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Rodica GRAMMA, Adriana PALADI

Didactic material for medical students

Chisinau, 2011



Chair of Philosophy and Bioethics

Rodica GRAMMA, Adriana PALADI

Didactic material for medical students

Centrul Editorial-Poligrafic Medicina
CZU 316.62+ 316.77 (075.8)
G 76
Aprobat de Consiliul Metodic Central al USMF Nicolae Testemianu,
proces verbal nr. 2 din 18.03. 2010
Recenzeni: Angela Spinei - doctor n filosofie, confereniar universitar (USM)
Tudor Grejdianu dr. hab. n medicin, profesor universitar (USMF)
Redactor tiinific: Teodor N. rdea dr. hab. n filosofie, profesor universitar
Coordonator: Vitalie Ojovanu, doctor n filosofie, confereniar universitar
n elaborare se realizeaz o incursiune n cele mai importante teme ale tiinelor comportamentale, definindu-se
concepte de baz, relatndu-se variate abordri, realizri i probleme ale domeniului. Noiunile cheie ale lucrrii sunt:
comportament, comunicare, personalitate, sntate, eficien etc. Compendiumul este adresat studenilor, cadrelor
didactice i tuturor celor interesai de problematica domeniului.
The work includes the introduction into the most important themes of behavioral sciences, via definition of the
basic concepts, via exposure of different approaches, achievements and problems of domain. The key words of the

work are: behavior, communication, personality, health, efficiency etc. The work is designed for the students, professors
and all interested in the subjects of matter.
Gramma, Rodica; Paladi, Adriana
Behavioral sciences: Compendium. Didactic material for medical students / Rodica Gramma, Adriana Paladi; red. t.:
Teodor N.rdea; State Univ. Medicine and Pharmacy Nicolae Testemianu of Rep. of Moldova, Chair of Philosophy and Bioethics.
Ch.: CEP Medicina. 2011 158 p.
50 ex.
ISBN 978-9975-913-82-9
[316.62 +316.77]:61(075.8)
ISBN 978-9975-913-82-9
Preface 5

Catedra Filosofie i

1. Introduction in Behavioral Sciences





Concept 6
Behavior 9
1.3. Abnormal Behavior ..
Behavior and Personality
2.1. Human Personality 29
2.2. Behavior and Temperament. Temperament Typology.
2.3. Behavior and Human Somatic . 38
2.4. Jung's Theory of Psychological Types .
Behavior and Society
3.1 The Society and its Structure 47
3.2. The Concepts of Social Status and Role ... 50
3.3. Health Care as a Social System 58
3.4. The Social Role of Doctors and Patients ..
3.5. Deviations from the Role Obligations in the Doctor-Patient 67
Relationship .
Communication. Definitions and Functions
4.1. What is Communication? . 75
4.2. Communication Process.... 79
4.3. Communication Functions .. 81
4.4. Communication and Health...
Metacommunication and Cultural Differences
5.1. Metacommunication as Interpretation .. 89
5.2. Verbal Communication 93
5.3. Paraverbal Communication .. 94
5.4. Body Language .
5.5. Extraverbal Communication 105
5.6. Interaction of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
5.7. Appearance of Medical Students and Doctors. The Dress

6. Barriers and Cleavages in Communication

6.1. Communication Distorting Factors ..

6.2. Stereotypes, Stigma and Discrimination ..
6.3 Active Listening
6.4Barriers and Solutions for an Effective Medical
Communication ...........................................................................

Behavior and Cultural Contexts

7.1. The Concept of Culture

7.2. Etiquette and Cultural Differences ...
7.3. Conflict - Definition and Resolution
7.4. Intercultural Communication.
8. Health Risk Behaviors and Communication in Risk Conditions.
8.1. Dangerous Factors Determining Appearance of Illness ...
8.2. Risky Health Lifestyles ....
8.3. Behavior Change Communication


Table of content

What and how man is there are questions the humanity is interested in for the ages but only in the modern
times the more or less rigorous answers are acquired. The modern sciences, shifting the accents and priorities in
studying humans and moving in deep, enrich our knowledge, enabling us for a better understanding of human
nature. What is really significant in this context is that the modern argued approach to man, as to the bio-psychosocial integrity, changes the dominant in present therapeutic attitudes towards person as to the exclusively biologic
entity. The hallmark for replacement of biological therapeutic paradigm with that psychosomatic one is the
inclusion in medical schools curriculum the matter called Behavioral Sciences.
What are Behavioral sciences? It is a very complex domain; it is actually a generic title of a cluster of
discipline such as medical sociology, medical psychology, communication sciences etc.
The textbook contains essential general issues in Behavioral sciences and is designed to make an
introduction in this field. Being conceived to cover the most general and important subjects of the domain, it
consists of eight themes the content of which reveal the significance of such topics as: Normal and Abnormal
Behavior, Health risks behavior, Social roles of doctors and patients, Physician patient relationship, Human
psychological types, Communication and its significance in therapeutic context etc. At the end of every theme the
final questions and tasks are proposed so that to facilitate the learning and at the same time to impulse for a critical
thought. References to the theme give the opportunity to study deeply the subject of interest.
The book is intended to familiarize the students with basic achievements of behavioral sciences and to make
them able to apply acquired knowledge in their medical activity as well as in their daily life. At the end of studying
students are expected to know the human psychological types and human behavior types, to understand their
professional role (as doctors) as well as the social role of their patients, to have the competences in constricting an
adequate communication and relationship in therapeutic context etc. Knowledge acquainted with as a result of this
textbooks reading will aid the students to be more self-confident and accordingly more efficient in their future
professional activity.

Chapter 1

Introduction in Behavioral Sciences

Human behavior flows from three main sources:
desire, emotion, and knowledge

1.1. Behavior as a Concept

The concept of behavior became an important construct in early 20th century psychology. It was
considered to be the phenomenon passable for scientific analyses, and consequently the phenomenon studying
of which can lead us to the better understanding of human and development. How can be defined this
Behavior or behaviour is term refers to the actions of a system or organism, usually in relation to its
environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment. It is

the response of the system or organism to various stimuli or inputs, whether internal or external, conscious or
subconscious, overt or covert, and voluntary or involuntary. More generally, behavior can be regarded as any
action of an organism that changes its relationship to its environment. Behavior provides outputs from the
organism to the environment. It is most commonly believed that complexity in the behavior of an organism is
correlated to the complexity of its nervous system. Generally, organisms with more complex nervous systems
have a greater capacity to learn new responses and thus adjust their behavior. In the light of this supposition
human behavior is the most evolved or complex type. In Science and Human behavior B.F. Skinner
mentioned that human behavior is a difficult subject matter, not because it is inaccessible, but because it is
extremely complex. Since it is a process, rather than a thing, it cannot easily be held still for observation. It is
changing, fluid, and evanescent, and for this reason it makes great technical demands upon the ingenuity and
energy of the scientist. But there is nothing essentially insoluble about the problems which arise from this fact.
Nowadays behavior and especially that human is studied by the many academic disciplines, conventionally
included in the domain called domain of behavioral sciences
Thus the term behavioral sciences (or behavioral sciences) encompass all the disciplines that
explore the activities of and interactions among organisms in the natural world. It involves the systematic
analysis and investigation of human behavior through controlled and naturalistic experimental observations
and rigorous formulations. Behavioral sciences include two broad categories: neural - decision sciences - and
social - communication sciences.
Decision sciences involves those disciplines primarily dealing with the decision processes and
individual functioning used in the survival of organism in a social environment. These include anthropology,
psychology, cognitive science, organization theory, psychobiology, and social neuroscience.
On the other hand, communication sciences include those fields which study the communication
strategies used by organisms and its dynamics between organisms in an environment. These include fields like
anthropology, organizational behavior, organization studies, sociology and social networks.
The material to be analyzed in a science of behavior comes from two basic sources: observation and
experiment. Observation is an act of recognizing and noting a fact or occurrence often involving measurement
with instruments. Experiment can be define as an act or operation for the purpose of discovering something
unknown or of testing a principle, supposition, etc. It is a test, trial, or tentative procedure etc. Therea many
kinds of observation and experiment. B.F. Skinner classified and described them in this way:
(1) Casual observations. They are especially important in the early stages of investigation.
Generalizations based upon them, even without explicit analysis, supply useful hunches for further study.
(2) In controlled field observation, the data are sampled more carefully and conclusions stated more
explicitly than in casual observation. Standard instruments and practices increase the accuracy and uniformity
of field observation.
(3) Clinical observation has supplied extensive material. Standard practices in interviewing and
testing bring out behavior which may be easily measured, summarized, and compared with the behavior of
others. Although it usually emphasizes the disorders which bring people to clinics, the clinical sample is often
unusually interesting and of special value when the exceptional condition points up an important feature of
(4) Extensive observations of
behavior have been made under more rigidly controlled conditions in
industrial,military, and other institutional research. This work often differs from field or clinical observation
in its greater use of the experimental method.
(5) Laboratory studies of human behavior provide especially useful material. The experimental
method includes the use of instruments which improve our contact with behavior and with the variables of
which it is a function. Recording devices enable us to observe behavior over long periods of time, and
accurate recording and measurement make effective quantitative analysis possible. The most important feature
of the laboratory method is the deliberate manipulation of variables: the importance of a given condition is
determined by changing it in a controlled fashion and observing the result.
Current experimental research on human behavior is sometimes not so comprehensive as one might
wish. Not all behavioral processes are easy to set up in the laboratory, and precision of measurement is
sometimes obtained only at the price of unreality in conditions. Those who are primarily concerned with the
everyday life of the individual are often impatient with these artificialities, but insofar as relevant
relationships can be brought under experimental control, the laboratory offers the best chance of obtaining the
quantitative results needed in a scientific analysis.
(6) The extensive results of laboratory studies of the behavior of animals below the human level are
also available. The use of this material often meets with the objection that there is an essential gap between
man and the other animals, and that the results of one cannot be extrapolated to the other. To insist upon this

