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Benedict van Gestel 11418581

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Table of Contents
Part A Article Review.Page 2
Part B Video Reflection.Page 8
Appendix 1Page 13
Appendix 2Page 14
Appendix 3Page 15
Appendix 4Page 16
Appendix 5Page 17
Reference List.Page 19

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Part A Article Review

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PART A Article Review
Language and Communication is the essence of social interaction, when we interact
with others we communicate. Communication involves not only the verbal aspect and
what we hear, but we also communicate with our facial expressions, signs and
gestures, also know as the aspect of non-verbal communication. There are several
different factors that can affect communication between individuals such as their
motives, the attractiveness and likeableness of the person they are conversing with
and the context in which the communication is taking place.

The articles that will be reviewed as they explore the different aspect involved in
communication and language and they will be compared and critiqued as they are
analyzed upon one another. An empirical investigation of the impact of non-verbal
communication on service evaluation by Mark Gabbot and Gillian Hogg explores the
role and importance of non-verbal communication in the way consumers perceive
and evaluate the experience in a service encounter. Gender, race, and speech
stereotypes by Popp et al take a look at the stereotypes associated with the genders
and races, in particular with Black people and how that impacts perceptions of
individuals. Finally When Actions Meets Emotions: How facial displays of emotion
influence foal-related behavior by Francesca Ferri explores how the emotional state
and facial expression of an individual can influence the interaction behavior of those
involved. Finally The Conception and Perception of Noncontent Speech
Performance: Implications for Speech-Accommodation Theory by Putman and Street
takes a look at the speech-accommodation theory and test to see if it is indeed a valid
theory or not. We will now break down the articles and highlight where there were
similarities between them.

The articles both touch on the correlation between the personality and likeableness of
an individual, and the deliverers willingness to co-operate or accommodate to that
person. Gabbot and Hogg said that those who are perceived as more attractive are
assumed to be more likeable and therefore people are more willing to cooperate with
them (2000). Similarly, in Ferris article, it explored how the emotions of a person can
influence the action of others and said how a happier person can be perceived as more
attractive when conversing, and the conversation will more likely be successful
because of the willingness to converge between the individuals. The results also
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revealed that those exerting happy emotions are more likely to receive greater
accuracy and care when receiving help, as the giver is more willing to cooperate

Also the articles briefly look at the influence that the context of a conversation has
on the appropriateness of different communication methods that should be used.
Gabbot and Hogg in their article agree that the context in which the service
(conversation) takes place clearly affects the primary communication exchange, for
example the physical environment can be designed to facilitate appropriate non-verbal
communication (2000). Putman and Street similarly said how the situation or context
will greatly affect the likelihood of speech accommodation and can influence the
motivation of an individual to converge or diverge, for example in an interview where
the motivation of an individual is to get the job, they are more inclined to change their
speech style to that of the interviewer in an act to appear similar to them (1984). Ferri
et al also touches on the important of context and says that the context is important
when perceiving basic facial expressions, for example in Japan it is common for
individuals to display a smile when they are in disgust or disagreement, whereas in
western cultures the relevant facial expression will be displayed to expressed the
feelings of an individual (2010).

Stereotypes are prevalent in todays society more than ever, and two articles in
particular explored the common stereotypes of today associated with ones gender and
their race or culture and the effect on conversation, both expressing similar views to
each other. Gabbot and Hogg say that men and women encode and interpret
communication cues different, and that people of similar races or culture can better
read the non-verbal behavior of one another. The articles then goes on to describing
the stereotypes of women, that they smile more and approach closer to men in
conversation, that they fidget less and make more eye contact (2000). Much like in
Popp et al where they say the differences in gender-related speech styles can affect
the way men and women communicate and that men and women speak differently to
each other, for example that men are more boastful, aggressive, straightforward and
dominating while women are more polite, gentle, talk more rapidly and indulge in
more gossip and gibberish, highlighting the different stereotypes that are prevalent in
todays society about genders. Popp et al also focused on the stereotypes associated
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with Black people and said how White people (a different race) perceive Black people
differently and in ways that might not be as accurate compared to if a Black person
was to perceive one of their own race (2003).

