“Goffman’s Theory of Impression Management”

This is just one (obviously exaggerated) illustration of how people attempt to “self-correct” for their inappropriate or unacceptable public behaviors in order to “manage” the impression they make on others whose impression of them matters. Mr. Bean is obviously not very effective in managing the impression he is making on the professor or his classmate – which is why the video is humorous, but I think we can relate to some of his behaviors, even if you haven’t cheated on a test.

Instead of quiz questions for this video, there is just a single paragraph assignment in which you can include any or all of the following content (but try not to go over the 250 word limit):

  1. a) In your status as a student or an employee, or any other status (son, daughter, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife…..what do you do routinely to make a good impression on your instructor your boss (or your relative, etc.)? b) What have you done to cover up your mistake(s) in a particular situation/relationship?  c) Was there a specific very memorable situation  in which you were suddenly forced to manage the “incorrect” impression (using facework, perhaps) that you made on one or more persons? (doesn’t have to be the same person(s) you referred to in a) or b) – but it can be).  d) What behaviors (blatant or subtle) have you seen others use in an attempt to maintain a consistent positive impression on you  or others?

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