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Cultural Similarities and Differences in Emblematic Gestures

Matsumoto, David ; Hwang, Hyisung

Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 2013, Vol.37(1), pp.1-27 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Cultural Similarities and Differences in Emblematic Gestures
  • Author/Creator: Matsumoto, David ; Hwang, Hyisung
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Gestures ; Emblems ; Culture ; Cross-cultural
  • Is Part Of: Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 2013, Vol.37(1), pp.1-27
  • Description: Despite longstanding interest in cultural differences in emblems, there have only been a few systematic investigations of those differences, and to date there is no study that catalogues and compares emblems across different cultural groups to a standard list of verbal messages. This study does so. Encoders from six world regions produced potential emblems from a standard verbal message list. Gestures that were encoded by at least 70% of the encoders in a region were shown to observers from the same regions, and gestures that were judged correctly as the message intended by at least 70% of the decoders in that region were considered emblems. These procedures resulted in the cataloguing of cultural differences in emblems to the same verbal message list. Surprisingly, the results also indicated a small group of emblems that were similarly encoded and decoded across cultures.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0191-5886 ; E-ISSN: 1573-3653 ; DOI: 10.1007/s10919-012-0143-8