Popp et al tested to explore the stereotypes associated with Black people in society
(2003). The study used 170 undergraduate students at the University of Connecticut
all primarily of the White race, and asked them to participate in a variety of activities,
varying in relevance to the actual study, with the primary source of results coming
from an activity which required the students to imagine a character in a story, in
particular a Black male, how they would sound, how they would speak, and the
participants were then asked a questionnaire on their fictional characters
characteristics and finally completed a Marlowe Crowne Social Desirability Scale in a
self-report to gain information about the participants perceptions of themselves. A
strength for this study is that they examined stereotypes of race and gender jointly
which was not done previously with other studies but Popp et al knew the connection
between race and gender with stereotypes, and the study also included open ended
measures such as the imagination task that allowed the participants to fully engage

Putman and Street conducted two studies, the first to examine the relationship of
noncontent speech levels and adjustments to interviewees impression management
effort and the second to examine communicators encoding choices in relation to
creating impressions of likeability and competence (1984). The hypotheses were
certainly in favor of the occurrence of speech accommodation, that the participants
would indeed converge to create a likeable impression to those theyre
communicating with and that the social attractiveness is positively related to
similarities between the individuals. The first study had 40 participants while the
second on had 20, which raises doubts about the studies, as the sample sizes were so
small, so they could have had a larger sample size to increase credibility of the
studies. Both studies involved participants being involved in an interview, with the
first requiring the participants to recreate a particular impression during the fact
finding interview (eg. Competent and likeable, competent and non-likeable etc) so
they would be able to witness whether convergence or divergence would occur in the
interview. The interviewer was aware of the study being undertaken and was told to
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ask a set of questions and to not converge nor diverge in the interview so they could
assess how the participant would act. The second study was very similar except that
neither the interviewer or interviewee knew that they were in a study, and there were
more open ended questions that the interview was going to ask, which allowed for a
greater degree of fact finding and conversing. The fact that the studies conducted by
Putman and Street was undertaken firstly with one unaware participant in the
interview and then both participants in the second interview unaware of the study, this
was good as it meant there was a control (first study) which could then be compared
with the second study and they could accurately examine the occurrence of the
speech-accommodation theory in action in two different circumstances.

Ferri et al aimed at verifying how specific the effect is of the facial expression of
emotions of an individual with respect to how the action aimed at the same individual
is executed (2010). Unlike the other studies, Ferri et al used a kinematic approach to
analyse the simulation of feeding others, which involved the participant requiring to
grasp food on the computer screen and put it on the mouth of person on the screen,
who would be portraying either one of four emotions, happy, neutral, disgust or
angry, and the feeding trajectory of the mouse was recorded to gather data for the
experiment to see the effect that facial emotions would have on the participant. Firstly
I think that using a moving image of a persons face while they display an emotion
instead of just a static image of a face would invoke more of a response from the
participants, as they feel more connected or disconnected from the face on the screen,
defiantly affecting their speed and accuracy when feeding the face even more so. Also
the study could have been improved by incorporating more situations and goals, not
only the goal of feeding a face, but different ones to examine how the context will
effect the actions that are executed upon the individual varies, for example the degree
of assistance that is given to a person on the street who needs to replace their tire and
expresses the different facial expressions and moods to see how that would affect the
assistance given to the participant.

