All posts by colleen

Reflection

  1. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being consistently), how consistent were you with submitting your blog posts in a timely manner?
    • 5
    • I would try and complete my blog post soon after watching the episode. This way, I would have everything fresh in my mind and could connect it better with the course concepts.
  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?
    • 4
    • Although I did post often and as quickly as I could, I would sometimes do a comment around last minute. Because I would post so early, many of my classmates would not have watched the episode and could not post as soon as I did.
  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 think I did really well in connecting the episodes to the course concepts. At first, I did think I struggle, but over time I think I greatly improved as I really saw how the episodes connected to the chapter.
  4. Please describe what you think your strengths were with regard to blogging and participation.
    • I think my biggest strength was being able to post about the episode as soon as I could. When the new episode came out and the required chapter information was reviewed in class, I posted as soon as I could.
  5. Please describe how you think you could improve on your blogging and participation.
    • At first, I did struggle to connect chapter concepts to the episodes. However, as the semester went on, I found I was able to recognize chapter info more easily.
    • I also believe I did have an issue with commenting on others’ blog posts. Because I posted as soon as possible, I would have to comment a few days after – when most of my peers would also begin posting.
  6. What did you like about blogging?
    • By blogging about the episode and comparing it to the chapter concepts, I was able to see examples of how the information I learned is executed in reality. Since I do enjoy working with computers and technology in general, I actually do find blogging assignments to be easy and fun. I was able to create my own blog, set up a theme, and effortlessly update my posts. Another great thing I liked is how all of my classmates’ posts all show up under the same link on the communication website. This made it so much easier to read and comment on others’ posts.
  7. What did you dislike about blogging?
    • Because I tried to complete the blog posts as soon as possible, I found that commenting someone else’s post for the same episode could sometimes be difficult. I wanted to try and comment on a new person’s blog every week, but I don’t think everyone updated as regularly as they should have.
  8. What suggestions do you have for this assignment in the future?
    • I honestly really enjoy this show, but I do wish we could have some time to talk about the show in class. I think it would be fitting to use the show as a short review of the information we learned in class by seeing how we can apply the different concepts of group communication. I think this would also tie in the theme of Survivor back to the class.

Episode 9

The entire focus of Survivor is to have individuals live without life’s comforts and compete for the chance to win a grand prize. The biggest motivator here is to win the million-dollar prize by being the last one standing. As in our textbook, the participants are motivated by the idea of receiving a reward – whether it is extrinsic or intrinsic.

Extrinsic rewards are given from the environment around a person. The long-term extrinsic reward – and the biggest motivator – is the winning of a million dollars. Every participant on the show hopes to get his or her shot at this. On the other hand, the short term extrinsic rewards would be winning the weekly challenges that result in being given comfort items, such as beddings/shelter equipment or food.

In this episode, the entire tribe is split into two groups where they balance on a beam and try and knock each other off. The host explains that the reward for the winning group is riding on a yacht with food and drinks. In detail, he lists the type of food that will be available to them which elicits a very expressive group reaction. It is clear that every person wants to win in order to eat a good meal, especially because food is so scarce to come by. Another example of an extrinsic reward would be the immunity necklace that is won by a particular individual. In this episode, Baylor surprisingly wins this reward, saving her from elimination.

In order to stay in this game and avoid being eliminated, it’s important to make alliances and form groups to work together. From Schutz’s Theory of Interpersonal Needs, I believe that the need for control and inclusion are why the players work in groups. Strong-headed people such as Jeremy and Jon look to the group for support and firmly believe that by being the ‘top dog’ in the group, they will be able to sway the group decisions. In particular, Jon does this by communicating with Missy – whom I feel has a need for inclusion – to eliminate and blindside Jeremy. I believe that Missy and Baylor have a need for inclusion in their alliances. They seem to want to be accepted by others, enjoying trust and encouragement from their team members – especially from Jon.

Overall, Jon is taking huge steps to become a major player in this game. I was completely shocked when he and Jaclyn voted Jeremy off, especially when Jeremy had just given up the food reward for them. Although I did like Jon and Jaclyn in the beginning of the game, seeing them turn their backs on an alliance and someone who seemed to be a great friend was extremely frustrating.

