Mark Knapp’s Model of Relational Development

Purpose: To demonstrate an understanding of Mark Knapp’s model of relational development.


Choose a film of your own. In 3 – 5 pages, apply Mark Knapp’s model of communication to the film. Do not tell me the story of the film and do not evaluate the film; instead explain how the relationships in the film develop.

Mark Knapp’s model was initiated in 1978 under the fundamental principle of social perception theory. He used the philosophies of depth and breadth and generated phases in which relationships progress and mature. However, he deliberated the design of relationships and defined ten phases to describe it. Five of these denote the formation of connections and five state  its escalation. In life, we have varied categories of relationship: romantic relationship, family relationship, and friendship relationships. Each relationship follows a similar outline of the design, how they sustain and how they conclude for those that do. While all affairs can be challenging, romantic relations seem to be the most complicated types. Additionally, couples can care for each other, yet lack adequate social bond. When they lack interpersonal interactions for a period, it most probably will lead to conflict and hence break up. In this case, the film Perfect Opposites demonstrates how bilateral relation remains significant in an affair. The film features Draw and Julia, a couple who fell in love after graduation, whose love hits rock bottom when Draw gets caught up in Hollywood lifestyle. Moreover, their relationship was loving and caring relation in the first stages until it came to a phase where they fought so much that it caused separation. Mark Knapp advocates that social affiliations advance through numerous steps. The first phase being the initiating period where people primarily meet and evaluate each other’s attractiveness and availability. Usually, in this category people present themselves as exciting and pleasant. Furthermore, they tend to choose their words carefully, bearing in mind that a single error spoils their likelihoods to proceed with a conversation. However, in the movie Perfect Opposites, Draw and Julia met in an institution where Draw was finishing law school while Julia was graduating from college…

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