All posts by Brittany

Reflecting…

1. On a scale from 1-5; I would probably give myself a 4 because I turned in majority of the blogs and even if I missed (I missed two), I posted one to make up for it.

2. On a scale from 1-5; I would probably give myself a 2 because I did some of the comments, when I remembered to do them. I did find them beneficial when people would constructively comment on my blog.

3. On a scale from 1-5; I would rate myself a 5 because I always incorporated 2-3 concepts from the most recent chapter or chapter relating into my blogs.

4. My strengths included: including course concepts, my blogs would read well with no grammatical errors, I tried to make them relatable and fun to read. It’s hard to read 60 blogs and not one of them being slightly different and interesting to read.

5. I could improve my display of the blog as well as my consistency on commenting on others blogs. I felt that I really lacked in that area. I also wish I could have related the material more to my real life, while still incorporating the show and class concepts.

6. My favorite thing about the blogs was that I have never done it before. I still plan on continuing my blog after the class. I feel being able to express myself online will be a great opportunity for me to create a place to inspire and teach others as well.

7. I didn’t like how we only blogged about the show; would have been fun to see some other topics that the whole class could debate on.

8. I don’t have any other suggestions except the one mentioned  before. I really had a good time with it.

The Long Forgotten post…

So it finally happened; I missed a few blog posts unfortunately preparing for other classes during our university’s “dead week”. This blog though I hope to talk about the past two episodes and how critical the types of leaders and power are in this game. At the end of the first episode(11/26/14) Reed was the 10th member voted out and in the extended episode(12/3/14) Wes and Alec were voted out.

In each of these episodes, once again Jon and Jacklyn were the final decision makers. I feel that eventually Jon let that go to his head effecting the decisions that came afterwards. Obviously though, after Jeremy the key leaders were Reed and Jon. I felt that both Reed and Jon held qualities of being a leader, they spoke very often, especially when it concerned the direction of the game. However I felt that Reed didn’t listen well to others, consider when everyone was under tension because of the fight between Jacklyn and Jon. All Reed could think about was how he could get them to make up because his ass was on the line. If he spent more time listening to both parties problem he might have been able to defuse the situation but instead he basically was just rushing them to makeup on their own so he could get their vote decision. Jon however, seemed to listen to what another member said, even if it was Reed, and considered all of his options, even discussed it with Jacklyn before hand to gain more incite to make the right choice. This game is particularly hard to be a true leader in my opinion because in the end it’s an individual winner. But Jon and Reed would both offer their opinions when problems arose and tried to learn as much as possible and would share as much information as they knew with their alliance so they all had the best chance (Jon with Natalie about his immunity idol; Reed with Jon about his plan to flip on him if he didn’t side with him towards the end).

The types of power in this game came heavily from information (idols and plans) and reward challenges. Which based on our book if someone has informational power they control and transmit needed information and reward power controls and gives out resources valued by members. I believe that each alliance would use these powers as a whole group (group meaning who ever was on a particular alliance at a particular time). I think that when it came to power over the game, even though there were obvious leaders, each player played a role in gaining and giving power. For example, when Natalie found out that Keith had an idol, that information gave her an Baylor the advantage and more power over everyone else because they also found an idol because they knew that Keith could play his. Also when Natalie picked Jacklyn and Jon t shared her Spaghetti/Bed Reward only to get Jon on her side.

Lastly I wanted to talk about the types of leaders that we’ve seen in the past couple of games. I feel, even though I haven’t mentioned her yet, Natalie is a huge, quiet, leader. Jon, Reed and Natalie, to me are all autocratic leaders that want to control the direction of the game by making the decisions even is they have to lie to their members. It’s hard to have a democratic leader when you have a competitive game, everyone wants to win.

