From theory to practice...
Here are some considerations in respect to nonverbal communication in intercultural encounters:
– Be cautious in making assumptions based on nonverbal actions. The same gestures may have quite different meanings in different cultures. We often tend to assume body language and gestures are universal, but that is not the case.
– Try to understand the cultural values attached to nonverbal conventions. In following the technique of "thick descriptions" of cultural phenomena, try to penetrate beneath the surface of the behavior. Consider as well whether the behavior may be personal and idiosyncratic, rather than cultural and typical.
– Watch and imitate as appropriate. In some cases, adopting the different nonverbal behavior might be easy and straightforward, for example, bowing in Japan. In other cases, divergence might be more appropriate, for example, refraining from kneeling along with Muslims in prayer services.
For discussion and reflection...
- Using nonverbal communication
After watching the TED videos by Amy Cuddy and Ron Gutman, address the following:
In your view, what effect do nonverbal actions and behaviors, like smiling or body posture, have on relating with others? Are they important in work spaces, school, or family environments? What are, in your opinion the most effective nonverbal strategies in being effective in communicating, or being successful in work or school? Discuss any experiences you have had in this area.
- Violating non-verbal norms and conventions
Using the "Non-verbal expectancy violation model" (see the section of the text with this title), describe some cultural or intercultural violation you have experienced or witnessed (as the one who violated others' expectations, or as the one whose expectations were violated).
- Does the violation bring "arousal"?
- How does the person perceiving the violation evaluate the action? The communicator?
- What is the person's response?
- What factors might lead to a positive or negative response to a violation?
- What are the strengths and limitations of the theory?
- Appearance and assumptions
After reading the Salbi essay and watching the talk by Abdel-Magied..
Salbi and Abdel-Magied give examples of assumptions made about women wearing headscarves. What other clothing items or style of dress may lead to automatic judgments about the wearer? How about perceptions of those with significant body modifications (tattoos, piercings)? What role, if any, do perceptions vary based on age, gender, national origin, or other factors?
- Images and emotions in electronic communication After watching the talks by el Kaliouby and Uglow..
What's your take on "emotionally intelligent technology"? The Apple Watch allows users to "share an intimate moment with a close friend or family member by sending them your heartbeat"; would you want to go further and send "emotion streams" from a smartwatch or other device? How important are images (photos and videos) in how you currently communicate electronically? To what extent can images (or emoji?) play the role of sharing emotions? Can you imagine additional kinds of media or devices beyond those described by Uglow that would allows us to access information and potentially also feelings?
- Adaptors: Mostly unconscious nonverbal actions that satisfy physiological or psychological needs, such as scratching an itch
- Affect displays: Non-verbal presentations of emotion, primarily communicated through facial expressions
- Cultural appropriation: The adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture
- Digital storytelling: Short form of digital media production, typically depicting some aspect of someone's life story
- Display rules: A social group's informal norms about when, where, and how one should express emotions
- Emblems: Primarily hand gestures that have a direct verbal translation; can be used to repeat or to substitute for verbal communication
- Ethnomusicology: The study of music in its cultural context
- Eye contact: The act of looking directly into one another's eyes
- Gesture: A form of non-verbal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate particular messages, either in place of, or in conjunction with, speech
- Haptics: Non-verbal communication through physical contact or touch
- Illustrators: Primarily hand and arm movements that function to accent or complement speech
- Implicit bias: The attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner, especially in relation to other people
- Kinesics: General category of body motion, including emblems, illustrators, affect displays, and adaptors
- Linguistic landscape: Study of languages on public and commercial signs in a given area
- Mashup: Web resource that uses content from more than one source to create a single new service displayed in a single graphical interface
- Prosody: The patterns of stress and intonation in a language
- Nonverbal expectancy violations theory: Theory that posits that people hold expectations about the nonverbal behavior of others. When these expectations are violated, people evaluate the violation positively or negatively, depending on the source of the violation.
- Olfactics: The perception and use of smell, scent, and odor
- Paralanguage: Characteristics of the voice, such as pitch, rhythm, intensity, volume, and rate
- Personal space: The physical space immediately surrounding someone, into which any encroachment may feel threatening or uncomfortable
- Proxemics: The perception and use of space, including territoriality and personal space
- Regulators: Behaviors/actions that govern, direct, or manage conversations
- Semiotics: Study of signs, symbols, and signification; how meaning is created
- Signal: A sign naturally connected to its referent
- Signifier: A sign's physical form (such as a sound, printed word, or image) as distinct from its meaning
- Signified: the meaning or idea expressed by a sign, as distinct from the physical form in which it is expressed
- Spaced repetition: Learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect
- Symbol: An arbitrarily selected and learned stimulus representing something else
- Territoriality: How people use space to communicate ownership/occupancy of areas and possessions
- Vocalization: Mostly involuntary vocal utterances such as laughing, crying, sighing
- Carroll, R. (1988). Cultural Misunderstandings. The French-American Experience, U. of Chicago Press.
- Dresser, N. (2005). Multicultural Matters. John Wiley.
