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Discussion Post:
You are required to post items to the course online discussion forum (see the
syllabus for how they will be graded) that add value to the topic that is covered for
the week, linking theory to real-world examples. Reflect on the following question:

In countries such as Japan, China, India, and Iran there are gestures that convey
different meanings in comparison with gestures we use in the United States. Find an
example of a gesture or non-verbal behavior (holding hands, for example) from any
other country of the world that you did not know about. Provide a link and/or explain
the gesture, the meaning, and compare (why or why not we interpret it differently or it
does not exist in the United States)

? Analyze the questions according to the requirements for the week.
? Add one take away from this week’s article, one from this week’s practice

quiz, and one from this week’s videos – Make connections and specifically
include citations or statements from the video(s), practice quiz, and
reading(s) covered this week.

? Posts will be made in the Canvas discussion forum.
? Review the attached discussion board evaluation rubric. Evaluation

Rubric for Discussion Posts

After answering that part of the discussion, answer these posts also. In no more than 80-100

1. Chelsea Henry:

It is said that Greeks are very passionate and expressive in both verbal and
non-verbal communication. To that end, non-verbal communication is taken very
seriously, involving a number of gestures. The Mountza is a gesture where all fingers
are spread, presenting the palm towards the face of another individual. This gesture
is an insult, representing displeasure towards the receiver. The Mountza is similar to
“talk to the hand” in the United States. Americans and Greeks share the same
interpretation of this gesture because it is used the same in both countries.

One takeaway from this weeks article would be that “the purpose of a gesture is to
represent information and perhaps communicate that information”. This is important

because it proves why gestures are forms of non-verbal communication. One
takeaway from the practice quiz would be that “some lies are performed flawlessly”,
leaving no clue that it is a lie. One takeaway from “A World of Gestures”, would be
the both the demonstration and comparison of illustrators and emblems.

2. Valeria Restrepo:

The Indian head wobble is a distinctive and unusual gesture that is often employed
in India that involves gently swinging the head from side to side in a rhythmic
manner. Its meaning might change based on the context as well as the movement’s
pace and intensity. In India, it’s commonly used to express agreement,
comprehension, recognition, or even a warm welcome. In certain cases, though, it
may signify ambiguity or a non-committal response. The precise interpretation of the
head wobble depends on the discourse and the connection of the persons involved.
In the United States, head motions are often connected with nodding (up and down)
to express agreement or comprehension and shaking (left to right) to show
disagreement or denial. The Indian head wobble, with its side-to-side motion, might
look and sound quite different from these American head movements.
Understanding such cultural variations is essential for efficient cross-cultural
communication and the avoidance of misconceptions.

A key takeaway from this article is the distinction between gestures and other types
of movements. Gestures are distinctive in that they take place apart from objects,
coincide with speech, and have a symbolic function, such as aiding communication
or transmitting information. Furthermore, the progression of gesture production and
understanding in young infants emphasizes the significance of gestures for language
and cognitive development. Children have difficulty comprehending and performing
iconic gestures, which emphasizes the idea that gestures are more than just motor
simulations and involve sophisticated cognitive processing, making them important
for communication and language development. A key takeaway from the practice
quiz is that research by Dr. Ekman revealed a strong connection between a person’s
confidence level and their ability to accurately detect deception. In other words,
those who are more confident tend to be better at recognizing when someone is
lying. This conclusion highlights the need of taking into account both confidence and
accuracy when assessing the efficacy of deception detection technologies because
of their interconnected nature. A key takeaway from the video ??Understanding and
Detecting Deception – 6. Nonverbal Cues – Lecture 6? emphasizes that nonverbal
communication includes many elements outside words, such as voice and visual
cues. Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence to support the claim that
certain signs, such as eye contact, fidgeting, or micro expressions, may reliably
identify deceit. It is difficult to identify deception purely only on nonverbal signals
since they are frequently ambiguous, subtle, and may not always be signs of
deception. Inconsistencies in a person’s tale or improbable explanations are better
indicators of deceit than smaller-scale trends. Nonverbal cues can offer some useful

information, but when trying to spot dishonesty, they should be used with caution and
in combination with other criteria.


Chapter 3

Gesture and Movement


Study of communicative impact of body movement and gesture

Example: Person??s gait

All gestures

Head movements, eye behavior, facial expressions, posture, movements of trunk, arms, legs, feet, hands, and fingers

Essential to study within context and culture

Theoretical Look at Gesture and Movement

Two general approaches to study of kinesics:

Structural approach
(Birdwhistell, 1952; 1970)

External variable approach
Ekman (1976)

Views communication as a structural system and presumes system is independent of specific behaviors people engage in during particular interactions (Birdwhistell)

All behavior is socially learned and has communicative value

Can be categorized as allokinesis or kinemes

Structural Approach to Kinesics


Study of smallest and most basic units of behavior

These microbehaviors cannot be detected

Performed rapidly, and usually only detectable by mechanical means such as video recorders or computers

Several allokinesis together compose larger units of behavior called kines

Dittman (1971) major critic of Birdwhistell ??Behavior cannot be treated in the same way we treat verbal language?