Leaders come in all shapes sizes and colors…

I wanted to specifically talk about what Jaime covered in class on Monday. Leadership is huge when considering thee success of a group, in my opinion. The two most prominent leaders that stand out most are Josh and Jeremy. In these last couple of episodes, since the merger, these two led the alliances that advocated for one another’s dismissal. Even though it would seem they both wanted the same thing, to get further in the game,  they led their alliances and have traits that might not be so similar.

Jeremy probably designated himself as a leader in the very beginning. Everyone went along with it however I think Jeremy took a few extra steps to make sure he was in a leadership position. He spoke early and often, like our text mentions is a good strategy. Some would think that not giving others a chance to speak could be a major flaw in people like Jeremy. He would also offer his opinion every chance he could, even if it was on a personal issue like in this episode where the boys, Alec, Keith and Wes  were treating the girls in a very rude manner; Jeremy thought that, even though they were on Survivor, a show meant to test your physical and mental capabilities, the men should show the woman respect by not farting or burping in front of them. They women start the fires and the men do the hard work, which Jeremy seemed to agree with. He tried to speak up for the girls, but in my opinion they need to speak up for themselves, maybe about the way the boys were talking to them but also realize that they were doing something that, by “society’s rules” was a masculine activity that took strength and agility, If they wanted people to treat them differently they have to treat themselves differently, meaning if you want a man to treat you the same don’t expect him to hold a door open for you just because your’e a woman. Anyway, I feel that Jeremy specifically help legitimate power, concerning Survivor, he seemed to be one of the few members that majority of others followed and were loyal to. He also has Coercive power to me because he brought values and beliefs over from being a father, husband and firefighter which allowed him to connect to more people in the game.

 

Josh was, to me, another story than Jeremy. He was an emergent type of leader. It wasn’t necessarily until later in the game did he come out as positively having traits of a leader.  I always thought he showed those qualities in challenges when needed most; but then when there was a power vacuum Josh snagged it. Josh was more of a reward power leader because he was constantly being very nice to others hoping that by accumulating favors he could gain votes in return. To me he had very good communication skills and understood how to listen emphatically to other team members which made them emotionally attached to him, making it easier to follow someone who hasn’t always been a leader.

Behavior of the group

So last week I talked about the roles that have developed as the days roll by. This week I want to discuss how nonverbal concepts can be just as important as those verbally said. Chapter six discusses challenges groups can run into, some of the non verbal environments and differences there seem to be among all types of groups.

This weeks episode was different than any Survivor that I’ve heard of; Julie just up an quit the whole thing. After she hid a bunch of trail mix in her purse and didn’t tell anyone, Julie wasn’t trusted by any of the other members. In past episodes, I don’t even think I saw Julie ever compete in any of the team challenges. Unfortunately, the first thing I wanted to talk about was language challenges between group members. Julie not telling anyone  she had trail mix was a mistake however I feel like it goes back to another issue I’ll discuss soon. But first a concept called bypassing which is a form of miscommunication that happens when someone misses what the other person was trying to convey. I feel like this occurred when Julie took the trail mix. She should have shared but she should have shared with her alliance members; However I don’t think that Julie was in a place to explain that she took the time to gather the food and save it to last over several days, this group has already seen problems with conservation. I could see why she wouldn’t want just a piece of a little handful. But as a result her teammates started to use offensive, excluding and discouraging types of language. They all completely disregarded the fact that Julie was within hearing distance and talked about her and put her down. It was unnecessary and unproductive.

The other thing  wanted to discuss was how there was more of a defensive environment in place on Survivor. Jeremy is making most of the decisions and if you go against the flow, AKA Josh, he wants you out. I feel that  a supportive environment would have allowed Julie to express her concerns without people just thinking like they did, that she was a selfish person etc. They attacked her personal character over trail mix, jesus eat a snickers!

Things are getting heated…

So this week, I think, was very intense. I actually enjoyed the episode; I’ve been disagreeing with a lot of things said or done on the show, however now that we are finished with the second week, I feel there is a better opportunity to come back and revisit what roles and conflicts have been set in place.