discontinuity at the beginning of a scientific investigation is to beg the question. Human behavior is
distinguished by its complexity, its variety, and its greater accomplishments, but the basic processes are not
therefore necessarily different. Science advances from the simple to the complex; it is constantly concerned
with whether the processes and laws discovered at one stage are adequate for the next. It would be rash to
assert at this point that there is no essential difference between human behavior and the behavior of lower
species; but until an attempt has been made to deal with both in the same terms, it would be equally rash to
assert that there is.
A discussion of human embryology makes considerable use of research on the embryos of chicks,
pigs, and other animals. Treatises on digestion, respiration, circulation, endocrine secretion, and other
physiological processes deal with rats, hamsters, rabbits, and so on, even though the interest is primarily in
human beings. The study of behavior has much to gain from the same practice.
1.2. Factors Influencing Human Behavior
Human behavior as the population of behaviors exhibited by humans is determined by many factors.
It is influenced by biology, through genes, neurotransmitters and other biological mechanisms; by
environment, through social factors; and psychology, through the structure of the human brain and its many,
varied functions. No one mentioned area can entirely determine human behavior. It is influenced through all
of them. That mean it is influenced through the interaction of biological, sociological and psychological
factors. In what is follow we will focus on these three factors and on the way these work together.
Biological basis of behavior
The nervous system
Behavior, which can vary from driving a car to making a difficult mathematical exercise, depends on
various processes in the human body. The relation between these processes is regulated by the nervous
system. Here is an example of what your body has to do in order to make you stop for a red traffic light. First
you have to perceive the light, which means that the light has to be caught by the eye. The eye sends signals to
the brain. The brain compares the signals with those received from the other eye and stores the signals
temporarily in your memory. (You know you have to stop for the red light.) After that you have to push the
brake pedal. To make this happen, your brains have to send a signal to the leg muscles to push the feet on the
brake pedal. All these signals from and to your brains are transported through nerve cells.
The nervous system is the most complex system of the human body. The human brain itself consists
of at least 10 billion neurons. Every moment of the day your nervous system is active. It exchanges millions
of signals corresponding with feeling, thoughts and actions. A simple example of how important the nervous
system is in your behavior is meeting a friend.
First, the visual information of your eyes is sent to your brain by nervous cells. There the information
is interpreted and translated into a signal to take action. Finally the brain sends a command to your voice or to
another action system like muscles or glands. For example, you may start walking towards him. Your nervous
system enables this rapid recognition and action.
There are three general functions of the nervous system in man and animals:
1. Sensing specific information about external and internal conditions (in the example above, this is
seeing your friend).
2. Integrating that information (this is the understanding of the information coming from the eyes).
3. Issuing commands for a response from the muscles or glands (this is the reaction of walking
towards him).
The nervous system provides us the ability to perceive, understand and react to environmental events.
That is why the nervous system is so extremely important for human behavior.
Genetic influences, the role of genes on behavior
How much of the behavior is accounted for by genetic factors or heritability? This question is adresed
by behavioral genetics - a field of research in psychology which began in England with Sir Francis Galton and
his study of the inheritance of genius in families. He discovered that genius 'runs in families' and concluded
that it is to a significant degree a heritable behavioral trait. Since Galton a lot of people tried to prove that
genetics play an important role in many aspects of behavior. Those people proved that complex behaviors
related to personality, psychopathology and cognition are all influenced to some degree by genetics. They
have also found that genetics alone is never enough to explain behavior, because behavior is also influenced
by the enviroment.

Today, most psychologists believe that behavior reflects both genetic and environmental aspects. They
try to explain variability in a trait like intelligence or height or musicality in terms of the genetic and
enviromental differences among people within that population.
Effect of the production of hormones on behavior
The word hormone is derived from the Greek word hormao and means to excite or stir into action.
Hormones are chemicals secreted into the bloodstream by specialized organs and carried to other parts of the
body to perform their task. Organs that secrete and manufacture hormones are known as endocrine glands.
Exocrine glands such as tear glands secrete their products outside the body. Whereas exocrine glands are also
called ductal glands, endocrine glands are ductless. Endocrine glands come in a variety of sizes and are
located through the whole body.
Hormones are found throughout the animal kingdom and even in plants, but only the vertebrates have
specialized organs to produce and to store hormones. In many cases the structure of a hormone is the same
Some human hormones are not secreted by endocrine glands but come from sources as neurons in the
hypothalamus, or cells in the digestive tract. Recently the heart has been found to produce a hormone that
helps regulate the blood pressure.
Until the beginning of the 20th century the communication within the body was exclusively attributed
to the nervous system. However, investigators discovered that the endocrine system is also important for this
function. Yet, the role of endocrine glands was anticipated in several ancient civilizations in which they were
eaten to modify health or behavior. In the fourth century B.C. Aristotle described the effects of behavior in
birds when removing the testes (castration). Although he did not what mechanism was involved, it was clear
to him that the testes were important for the male characteristics. Nowadays we know that the testes produce a
certain hormone (testosterone) that causes a lower voice and stronger muscles in male human beings.
Psychological factors
There are three psychological basic sub-systems which act on human behavior: motivation, cognition
and emotion.
Motivation is the driving force of human behavior. It is a force by which humans achieve their goals.
One of the most widely discussed theories of motivation is Abraham Maslow's theory. Accordingly to him
driving forces for human action are human heeds, structured by him hierarchically from basic to most
complexes as follows: Physiology (hunger, thirst, sleep, etc.), Safety / Security / Shelter / Health,
Belongingness / Love/ Friendship, Self-esteem / Recognition / Achievement, Self-actualization. Having a
need (desire) human start to act in order to satisfy it. The further the progress up the hierarchy, the more
individuality, humanness and psychological health a person will show.
Generally speaking motivation is classified in two types: intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is
called also internal. They say that the person is intrinsically motivated if his action (behavior) is driven by an
interest or enjoyment in the task itself, rather than relying on any external pressure. For instance students are
likely to be intrinsically motivated if they attribute their educational results to internal factors that they can
control (e.g. the amount of effort they put in); believe they can be effective agents in reaching desired goals
(i.e. the results are not determined by6luck).Extrinsic motivation is called also external. It comes from outside
of the individual. Common extrinsic motivations are rewards like money and grades, coercion and threat of
punishment. Competition is in general extrinsic because it encourages the performer to win and beat others,
not to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity.
Motivation is many times associated with volition. Nevertheless there is difference among them.
Motivation usually is seen as a process that leads to the forming of behavioral intentions. Volition is seen as a
process that leads from intention to actual behavior. In other words, motivation and volition refer to goal
setting and goal pursuit, respectively. Both processes require self-regulatory efforts.
Cognition is a complex mental phenomenon that refers to knowledge, to the way people acquired and
use their knowledge. Cognition includes processes like perception, attention, remembering, producing and
understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions.
Perception is the process of attaining understanding of the environment by organizing and
interpreting information got from the traditionally recognized five senses of sight (ophthalmoception), hearing
(audioception), taste (gustaoception), smell (olfacoception or olfacception), and touch (tactioception), and
other nontraditional senses like temperature (thermoception), kinesthetic sense (proprioception), pain

(nociception), balance (equilibrioception) and acceleration (kinesthesioception). Perception depends on

complex functions of the nervous system, but subjectively seems mostly effortless because this processing
happens outside conscious awareness.
Memory and attention
Memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information and experiences. The
environment stimulates one or more sensory systems. This environmental information then passes three levels
of memory called sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory. At each level, cognitive
processes operate on the information, giving it meaning, refreshing it and integrating it. In the sensory
memory, the information is encoded to go to the short term memory. There the information is encoded to go to
the long term memory. The ability to look at an item, and remember what it looked like with just a second of
observation, or memorization, is an example of sensory memory. Short-term memory allows recall for a
period of several seconds to a minute without rehearsal. Long-term memory can store much larger quantities
of information for potentially unlimited duration (sometimes a whole life span). For example, given a random
seven-digit number we may remember it for only a few seconds before forgetting, suggesting it was stored in
our short-term memory. On the other hand, we can remember telephone numbers for many years through
repetition; this information is said to be stored in long-term memory. While short-term memory encodes
information acoustically, long-term memory encodes it semantically.
The amount of information that can be processed is limited. The main bottle-neck is attention. If you
are distracted by a TV program, while you are trying to study, your attention will be divided over both the
book and the TV. When you would study without having the TV on, you would have more attention to 'spend'
on your study. Cognitive processes determine which of the available information will be used and which will
be ignored.
Imagination and thought
Imagination is the ability of forming mental images, sensations and concepts, in a moment when they
are not perceived through sight, hearing or other senses. Imagination is a fundamental facility through which
people make sense of the world, create the meanings. Make the distinction between two forms of
imagination: "reproductive or "constructive" imagination. Imagination can be confused with the process of
thinking, but this are two different processes, even thou interdependent. "Thought" generally refers to any
mental or intellectual activity which relates with processing of information, with the producing and
arrangements of ideas accordingly with ones needs, attachments, objectives, plans, commitments, ends and
Using language
Human language can be defined in various ways. One definition sees language primarily as the mental
faculty that allows humans to undertake linguistic behaviour: to learn languages and produce and understand
utterances. Another definition sees language as a formal system of signs governed by grammatical rules of
combination to communicate meaning. This definition stresses the fact that human languages can be described
as closed structural systems consisting of rules that relate particular signs to particular meanings. Yet another
definition sees language as a system of communication that enables humans to cooperate. This definition
stresses the social functions of language and the fact that humans use it to express themselves and to
manipulate objects in their environment.
The different definitions stress different aspects of lanquage,
simultaniously showing the great significans of language for thinking, learning and social existance of
humans. By the mean of leanguage we produse and expres our ideas, we learn from the experience of others,
we comunicate with others for the better social existnce.
David Wechsler defines intelligence as the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act
purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment. Howard Gardner say that a
human intellectual competence must entail a set of skills of problem solving enabling the individual to
resolve genuine problems or difficulties that he or she encounters and, when appropriate, to create an effective
product and must also entail the potential for finding or creating problems and thereby laying the
groundwork for the acquisition of new knowledge. Sternberg & Salter consider intelligence as a goal-directed
adaptive behavior. Thus, numerous definitions of intelligence have been proposed till now, but many of them
contain such term as ability of problem solving.
To indicate the intelligence of humans several tests have been developed. We will explain some of
them. The first intelligence test was developed by Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of the famous Charles Darwin.
Galton was interested in the differences in intelligence between human beings, and he believed that certain
families were more intelligent than others. Galton administered a battery of tests measuring qualities such as
reaction time, breathing capacity and head size.