Similar to Popp et al, Gabbot and Hogg used a questionnaire to go with their video
scenarios that were played to participants to determine the effect that non-verbal
communication, in particular the kinesics, oculesics and para-linguistics, when
evaluating a service that has been provided, looking at the importance of non-verbal
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communication in giving a good service (2003). The study involved a total of 377
participants, with 203 reporting on the positive scenario and 174 reporting to the
service given in the negative scenario, which I believed was an adequate sample size.
Popp et al made sure that the video scenarios that the participants watched and
reported on in the questionnaire were identical to each other, same women, same
location, same clothes, same script and even same length of the video, but the key
difference would be how the script was acted out by the female actress, this was good
as it ensured that only the independent variable was affecting the participants
perception of the service and ensured credibility to the experiment. One critique for
this study was that it was not conducted in a real-life scenario, only through a visual
experience, I believe that although the results would have been the same, the
scenarios would have had a larger impact and effect on the perceptions of the
participants if it was real life and they were able to use all five senses to better be
equipped to evaluate the service and would have given the study more creditability.
But with that said, conducting the experiment one person at a time in a real life
scenario would have been much more time consuming and used up much more
resources so I understand why they opted to go with the visual experience over the
real life experience for the study.

As can be seen from analyzing the four articles and reviewing them against each
other, they all say similar things in regards to language and communicating. We found
out its obvious that the stereotypes place on people based on their race or gender can
certainly affect ones perception of them and is still relevant in todays society. Also
that people all have a motivation or demotivation to converge or diverge when
conversing with others based of their likeableness and attractiveness or the context of
the situation, and that the verbal and non-verbal communication cues that is portrayed
will ultimate determine the success of a conversation.

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Part B Video Reflection

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PART B: Video Reflection
To base my analysis and reflection on the topic area of Language and
Communication, I chose the comedy-drama Lost in Translation which is film
about two characters, Bob Harris and Charlotte, who are brought together
unexpectedly in a foreign land and are attracted by their similarities in personal life
problems and their similar situation in life. Throughout the film through the
interactions the two characters have with each other, and those around them, we see
how the concepts of the Speech-Accommodation theory, and the importance of non-
verbal communication and the cues associated with that, we see how relevant they are
in our everyday lives and although most of our communication with others is
automatic, we see how these concepts are in our everyday lives.

In this reflection we will focus mainly on the two main characters of the film, Bob
and Charlotte. Bob Harris, a middle aged actor experiencing a mid-life crisis where
hes marriage is lacking meaning and he is confused with where hes life is going.
From the film we can see that he is a very outgoing and friendly individual, and is
experienced with human interaction, and throughout the film we see the speech
accommodation theory in place as he interacts with all types of other characters.
Throughout the whole film, we see Bob converging with nearly all of the people he
interacts with, apart from the two male fans who pester him at the bar scene early on
in the movie, where in accordance with the theory, Bob is unattracted to escalate
conversation with the two males as they unexpectedly interrupt hes alone time, so he
consequently appears disinterested and politely leaves the table and wishes the males
a good day. In that specific scene we can also relate this back to the Ferri et al article,
where in contradiction the article, even though Bob was displaying disinterest and a
bored facial expression, the males still continued with their questions and annoying of
Bob because they were so caught up and star struck that they didnt see they were
annoying Bob. This scene suggests that although we may display certain facial
emotions during our interactions, the context will affect how one may perceive non-
verbal cues such as facial emotions and the context of the interaction and this
perception of will ultimately determine the effect of the non-verbal cue. We see Bobs
friendly nature and the accommodation theory with hes interactions with the
Japanese characters in the film. Even though there is an obvious language barrier
between Bob and the Japanese characters, throughout the film we see Bob trying to
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imitate the culture and traditions of the Japanese people, such as bowing and politely
greeting each person that he meets, and when conducting conversation with the
Japanese we see Bob converge with hes interactions and genuine interest in the other

Charlottes personality is also outgoing in nature, very friendly but also very confused
and saddened with her life, as we saw through the reoccurring lack of passion and
even lack of acknowledgement at times of her husband John to her, as she is usually
left by herself in tears confused and trying to figure out what to do next. We see the
importance of non-verbal communication as explore in the text and the articles in the
scene where John has to leave for work suddenly and hes with Charlotte in the hotel
room. Although he verbally communicates that he loves her and says goodbye, he's
lack of eye contact and rapid pace of hes speech suggest a lack lustred meaning
behind the words he speaks, and we see a Charlotte who is wanting some attention as
we see her position her body toward John and gazing at him while he walks around
the room waiting for him to acknowledge her. In the flower making scene with
Charlotte we see her her friendly nature and eagerness to find something to do, were
she wanders around the hotel and finds a room where they are making bouquets, and
in accordance with the article by Ferri et al, her confused and vulnerable facial
emotions brought about action from the Japanese lady to instruct her and show
Charlotte what to do, confirming the article that facial emotions expressed by an
individual will affect if others will be more willing to assist them.