In the end it was Dale that was voted out, he tried to “buy” his safety from being voted out by saying he had an immunity idol and that he would give it to Jon if they all didn’t vote him out.  I feel that Dale specifically filled the role of the compromiser. Essentially he knew he was going to be voted out so he tried to solve the problem by compromising with his members. Julie, who had a rough time this week, is a follower to me. It seems that she has volunteered or been okay with being asked to sit out multiple times; She was also very upset with being in the cold all night. I don’t blame her even though she is on survivor. The Aggressor is someone who puts others down or is sarcastic to get what they want. Even though they are on separate teams the twin brothers, Drew and Alec, and even though Drew was voted out, are the aggressors of the whole game to me. Both of them continuously put others down or not believe in them because they are a girl, etc. Jon and Jacquelyn are also followers on their team. I feel that most of their decisions are based off of what everyone else has already done. The last two episodes, the vote came down to Jon and Jacquelyn where they had to make a decision that could change the whole team but as long as they were okay they usually voted the safer way.

Jeremy is one of the most interesting people on the show to me and seems to always share his opinion, a lot. I think he fits into two different roles, the encourager-supporter role and the gatekeeper. When Jeremy, even though it was for his own selfish hidden agenda ways, he comforted Julie when she was having a tough morning. He encouraged her to continue with the games he needed her and everyone else did too. It made her feel better, but to me kind of threw her into her follower role, specifically to Jeremy. Jeremy has been a leader from day one and to me is a gatekeeper because he seems to be the one either making the final decision or just doing whatever needs to be done. He monitors everyone else keeping them on task and headed in the right direction. I feel like Natalie is overlooked in a a huge sense. Her sister was voted off right off the bat, I think she learned from her sisters experience not to be too aggressive with the men or they would become a threat. In a way she became a follower to turn the spot light off of her, but when I saw the immunity challenge, where she volunteered to go to exile island she became a tension releaser. After Reed won the challenge for the blue team he had a really tough decision to make because whoever went with Baylor wouldn’t be eating for the night. So by volunteering, Natalie released that awkward tension for Reed having to pick.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about a major conflict that the blue team had.  I feel that when the blue team ran out food and ended up winning food the next day is a procedural conflict. Which then related back to an original Substantive conflict. The blue team thus far, even though they have been winning challenges, have had issues since the beginning; all the boys wanted to vote out the girls and all the girls wanted the guys out. They were so worried about who would lead them that it seemed everyone tried to at the start. They couldn’t even come up with a solid plan for making the fire (losing the flint in the beginning). When they went threw all their food  it made me think overall it was a procedural conflict. Jeremy wanted to conserve rice, where people like julie, natalie etc. were continuously eating the rice. They had to trade all of their protection from rain away because they couldn’t keep everyone on the same page with the rice situation. Then the next day they got food, but still had no shelter. I think if they settled who was doing what once in for all they could make the game a little easier, but that’s a lot easier to say when I am eating mac n cheese and watching the games on my nice fluffy couch.

Barriers

So as a recap, there were many conflicts happening throughout the episode. In the end Kelley was voted out because Dale had an immunity idol. The blue team won the immunity mud challenge and rice was running extremely scarce because people kept eating their supplies even though they weren’t winning challenges and getting more( josh and reed thought they should ration the food).

So a couple of barriers have hit the show so far, one between Dale and Kelley. Dale called Kelley a “bossy bitch”, even though she was his daughter. The name calling alone is a barrier in my eyes but I think deeper than that he was gender stereotyping her. If a man on the show was being bossy, like Jeremy or Jon, they were being proactive and aggressive like they should but if a girl is acting as such she is considered bossy and quite possibly unfriendly.

