In this assignment, you will examine communication scenarios to see how ethics, perspective, loyalties, and stereotypes can affect communication.

In your paper, first define the difference between linear, interactive, and transactive communication, and what the authors of the text call communication in society. Then, using the ethical considerations on page 22 of Alberts, J.K., Martin, J.N. & Nakayama, T.K. (2011) and Standard 4: Privacy and Confidentiality in the APA Principles and Code of Ethics, you will evaluate the communication scenarios listed below.

There may be no “right” or “wrong” answers to the issues in the scenarios. What is important is that you evaluate each according to ethical guidelines. For each case, after analyzing each issue according to these guidelines, present your own opinion of what you think constitutes ethical communication.

Finally, write a brief summary on any new concepts you have learned about the importance of ethics in communication.

Scenario 1:
The Abu Ghuraib story: The individual who accidently gained access to the now notorious photos at Abu Ghuraib prison felt ethically responsible to share this information, to communicate with his military superiors. Beyond the duty to the military to discipline individuals involved, a larger issue is whether releasing this information to the public, complete with pictures, was the appropriate thing to do? Should the possible public release of this information played a role in this individual’s ethical decision making?
Norris, M. (2006, August 15) Abu Ghraib Whistleblower Speaks Out.

Scenario 2:
Jason is your sister Leah’s husband. He travels a lot for his work, sometimes for weeks at a time. When he is at home, he is either busy with his job, going to sports events with his buddies, or stopping in on his own mom. Leah works late when Jason is out of town. Leah’s assistant Joey often drives her home so she will not have to ride the subway late. Lately, he has started stopping in for coffee.

It appears that your sister is filling in the blanks of her life with her assistant at work. When you realized how serious things were getting, you had a talk with her. You told her she needed to make some clear decisions and choices in her life before everyone involved got hurt. In the meantime, Joey, who had grown quite attached, transferred to another department to avoid conflict with the company’s rules; however, he kept calling and “running into” her both at work and around town. The last straw came when Joey left a message on her answering machine while Jason was out of town: “Leah, it’s Joe. We’ve just got to talk. I can’t take this anymore. Meet me at the café.” Leah called you and told you that she was planning to meet Joey to tell him things were off between them.

About half an hour later, you answer the door and find Jason, furious. He says he came home early to surprise Leah and found that message on the machine. Your number was the next one on the list of calls. So, he demands to know who Joey is and what this whole thing is about. You invite Jason in and as you brew some coffee, you think about the situation. You have never really liked the way Jason neglects Leah—treating her as though she does not even exist. Now, it’s probably all over. What good would it be to tell him? On the other hand, how can you lie about it when you knew about everything all along?

What should you do? What would you communicate to Jason and how would you do it? Think this through ethically according to the principles in the text or in Standard 4: Privacy and Confidentiality in the APA Principles and Code of Ethics.

Scenario 3:
You are a mental health intake worker in a small town. When you come home from work one night, you find that your daughter Jasmine has gone to a sleepover at the home of Bill and Sherry Jackson. You are distraught. Bill Jackson had been referred to a therapist at your center because he reported having fantasies about touching young girls inappropriately. He was never reported to authorities because, according to him, things never went beyond a fantasy. From his records, you know that Bill left therapy after a few sessions of behavioral training and never returned. While you do not really know if he will do anything wrong, just the idea that he may be having inappropriate thoughts about your daughter, and that she will be there all night long, really upsets you. You explode at your wife LaToya. “I can’t believe you let her go to the Jackson’s house overnight without even asking me!” LaToya responses, “What’s the big deal? She’s gone on overnights before. Don’t tell me you’re worried just because the Jacksons are white. I’m sure that race doesn’t matter to them.”

What should you do? From an ethical viewpoint, can you tell your wife the reasons for your concern? From a personal and family viewpoint, can you not tell her? If you suddenly bring your daughter home, will this indicate a lack of trust in Bill or that your privileged information has affected how you view their family?