The evidence of the speech accommodation theory and the use of non-verbal cues in
our interactions with people is clearly seen through the interactions between the two
main characters, Bob and Charlotte and their similar personalities. When they first
met each other, they were initially brought together through their shared boredom at
the hotels bar, and from that first interaction we saw they were both similar to each
other in their personalities, both friendly, outgoing, funny etc, and although there was
an age gap between them, their similarities brought them together throughout the film
and in accordance with the speech accommodation theory, they both clearly found
each other attractive from their similar lost in life situation and their personalities, so
they converged through the whole movie and they became closer to each other, as
they found comfort and joy from each other. This sense of comfort between the
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characters is seen in the karaoke scene where the audience first see the shared
attraction as portrayed by the non-verbal cues that Bob and Charlotte were giving
each other, constant and consistent eye contact from Charlotte and gazing eye from
Bob, prolonged smiles and capped off with Charlotte resting her head on Bobs
shoulder, we saw how through the non-verbal communication between the characters
their relationship grow as they found increasing attraction and comfort with each
other. We see from the film that Bob and Charlotte both have similar personalities and
thats what helped attract them to each other and brought them closer to each other.

Their personalities are very common in real life, everyday we interact with people
who are friendly, outgoing and looking for a purpose in life, but that doesnt mean
that we treat them all the same way and generalise them because each person does
have their own story and motivations, and when interacting with these people its best
to reciprocate the friendliness toward them as that will ensure a successful
conversation and relationship with them.

In the film, we only get the see group interaction briefly when Charlotte and Bob go
out to a bar and karaoke with her Japanese friends, but from these group scene we see
the idea of increased acceptance and accommodation of speech and converging of the
group with Bob and Charlotte as they recognise that they are identified as a group
together with the aim of having fun and that ultimately led to the whole group having
a fun night out on the town. Although I do believe that there is increased acceptance
and willingness to converge in a group context, if there are individuals though who go
against the group norm or beliefs then they might be treated as outsiders then as they
are not accepted anymore and divergence occurs.

Lost in Translation is a film where the context has meant that the communication
between characters is emphasised because of the fact that the two main characters are
in a foreign land and have to rely on their friendly outgoing personalities to interact
with others and make successful relationships. Through reflection upon the film and
its relevant to Language and Communication, I saw the important of non-verbal
communication in everyday life, and that sometimes it might mean more than the
verbal aspect of communication as it normally reveals the true intentions of someone.
Also I see how the speech-accommodation theory was certainly shown throughout the
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film with the main characters and their interactions with themselves and others,
opening my eyes to how people have different motivations to converge or diverge in
conversation and that the context of the situation greatly impacts whether the former
or the latter occurs.

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Appendix 1

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Appendix 2

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Appendix 3

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Appendix 4

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Appendix 5

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Reference List
Ferri, F. Stoianov, I. Gianelli, C. Borhgi, A. Gallese, V. 2010, "When Action Meets
Emotions: How Facial Displays of Emotion Influence Goal-Related Behavior:
e13126", PLoS One, Vol. 5, Issue 10, .

Gabbot, M. Hogg, G. 2000, "An empirical investigation of the impact of non-verbal
communication on service evaluation", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 34,
pp. 384-398.

Popp, D. Donovan, R. Crawford, M. Kerry, M 2003, "Gender, race, and speech style
stereotypes", Sex Roles, Vol. 48, pp. 317-325.

Putman, W. Street, R 1984, "The Conception and Perception of Noncontent
Speech Performance: Implications for Speech-Accommodation Theory",
International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Vol. 46, pp. 97-114.