The intelligence test as we know it was formulated by the French psychologist Binet. He assumed that
intelligence should be measured by tasks requiring reasoning and problem solving abilities. Binet thought that
a slow learning child was like a normal child but retarded in metal growth. So he concluded that a slow
learning child would perform the same as a younger child in intelligence tests. He devised a scale of mental
age. Average mental age (MA) scores correspond to chronological mental age (CA). A bright child's MA is
above his CA, and a slow learning child's MA is below his CA. An advantage of the mental aged scale is that
it can easily be interpreted.
The American psychologist Lewis Terman used Binet's method to develop a scale for intelligence.
This index is called Intelligence Quotient (IQ), and this scale expresses intelligence as a ratio of mental age
(MA) to chronological age (CA):
IQ = MA/CA 100
The 100 is used to make the result better to compare. Numbers like 101, 125 and 89 are easier to
handle than 1.01, 1.25 and .89. It is easy to conclude that when a child is smarter than the average (his MA is
Failure on one kind of item is scored the same way as a failure on another item. So this test does not show any
particular strengths or weaknesses.
To distinguish between various aspects of intelligence, the Wechsler Intelligence scale is developed.
This test is almost identical to Binet's test, but it is divided in two parts, a verbal scale and a performance
scale. Another failure of the tests is that performance increases with practice. There are books containing
intelligence tests, and when you practice them a couple of time, you know how to handle every problem so
you will score pretty high on an IQ-test.
The word emotion includes a wide range of observable behaviors, expressed feelings, and changes in
the body state. This diversity in intended meanings of the word emotion makes it hard to study. For many of
us emotions are very personal states, difficult to define or to identify except in the most obvious instances.
Moreover, many aspects of emotion seem unconscious to us. Even simple emotional states appear to be much
more complicated than states as hunger and thirst.
To clarify the concept of emotions, three definitions of various aspects of emotions can be
1. Emotion is a feeling that is private and subjective. Humans can report an extraordinary range of
states, which they can feel or experience. Some reports are accompanied by obvious signs of enjoyment or
distress, but often these reports have no overt indicators. In many cases, the emotions we note in ourselves
seem to be blends of different states.
2. Emotion is a state of psychological arousal an expression or display of distinctive somatic and
autonomic responses. This emphasis suggests that emotional states can be defined by particular constellations
of bodily responses. Specifically, these responses involve autonomously innervated visceral organs, like the
heart or stomach.
3. Emotions are actions commonly "deemed", such as defending or attacking in response to a threat.
This aspect of emotion is especially relevant to Darwin's point of view of the functional roles of emotion. He
said that emotions had an important survival
role because they generated actions to dangerous situations.
Some psychologists have tried to subdivide emotions in categories. For example Wilhelm Wundt, the
great nineteenth century psychologist, offered the view that emotions consist of three basic dimensions, each
one of a pair of opposite states: pleasantness/unpleasantness, tension/release and excitement/relaxation.
However, this list has become more complex over time. Plutchik suggests that there are eight basic emotions
grouped in four pairs of opposites:
1. joy/sadness
2. acceptance/disgust
3. anger/fear
4. surprise/anticipation
In Plutchik's view, all emotions are a combination of these basic emotions, primary emotions could
blend to form the full spectrum of human emotional experience.
Emotions differ not only accordingly to criteria of primary/secondary. They can be distinguished after their
occurrence in time. Some emotions occur over a period of seconds (for example, surprise), whereas others can last
years (for example, love). The latter could be regarded also as a long term tendency not as a proper emotion. A
distinction is then made between emotion episodes and emotional dispositions. Dispositions are also comparable to
character traits, where someone may be said to be generally disposed to experience certain emotions, though about

different objects. For example an irritable person is generally disposed to feel irritation more easily or quickly than
others do.

Social influences
Humans are social creatures. There is a fundamental human need to belong to social groups, because
survival and prosperity is more likely if we live and work together. However, to live together, we need to
agree on common beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors that reduce in-group threats act for the common
good. These biliefs, valuies and principles are expresed in social tradition, laws, ethical codes and delivered
among humans by the mean of diferent social sistem: educational system, juridical sistem, massmedia system
etc. Society influence the behavior of its members in many ways. It pass laws through its governmental
institutions, creating severe punishments for particular antisocial behaviors. It develop a strong desire for
ethics and morals, through its religious institutions as well as secular education (begining with it elimentary
or family level end ending with highest institutional level ) and tradition (seen as an ansambe of rituals that
pressure people to behave in a predictable fashion and that why seen as source of social stability).
As we grow and develop in society, we internalize the values of the society around us by making
these our own. The process through which society influences individuals to internalize values (attitudes and
expectations) is called socialization. Individuals do not automatically absorb, but gradually accept cultural
attitudes and roles. The individual is often unaware of his acceptance of these socially derived roles, roles are
often accepted unconsciously. This is usually accomplished through the imitation of role models. We learn to
conform to rules of other people. And the more we see others behaving in a certain way or making particular
decisions, the more we feel obliged to follow suit.
When a person in a society or group does not conform to the rules of society or group, then they may
be considered a deviant and both private and public advice may be given to them on how to fit in. If they still
do not obey norms, they will be marginalized (punished) by society or will be ejected and membership of the
group revoked.
A form of deviant behavior is criminal behavior. Generally social influence is defined as change in an
individuals thoughts, feelings, attitudes, or behaviors that results from interaction with another individual or a
group. Particularly when we discuss about concrete type of behavior we have to mention the concert factor
which determined it. Thus when in concern is criminal behavior for instance in children and young people
same risk factors are to be mentioned:
Poor parental supervision and discipline;
Family conflict;
Family history of problem behaviour;
Parental involvement / attitudes condoning problem behaviour;
Low income and poor housing.
Low achievement, beginning at primary school;
Aggressive behaviour, including bullying;
Lack of commitment, including truancy;
School disorganisation.
Community disorganisation and neglect;
Availability of drugs;
Disadvantaged neighbourhood;
High turnover and lack of neighbourhood attachment.
Individuals, friends and peers
Alienation and lack of social commitment;
Attitudes that condone problem behaviour;
Early involvement in problem behaviour;
Friends involved in problem behaviour.
Protective factors are linked to positive outcomes even when children are growing up in adverse
circumstances and heavily exposed to risk. These are:
Strong bonds with family, friends and teachers;
Healthy standards set by parents, teachers and community leaders;
Opportunities for involvement in families, schools and the community;
Social and learning skills to enable participation;
Recognition and praise for positive behaviour.


Abnormal Behavior

The behavior of people (and other organisms or even mechanisms) falls within a range with some
behavior being common, some unusual, some acceptable, and some outside acceptable limits. Even there is a
large diversity of human behavior people tend to divide it in two broad categories: normal and abnormal one.
When starting a discussion of abnormal behavior, people sometimes ask, "How can anybody tell what is
abnormal, anyway?" The definition of the word abnormal is simple enough: deviating from the norm.
However, applying this to psychology poses a complex problem: What is normal? Whose norm? For what
age? For what culture? Some would simply classify what is "good" as normal and what is "bad" as abnormal,
but this is a vague and narrow definition and brings up many of the same questions for the definition of
"good" as does the definition for "normal". There are many more ways of determining a more objective
reference point. The following criteria are used to determine whether a person behavior is abnormal or not:
1. Statistical abnormality (deviation from statistical norms). A behavior may be judged abnormal if it
is statistically unusual in a particular population. The word abnormal means 'away from the norm'. Many
population facts are measured such as height, weight and intelligence. Most of the people fall within the
middle range of intelligence, but a few are abnormally stupid. But according to this definition, a person who is
extremely intelligent would be classified as abnormal too.
2. Violation of socially-accepted standards (deviation from social norms). An abnormal behavior
might be defined as one that goes against common or majority or presumed standards of behavior. By this
definition, a person is abnormal if violating the expectations and values of a community. For example, one
might be judged abnormal in one's failure to behave as recommended by one's family, church, employer,
community, culture, or subculture. The main problem with the "violation of standards" definition of
abnormality is that it is based upon cultural standards that change from place to place and time to time. What
is abnormal in one culture may be regarded as acceptable in a different culture. What is regarded as abnormal
at one time may be regarded as normal several decades later. For example, watching TV may be considered
abnormal in the Amish culture, where modern conveniences are avoided. Violation of standards does not
necessarily correlate with statistical rarity. Physical abuse of a spouse is considered abnormal in the United
States, although it occurs in up to a fifth of marriages.
3. Maladaptiveness of behavior. This criteria approach abnormality by starting with a theory of
personality development. If normal development can be defined, then abnormality is defined by the failure to
develop in this way. For example, if adults normally arrive at a moral stage that prohibits killing other people,
and someone does not arrive at this stage, that person might be called abnormal. This third criterium is how
the behavior affects the well-being of the individual and/or social group.
4. Subjective abnormality. The fourth criterium considers abnormality in terms of the individual's
subjective feelings, personal distress, rather than his behavior. Judging abnormality by subjective discomfort
raises a different set of problems. In the type of abnormality called neurosis, personal distress may be the only
symptom, because the individual's behavior seems normal. Psychotic people, the most seriously disordered of
all mental patients, often feel perfectly normal and suffer little distress, despite having markedly "crazy" and
unrealistic thought processes that could
10 lead to behavior harmful to themselves or others.
5. Legal approuch. The legal definition of abnormality declares a person insane when he is not able to
judge between right and wrong.
6. Biological injury. Abnormal behavior can be defined or equated with abnormal biological
processes such as disease or injury. Examples of such abnormalities are brain tumors, strokes, heart disease,
diabetes, epilepsy, and genetic disorders.
Many of the classic psychiatric syndromes we will discuss in this chapter are now recognized as brain
diseases involving abnormal levels of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that neurons use to communicate. On
the other hand, people tend to refer to any behavior they do not like as a disease or a disorder. The idea that
alcoholism is a disease, for example, is quite controversial, although it is a widely accepted idea.
Biological approaches to defining abnormal behavior of many types seem to be gaining ground,
because there are so many advancing technologies for defining biological problems. Brain scans, analysis of
neurotransmitters, and genetic analysis all provide objective ways of identifying biological disturbances. The
vast majority of abnormal behaviors discussed in this chapter (with a few exceptions such as the personality,
somatoform, and factitious disorders) are now thought to have a biological basis. Many respond to
medication, used alone or with psychotherapy.
Even when there are biological factors that contribute to a problem, the environment usually plays a
role as well. Biological approaches to defining abnormality may encourage people to overlook environmental

