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ERIC Number: EJ832882
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1683-1381
Nonverbal Communication across Eastern-Western Cultures: Facial Expressions during Interviews of Japanese Students
Khoo, Keiko
New Horizons in Education, v55 n1 p37-50 May 2007
Background: Effective educational evaluations involve interviews, observations and nonverbal cue interpretations. Educators carry out these evaluative activities everyday as instructors, advisors or administrators, often relying on nothing but their intuition. These evaluations inform the future decisions. One must determine if students really agree with an idea or mean what they say. Literature shows facial communication to be the richest source of meanings and the best way to get to the truth. However, cross-cultural setting can present unique challenges due to the impact of Eastern and Western differences in values regarding interdependence vs. autonomy, collectivity vs. individualism, hierarchical authority vs. egalitarianism, high-context vs. low-context communication, and open expressions vs. controlled affects. Aims: The Interview Observation Checklist of Facial Expressions was constructed in this study as an aid to observing a recorded interview of Japanese students. It aimed at accurate interpretation of the students' feedback. Method: Qualitative observations formed the bases for the pilot instrument. It was refined through frequency analysis as well as subjective observations in a trial run. Subjects: The project involved all the students in the 2005 Bilingualism and Biculturalism course taught by this writer. Section one in Japan, a group of nine students participated in the pilot study as cultural peers of interviewees. Section 2 in the U.S., a group six students participated in the trial study of the checklist. Conclusion: Two types of facial communications emerged, subject's affects and subject's postures. The former reveals the emotional tone of the messages while the latter indicates how seriously the messages should be weighed. Further, a bi-directionality was discovered in facial communication: expressions directed towards the inquirer or to the peers. These two-by-two structure is reflected on the final version of the instrument.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; United States