Saturday, 15 August 2009

Facial expressions and culture

The way people move, walk, talk, their gestures and facial expressions have much more influence and effect than their verbal words in communication. Researchers have found that just 7% of any message about our feelings and attitudes comes from the words that we use; 38% comes from our voice and its rhythm and finally 55% comes from the most important element that is our facial expressions and body language. And this is a fact that when the facial expression or tone of voice contradicts the words, normally the listeners put more weight on the nonverbal message.
This is interesting that the body language differs from one culture to another. Especially you can recognize Italians, Indians, Japanese and South Americans merely by their body language...sometimes these gestures have quite opposite meanings in different cultures; for example for Chinese people usually narrowing the eyes has the connotation of dislike and disapproval and exactly we see the opposite in some other cultures that the act of widening the eyes shows dislike. So cultural misinterpretation of gestures can produce unpleasant results and a person's cultural background should always be considered before making any judgement.

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