Are Non-Verbal Cues Consistent Amongst Cultures?

Are Non-Verbal Cues Consistent Amongst Cultures?

Are Non-Verbal Cues Consistent Amongst Cultures?


In the United States there are certain things that are considered “common knowledge,” meaning these things are commonly known amongst members of the culture. They could be gestures such as, crossing your arms, which gives people the impression that you are mad, or stepping backwards while someone talks to you to let them know they are crossing into your personal space. These non-verbal cues are seen to be second nature here in the United States and seem to be somewhat consistent from state to state, but are they also consistent from culture to culture?


Non-verbal communication is when people communicate without using words. It is done mostly in a visual manner through things such as gesture, body movements, eye contact and facial expressions (Allbeck & Badler, 2001). There can also be non-verbal cues in an artistic manner through things such as clothing, sculptures, paintings, etc.

There are a variety of noted ways nonverbal communication is used. According to Graham & Argyle (1975), it helps to support speech by adding extra information, communicates people’s attitudes towards one another, and displays information about one’s personality whether they choose or not, and is also used in a variety of persuasion methods.

According to a number of social psychologists, nonverbal communication is seen to make up about two thirds of communication as a whole (Hogan & Stubbs, 2003). This is in reference to communication taking place between two people or if there is a person who is communicating to a group. With this type of communication, an incorrect message can be given if it doesn’t match what you are verbally saying. Nonverbal communication can create a more solid first impression as well. The impression that a person gets when they meet you has a big role in the person’s relationship with you or the lack thereof. “People are more likely to believe that the first...

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