Interpersonal Communication Insights

Topics: Rat


What has this course in ‘interpersonal relations and communication made you consider and think about?

During the course, two-valued orientation stayed in my mind for the whole eight weeks. This was because I was constantly in a struggle with good, evil, right, wrong, black, and white. I missed the first week because I had my computer hacked and locked up. I had to wait a month for my first paycheck, due to moving back to Illinois from Michigan and starting a new job.

I spent the first couple of weeks doing everything off my phone and after reading chapter 16, I now have a better understanding of the Are we rats or men concept. This class helped me to see items differently and help reinstall parts of my beliefs that I needed reinforcement on. Although I struggled this semester working 60 hours a week being outside for 10 hours a day and taking care of family issues and myself. It made me a stronger person.

It thought me better communication skills and how to read certain situations in a better way.

Are we Rats or men?

In the chapter, Rats, and Men, Hayakawa describes an experiment by Professor Maier of the University of Michigan, where neurosis is induced in rats. Rats are trained to jump towards one of two doors, where the left opens to show food behind it, and the right stays closed and bumps them into a net. Once they learn consistently to jump to the left door, the scientist started switching the doors randomly.

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Eventually, the rat “gives up and refuses to jump at all. At this stage, Dr. Maier says, “Many rats prefer to starve rather than make a choice.” Next, the rats are forced to make a choice, being driven to jump by an electric shock or equivalent stimulant. The rats “settle down to a specific reaction…which they continue to execute regardless of consequences.” For instance, the rats will continue to jump left, even when the right door is left open with food visible. They have lost the ability to learn, overloaded by an inability to cope. Hayakawa, S. I., & Hayakawa, A. R. (1993).

I briefly explain the last chapter’s inothingnformation all mammals have this type of nervous breakdown but only humans can overcome it and surpass any obstacle due to the compacity of our brains and everything we due to dictates the stresses in our lives. Rats cannot create elaborate scenarios as we do, and they cannot comprehend and change situations to their benefit as we can. Their minds overload and they cease to choose a path, instead choosing to starve and give up. Humans although at times give up, tend to get back up and keep moving forward, our ingenuity is why we h toave become so advanced but also why our stressors have also advanced. From weapons of mass destruction to the clean energy nuclear energy can provide, this two-valued orientation has been the cause of many conflicts in our history, past, present, and future. For this reason, I must say we are not rats and we surpass any problem because nothing is insoluble.

Will we drive ourselves to a nervous breakdown like the rat?

We will drive ourselves to nervous breakdowns at times, but we can always solve our problems if we don’t give up and ask for help, as well as take a break from our stressors. We control our environments and the stressors we endure. We have the mental compacity to overcome all obstacles and change our environment, as well as learn, adapt and survive. I had a meltdown this week and shut down, I had no one to talk to and chose to sleep in my car for a couple of days because I felt I had nowhere to go and no one to talk to. I tried to due to as much work as I could on my cellphone, but it took a co-worker noticing I was not myself and waiting to talk to me one on one and talking to me about how to handle the situation and how to talk to certain people without it getting out of hand. His talk also helped me pick myself up and regain the motivation and drive I lost. At the time I was mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially tapped out. After I read this chapter and related to it so well it helped me mentally regain my composure and handle the situation I was in. in a scene I was dealing with my insoluble problem.

Will we continue to perceive the situation at hand as insoluble?

No situation is insoluble, we can do it whether we need to adapt, survive or thrive. Our mental compacity and ingenuity are what puts us at the top of the food chain. We can change our surroundings and mentality to improve our situations for the better, for ourselves and our communities. This is what can save us and differentiates men from rats.


to conclude the paper, we are different from rats. Men can handle problems and stressors, solving them with a better mentality than rats, for the most part, their brains can’t handle the stressors or comprehend how to handle a situation making it insoluble. We as humans create our stressors in cultural lags, insoluble problems, fear of change, revision of group habits, and dealing with our left-door problems as the rats do. We have many more ways to handle situations than rats do. We also can control our environment and stressors, unlike the rats.

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Interpersonal Communication Insights. (2022, Jun 22). Retrieved from

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