- Grant, C. (2014). Music endangerment: How language maintenance can help. Oxford University Press.
"Can words really account for only 7 percent of the meaning of a spoken message? This short video animation puts 'Mehrabian's rule' under the magnifying glass."
- Mehrabian and nonverbal communication Is communication really mostly non-verbal?
- About Nonverbal Communications General introduction, with lists of types of behavior for each kind of action
- Exploring Nonverbal Communication Test how well you can interpret non-verbal behavior
- Comprehensive list of hand gestures From Wikipedia
- Nonverbal communication in China Multiple examples
- Spanish Culture and Nonverbal Communication
- The Finger Insult and other gestures across cultures
TED description: "Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you'll live - and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior."
TED description: "On any given day we're lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lie can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and 'hotspots' used by those trained to recognize deception - and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving."
TED description: "Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how 'power posing' - standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident - can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success."
TED talk by Scott Rouse
TED description: "What do you think when you look at this speaker? Well, think again. (And then again.) In this funny, honest, empathetic talk, Yassmin Abdel-Magied challenges us to look beyond our initial perceptions, and to open doors to new ways of supporting others."
TED essay: "Zainab Salbi argues that the global fixation with a Muslim woman's decision to wear a headscarf - or not - is overly simplistic - and irrelevant."
Are there new and different - and more intimate and natural - ways for us to gather information?
TED description: "Designer Tom Uglow is creating a future in which humanity's love for natural solutions and simple tools can coexist with our need for information and the devices that provide us with it. 'Reality is richer than screens,' he says. 'We can have a happy place filled with the information we love that feels as natural as switching on lightbulb.'"
TED description: "Our emotions influence every aspect of our lives - how we learn, how we communicate, how we make decisions. Yet they're absent from our digital lives; the devices and apps we interact with have no way of knowing how we feel. Scientist Rana el Kaliouby aims to change that. She demos a powerful new technology that reads your facial expressions and matches them to corresponding emotions. This 'emotion engine' has big implications, she says, and could change not just how we interact with machines - but with each other."
- Semiotics for Beginners Good introduction to the topic
- (What) Are we learning from 'linguistic landscapes'? Interesting exploration of the topic
- Digital Storytelling for Language and Culture Learning Introduction to the concept
- How to build a "memory palace" Step by step instructions
- Learning by Spaced Repetition Explanation of the method
Aiello, J. (1987). "Human spatial behavior", In D. Stokols and I. Altman (eds.), Handbook of environmental psychology. New York: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 359-504.
Basso, K. H. (1970). " To Give up on Words": Silence in Western Apache Culture. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 26(3), 213-230.
Basu, M. (2016, September 15). Fifteen years after 9/11, Sikhs still victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/15/us/sikh-hate-crime-victims/index.html
Blommaert , J. (2013). Ethnography, superdiversity and linguistic landscapes: Chronicles of complexity. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Braithwaite, C. (1999). "Cultural uses and interpretations of silence". In Guerrero, L. , DeVito, J., and Hecht, M. (eds.), The Nonverbal Communication Reader: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
Burgoon, J. K. (1978), "A Communication Model of Personal Space Violations: Explication and an Initial Test." Human Communication Research, 4: 129–142.
Carroll, R. (1988). Cultural Misunderstandings. The French-American Experience, U. of Chicago Press.
Checkpoints: Baghdad's Russian Roulette (2007, September 5). Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Retrieved from https://iwpr.net/global-voices/checkpoints-baghdads-russian-roulette
Cotton, G. (2013, June 13). Gestures to Avoid in Cross-Cultural Business: In Other Words, ‘Keep Your Fingers to Yourself!’ [Blog post]. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com/gayle-cotton/cross-cultural-gestures_b_3437653.html
Darwin, C. (1872). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. London: John Murray.
Dibiase, R., & Gunnoe, J. (2004). Gender and culture differences in touching behavior. The Journal of social psychology, 144(1), 49-62.
Dresser, N. (2005). Multicultural Matters. John Wiley.
Ekman, P. (1972). Universals and Cultural Differences in Facial Expressions of Emotion. In J. Cole (ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (pp. 207-283). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
Ekman, P. & Friesen, W. V. (1969). The repertoire of nonverbal behavior: Categories, origins, usage, and coding. Semiotiaca, 1, 49- 98. Retrieved from: www.ekmaninternational.com/ResearchFiles/The-Repertoire-Of-Nonverbal-Behavior-Categories-Origins-.pdf
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1971). Constants across cultures in the face and emotion. Journal of personality and social psychology, 17(2), 124-129.
Ekman, P., & Heider, K. G. (1988). The universality of a contempt expression: A replication. Motivation and emotion, 12(3), 303-308.
Field, T. (1999). Preschoolers in America are touched less and are more aggressive than preschoolers in France. Early Child Development and Care, 151(1), 11-17.
Fock, E. (1997). Music–intercultural communication. Micro musics, world music and the multicultural discourse. Nordicom Information, 4, 55-65
Godwin-Jones, R. (2018, June 2). Sensitivity training at Starbucks [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://acrossculturesweb.com/wp/sens...ing-starbucks/
Grant, C. (2014). Music endangerment: How language maintenance can help. Oxford University Press.