factors that are easier to change than genetics or brain disorders. A study of adopted children showed that two
distinct risk factors encouraged alcoholism: (1) familial alcoholism (one or both genetic parents were
alcoholic) and (2) drinking in the family environment (the adoptive parents had drinking problems). Either
heredity or environment could increase risk of alcoholism, and obviously only the environment can be
manipulated or changed after a person is born, if one wants to prevent alcoholism from developing.
Specific behavioral disorders
1. Divided Brain
This disease is also called split-brain, and the problem the patient has is that the both brain parts
cannot communicate with each other.
The brain has two hemispheres, the right and the left hemisphere. Those two hemispheres do look like
mirror images of each other, but a closer examination reveals certain asymmetries. When the two hemispheres
are measured during an autopsy, the left one is almost always larger than the right one. This anatomical
difference are related to differences in functions between the two hemispheres: the left hemisphere is
specialized for the use of language, while the right one is specialized for mental imagery and the
Speech and the production of sounds are usually located in the left hemisphere. But some left-handed people
have speech centers located in the right hemisphere or divided between the two. Seeing is also complicated,
the two eyes of you give their information to the opposite hemisphere; your right eye gives his information to
the left hemisphere, and your left eye to the right hemisphere. The brain transforms this information so we see
'normal'. As a result of this the left hemisphere sees the right hand in the right visual field, this is correct
because your right hemisphere controls you left body-half and otherwise. When someone is suffering a splitbrain his both hemispheres cannot communicate. In a test, a person with a split brain is seated in front of a
screen. Because of his split brain he cannot use his right hand to take something he sees with his left eye.
When a word appears on the left side of the screen, the eye passes the information through to the right
hemisphere so he won't understand the word because language depends on the left hemisphere.
Because people with split brain can not combine the information of both hemispheres, their behavior
is pretty strange. Because he is not aware of everything that happens he can look stupid and his behavior can
be illogical and vague.
2. Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is the label given to a group of psychotic disorders characterized by distortion of
reality, withdrawal from social interaction and disorganization of thought. The word schizophrenia is derived
from the Greek words for to split (schidzein) and mind (phren). This splitting is related to fragmenting of the
thought processes.
Schizophrenia occurs in all cultures, also those that are remote from western civilization and its stress.
Because the disorder often reoccurs and because the patient's suffer long from it, half of all psychiatric
hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering schizophrenia. Schizophrenia usually appears in young
adulthood. Sometimes the disorder develops slowly, but sometimes it has a sudden onset. These are often a
result of stress with people living an isolated life. Whether the disorder develops slowly or suddenly, the signs
are many and varied. The primary characteristics can be summarized as the following, although not every
schizophrenic person will show all of them:
1. Disturbance of thought and attention; people suffering schizophrenia often cannot think logically
and as the result of this they cannot write a story, because every word they write down might make sense, but
are meaningless in relation to each other, and they cannot keep their attention to the writing.
2. Disturbances of perception; during acute schizophrenic episodes, people say that the world appears
different to them, their bodies appear longer, colors seem more intense and they cannot recognize themselves
in a mirror.
3. Disturbances of affect; schizophrenic persons fail to show 'normal' emotions. For example, a
patient may smile while talking over tragic events
4. Withdrawal from reality; during schizophrenic episodes, the individual becomes absorbed in his
inner thoughts and fantasies. The self-absorption may be so intense that the individual may not know the
month or day or the place where he is staying.
5. Delusions and hallucinations; in most cases the former characteristics are accompanied by
delusions. The most common are beliefs that other persons are trying to control his thoughts, he may become
suspicious of friends (paranoid), this is the reason why Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

The results of schizophrenia are many and varied, but these are the main characteristics. Not
everybody has the same opinion about the causes of schizophrenia, but some factors have certainly influence
on schizophrenics. Disturbed home life and early trauma are frequently found in the background of
schizophrenics. The early death of one or more parents, emotionally disturbed parents and strife between
parents are found with greater frequency in the background of schizophrenics.
3. Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain now considered a leading cause
of dementia. Alzheimer's disease was first described by the German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in
1906, it affects an estimated 2.5 to 3 million people in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the number
of individuals with this condition is estimated to rise to over 1 million by the year 2010. Percentage rates
(cases per 100 individuals of 65 years and over) worldwide vary considerably between 0.6 in China to 10.3 in
Massachusetts, United States. The incidence of the disease increases with advancing age, but there is no
evidence that it is caused by the aging process.
The average life expectancy of people with the disease is between five and ten years, although many
patients now survive 15 years or more due to improvements in care and medical treatment. The cause of this
disease has not been discovered, although palliative therapy is available. The ability of doctors to diagnose
Alzheimer's disease has improved in recent years, but this remains a process of elimination and final diagnosis
can be confirmed only by post-mortem. Alzheimer's patients show nerve cell loss in the parts of the brain
associated with cognitive functioning. The hallmark lesions of Alzheimer's disease include the formation of
abnormal proteins. Alzheimer's disease is also characterized by profound deficits in the brain's
neurotransmitters which has been linked with memory function.
4. Autism
Autism (from the Greek word autos, which means self) is a severe infant disorder of behavior that
develops before the age of three. The term is used to describe many types of mental disorders, but, as
originally named in 1943 by the American child psychologist Leo Kanner, early infantile autism describes a
rare cluster of symptoms. Its incidence is approximately 1 in 2,500. An autistic child is unable to use language
meaningfully or to process information from the environment. About half of all autistic children are mute, and
those who speak often only repeat what they have heard. The term autism refers to their vacant, withdrawn
appearance, but its connotation of voluntary detachment is inappropriate. Other characteristics of autism
include an uneven pattern of development, a fascination with mechanical objects, a ritualistic response to
environmental stimuli, and a resistance to any change in the environment. Some autistic children have
precocious ability, such as mathematical skills. The cause, prognosis, and treatment of autism are still under
study. Research suggests a genetic defect as the cause of the disorder, which may be some form of
autoimmune disease or degenerative disease of nerve cells in the brain. The best treatment is special
education, stressing learning in small groups, and strict behavioral control of the child. Treatment with drugs
such as fenfluramine and haloperidol is also being tested. In general, prognosis is poor for those autistic
children who remain mute past the age of five. Children who speak fare better, and some of them recover.
5. Phobias
Phobias are excessive fears in specific situations when there is no real danger or fears that are totally
out of proportions. Most of the time the person with a phobia realizes that his fear is irrational and illogical
but he still feels anxiety. Avoiding the feared situation can only relieve this anxiety. Most of us are afraid for
something; snakes, heights, doctors, injury or death are the most reported fears. But a fear is different from a
phobia. A fear is usually not diagnosed as a phobia unless it causes big problems in the person's daily life. An
example of this is a person with a phobia for enclosed places, he/she will notice his/her phobia when he/she
want to use elevators.
There are a number of explanations about how phobias develop. Some phobias may result from
frightening experiences. For example, you might develop fear for flying after experiencing a near air disaster.
Once such a phobia develops, the individual may go to great lengths to avoid the feared situation, and so
eliminating a possible fear. Other phobias may be learned through observation. fearful parents tend to produce
children who share their fears. This phobia might be inherited, but it is more likely that parents provide a
model and that the children imitate that model. Other phobias might develop because they are rewarded.
When a child is afraid of going to school because he will be separated from his parents for a while, he will say
he has a stomachache or something like that. Then his parents reward him with the comfort of staying home
with his parents. Behavioral techniques have proved successful in treating phobias, especially simple and
social phobias. One technique, systematic desensitization, involves confronting the phobic person with

situations or objects that are feared. Exposure therapy, another behavioral method, has recently been shown to
be more effective. In this technique, phobias are repeatedly exposed to the feared situation or object so that
they can see that no harm befalls them; the fear gradually fades. Antianxiety drugs have also been used as
palliatives. Drugs to treat depression have also proved successful in treating some phobias.
Exercises and Discussions:
1. What is the subject-matter of behavioral sciences?
2. What are the methods (sources) of knowledge in behavioral sciences?
3. Describe the factors that influence human behavior (biological, psychological and social).
4. What is abnormal behavior? Abnormal behavior types.
5. Construct your own definition of term behaviors in the light of acquired knowledge.
Recommended Essays
1. The importance of behavioral science for medical activity. Psycho somatic model of treatment.
2. A. Maslows conception of Motivation.
3. Emotion as incentive of human behavior.
4. Age and behavior.
1. Fadem Barbara. Behavioral science. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.
2. Milliken Mary Elizabeth, Honeycutt Alyson. Understanding human behavior: a guide for health care
providers. Cengage Learning, 2004.
3. Stoudemire Alan. Human behavior: an introduction for medical students. Lippincott Williams &
Wilkins, 1998.
4. Skinner B. F. Science and human behavior. The B.F. Skinner Foundation, 2005.