Another concept that came into was Ethnocentrism which is a belief that your culture is superior to others; Jeremy indirectly did that in almost every episode. We all know Jeremy is a firefighter, he takes his job very seriously and to heart; He believed that just because Keith was a firefighter he could trust him. He also expects the same from others when concerning him, “trust me I’m a firefighter”. So Jeremy’s ethnocentrism is constantly in the way of him seeing who is really a threat and who he needs to pull closer, it’s almost like he chooses a new person to target for a new reason every episode.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about Jon and Jacklyn. They were very close this episode, pulling each other close and trying to create alliances with other group members. They were basically lying to both groups, stringing them along until they made their final choice. In this situation the five big personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness’, emotional stability, openness to experience played a big role in how well Jon and Jacklyn were perceived by others, they excelled in having all the categories in their favor making their two man group very successful. I think others were attracted to their ability to make a team work.

Something Super Exciting !

This week I noticed something specifically with the Hunahpu tribe, wearing blue. I feel like this episode was full of conflict and high pressure, in the end Drew was, thankfully, voted out; a concept called groupthink mentioned in our book that essentially means the group is thinking way too hard about how to solve their issues that real solutions don’t seem as applicable. The Hunahpu tribe really showed symptoms of developing this problem. There were three aspects that really surfaced this episode which I aligned with our book; To develop groupthink the “group is highly cohesive…as a result members could discourage disagreement , or perceptions of rightness or their competence…”(187). The Hunahpu tribe has been trying to be alliance the whole time, at least the consensus was to try to be honest etc. However some of the team members overestimate how well their teammates get along and Drew completely has dubbed himself “King” by telling not asking everyone that they will vote Kelley out, which trying to tell people what to do gives them two options, to not fight or to fight. So people who are usually passive wouldn’t feel as comfortable speaking up as others willing to fight.

The blue team also has structural flaws that “…inhibit the flow of information…” meaning that because Drew thought that the girls created an alliance they didn’t use their perspectives when making decisions. All the boys thought they were the leader and essentially lost potential to pool from different experiences and knowledge banks as I call them. Lastly, the situation that these groups deal with is extremely volatile . Essentially because they are on TV, millions of people are watching them, their teammates are counting on them the stakes are unusually high and mistakes are more likely to occur. Members, like Keith made rash decisions because he thought Jeremy took the Idol before he could get to it first. He lost an ally and it could possibly have a critical chance of getting him kicked off.

I feel like there were also some symptoms that were expressed more individually mainly came from Drew, but also Jon and Dale. Drew had these symptoms which led to his vote out: invulnerability(he said if you want something done right you got to do it yourself), rationalization(no on else had the balls to ask a stupid question so I will), stereotyping outsiders(he said he didn’t trust the girls to make a good decision), pressure on dissent(when he try’s to force everyone to vote for Kelly and that’s it.). Others like Jon were under and illusion of unanimity thinking that everyone liked Drew because he did.  Lastly Dale expressed Self Censorship because he felt because he wasn’t in the same social group as the younger competitors he needed to agree with them and build some sort of trust otherwise he would get voted out. Even if he agrees with the group plan. He essentially censors himself from possibly giving the group another perspective or solving their issue.

Survivor blog 03

As the games go on things definitely get heated as more people are sent off to exile island, like Keith and Josh. It’s surprising to see how Keith is still around even though he’s been sent to the island twice. Which leads me to my first interesting point. It seems that as people begin to have less resources and attitudes start to flare, initial task roles significance dwindled and group maintenance roles start to develop, which are more long term roles. Keith, I believe took on the encourager-supporter role, which praises everyone keeps everyone encouraged and even listens empathetically. I feel that’s also an enormous reason he hasn’t been voted out, he isn’t a threat.

Another heart wrenching moment passed through; Val was voted off last week separating her from Jeremy, then John was voted off.  Through out the show John helped the team physically and was a huge asset because he was athletic, however, he lied to his teammates and was manipulative as well. A common theme is that no one likes to be lied to, so I can understand why John was voted off, he only had his individual motives in mind (essentially extrinsic) which made the group suffer. John’s role was more of a deserter to me, which I have never really worked with before, thankfully.

