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Unformatted text preview: NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION AND CROSSCULTURAL COMMUNICATION Cultural Universals 6 facial expressions of emotion (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) are biologically innate Correspond to similarities in emotion words across languages 1. Cultural Universals 1. same body parts are used 2. convey similar meanings 3. accompany verbal 4. motives same Cultural Relativist All nonverbal communication is best understood within cultural context repertoire of behaviors differ 2. display rules when and where 3. interpretation. 4. shared meaning and significance Cultural Display Rules 1. Prolonged eye contact rude, threatening disrespectful (European Americans) 2. Smile when talking about personal anguish to not burden others (Japan) % of managers who would NOT express feelings of being upset at work Japan Germany Indonesia Great Britain Netherlands Singapore US France Italy 83% 75% 75% 71% 59% 42% 40% 34% 29% Pitch Variations
Africans, Arabs & Latins > U.S. > Germans/Swedes > Malaysia/Asians e.g. Nigeria. plenty of pitch variation & loud voice by managers seen an expression of concern and emotional involvement. Malaysia: pitch variation and being loud was seen as uncontrolled emotion. Volume
Arabs & African > Malaysia/Philipines Americans perceived as loud by ALL Europeans (loud = annoying, jarring, angry) Arab: Being loud is being sincere. Soft voice is devious or weakness Posture U.S. posture is relaxed--considered rude in many cultures, e.g. Germany. Posture when seated varies
U.S. persons often cross their legs while seated (women at ankle and men with the ankle on knee). Middle Easterners consider crossing the leg with the ankle on the knee inappropriate. Avoid showing the sole of your shoe or pointing your foot at an Arab. Punctuation Gestures Italians, Argentines, Arabs use body and hand gestures to punctuate important thoughts.Lots of gestures is an indicator of conversational involvement. Estonians & Japanese use few gestures in conversation--it is not an indicator of involvement Overlap & Interrupt In Northern Europe: 1 speaker at a time In Southern Europe: Interruption and overlap are indicators of conversational involvement & enjoyment. Silence Asians, U.S. Indians, Finns, Swedes, South American Indians: Silence is a normal part of conversations. U.S. silence means you are bored with me/conversation. Attraction and favorable impression formation. In the U.S. Smile Not necessarily so in Japan, France, and a host of other cultures Women: Low Waist to Hip Ratio (seen across the world and across ages). Men Height Large eyes, long neck cross culturally Younger women/older men are usually desirable cross culturally Touch (Haptics) Countries can be arrayed on a continuum: Low/No touch Moderate High "Don't Touch" Cultures Asia extreme no-contact cultures Japan Canada England Scandinavia Other N. European countries. Australia very low touch Appropriate touch limited to shaking hands in business situations. No hugs or expressions of affection. "Middle Ground" Cultures France China Ireland U.S. between "no touch" and middle French double cheek kiss. Ireland male hug. "Touch Cultures" Middle East countries India Latin countries Italy Greece Spain, Portugal Russia Touch is frequent and common. Italy, Greece, Latin cultures men touching women is not a sign of sexual harassment. Touch often sign of friendship. SameGender touching Americans very little and femalefemale > malemale. Japanese malemale > than Americans. Mediterranean cultures malemale touch 2x as prevalent as femalefemale touch Arabs high same gender touch Touch Opposite Sex Americans touch opposite sex far more than Japanese or Mediterranean Arabs & Far East more touch avoidant than all cultures for malefemale touching. Business Handshake Germans Firm, Brisk and Frequent Arabs Gentle Repeated and lingering French Light, Quick and Frequent South Asians Gentle, Often Lingering British Moderately firm & frequent Koreans Moderately Firm Latin Americans Firm and Frequent Most Asians Very Gentle and Infrequent North Americans Firm and Infrequent Space at Work Space in Office U.S. offices with windows have more status than inside ones; large ones better than small ones; top floor has more status than first floor. French top-level executives occupy the middle of an office area with subordinates around them. The Japanese do not consider private offices appropriate; only the highest ranking officers have private offices and may have desks in large work areas as well. Space
Low context (US & Germany): High level officials are separated from rest of office. Thus staff are highly important gate keepers who filter, summarize info for higher ups High context (Japan, French), information flows in from all sides. Gatekeepers less relevant and powerful. French don't trust filtered or summarized info. Keys to Understanding US 1. Americans have no taboos of any kind associated with the left hand; they are as likely to touch you or to hand you objects with the left hand as with the right hand. 2. Americans have no negative association with the soles of the feet or the bottom of the shoes; they do not feel it necessary to prevent others from seeing these areas. 3. One beckons another person to come closer with the hand with palm and fingers up, not down. Keys to Understanding US 4. A common way to greet small children in the U.S. is to pat them on their head. 5. People often point with their index finger and wave it around in the air as they make especially important points in conversation. 6. Americans show respect and deference for another person by looking him or her in the face, not by looking down. 7. Don't be surprised if people smile at you incessantly. It is a way of being polite to strangers Keys to Understanding US 8. Informal, relaxed postures are commonly assumed by Americans when they are standing or sitting, even when they are conversing with others; lack of formal posture is not a sign of inattention or disrespect. 9. Americans are uncomfortable with silence; they expect to talk rather constantly when in the presence of others. 10. In the U.S., room doors are usually left open unless there is a specific reason to close them. ...
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- Fall '07