Chapter 2

Behavior and Personality

"Personality is the supreme realization of the innate
idiosyncrasy of a living being. It is an act of courage
flung in the face of life, the absolute affirmation
of all that constitutes the individual, the most
successful adaptation to the universal
conditions of existence, coupled with the greatest
possible freedom of self-determination."
C.G. Jung, 1875-1961

2.1. Human Personality

Almost every day we describe and assess the personalities of the people around us. Whether we
realize it or not, these daily musings on how and why people behave as they do are similar to what personality
psychologists do. While our informal assessments of personality tend to focus more on individuals,
personality psychologists instead use conceptions of personality that can apply to everyone. Even there is no
consensus concerning the definition of personality to understand what is meant by the term personality it is
the first step into the field of personality psychology.
The term "personality" originates from the Latin persona, which means mask. Significantly, in the
theatre of the ancient Latin-speaking world, the mask was not used as a plot device to disguise the identity of
a character, but rather was a convention employed to represent or typify that character. Now day most people,
when they think of personality, are actually thinking of personality differences - types and traits and the
like. Scientists define personality as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that
uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations. In other words
personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that make a person
unique. In addition to this, personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent
throughout life.
Some of the fundamental characteristics of personality include which can be summarized as follow:
Consistency - There is generally a recognizable order and regularity to behaviors. Essentially, people
act in the same ways or similar ways in a variety of situations.
Psychological and physiological - Personality is a psychological construct, but research suggests
that it is also influenced by biological processes and needs.
Impact behaviors and actions - Personality does not just influence how we move and respond in our
environment; it also causes us to act in certain ways.
Multiple expressions - Personality
is displayed in more than just behavior. It can also be seen in out
thoughts, feelings, close relationships and other social interactions.
The study of personality has a broad and varied history in psychology. Personality research has led to
the development of a number of theories that help explain how and why certain personality develops. We have
dozens and dozens of theories, each emphasizing different aspects of personhood, using different methods,
sometimes agreeing with other theories, sometimes disagreeing.
Some of major theoretical perspectives on personality include:
Type theories are the early perspectives on personality. These theories suggested that there are a
limited number of "personality types" which are related to biological influences. Type theories include
temperamental conception of Galen and constitutional conception of William Sheldon
Trait theories viewed personality as the result of internal characteristics that are genetically based.
Gordon Allport was an early pioneer in the study of traits, which he sometimes referred to as dispositions.
Significant contribution to this approach Hans Eysenck had.
Psychodynamic theories of personality are heavily influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud, and
emphasize the influence of the unconscious on personality. Psychodynamic theories include Sigmund Freuds
psychosexual stage theory and Erik Eriksons stages of psychosocial development.

Behavioral theories suggest that personality is a result of interaction between the individual and
the environment. Behavioral theorists study observable and measurable behaviors, rejecting theories that take
internal thoughts and feelings into account. Behavioral theorists include B. F. Skinner and John B. Watson.
Humanist theories emphasize the importance of free will and individual experience in the
development of personality. Humanist theorists include Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.
In following paragraphs we will unfold the main features of some significant type personality

2.2. Behavior and temperament. Temperament typology

The concept of personality type refers to the psychological classification of different types of
individuals. An early form of personality type theory was the Four Temperaments system. What is
temperament? From at least classical times, temperament has referred to an individual's stable pattern of
behaviour or reaction, one that persists across time, activity, and space.
Temperament theory has its roots in the ancient four humors theory developed by the Greek physician
Hippocrates (460-370 BC). He believed certain human moods, emotions and behaviors were caused by body
fluids (called "humors"): blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Next, Galen (AD 131-200) developed the
first typology of temperament in his dissertation De temperamentis. He mapped them to a matrix of hot/cold
and dry/wet taken from the Four Elements (fire, air, earth, water). The word "temperament" itself comes from
Latin "temperare", "to mix". In the ideal personality, the complementary characteristics or warm-cool and drymoist were exquisitely balanced. In four less ideal types, one of the four qualities was dominant over all the
others. In the remaining four types, one pair of qualities dominated the complimentary pair; for example;
warm and moist dominated cool and dry. These latter four were the temperamental categories Galen named
"sanguine", "melancholic", "choleric" and "phlegmatic" after the bodily humors. Each was the result of an
excess of one of the humors that produced, in turn, the imbalance in paired qualities. Thus sanguine suppose
the excess of blood and dominance of hot/wet qualities, choleric yellow bile - hot/dry , melancholic black
bile - cold/dry and phlegmatic phlegm - cold/wet. Although each person was deemed to have his or her own
individual temperament, they were generally described as variations on four basic types: choleric,
melancholic, sanguine, and phlegmatic. What are the basic features of each type of temperaments?
The Sanguine temperament personality is fairly extroverted. People of a sanguine temperament tend
to enjoy social gatherings and making new friends. They tend to be creative and often day dream. However,
some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can also mean very sensitive,
compassionate and thoughtful. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way
through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when pursuing a
new hobby, interest is lost quickly--when it ceases to be engaging or fun.
A person who is choleric is a doer. They have a lot of ambition, energy, and passion, and try to instill
it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great
charismatic military and political figures were cholerics.
A person who is a thoughtful pondered has a melancholic disposition. Often very kind and
considerate, melancholic can be highly creative as in poetry and art - and can become occupied with the
tragedy and cruelty in the world. A melancholic is also often a perfectionist. They are often self-reliant and
Phlegmatic tend to be self-content and kind. They can be very accepting and affectionate. They may
be very receptive and shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. They are very consistent,
relaxed, rational, curious, and observant, making them good administrators and diplomats. Unlike the
Sanguine personality, they may be more dependable.
Common traits of temperaments
From the beginning, with Galen's ancient temperaments, it was observed that pairs of temperaments
shared certain traits in common, related especially to the rapidity of the responses to the stimulus and to the
sustainability of the responses.
Sanguine - quick, impulsive, and relatively short-lived reactions. (hot/wet)
Phlegmatic - a longer response-delay, but short-lived response. (cold/wet)
Choleric - short response time-delay, but response sustained for a relatively long time. (hot/dry)

Melancholic - long response time-delay, response sustained at length, if not, seemingly, permanently.
From this schema it is evident that the sanguine and choleric shared a common trait: quickness of
response, while the melancholy and phlegmatic shared the opposite, a longer response. The melancholy and
choleric, however, shared a sustained response, and the sanguine and phlegmatic shared a short-lived
response. That meant, that the Choleric and melancholy both would tend to hang on to emotions like anger,
and thus appear more serious and critical than the fun-loving sanguine, and the peaceful phlegmatic. However,
the choleric would be characterized by quick expressions of anger, while the melancholy would build up anger
slowly, silently, before exploding.
The medical theory of temperament began to lose favor in the early modern period. As a
characterization of a person's psychological state, however, temperament continued to be employed by both
psychologists and the lay public well into the twentieth century. The temperamental theories as well as tests
were developed in contemporary periods by David Keirsey, Myers-Briggs, Ernst Kretschmer etc.
2.3. Behavior and Human Somatic
One very famous though discussable personality type conception belong to William Sheldon (18981977). He was an American psychologist who devoted his life to observing the variety of human bodies and
temperaments. He taught and did research at a number of U.S. universities and is best known for his series of
books on the human constitution. For his study of the human physique, Dr. Sheldon started with 4,000
photographs of college-age men, which showed front, back and side views. By carefully examining these
photos he discovered that there were three fundamental elements which, when combined together, made up all
these physiques or somatotypes. With great effort and ingenuity he worked out ways to measure these three
components and to express them numerically so that every human body could be described in terms of three
numbers, and that two independent observers could arrive at very similar results in determining a person's
body type.
These basic elements he named endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy, for they seemed to derive
from the three layers of the human embryo, the endoderm, the mesoderm and the ectoderm. So:
Endomorph is centered on the abdomen, and the whole digestive system.
Mesomorph is focused on the muscles and the circulatory system.
Ectomorph is related to the brain and the nervous system.
We have all three elements in our bodily makeup, just as we all have digestive, circulatory and
nervous systems. No one is simply an endomorph without having at the same time some mesomorph and
ectomorph, but we have these components in varying degrees. Sheldon evaluated the degree a component was
present on a scale ranging from one to seven, with one as the minimum and seven as the maximum.
The Extreme Endomorph - Roundness
In this physique the body is round and soft, as if all the mass had been concentrated in the abdominal
area. The arms and legs of the extreme endomorph are short and tapering, and the hands and feet
comparatively small, with the upper arms and thighs being hammed and more developed than the lower arms
and legs. The body has smooth contours
without projecting bones, and a high waist. There is some
development of the breast in the male and a fullness of the buttocks. The skin is soft and smooth like that of
an apple, and there is a tendency towards premature baldness beginning at the top of the head and spreading in
a polished circle. The hair is fine and the whole head is spherical. The head is large and the face broad and
relaxed with the features blending into an over-all impression of roundness. Santa Claus is our society's image
of the extreme endomorph.
The Extreme Mesomorph Muscles
The chest area, which Sheldon likened to an engine room, dominates over the abdominal area and
tapers to a relatively narrow, low waist. The bones and muscles of the head are prominent as well, with clearly
defined cheek bones and a square, heavy jaw. The face is long and broad and the head tends towards a cubical
shape. The muscles on either side of the neck create a pyramid-like effect. Both the lower and upper arms and
legs are well-developed and the wrists and fingers are heavy and massive. The skin is thick and tends towards
coarseness. It takes and holds a tan well and can develop a leathery appearance with heavy wrinkles. Sheldon
compared it to the skin of an orange. The hair is basically heavy-textured, and baldness, usually starts at the
front of the head. The extreme mesomorph is Mr. Universe or Tarzan.
Women on the whole tend to have less mesomorph than men and more endomorph. Women who are
primarily mesomorphs rarely show the same degree of sharp angularity, prominent bone structure and highly

relieved muscles found in their male counterparts. Their contours are smoother, yet the chest area clearly
dominates over the abdominal area and both upper and lower arms and legs are well-muscled. The skin tends
to be finer than in the male mesomorph, but shows some of the same characteristics in terms of tanning and
The Extreme Ectomorph Linear
The highly ectomorph physique is fragile and delicate with light bones and slight muscles. The limbs
are relatively long and the shoulders droop. In contrast to the compactness of the endomorph and mesomorph,
the ectomorph is extended in space and linear. The ribs are visible and delicate and the thighs and upper arms
weak. The fingers, toes and neck are long. The features of the face are sharp and fragile, and the shape of the
face as a whole is triangular with the point of the triangle at the chin. The teeth are often crowded in the lower
jaw which is somewhat receding. The skin is dry and is like the outer skin of an onion. It tends to burn and
peel easily and not retain a tan. The relatively great bodily area in relation to mass makes the ectomorph suffer
from extreme heat or cold. The hair is fine and fast-growing and sometimes difficult to keep in place.
Baldness is rare. The extreme ectomorph in our society is the absent-minded professor.
Once we had grasped these three basic elements we tried to recognize them in ourselves and our
friends. We, indeed, found some people who were extreme endomorphs, or mesomorphs or ectomorphs, with
little of the other components, but there were not many of them. Most of the people we knew were a
bewildering variety of combinations, and we practiced mentally weighing how much of each component they
had. Sheldon liked to draw a body type diagram on which he plotted the different body types. Here's where he
placed the extreme endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph:

Other people were strong in two elements, and had less of the third. They fell
in between the poles of Sheldon's diagram. Four of these combinations
captured our attention. There was the hefty muscular person, the muscular thin
person, and close to him, the thinner yet still muscular person, and between the
ectomorph and the endomorph the person who was spread out and round
without really being muscular.
In the middle are mid-range physiques well endowed with all the basic
elements. And somewhere in this panoramic rainbow of physiques is you. Can
you find yourself?