Episode 8

Although Survivor is a game show where individuals compete for the grand prize, they must all work together to ensure they will not be voted out. As a result, leaders step up to encourage their tribe and their teammates to win challenges throughout the show, while also stepping up to control the outcome of tribal council.

When the show first began, few individuals emerged into leaders. Jeremy from the original Hunahpu tribe got himself into the position by winning the tribe’s first challenge, and openly communicating and establishing relationships with the rest of the group. Josh from the original Coyopa tribe also made himself likeable to his tribe using the same strategy of being open with the tribe as a hole. In this sense, Jeremy and Josh both hold personal power that becomes extremely evident over time.

However, Josh expresses a specific type of leadership that is found in the Styles Leadership Theories. He is an autocratic leader, especially in the way he handles how his alliance votes. At the beginning of the show, he was in a close alliance with Baylor. This was split up when he and Baylor were later put into opposite tribes when there was the tribe switch. Now, as both tribes are merged, Josh is extremely direct with Baylor and in wanting her vote. He tries to manipulate her by explaining that she owes him a vote. Instead of using personal power, he begins to show position power – especially coercive. When Baylor expresses that she’s not sure if she should follow his orders, Josh convinces the rest of his alliance to vote her out simply because she won’t stand with him. Although this is his plan, it backfires and we see Josh voted out to the surprise of his alliance and the satisfaction of Jeremy and his alliance.

Episode 7

This episode began with the merging of both tribes and a celebratory meal for all players. Although all were excited to be lasting so far in the game, alliances were becoming apparent – especially between the couples and singles. As they all become one group and compete against each other, people are scrambling to strategize in order to decide who they will vote out for tribal council. The show, in itself, is centered on decision-making focused on voting people out one by one. This is determined through majority rule at tribal council. However, many of the individuals exhibit certain decision-making styles for them to settle on who they personally want to vote out.

It is apparent that the couples – Jon and Jaclyn, Josh and Reed, Wes and Keith, and Missy and Baylor – have some sort of dependence on each other. This, however, is not a negative trait. Because they each have some sort of relationship towards each other, it is obvious that each couple would work together as a team.

There are also examples of intuitive decision-making styles. Missy and Baylor allow their feelings and emotions to get ahead of them and guide how they vote. They initially targeted Dale, as they saw him as a rude and bossy.

Julie is also a mix between the intuitive and spontaneous styles. For example, after she attempts to hide leftover trail mix from everyone, her peers give her the cold shoulder for lying to everyone. She allows her personal feelings to get the best of her as she feels that no one particularly likes her anymore. This, along with her missing her boyfriend who had been voted out, makes her impulsively and voluntarily leave the game.

In my opinion, Jeremy and Josh are the most logical players. They continuously keep in mind that this is a game and they must create alliances with enough people in order to sway the votes. There is a power imbalance between the two of them as they vie for power and control of the majority vote.

Like problem solving realities, the show also has some aspect of politics. Everyone has a hidden agenda to try and stay in the game. People lie and blindside each other to ensure that the outcome they want occurs.

Episode 6

All throughout this season, all members have been using vocal communication to work together as a tribe. However, in the past two episodes, I’ve noticed a particular member quiet himself down, and express himself nonverbally. After the tribe merger, Jeremy lost most of the alliances he had made within his initial tribe. Many original Coyopa members became part of Hunahpu. These original Coyopa members all brought with them their alliances with one another, and as Josh reunited with his boyfriend, Jeremy realized that he we now outnumbered. As such, he expressed some worry and fear that he would become a bigger target to be voted off the show.

I’ve noticed that throughout this episode of Survivor, Jeremy from the Hunahpu tribe expressed a lot of nonverbal communication towards his tribe. For example, in the beginning of this episode, Drew is seen talking to Jeremy about the lack of food that their tribe has. While this is happening, Jeremy is dead silent. When the host arrives and explains that they will be given a bag of rice in exchange for all their comfort items, the tribe complies. Although Jeremy follows suit, he is show to not be talking at all. His arms are crossed over his chest and even from his face alone, you see an expression of frustration and annoyance with the rest of the tribe. When he talks alone to the camera, he uses an angry and upset tone of voice, as he describes how his tribe should not have made the trade of comfort for food. He firmly believes that it was a bad decision, and is proven right when a storm comes in for the next few nights. Throughout this time, he is extremely expressive nonverbal and it seems like a scowl is etched onto his face. Even when he is trying to be supportive with Julie, his words are short and blunt. It is easy to see just how disappointed Jeremy is with his tribe. Although he conceals his emotions and thoughts verbally, his nonverbal actions explain the truth of what he believes.