Classification of human gestures and movements should be based on motions easily observed
(Ekman and Friesen)

Most commonly accepted system to categorize gestures and movements


Sadness, (Contempt), Anger, Disgust, Fear, Interest, Surprise, Happiness

External Variable Approach to Kinesics

Speech dependent & Speech Independent

Five different types:




Affect displays


Types Of Gesture And Movement


Depends on current trends

Speech-independent gestures

Direct verbal translation

Known by group, class, culture, subculture

Can function in place of verbal communication

Users aware of their action and in control of gesture

Used intentionally by the sender to communicate specific message

Socially and culturally learned

Example: OK sign

Illustrators (1)

Speech-linked gestures

Cannot stand alone or stimulate same meaning as verbal

Generate little to no meaning when not connected to speech

Example: ??so-so? gesture

Illustrators (2)


Accents spoken words, phrases, or sentences

Slamming hand on desk


Represents cognitive processing of speaker

Repeatedly snapping finger while trying to think of an answer


Movements or gestures that serve as pictures or drawings

Drawing outline of male or female figure in air while describing attractive person

Gestures or body movements that maintain and regulate back-and-forth interaction, turn-taking behavior.

Learned gradually and are integral to communication socialization process

Not nearly intentional as emblems and illustrator.


Turn-Taking Behaviors

Behaviors used to maintain or yield in conversation

Turn-yielding cues: discontinue talking.
(Example: long silent pause)

Turn-maintaining cues: continue talking.
(Example: increasing rate & loudness of speech)

Turn-requesting regulators: would like to talk
(Example: straightening posture)

Turn-denying behaviors: don??t wish to speak, encourage the speaker to continue
(Example: ??uh-huh? utterance)

Affect displays

Indicate both emotional reactions and strength of reactions

Primarily include facial expressions

May display an emotion you don??t actually feel

May repress expression of emotion felt

Behaviors that reveal true emotional states are usually unintentional

May include posture, limb movements, way he/she walks.


Intentional behaviors in response to

boredom or stress

Self-Adaptors ?? individual manipulates her /his own body (scratching, hair twisting)

Alter-Directed Adaptors ?? designed to protect individuals from other interactants (folding arms, unconscious leg movements)

Object-Focused Adaptors ?? unconscious manipulation of a particular object (tapping pen, smoking, twisting ring on finger)

Posture (1)

Rich source of information about emotional states and relationships

Immediacy and relaxation communicate openness

Posture is normally studied in conjunction with other nonverbal signals to determine:

The degree of attention or involvement

The degree of status relative to the other interactive partner

The degree of liking for the other interactant

Posture (2)

Inclusive vs. Non-Inclusive-

Include or block

Face-to-Face vs. Parallel Orientation

Face-to-Face – formal or professional interaction, need to monitor, sign of more active interaction

Parallel ?? neutral or passive

Example: The higher the status, the more relaxed/indirect orientation

Example: People of perceived equal status (friends), strive to maintain equality through posture

Posture (3)

Posture (4)

Congruence vs. Incongruence

Congruent ?? they imitate or share each other??s position and movements (agreement, equality, liking)

??Chameleon Effect?

Matching Behavior -: ??similar behavior occurring at the same time?

Postural congruence

Motor mimicry


Women are socialized to exhibit shrinkage in their postures.

Males are socialized to engage in expanding nonverbal acts.

Posture And Gender

Movement and Communicator Style

The way a person interacts to give form to content of messages









Dramatic Style

Most physically visible of all communicator styles

Masters at exaggeration

See the world as a stage

Tell fascinating stories

Have rhythmic voices

Rely on wide range of illustrators

Dominant Style

Perceived as confident, conceited, self-assured, competitive, forceful, active, and enthusiastic

Use nonverbal cues to dominate listeners, expansive body posture and movements, quickly approach fellow interactants

Animated Style

Engages in exaggerated body motions and gestures while speaking

Frequent and Repetitive head movements and smiling

Relaxed Style

Collected and internally calm in anxiety-producing situations

Relaxed posture, movement, gesture

Seem immune to nervous mannerisms, communicate calmness, serenity, peace, confidence, comfortableness

Attentive Style

Characterizes style of listening or receiving others?? messages.

Inversely related to dominant and dramatic styles.

Attentiveness shown through immediate posture, forward leaning, head nods, direct body orientation, etc.

Open Style

Uses body activity that is expansive, unreserved, extroverted, approach-oriented

Signals individuals that they can communicate openly and freely

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