The classification of body types was not Sheldon's ultimate goal. He wanted to help resolve the ageold question: Whether our body type was connected with the way we acted (eat and sleep, laugh and snore,
speak and walk)? In short, he wanted to explore the link between body and temperament, understood as body
type in action. Sheldon's procedure in looking for the basic components of temperament was much like the
one he used in discovering the body type components. He interviewed in depth several hundred people and
tried to find traits which would describe the basic elements of their behavior. He found there were three basic
components which he called viscerotonia, somatotonia and cerebrotonia, and named endotonia, mesotonia
and ectotonia.
Endotonia is seen in the love of relaxation, comfort, food and people.
Mesotonia is centered on assertiveness and a love of action.
Ectotonia focuses on privacy, restraint and a highly developed self-awareness.
Sheldon devised a way of numerically rating the strength of each area based on a check-list of 60
characteristics (see the end of this chapter for a simplfied version) that describe the basic components. The 71-1 was the extreme endotonic, the 1-7-1 the extreme mesotonic and the 1-1-7 the extreme ectotonic. He
found a strong correspondence between the endomorphic body type and the endotonic temperament, the

mesomorphic body type and the mesotonic temperament, and the ectomorphic body type and the ectotonic
temperament. Just as in our body type we have all three elements, so, too, with our temperament.
A look at the three extremes in temperament will give us some idea of what these components are
The Extreme Endotonic - Friendliness
The endotonic shows a splendid ability to eat, digest and socialize. A good deal of his energy is
oriented around food, and he enjoys sitting around after a good meal and letting the digestive process proceed
without disturbance. They fall readily to sleep and their sleep is deep and easy; they lie limp and sprawled out
and frequently snore.
Endotonic are relaxed and slow-moving. Their breathing comes from the abdomen and is deep and
regular. Their speech is unhurried and their limbs often limp. They like sitting in a well-upholstered chair and
relaxing. All their reactions are slow, and this is a reflection on a temperament level of a basal metabolism,
pulse, breathing rate and temperature which are all often slower and lower than average. The circulation in
their hands and feet tends to be poor.
The endotonic love to socialize their eating, and the sharing of meals becomes an event of the highest
importance. They treat guests well. They love company and feel more complete with other people around.
They like people simply because they are people. They have a strong desire to be liked and approved of, and
this often leads them to be very conventional in their choices in order not to run the risk of social disapproval.
The endotonic are open and even with their emotions which seem to flow out of them without any inhibitions.
Whether they are happy or sad, they want the people around them to know about it, and if others express
emotion they react directly and convincingly in sympathy. When an endotonic has been drinking he becomes
even more jovial and radiates an expansive love of people. Endotonic are family-oriented and love babies and
young children and have highly developed maternal instincts. They express affection and approval readily and
need both back in kind.
The Extreme Mesotonic - Action
They are always ready for action, and good posture is natural to them. They get up with plenty of
energy and seem tireless. They can work for long periods of time and both need and like to exercise. If they
are forced into inactivity they become restless and dejected.
The mesotonic tends to eat his food rapidly and somewhat randomly, often neglecting set meal times.
He sleeps the least of the three types and sometimes contents himself with six hours. He is an active sleeper
who thrashes about. He shows insensitivity to pain and a tendency to high blood pressure and large blood
The mesotonic has no hesitation in approaching people and making known his wants and desires. The
tendency to think with his muscles and find exhilaration in their use leads him to enjoy taking chances and
risks, even when the actual gain is well-known to be minimal. They can become fond of gambling and fast
driving and are generally physically fearless. They can be either difficult and argumentative, or slow to anger,
but always with the capacity to act out physically and usually with some sort of history of having done so on
special occasions.
This physical drive manifests itself on the psychological level in a sense of competition. The
mesotonic wants to win and pushes 18
himself forward. He tends to walk roughshod over the obstacles in his
path and the people who stand in the way of his achieving what he wants. On the positive side this is called
being practical and free from sentimentality, but on the negative side it is called ruthlessness or obnoxious
This outward energetic flow makes mesotonic generally noisy. Their voices carry and sometimes
boom out as if speech were another form of exercise. When alcohol reduces their inhibitions, they become
more assertive and aggressive. They look older than their chronological age. The extraversion of action that is
so strong here goes together with a lack of awareness of what is happening on the subjective level. He likes
wide-open spaces and freedom.
The female mesotonic shows the same extraversion of action, but how this action expresses itself has
a different quality. There is not the same overt physical combativeness and competitive aggressiveness. The
action is more muted and flows in more socially acceptable channels. The mesotonic woman should be
compared not with men but with other women, and it is in relation to other women that she shows the
distinctive mesotonic traits in a feminine way.
The Extreme Ectotonic - Reflection
The outstanding characteristic of the ectotonic is his finely-tuned receptive system. His spread-out
body acts like a giant antenna picking up all sorts of inputs. He is like a sonar operator who must constantly be

wary of a sudden loud noise breaking in on the delicate sounds he is trying to trace. He likes to cross his legs
and curl up as if he is trying to minimize his exposure to the exterior world. He tries to avoid making noise
and being subjected to it. He shrinks from crowds and large groups of people and likes small, protected
The ectotonic suffers from a quick onset of hunger and a quick satiation of it. He is drawn to a high
protein, high calorie diet, with frequent snacking to match his small digestive system. He has a nervous
stomach and bowels. He is a quiet sleeper, but a light one, and he is often plagued by insomnia. He tends to
sleep on one side with his legs drawn up, and his sleep, though slow in coming, can be hard to shake off. His
energy level is low, while his reactions are fast he suffers from a quasi-chronic fatigue and must protect
himself from the temptation to exercise heavily. His blood pressure is usually low and his respiration shallow
and rapid with a fast and weak pulse. His temperature is elevated slightly above normal and it rises rapidly at
the onset of illness. The ectotonic is resistant to many major diseases, but suffers excessively from insect bites
and skin rashes. His hypersensitivity leads not only to quick physical reactions but to excessively fast social
reactions as well. It is difficult for this type to keep pace with slow-moving social chit-chat. He races ahead
and trips over his own social feet.
Self-awareness is a principle trait of ectotonia. The feelings of the ectotonic are not on display, even
though they can be very strong, and so he is sometimes accused of not having any. When they are in a
situation of dealing with someone who has authority over them or with someone of the opposite sex whom
they are interested in, they often make a poor first impression. They are uncomfortable in coping with social
situations where overt expressions of sympathy are called for or where general idle conversation is the norm,
for example in parties and dinners where they have no intimate acquaintances.
The ectotonics are hypersensitive to pain because they anticipate it and have a lower pain threshold as
well. They do not project their voices like the mesotonics, but focus it to reach only the person they are
addressing. They appear younger than their age and often wear an alert, intent expression. They have a late
adolescence, consider the latter part of life the best, and are future-oriented. The more extreme ectotonics have
a distaste for alcohol and their accentuated consciousness fights alcohol, drugs, anesthesia and is resistant to
hypnosis. When they become troubled they seek privacy and solitude in order to try to work out the difficulty.
2.4. Jung's Theory of Psychological Types
While typologies of all sorts have existed throughout time the most influential idea of psychological
types originated in the theoretical work of Carl Jung, published as Psychological Types in 1921. According to
Jung, the conscious psyche is an apparatus for adaptation and orientation, and consists of a number of
different psychic functions. Among these he distinguishes four basic functions:
sensing - perception by means of the sense organs;
intuition - perceiving in unconscious way or perception of unconscious contents.
thinking - function of intellectual cognition; the forming of logical conclusions;
feeling - function of subjective estimation;
These functions are putted by author in pair accordingly to the criteria of rationality. Thus, thinking
and feeling functions are rational, while sensing and intuition are nonrational.
19 thoughts, feelings or actions with reason a point of view based
Rationality consists of figurative
on objective value, which is set by practical experience.
Non-rationality is not based in reason. Jung notes that elementary facts are also nonrational, not
because they are illogical but because, as thoughts, they are not judgments.
In a person one function of pair is dominant while other is auxiliary.
Thinking and feeling
Women use feeling more than thinking, and men use thinking more than feeling.
This seems to be a general rule, though each of us has both functions and what function we use most
has nothing to do with the question of intelligence.
Suppose a couple wants to buy a house. The husband may think of the house in terms of its price,
closeness to work, maintenance and so forth, while his wife might consider the purchase in terms of how she
might feel when friends and relatives come over and how the house will look during next year's Thanksgiving
Sensation and Intuition
Just as there are two equally valid ways to arrive at a judgment, Jung saw that there were two ways of
perception: sensation and intuition.

