How Cultural Psychology Impacts Nonverbal Communication

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How Cultural Psychology Impacts Nonverbal Communication How we communicate directly impacts how we express ourselves to the world around us. Verbal communication is key in understanding our world and expressing our own feelings and beliefs to that world. Yet, verbal communication is not the only form of communication we encounter on a daily basis. In fact, nonverbal communication also plays an important role in expressing emotions, beliefs, and can even reinforce social ranking and statuses. However, just like verbal communication, the language of nonverbal cues can be extremely different from one culture to another. There are some elements of nonverbal communication which do seem innate to the biological nature of all humans, but the majority of nonverbal cues are essentially culturally dependent. Nonverbal behaviors are a powerful tool for facilitating communication within particular cultures or regions. There are a number of meanings and methods that are employed with the use of nonverbal cues. First, they help serve as what is known as emblems, which basically convey simple messages as would a phrase or a sentence if spoken out loud (Bonvillain 2002). In this sense, they are a type of second language that conveys meaning, without the use of the voice. One notable example here is the symbol for A-OK in the United States. This is a simple hand gesture that conveys the meaning that everything is fine. Nonverbal behaviors can also serve as speech illustrators, which
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