Episode 5

In this episode, a major game changer took place where several members were reassigned to the tribes. Four of the couples were reunited and given the opportunity to work together in the competition. While this proved to be a benefit for some, it also gave others a disadvantage. A lot of communication between new and old tribe members had to occur and a great deal of listening was necessary in the groups.

In the new Hunahpuh tribe, Jeremy and Natalie were put in a bad place under the realization that they were now outnumbered by the 3 original Coyopa tribe plus their teammate Reed, who would undoubtedly join the his boyfriend from said tribe. Jeremy and Natalie, original Hunahpuh members and singles, moved aside in order to set up an alliance between the two of them. They also spoke to Alec, an original Coyopa member, in hopes of bringing him into their alliance. Alec listened to understand what both people were saying and contemplate their offer.

The new Coyopa Tribe lost the elimination challenge, creating a huge problem as for who to vote off. Three couples and one single could have been an easy choice, but after some conflict between members, it quckly became a difficult situation. Conflict erupted between Dale and Missy, and it was evident that each wanted to get the other off. With both having their loved ones on the same tribe, it was up to Jon and Jaclyn to listen to each pair in order to figure out who to make an alliance with. Jon and Jaclyn both had to listen to evaluate before making a final decision on which couple to vote with and which person to vote off of the show.

Episode 4

This episode begins with the twist that occurred in Coyopa’s elimination of John Rucker, who had been blindsided by the rest of his tribe. Although most of them were glad to be rid of him and his aggressive nature, Dale feels secluded as he thinks that he is to be the next target.

After John from Hunahpu earns his tribe another win, he is forced to send his girlfriend to Exile Island. Along with her, he decides to let Drew accompany her. In doing this, the pair work together and Drew quickly confesses on his idea to throw the next challenge in order to make his tribe vote someone out. He firmly believes that he is the leader of the group and is the one who has been ensuring their survival. His actions prior, however, contradicts what he says. For example, in the last episode, he is seen sleeping rather than helping the group repair their shelter. He is also noted for being cocky and simply showing off his strength to the group, rather than actually working with everyone else.

According to the Big Five Personality Traits, we can associate carelessness and disagreeableness to Drew. The tribe knows that he does not pull his own weight around, but Drew is under the impression that he does. This makes him very disagreeable to work with as his group members do not think he is a great team player. When he purposefully throws off the second challenge, he attempts to convince everyone to vote Kelley off. No one agrees with his idea as Kelley is actually a positive player for the group. Drew, however, continues to push his want of eliminating her.

Drew intentionally threw off a challenge to make his tribe eliminate one of their members. Although he believed he would be able to eliminate someone he saw as a threat, the episode ended in Drew, himself, being voted off.

Episode 3

In this episode of Survivor, we focus on the conflict within the tribes and between the tribes.

The Hunahpu tribe faces an internal group conflict with one of their members, Drew. When they all decide to work together to fix and repair their shelter, Drew decides to take a nap instead. His excuse is that he simply cannot complete the task and resides to sleep in the middle of the group’s work area. By deciding to brush off the group’s task, Drew focused on his own needs and wants rather than the groups’. This could be looked at as an affective conflict, as Drew shows the group how lazy he could be compared to how the rest of the group is hardworking.

In another example of conflict, there arose a problem between the groups. Jeremy from Hunahpu and John Rucker from Coyopa had created an alliance to protect each other’s significant other. John, however, backs out of this agreement and allows his group to vote Val, Jeremy’s wife, out. Jeremy explains that he feels betrayed by John’s actions and therefore, there is a procedural conflict. When John decided to break his alliance with Jeremy and allow Val to be eliminated, he also put his girlfriend, Julie, from Hunahpu in a bad spot. Julie, now at risk of elimination, also feels betrayed.

