ERIC Number: ED371404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Differences in Meanings for Nonverbal Cues and Ease/Difficulty in Intercultural Listening.
Ostermeier, Terry H.
A study investigated the listening experiences of American university students who interviewed people from other cultures as part of a class project. A total of 103 individuals from African, Asian, European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern cultures were interviewed. Each of the American interviewers described his/her perceptions of five nonverbal cues (voice, space, eye behavior, facial expressions, and hand gestures) by completing a questionnaire. Results indicated that: (1) depending on the type of nonverbal cue, listening to someone from another culture was either more difficult or easier; (2) adverse impacts on listening due to the differences in meanings for nonverbal cues occurred if the American student listener perceived something negative directed at him/her personally or something directed as a negative response to some portion of the message; and (3) whether differences in meanings resulted in easier or more difficult listening appeared to be related to the cultural area of the world from which the interviewee originated. Findings suggest that differences in meanings for nonverbal cues among cultures does not necessarily make it more difficult to listen to someone from another culture. (Contains 18 references. The nonverbal communication questionnaire is attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Listening Association Convention (Boston, MA, March 3-6, 1994).