Sensation is easy to grasp. It means perception by means of our various senses. It means contact with
people and things by way of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Sensation is in touch with the here and now
in all its rich detail.
Intuition means the perception of possibilities. If sensation is oriented to the present, intuition revels
in the future.
When sensation is in a room, it glories in all the shades of color, and the styles of decoration it finds
there, while intuition immediately looks for the nearest window in order to float out of it and search out
hidden possibilities in the future.
According to the direction of psychic energy Carl Jung elaborate other typology. He divides human
personality in introvert and extrovert. If a persons energy usually flows outwards, he or she is an extravert,
while if this energy normally flows inwards, this person is an introvert. Extraverts feel an increase of
perceived energy when interacting with a large group of people, but a decrease of energy when left alone.
Conversely, introverts feel an increase of energy when alone, but a decrease of energy when surrounded by a
large group of people.In more details Extraversion is "the act, state, or habit of being predominantly
concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self". Extraverts tend to enjoy human
interactions and to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive, and gregarious. They take pleasure in activities that
involve large social gatherings, such as parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or
political groups. Acting, teaching, directing, managing, brokering are fields that favor extraversion. An
extraverted person is likely to enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone. They

enjoy risk-taking and often show leadership abilities.

An extravert is energized when around other people. Extraverts tend to "fade" when alone and can
easily become bored without other people around. Extraverts tend to think as they speak. When given the
chance, an extravert will talk with someone else rather than sit alone and think.
Introversion is "the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and
interested in one's own mental life". Introverts tend to be low-key, deliberate, and relatively less engaged in
social situations. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, drawing, watching
movies, and using computers. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, composer and inventor are all highly
introverted. An introverted person is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with
large groups of people (although they tend to enjoy interactions with close friends). They prefer to concentrate
on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate. Introversion is not the same
as shyness. Introverts choose solitary over social activities by preference, whereas shy people avoid social
encounters out of fear. An introvert is energized when alone. Introverts tend to "fade" when with people and
can easily become overstimulated with too many others around. Introverts tend to think before speaking.
To give a complete description of a person's psychological type, Jung refers to both the function and
attitude type. As a result we have eight personality types:
The Extraverted Sensation Type is a realist who seeks to experience as many concrete sensations as
possible - preferably, but not necessarily, ones that are pleasurable. These experiences are seen as ends in
themselves and are rarely utilized for any other purpose.
Such persons are sensualists or aesthetes who are attracted by the physical characteristics of objects
20 well, and can be very good company.
and people. They dress, eat and entertain
Not at all reflective nor introspective, they have no ideals except sensory enjoyment. They generally
mistrust inner psychological processes and prefer to account for such things in terms of external events (e.g.,
they may blame their moods on the weather).
If extreme, they are often crudely sensual and may exploit situations or others in order to increase
their own personal pleasure. When neurotic, repressed intuition may be projected onto other people, so that
they may become irrationally suspicious
The Introverted Sensation Type is subjectively filtered. Perception is not based directly on the object,
but is merely suggested by it.
Perception depends crucially upon internal psychological processes that will differ from one person to
the next. At its most positive, introverted sensation is found in the creative artist. At its most extreme, it
produces psychotic hallucinations and a total alienation from reality.
The introverted sensation type reacts subjectively to events in a way that is unrelated to objective
criteria. Often this is seen as an inappropriate and uncalled-for overreaction.
The person may perceive the world as illusory or amusing. In extreme (psychotic) cases, this may
result in an inability to distinguish illusion from reality. The subjective world of archaic images may then

come to dominate consciousness completely, so that the person lives in a private, mythological realm of
Repressed intuition may also be expressed in vaguely imagined threats or an apprehension of sinister
The Extraverted Intuition Type - is an excellent diagnostician and exploiter of situations. Such
people see exciting possibilities in every new venture and are excellent at perceiving latent abilities in other
people. They get carried away with the enthusiasm of their vision and often inspire others with the courage of
their conviction.
As such, they do well in occupations where these qualities are at a premium - for example in initiating
new projects, in business, politics or the stock market. They are, however, easily bored and stifled by
unchanging conditions. As a result they often waste their life and talents jumping from one activity to another
in the search for fresh possibilities, failing to stick at any one project long enough to bring it to fruition.
Furthermore, in their commitment to their own vision, they often show little regard for the needs,
views or convictions of others.
When neurotic, repressed sensation may cause this type to become compulsively tied to people,
objects or activities that stir in them primitive sensations such as pleasure, pain or fear. The consequence of
this can be phobias, hypochondriacal beliefs and a range of other compulsions.
The Introverted Intuition Type - is directed inward to the contents of the unconscious. It attempts to
fathom internal events by relating them to universal psychological processes or to other archetypal images.
Consequently it generally has a mythical, symbolic or prophetic quality.
Such a person has a visionary ideal that reveals strange, mysterious things. These are enigmatic,
'unearthly' people who stand aloof from ordinary society. They have little interest in explaining or
rationalizing their personal vision, but are content merely to proclaim it.
Partly as a result of this, they are often misunderstood. Although the vision of the artist among this
type generally remains on the purely perceptual level, mystical dreamers or cranks may become caught up in
theirs. The person's life then becomes symbolic, taking on the nature of a Great Work, mission or spiritualmoral quest.
If neurotic, repressed sensation may express itself in primitive, instinctual ways and, like their
extraverted counterparts, introverted intuitive often suffers from hypochondria and compulsions.
The Extraverted Thinking Type - is driven by the objective evidence of the senses or by objective
(collective) ideas that derive from tradition or learning. Thinking is never carried out for its own sake, merely
as some private, subjective enterprise.
The extraverted thinking type bases all actions on the intellectual analysis of objective data. Such
people live by a general intellectual formula or universal moral code, founded upon abstract notions of truth or
justice. They also expect other people to recognize and obey this formula. This type represses the feeling
function (e.g., sentimental attachments, friendships, religious devotion) and may also neglect personal
interests such as their own health or financial well-being.
If extreme or neurotic, they may become petty, bigoted, tyrannical or hostile towards those who would
threaten their formula. Alternatively,
21 repressed tendencies may burst out in various kinds of personal
'immorality' (e.g., self-seeking, sexual misdemeanors, fraud or deception).
The Introverted Thinking Type - is contemplative, involving an inner play of ideas. It is thinking for
its own sake and is always directed inward to subjective ideas and personal convictions rather than outward to
practical outcomes. The introverted thinking type tends to be impractical and indifferent to objective concerns.
These persons usually avoid notice and may seem cold, arrogant and taciturn.
Alternatively, the repressed feeling function may express itself in displays of childish naivety.
Generally people of this type appear caught up in their own ideas which they aim to think through as fully and
deeply as possible.
If extreme or neurotic they can become rigid, withdrawn, surly or brusque. They may also confuse
their subjectively apprehended truth with their own personality so that any criticism of their ideas is seen as a
personal attack. This may lead to bitterness or to vicious counterattacks against their critics.
The Extraverted Feeling Type - is based upon accepted or traditional social values and opinions. It
involves a conforming, adjusting response to objective circumstances that strives for harmonious relations
with the world.
The extraverted feeling type follows fashion and seeks to harmonize personal feelings with general
social values.

Thinking is always subordinate to feeling and is ignored or repressed if intellectual conclusions fail to
confirm the convictions of the heart. When this type is extreme or neurotic, feeling may become gushing or
extravagant and dependent upon momentary enthusiasms that may quickly turn about with changing
circumstances. Such a person may therefore seem hysterical, fickle, moody or even to be suffering from
multiple personality. Repressed thinking may also erupt in infantile, negative, obsessive ways. This can lead to
the attribution of dreaded characteristics to the very objects or people that are most loved and valued.
The Introverted Feeling Type - is unrelated to any external object. It devalues objective reality and is
rarely displayed openly. When it does appear on the surface, it generally seems negative or indifferent. Such a
person aims to be inconspicuous, makes little attempt to impress and generally fails to respond to the feelings
of others.
The outer, surface appearance is often neutral, cold and dismissive. Inwardly, however, feelings are
deep, passionately intense, and may accompany secret religious or poetic tendencies. The effect of all this on
other people can be stifling and oppressive. When extreme or neurotic, this type may become domineering
and vain.
Negative repressed thinking may also be projected so that these persons may imagine they can know
what others are thinking. This may develop into paranoia and into secret scheming rivalries.
Exercises and Discussions:
a. Give a definition of personality.
b. What are the basic approaches or theories about personality?
c. Describe the classical conception of temperament.
d. What is somatotype and how many personality types were established by Sheldon?
e. Sketch the significant moments of Jungs conception of personality types.
f. Make the comparison between conceptions analyzed in the chapter.
g. Chose one of the three conceptions analyzed which is more relevant in your opinion. Justify you
Recommended Essays
h. Psychodynamic conception of personality.
i. Behaviorist conception of personality.
j. Humanist conception of personality.
k. Personality disorders.
1. Stoudemire Alan. Human behavior: an introduction for medical students. Lippincott Williams &
Wilkins, 1998.
2. Engler Barbara. Personality Theories: An Introduction. Cengage Learning, 2008.
3. Lindsay J. E.,Carter Barbara. Honeyman Heath. Somatotyping-development and applications.
Cambridge University Press, 1990.
4. Sharp Daryl. Personality types: Jung's model of typology. Inner City Books, 1987.

