Interpersonal
Communication in Cars

CMS 330
Fall 2013
Dee Menear
Image: disneyvault.net
• Lightening
McQueen
• Mater
• Sally
• Doc

Major Characters
 Lightening McQueen experiences culture shock
when he finds himself in Radiator Springs.
 The local characters are proud...
 Doc is private about his past racing life not letting
anyone in.
 His motivation in keeping his privacy is an example o...
• Unlike Doc, Mater’s self disclosure practice is to let
it all out. He is unafraid of hiding any detail about
himself.
• ...
• Sally shows us she is insecure through her self-talk.
• When visitors show up to Radiator Springs, she springs into
moti...
• By the middle of the movie I was frustrated that
none of these characters were communicating
effectively.
• McQueen and ...
• McQueen’s personal space differs slightly from
everyday proxemics of the average American.
• He allows intimate or perso...
• As he builds relationships, McQueen empathizes with
residents. He connects with their feelings and acts on
his perceptio...
• We learn by her eye contact and facial expressions
that Sally is hurt when McQueen leaves for the
Piston Cup.
• Her eyes...
• McQueen cycles from having no close relationships
to having many intimate relationships.
• As he thinks less of himself ...
 Communication and relationship skills are developed in
the movie.
 The animators did a wonderful job of giving the cars...
Fun Fact

• Stanley, the statue of the car in front of the fire
station, is a Stanley Steamer. The steamers were
built by ...
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Interpersonal Communication in Cars

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CMS 330 Fall 2013
University of Southern Maine
Prof. Maureen Ebben

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • Clip art retrieved from : www.dreamstime.com
  • Interpersonal Communication in Cars

    1. 1. Interpersonal Communication in Cars CMS 330 Fall 2013 Dee Menear Image: disneyvault.net
    2. 2. • Lightening McQueen • Mater • Sally • Doc Major Characters
    3. 3.  Lightening McQueen experiences culture shock when he finds himself in Radiator Springs.  The local characters are proud of their forgotten town.  McQueen is used to a fast paced, unstoppable society.  Communication is limited because, although they are all cars, their culture and values are exceedingly different.  For instance: McQueen tells a pair of tourists that he was in hillbilly hell. This was hurtful to the residents who took pride in their town and way of life. Intercultural Communication
    4. 4.  Doc is private about his past racing life not letting anyone in.  His motivation in keeping his privacy is an example of risk-benefit analysis.  Doc can not see a benefit for disclosing this information but the risks include embarrassment and vulnerability.  As Doc mentors McQueen he slowly opens up until a final scene where he has disclosed fully to his neighbors, McQueen and racing fans that is his indeed the famous Doc Hudson.  This is also an example of social penetration theory as described by Shrek. Disclosure-Privacy Dialect
    5. 5. • Unlike Doc, Mater’s self disclosure practice is to let it all out. He is unafraid of hiding any detail about himself. • Right from the beginning his relationship cycle with McQueen, Mater lacks the social skill of appropriately self disclosing. • This disclosure is not reciprocated from McQueen until appropriately later in their relationship. Self-disclosure
    6. 6. • Sally shows us she is insecure through her self-talk. • When visitors show up to Radiator Springs, she springs into motion getting the town ready. Her self-perception is shown in this scene. She believes she knows what is best for the town. • Sally talks herself into getting mentally ready for what visitors mean. It appears that she is anxious about visitors. • This anxiety shows when she fails to have effective conversations with the visitors. She controls the one sided conversation not letting the visitors express their needs. Self-talk/self-perception & ineffective communication
    7. 7. • By the middle of the movie I was frustrated that none of these characters were communicating effectively. • McQueen and Sally were stubbornly not sharing their feelings for each other. • Doc was not sharing much of himself with anyone. • McQueen’s nonverbal and verbal communication said, “Get me out of here.” He is so self absorbed that he doesn’t listen to or care for those around him. • Mater is sharing too much however he is the best communicator so far. He makes a good mentor for McQueen. Mid-film critique
    8. 8. • McQueen’s personal space differs slightly from everyday proxemics of the average American. • He allows intimate or personal distance with his fans. • In most conversations with those that could further his career he does seem to maintain a social distance. • With the residents of Radiator Springs his need for personal space evolves as his relationships change. What starts as public distance becomes intimate and personal. Spatial Use
    9. 9. • As he builds relationships, McQueen empathizes with residents. He connects with their feelings and acts on his perception. • In one scene, McQueen surprises Sally with an evening that showed her towns assets in it’s heyday. • In another, he manages to bring racing headquarters to town; thus revitalizing the once forgotten place. • In a final scene McQueen gives up his dream to help The King over the finish line. He has moved from thinking selfishly to acting selflessly. Empathy
    10. 10. • We learn by her eye contact and facial expressions that Sally is hurt when McQueen leaves for the Piston Cup. • Her eyes look downward and to the right when she tells him to go. This movement indicates feelings are being hidden(i). • Her behavior provides us with information. She really doesn’t want him to go but she also gives the image that she is a tough, independent girl. Nonverbal Messages (i)www.nlpu.com/Articles/artic14.htm
    11. 11. • McQueen cycles from having no close relationships to having many intimate relationships. • As he thinks less of himself and more of others he develops a need to be included in his surroundings. • The time and energy involved in building and maintaining these relationships are worth the cost in that he gains a need to love and be loved. • His relationships with Sally, Doc, Mater and other characters grows as his desire to please himself lessens. Developing Relationships
    12. 12.  Communication and relationship skills are developed in the movie.  The animators did a wonderful job of giving the cars life and life like nuances.  Although McQueen is the main character and we see him learning communication skills, all other characters give an insight to communication styles and issues.  This was a delightful film to watch while studying interpersonal communication. The End
    13. 13. Fun Fact • Stanley, the statue of the car in front of the fire station, is a Stanley Steamer. The steamers were built by F.E and F.O. Stanley at the turn of the 20th century. The Stanley brothers are from my hometown, Kingfield, ME. • • pixar.wikia.com www.stanleymuseum.org

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