The entire show, John decided to hide the fact that he was a big star because during his baseball career incidents occurred that made him look racist and self centered, however if he had mentioned that to his team they probably would have had a much easier time believing him when it came down to voting him out or not.

Another thing I noticed this week especially was the alliance of women; People tend to grab onto the familiar and all the women in the show who hadn’t gotten voted off because of being too big of a threat started to follow all the men. It was easier to follow than to fight the flow, which was don’t do anything to get kicked off. John’s girlfriend seemed to be the help-seeker, when problems arose with John, her whole team was against John.

Jeremy being a firefighter, socially he would be considered a leader so it didn’t surprise me that he was on the show as well. I think he may have been too concerned with his wife on the other team which made him look less concerned about his team and more about his relationship with his wife.  So one might question Jeremy’s level of commitment to the show. Even though some roles were kind of obvious, others haven’t developed as well.  I believe that seeing the show go further and tempers tested more we will really see exactly the role everyone is playing, especially when we run out of contestants.

 

Blood V. Water episode 1

Group development played a role when the shows creators were deciding what to do with the show; which was pinning family members and loved ones against each other. I thought this was very interesting because we knows what happens when compatible people come together in a group, tasks are accomplished successfully.  Just to remind you of some of the factors that are considered when you are talking about group development, like the stages of group development (forming,storming,norming,performing,adjourning), group goals (ask yourself the six C’s-Clarity,Challenge,Commitment,Compatibility, Cooperation,Cost), group norms (implicit,explicit, procedural,status,achievment) as well as rewards and motivators(meaningfulness,choice,competence,progress).  All of this information has a point I promise!

So as the first episode went on and everyone split up from their loved ones two teams formed; The Hanahpu(blue) and Coyopa(orange). On the blue team is Drew – 25, Sales Rep,Jeremy – 36, Firefighter, Jon – 26, Financial Assistant, Julie – 34, Owner of Spray Tan Business, Keith – 53, Fire Captain, Kelley – 28, Marketing Manager, Missy – 47, Owner of Cheerleading Gym, Natalie – 28, Crossfit Coach, Reed – 31, Broadway Performer. On the orange team is Alec – 22, Student, Baylor – 20, Student, Dale – 55, Farmer, Jaclyn – 25, Media Buyer, John – 39, Former MLB Pitcher
Josh – 32, Actor, Nadiya – 28, Crossfit Coach, Val – 35, Police Officer, Wes – 23, Firefighter.

As the first challenge begun preconceived expectations that have been in place for each individual about each of the other players based on first impressions, or in John’s case he was a professional baseball player so people had already seen him in a certain way. So these assumptions made it hard for players to work together and really get to know each other. You started to see right off the bat that some of the contestants were trying to advance to the storming stage (choosing roles essentially) and some were still in the forming stage. It makes it difficult when the external rewards are so heavy in this show and the consequences of not bonding is elimination. So group development is, I believe, a little difficult under these particlar circumstances.

A time where some were already in another stage than others was on the orange team when Dale, the oldest member on the team, started a fire and that was his role but when he tried to interject in something other than fire others said he was “too old” or “couldn’t connect with anyone because he was too old”. Dale conformed to the idea of just being the fire guy and leaving other challenges to the younger men or he faces non conforming which is being eliminated and on Survivor that’s really bad!

The last thing I wanted to discuss was about the elimination round, they voted Natalie off because she was too big of a threat; I believe if they had kept in mind the overall goal of winning Survivor it would be easier with competent and capable to get further and win more challenges therefore making it easier for you to survive as long as possible. So basically I don’t think they really understand how groups work and a way to make it work better more towards one way or the other( more towards yourself or for everyone and in the case of survivor it’s more beneficial towards the individual).