Thursday, October 4, 2012


Published on Psychology Today: ; Published: March11, 2011
Level of Difficulty: ***
Copy paste the following link and take the test to see if you can take criticism:
Read the first four paragraphs of the text and answer three questions:
1.       The examples stated in the first paragraph are described as: …………………………………………………
2.       How damaging can criticism be? Prove your answer with information from the text.
3.       What is the function of paragraph four? Is this where you have been taught to have it? Which is more effective?
Read on to the end of paragraph nine and answer four more questions:
4.       What does the phrase “coaches spew diatribes-cum-feedback” mean?
5.       What rather surprising example of human inaptitude is mentioned in this section?
6.       What seems to be the reason for the above mentioned human failing?
7.       Why do we seem to react so strongly to negative criticism?
Read on until the end of paragraph fifteen and answer four more questions:
8.       Cacioppo states that “Most people respond more to the bad than to the good”. How does the writer qualify this statement?
9.       How should the writer have responded to her boss’ assessment of her performance? Answer in your own words.
10.   Why did the kindergarten teacher assume that her supervisor’s query was criticism?
11.   Which sentence in this section best summarizes the ideas expressed in paragraphs thirteen and fourteen?

Read on until the end of paragraph nineteen and answer the following question:

12.   Ashkanasy’s conversation with the assistant he planned to dismiss and the questions Gray suggests are examples of what criticism should be like because ……………………………………….

Read on until the end of paragraph twenty-five and answer two more questions:

13.   Why is the discipline problem in a family with one stepparent only dealt with when the natural parent lends support?
14.   Why does both criticism and praise coming from a peer in the workplace upset one?

Read on until the end of paragraph thirty-four and answer four more questions:
15.   Match the following based on information in this section:
The source of criticism: Angry confrontation, a disappointed tone, critical expression of disappointment.
The recipient: Elicits a healthy debate, makes them more other directed or group oriented,  people go on the defensive.
16.   What biological difference is there between adults and young children in terms of reaction to criticism?
17.   Why does negative feedback provoke quite so much negative feeling in everyone according to the writer?

Read on to the end of the text and complete the questions:

18.    Why are issues concerning individual preferences and needs specially hard to resolve?
19.   Why can a quarrel about the planning of a family vacation metamorphose into a serious argument as to whether the spouse values family time?
20.   What are the two fundamentals ways to make up in the case of a bust up like the one described in this section?

Write a problem/ solution essay on how to provide criticism in the most effective way. Consult the 8 rules of effective feedback and group them as follows under the topic sentences and thesis statement provided.

Thesis Statement: There are some rules that need to be followed if constructive criticism is to be well received and acted on

First developmental paragraph
Topic sentence: The status of the critic, the timing of the criticism and the nature of the opening remarks are of utmost importance. Use points 1, 2 and 3 in the appropriate order.

Second developmental paragraph
Topic sentence: The state of mind of the critic is also significant. Use points 4 and 5.

Third developmental paragraph
Topic sentence: The nature of the criticism and the way it will be received should be given some thought too. Use points 6, 7 and 8.

This wonderfully informative text would be a good starting point for problem/ solution essays. Remember to have plenty of discussion while working through the text to facilitate the writing task.
1.       Harrowing experiences with negative feedback.
2.       Very; it may threaten our identity or very survival.
3.       Thesis. For effect. Better this way.
4.       Yell or bark directions
5.       So much of our learning, loving and living depends on negative feedback that you’d think people would be good at it by now.
6.       We’re not trained in either getting or giving criticism
7.       Courtesy of our sympathetic nervous system; it is almost as if our brains are fine tuned to apprehend negative criticism.
8.       Electrical activity in the brain spikes more strongly in response to negative stimuli than to equally potent positive ones.
9.       She should have enjoyed the criticism and taken on board the criticism.
10.   Our brains seem to be wired to turn neutral phenomena…
11.   What hurts most in negative feedback then isn’t the overt content of the message so much as the threat of exclusion.
12.   They emphasized inclusion not dismissal.
13.   Because the stepparent is not seen as eligible; because the child doesn’t feel he is entitled or qualified.
14.   Both are things someone in authority would do.
15.   Disappointed tone elicits a healthy debate; angry confrontation makes people go on the defensive; critical expression of disappointment makes them more other directed or group oriented.
16.   Children’s brain centers responsive to negative feedback haven’t yet come on line.
17.   Because it exposes you to yourself.
18.   Because the exterior realm of authority and competition gives way to the subjective interior of emotion.
19.   Because with intimate relationships, task oriented and ask oriented criticism blends.
20.   To hear each other and hug in the end. This answer is repeated throughout the section so any one will do.

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