saying things like “Bitch, this is survivor” and treating Baylor as a little sister he feels he can boss around. Therefore the talk dimension between the guys and girls of Coyopa were different.
Lastly, I noticed nonverbal communication when Jeremy was noticeably upset about his team forfeiting all of their comfort items for rice. He seemed to separate himself from the tribe for a while, and in interviews his facial expressions and lack of verbal complaining showcased his true emotions. This merge will make the dynamics of their team talk very interesting, I look forward to seeing how their alliances will play out.

Listening is harder than you’d think

This week on Survivor we were presented with the connecting the episode to Chapter 7-Listening. Listening is defined as “the ability to understand, analyze, respect, and appropriately respond to the meaning of another person’s spoken and nonverbal messages.” This ability to listen, or lack there-of; was displayed most obviously with contestants Jeremy and Natalia. Jeremy had very valid information to share with his team about the trade they conducted with Jeff. Because he didn’t, his team gave up all of their comfort supplies for a bag of rice….and then his team won the prize of a delicious dinner which included beef. Jeremy was not expressing what he was thinking but his team might have not given him the inviting opportunity to do so. Natalia also clearly used the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) mentality. Although it seemed like she was being kind and looking over Baylor as a favor to Missy, she took the time to be excluded and gain trust with this opposing tribe member to help her get the inside scoop and strengthen her strategy before the merge. I look forward to watching the merge and discover if Natalia’s strategy was worth being on exile island.

Group Diversity in Blood vs. Water

The competition is heating up as teams have become more devoted to their goals as a tribe. The book says “effective group members develop strategies for interacting with others from diverse backgrounds”(75) and this is what we are watching in this series. We see them resist to make alliances and some succeed, and it is true that it all lies within their willingness to find commonalities with group members to be able to work with each others strengths. In the process of becoming an effective group they will face some obstacles such as stereotyping, which is having a generalization about a group of people that oversimplifies their characteristics. Another term we may be familiar with is hidden agenda, and Drew is deviously rigging the outcome of the challenge; resulting in the first lose of the Hunahpu tribe….to which later he was eliminated off of. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was a useful tool to map out the diversity of the cast members, and this is where I could identify Jeremy and Drew. Jeremy relates most closely to the ‘Feeler’ which is a Motivational Strategy. I felt this was obvious when he was so quick to jump on the lie that Keith told, and decided he was establishing a level of respect for himself. Jeremy also wanted to make himself appealing and feel as though he is in the “Prom King” position again. Drew also gave himself the tag as “King Pin” which hints at his type as the ‘Judger’, because he feels he sets the standards and is able to do anything that is thrown his way. Drew comes off as if he has it all figured out, and he wants you to think that.

Overall, the season has progressed in a competitive light, and I find it very interesting to be able to apply this information to a diverse series.

Conflict…it’s bound to happen!

This week on Survivor we were bombarded with some very interesting and unexpected conflict that mainly involved Drew and Kelly, who clearly had the wrong idea of going about his tribe dynamic. Many of these instances coincide with Chapter 8, Conflict and Cohesion in Groups. Drew decided to use very counterproductive conflict styles, even when confronted directly with the concern that he is the problem. He is a perfect example of Avoidance; unwilling to put forth the same amount of effort to help his tribe succeed, therefore damaging them as a whole. Drew felt safe, and thought he had it all figured out while unknowingly he was blindsided by the woman on his team and voted off. He was also competitive, but not as a great attribute to the team, instead he was contributing hostility to other tribe members which is bound to result in diving the group just as our book explains. Although he divided the group, he added life, in the sense that there were strong beliefs that he was the initiator of. All of this encompasses destructive conflict, which is what he displayed with the personal attacks against Kelly and disregarded the goal of the tribe. It interests me that Drew had not been a contestant that caught our eye for being involved or vocal, but as soon as he tried…it was apparent he was going about having power the wrong way. This embodies Affective conflict because his personal conflict with Kelly effects everyone in the group although it is an interpersonal disagreement. I look forward to watching who will be the next to stir up conflict or cohesion in Survivor, and I find it enjoyable when it is someone who seemingly does not do so because they are afraid of asserting their power in a group.

Group Membership: Chapter 3

Now that the members of Survivor have began to form their alliances and get comfortable, we are able to begin to define their group memberships. Although some are still in limbo and feeling the others out, some are very confident in their roles and let it be known. By using William Schutz’s Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Orientation Theory, we can identify the intentions behind their acts, such as the desire to belong, the need for control, and lastly the need for affection. Although they are still finding their role, I have identified a few member roles. Starting with a Personal Member, who has no emotional problems dealing with group members because their need to be liked is overpowered by the functionality of the group. Through observation I would say that Josh is a perfect example, he knows the stakes and is willing to throw his own emotions to the side to effect the emotions of others. Josh is very precise with his words and tone, giving off the vibe that their concerns are just as important to him. By doing this he has gained trust from just about every member on his team, but little do they know he. He was able to convince Baylor that putting a vote in for her was beneficial, therefore strengthening his team by getting the weaker ones voted off but covering himself if he does not succeed. Now looking at the contrasting member is the Underpersonal Member, who establishes superficial relationships will many because they believe they are not liked by anyone. Val clearly fit this description because she was on exile island, where she feels that she has missed out on critical bonding moments…therefore leaving the tribe no reason to want or trust her. She jumps right back in with the mentality that she must establish strong relationships before the tribal council, therefore establishing them on a superficial basis because neither is aware of the others intentions. I look forward to seeing what other tribe members discover their membership in their group.

Group Development in the Wild

Survivor is a show of true adaptation and rule. What I mean by that, is the new environment these contestants are dropped into challenge their abilities to mentally adapt to a new setting and group of people. This group will gradually organize the rule and goal of their tribe.
I was able to identify early group developmental stages, such as forming and norming. It was obvious some group members were confident enough to take the lead and compete for social acceptance. Jeremy stated “I feel good, everyone wants to date the prom king.” after he had three private conversations with Kelley, Natalie, and Missy regarding the group dynamics. This paves the way for a group leader in the Hunahpu tribe.
The primary tension is also obvious in the Coyopa tribe, where group dynamics have been ordered early on. Nadiya has already begun to weigh her competition within her own group by clearly stating the totem pole of age. She describes the younger ones in a happy-go-lucky tone, her own age group as capable, and speaks of the older two men in an uninterested and patronizing tone. This tension seems to be felt with other Coyopa group members, such as Dale who comments on his old age and lack of ability to connect with the others. Dale is exhibiting a clear example of the forming stage, where he determines what behaviors are accepted by the group. He succeeds and is the self-proclaimed “fire starter that’s moved up the food chain!”.The underlying arrangement of these players is something you can see all of them trying to work through individually.
Hidden Agendas are practically procedure for the game Survivor, and Val is keeping her goal from Keith; disrupting their communication even when he is all she has on exile island. Her goal is to save the clue she was given, in the hopes of finding an idol. John is keeping an agenda as well from his tribe member Wes when he is identified by him as a famous baseball player on the Braves. Although Wes was pleased to meet such an athlete, John was annoyed that this could possibly be shared with group members that are unaware. He states, “Come time, Wes is being voted off and I’ll make sure of it”, leaving Wes with no indication of his hidden agenda. The dynamics are constantly changing, and each stage varies from tribe to tribe according to their ability to become comfortable and work together.

The suspense is eating at me!