The tension between the two tribes arise when during one of the games, Coyopa decides to play dirty and aggressively push and shove the members of Hunahpu. There is also some group hate against John Rocker when the Hunahpu tribe finally learns about John’s bad reputation and bigotry. When he is called out, John simply responds in a way proves his aggressive nature. Here, there is affective conflict due to their conflicting beliefs and moral values.

Episode 2

In this episode of Survivor, we focus on the membership dynamics within each tribe. After spending a fair amount of time with each other, most of the members have begun to establish strong relationships with one another. Hunahpu (blue) and Coyopa (orange) both exhibited positive and negatives characteristics as members and as a tribe.

As in Chapter 3, I noticed how Schutz’s Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Orientation (FIRO) Theory had played a part in the tribes. In his theory, Schutz explains that there should be a balance among three common needs that people search for within a group setting – inclusion, control, and affection. In this competition, I’ve already noted how there can be an imbalance that can impede members’ needs. For example, in the Coyopa Tribe, Val struggles to feel and be included in the tribe as a significant member. After the first challenge in episode 1, she was sent to Exile Island and lost important time that would have gone to group development. Due to this, Val was unable to begin create friendships and alliances as the others did. By the time she returned, her members had begun to establish themselves with one another. In the Hunahpu Tribe, John and Alec act as oversocial members where they try to bring attention to themselves.

The members within the tribes show aspects of the three categories – task roles, maintenance roles, and self-centered roles – Benne and Sheats Functional Group Roles. In the Coyopa Tribe, I noticed that Josh plays a strong part in the maintenance role. He tries his best to stand neutral with the tribe members, hoping to get along with each of them while also seeking his goal of winning by strategically eliminating select members.

Episode 1

In Survivor: Blood vs. Water, we follow the show as it cuts ties between friends and family, pitting them against each other in this competition. Each pair is split from their loved one and put into either tribe – Hunahpu (blue) or Coyopa (orange). As a stranger to one another in their new groups, the audience is able to see how they all unite as a team in order to compete against their loved ones in their opposing tribe. In this first episode, we are able to see how the contestants develop into their groups, establish goals, and motivate one another to win each challenge.

When the contestants were all put into their tribes, we began to see how they all interacted and formed bonds with one another. For example, in the Hunahpu tribe, we see the winner of the first challenge – Jeremy – build relations with other people in his group. For him, he is able to diffuse the typical awkward tension that normally occurs when strangers are put together. The others have respect for him because he earned the tribe their first one, and he uses this to start up good relationships and alliances to benefit him later on. In the Coyopa tribe, we see strong relationships form between the younger members who are of the same age group. Although most of the tribe gets along fairly quickly, we see Dale struggle to be included due to his great age difference, which also makes him a target for elimination. He struggles to be accepted into the group, but is able to change everyone’s perception of him when he is able to start a fire. With most of the tribe members building up their relations with one another, we slowly start to see them grow as a group.

Both groups and all contestants share the common goal of winning their rivalry with their loved one and the ultimate goal of winning the entire competition. We do, however, see how the groups might have different goals in other aspects. At the Hunahpu base camp, Drew sees that building a habitat is a main priority but believes that hardly anyone else shares that view. This creates some awkward strain between him and another tribe member when he begins to see himself as superior to the others who do not help as much. The Coyopa tribe, on the other hand, form a different objective for the time being when Josh has a bad reaction. The group realizes that the sap from the plant they used to make their habitat could be potentially poisonous. Together, they remove the plants and find a replacement.

Winning the second challenge is another goal that the tribes hope to accomplish, and it also proves how well they have developed as a team and becomes an incentive for motivation. They encourage each other with words and phrases, cheering each other on to get through the challenge. When Keith decides to throw the rope that will allow the rest of the Hunahpu tribe, he allows someone else to step in to help. This allows the group to reorganize to complete the first hurdle. The Copoya tribe worked well when John used his body to hoist his teammates up. They clearly performed very well together, but even though they did have an advantage, they did not do well enough to pass the puzzle.