Gumperz, J. J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge University Press.
Hall, E. T. (1959). The Silent Language. New York: Doubleday.
Hall, E. T. (1966). The Hidden Dimension. New York: Doubleday.
Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values. Sage.
Holden, C. & Sykes, J. (2011). Leveraging mobile games for place-based language learning. International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL), 1(2).
Indian court issues warrant for Gere over kiss (2007, April 26). NBC News. Retrieved from: www.today.com/id/18328425/ns/.../#.WUAdnRMrJE4
Jackson, J. (2014). Introducing language and intercultural communication. Routledge.
Kramsch, Claire. “Language and Culture: A Social Semiotic Perspective.” ADFL Bulletin 33.2 (2002): 8–15. Retrieved from: www.adfl.org/bulletin/v33n2/332008.htm?ref=ARKADASBUL.NET
LaFrance, M., & Mayo, C. (1978). Cultural aspects of nonverbal communication. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2(1), 71-89.
Lambert, H., & Wood, K. (2005). A comparative analysis of communication about sex, health and sexual health in India and South Africa: Implications for HIV prevention. Culture, health & sexuality, 7(6), 527-541.
Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2010). Intercultural communication in contexts. McGraw-Hill.
Matsumoto, D. (1990). Cultural similarities and differences in display rules. Motivation and emotion, 14(3), 195-214.
Matsumoto, D., & Ekman, P. (1989). American-Japanese cultural differences in intensity ratings of facial expressions of emotion. Motivation and Emotion, 13(2), 143-157.
Matsumoto, D. and Hwang, H.S. (2012) ‘Nonverbal communication: The messages of emotion, action, space and silence’, in J. Jackson (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication (pp. 130–147), Abingdon: Routledge.
Matsumoto, D., & Willingham, B. (2009). Spontaneous facial expressions of emotion of congenitally and noncongenitally blind individuals. Journal of personality and social psychology, 96(1), 1.
Mead, M. (1975). Review of Darwin and facial expression. Journal of Communication, 25(1), 209–213.
Mehrabian, A. (1971). Silent messages. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Montepare, J. M. (2003). Introduction: Evolution and Nonverbal Behavior: Adaptive Social Interaction Strategies. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27(3), 141-143.
Neuliep, J. W. (2006). Intercultural Communication a Contextual Approach. Sage.
Patterson, M. L. (2003). Commentary: Evolution and Nonverbal Behavior: Functions and Mediating Processes. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27(3), 201-207.
Remland, M. S., Jones, T. S., Foeman, A., & Arévalo, D. R. (2014). Intercultural communication: A peacebuilding perspective. Waveland Press.
Sorrells, K. (2015). Intercultural communication: Globalization and social justice. Sage.
Sporer, S. L. (2001). The cross-race effect: Beyond recognition of faces in the laboratory. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 7(1), 170-200.
Synnott, A. (1991). "A sociology of smell." Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie, 28: 437–459.
Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating across cultures. Guilford Press.
Triandis, H. (1994). Culture and Social Behavior. McGraw-Hill.
Vandehey, K., Buergh, C. & Krueger, K. (1996). Traditional Aspects and Struggles of the Masai Culture. Unpublished manuscript, St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI.
Van Leeuwen, T. (2005) Introducing Social Semiotics. New York: Routledge.
Watson, O. M. (1970). Proxemic behavior: A cross-cultural study. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.
Yngve, V. H. (1970). On getting a word in edgewise. In Chicago Linguistics Society 1970 (pp. 567-578)., 6th Meeting,
Yudkin, D., Rothmund, T., Twardawski, M., Thalla, N., & van Bavel, D. (2016). Reflexive intergroup bias in third-party punishment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000190
Yudkin, D & Van Bavel, J. (2016, December 9). The Roots of Implicit Bias. New York Times Sunday Review. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/09/opinion/sunday/the-roots-of-implicit-bias.html?_r=0
Bow: John Wigham [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Bow_(11106700545).jpg
Hongi: Kiri Dell https://www.flickr.com/photos/warriorteambuilding/6309980795
Eye contact By David Shankbone - David Shankbone, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2808347
Thumbs up: Airman Krystal Ardrey http://www.incirlik.af.mil/News/Features/Display/Article/725803/ask-mehmet-body-language/
Couple: Glenn Loos-Austin https://www.flickr.com/photos/junkchest/47929871
Child: Pexabay pixabay.com/en/photos/joy%20of%20child/
woman in niqab By Bernard Gagnon - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11777952
Hongi: Kiri Dell https://www.flickr.com/photos/warriorteambuilding/6309980795
Frances Densmore recording Blackfoot chief Mountain Chief for the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1916 By Harris & Ewing - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID npcc.20061. commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6338449
Personal space: Steve Gray https://www.flickr.com/photos/fade_to_gray/30657356552/
Woman and rose: Publicdomainpictures.net http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=19714&picture=woman-and-roses