Chapter 3

Behavior and Society

One of the greatest diseases

is to be nobody to anybody.
Mother Teresa

3.1 Human Society and its Structure

The term society came from the Latin word societas, which in turn was derived from the noun socius
("comrade, friend, ally"). Thus this term is used to describe an interaction among parties that are friendly.
Human society is consequently a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, that must
be friendly or at least civil so that to be efficient. There is a common vision among scientist that tendency of
humans for association (forming and living in groups) is conditioned primarily by the heed to cope. A society
allows its members to realize needs or wishes they cannot fulfill alone. In this circumstance they need to work
for the global success of the society as a prerequisite for achieving their own individual success. As such,
society is a collaborative means to accomplish individual ends.
Societies can differ from each other on the level of historical, economical or technological
development, on the types of government and political structure on the specific of cultural traditions, but all
human societies have more or less alike structures. Formally social structure consists of individuals, groups,
and other social entities, and of the networks of social ties between them. Functionally social structure
consists of statuses, roles, and social institutions. Formally and functionally social structure is patterned
social arrangements which form the society as a whole, and which determine, regulate the interactions among
members of the society. To understand better the significance the meanings of each defying element will be
An individual is a person or any specific object or thing in a collection. Individuality is the state or
quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs,
goals, and desires.
Social group is an association of two or more humans who interact with one another, share similar
characteristics and collectively have a sense of unity. To have a sense of unity mean interacting with each
other with respect to:
1. Common motives and goals;
2. An accepted division of labor, i.e. roles;
3. Established status (social rank, dominance) relationships;
4. Accepted norms and values with reference to matters relevant to the group;
5. Development of accepted sanctions (praise and punishment) if and when norms were respected or
Characteristics shared by members of a group may include interests, values, representations, ethnic or
social background, and kinship ties. Thus a true social group is a group that exhibits some degree of social
cohesion and is not a simple collection or aggregate of individuals, such as people waiting at a bus stop, or
people waiting in a line. Social groups can be many types, but sociologist divided into two big categories:
primary and secondary groups. Primary groups are small groups with intimate, kinship-based relationships:
families, for example. They commonly last for many years or even generations. They are small and display
face-to-face interaction. Secondary groups,
in contrast to primary groups, are large groups involving formal
and institutional relationships. They may last for years or may disband after a short time. The formation of
primary groups happens within secondary groups. Primary groups can be present in secondary settings. For
example, attending a university exemplifies membership of a secondary group, while the friendships that are
made there would be considered a primary group that you belong to. Likewise, some businesses care deeply
about the well being of one another, while some immediate families have hostile relations within it.
Social status is the honor or prestige attached to one's position in society. It is the position or rank of a
person or group within the society.
Social role is a set of connected behaviors, rights and obligations of a person or group in a social
situation or position.
Social institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the
behavior of groups within a given human community. Institutions are identified with a social purpose and
permanence, transcending individual human lives and intentions, and with the making and enforcing of rules
governing cooperative human behavior.
3.2. The Concepts of Social Status and Role

The first person who gives the definition to the concept of status was R. Linton (1936). He defined
status simply as a position in a social system. Eventually one occupies the statuses son or daughter, playmate,
pupil, husband, mother bread-winner, cricket fan, and so on, one has as many statuses as there are groups of
which one is a member. For analytical purposes, statuses are divided into two basic types: ascribed and
achieved. Ascribed statuses are those which are fixed for an individual at birth. Ascribed statuses that exist in
all societies include those based upon sex, age, race, ethnic group and family background. Achieved statuses
are those which the individual acquires during his or her lifetime as a result of the exercise of knowledge,
ability, skill and/or perseverance. In other words achieved status is when people are placed in the stratification
structure based on their individual merits or achievements. This status can be achieved through education,
occupation, and marital status. Their place within the stratification structure is determined by society's bar,
which often judges them on success, success being financial, academic, and political and so on. America most
commonly uses this form of status with jobs. The higher you are in rank the better off you are and the more
control you have over your co-workers.
Societies vary in both the number of statuses that are ascribed and achieved and in the rigidity with
which such definitions are held. Both ascribed and achieved statuses exist in all societies and these are directly
related to the stratification of society that describes the way people are placed in society. It is associated with
the ability of individuals to live up to some set of ideals or principles regarded as important by the society or
some social group within it. The German sociologist Max Weber developed a theory proposing that
stratification is based on three factors that have become known as "the three p's of stratification": property (i.e.
material possessions), prestige (respect) and power (i.e. ability to do what one wants, regardless of the will of
others). These factors all together or one by one can show the position of a person in the society. For
example, a teacher may have a high status because of the prestige of the profession while having no propriety
or power.
In relation to the stratification of society is elaborated and idea of status groups. Status groups are
communities that are based on ideas of proper lifestyles and the honor given to people by others. These groups
only exist because of people's ideas of prestige or dishonor. Also, people in these communities are only
supposed to associate with people of like status, and all other people are looked at as inferiors. Thus human
are likely to interact with people with the same personal income, the same political views/position, the same
religion, nationality, race or social class.
Status can be changed through a process of social mobility, understood as change of position within
the stratification system. A move in status can be upward (upward mobility), or downward (downward
mobility). Social mobility allows a person to move to another social status other than the one he or she was
born in. Social mobility is more frequent in societies where achievement rather than ascription is the primary
basis for social status.
The term social role is borrowed by social scientists originally from the Greek Drama. Greek actors
wore masks when they performed in their drama. This leads us directly to the definition of the concept of
social role. A social role is a set of social norms that govern a person's behavior in a group and determine his
relationships with other group members. Put somewhat differently a role is the expected pattern of behavior
associated with a given social status. Status and role are reciprocal aspects of the same phenomenon. Status, or
position, is the static aspect that fixes
the individual's position in a group; role is the dynamic behavioral
aspect that defines how the person who occupies the status should behave in different situations. Each of the
statuses involves a role, set of behavior or action-patterns that people belonging to a given status are expected
to perform. One plays as many roles as he has statuses. A given man may both concurrently and sequentially
enact the roles of husband, father bread-winner, and football fan and so on.
Social roles may be linked to blue-prints for behavior that are handed to the individual, hypothetically,
when he becomes a member of a group. As such these constitute the group's expectations concerning how one
would behave. Thus, whereas the status of a person tells us what he is, his role will tell us what he does as a
member of a status group. There are no roles without statuses and no statuses without roles. Indeed, there are
some exceptions. Though all statuses imply some role or roles, it is not always possible to infer people's
statuses from what they do, as for example, two persons, who bear the title of knighthood and thus holding
same social positions, might be performing completely different roles. Also, many statuses are wholly or
partly defined with reference to roles which their occupants are expected to perform. For example policemen,
poets, etc.
As was said above a person can play simultaneously many roles, but in order to play any role,
individuals must meet certain conditions, for instance biological or sociological. A boy cannot take the
biological role of mother because of biological reason as well as a doctor cannot practice medicine without

certificate (social reason). The role achievement and development can be also influenced by a additional
factors. Some of them ate as follow:
Societal factor: The structure of society often forms individuals into certain roles based on the social
situations they choose to experience. Parents enrolling their children in certain programs at a young age
increase the chance that the child will follow that role.
Genetic predisposition: People take on roles that come naturally to them. Those with athletic ability
generally take on roles of athletes. Those with mental genius often take on roles devoted to education and
knowledge. This does not mean that people must choose only one path, multiple roles can be taken on by each
Cultural influence: Different cultures place different values on certain roles based on their lifestyle.
For instance, soccer players are regarded higher in European countries than in the United States, where soccer
is less popular.
Situational influence: Roles can be created or altered based on the situation a person is put in outside
their own influence. For instance a person must assume the role of leader even such a position is improper for
his personality.
In many case a person performs many roles consistently, but there are situations in which it is not
possible, there are situation when one is forced to take on two different and incompatible roles at the same
time. This situation is called the situation of role conflict. For example, a person may find conflict between
her role as a mother and her role as an employee of a company when her child's demands for time and
attention distract her from the needs of her employer.
3.3. Health Care as a Social System
As define above in the first paragraph an institution is a term that refers to any structure or mechanism
of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human
community for acquiring a purpose important to a society as a hole. The interaction of these structures and
mechanisms (i.e. institutions) constitute social systems. In the light of this definition medicine is a system or
is a form of organization of activity directed towards health improvement. World Medical Organization
defines a Health System as the structured and interrelated set of all actors and institutions contributing to
health improvement. "A health system consists of all organizations, people and actions whose primary intent
is to promote, restore or maintain health. This includes efforts to influence determinants of health as well as
more direct health-improving activities
Medical organization
Medical organization is an institution that provides preventive, curative, promotional or rehabilitative
health care services in a systematic way to individuals, families or communities . Among medical organization
can be listed: Hospital, Health care centre, Medical nursing home, Pharmacies and drug stores, Medical
laboratory and research etc.
A hospital is an institution for health care providing patient treatment by specialized staff and
equipment, and often, but not always
25providing for inpatient care (is the care of patients whose condition
requires admission to a hospital) or longer-term patient stays. Today, hospitals are usually funded by the
public sector, by health organizations (for profit or nonprofit), health insurance companies or charities,
including by direct charitable donations. Historically, however, hospitals were often founded and funded by
religious orders or charitable individuals and leaders.
Health care centers, including clinics (i.e. health care facility that is primarily devoted to the care of
outpatients) and ambulatory surgery centers (i.e. health care centers where surgical procedures not requiring
an overnight hospital stay are performed), serve as first point of contact with a health professional and provide
outpatient medical, nursing, dental and other types of care services.
Medical nursing homes, including residential treatment centers (i.e. live-in health care facility
providing therapy for substance abuse, mental illness, or other behavioral problems) and geriatric care
facilities (i.e. elder care management), are health care institutions which have accommodation facilities and
which engage in providing short-term or long-term medical treatment of a general or specialized nature not
performed by hospitals to inpatients with any of a wide variety of medical conditions.
Pharmacies and drug stores comprise establishments engaged in retailing prescription or
nonprescription drugs and medicines, and other types of medical goods. Regulated pharmacies may be based
in a hospital or clinic or they may be privately operated, and are usually staffed by pharmacists, pharmacy
technicians and pharmacy aides.

A medical laboratory or clinical laboratory is a laboratory where tests are done on biological
specimens in order to get information about the health of a patient. Such laboratories may be divided into
categorical departments such as microbiology, hematology, clinical biochemistry, immunology, serology,
histology, cytology, cytogenetics, or virology. In many countries, there are two main types of labs that process
the majority of medical specimens. Hospital laboratories are attached to a hospital, and perform tests on these
patients. Private or community laboratories receive samples from general practitioners, insurance companies,
and other health clinics for analysis.
Health care practitioners
Health care practitioner is an individual or an institution that provides preventive, curative,
promotional or rehabilitative health care services in a systematic way to individuals, families or communities.
Health care practitioners include physicians (including general practitioners and specialists), dentists, physical
pharmacologists/pharmacists, dietitians, therapists, psychologists, chiropractors, clinical officers,
phlebotomists, occupational therapists, optometrists, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, medical
laboratory technicians, medical prosthetic technicians, radiographers, social workers, and a wide variety of
other human resources trained to provide some type of health care service. They often work in hospitals,
health care centers and other service delivery points, but also in academic training, research and
administration. Some provide care and treatment services for patients in private homes. Many countries have a
large number of community health workers who work outside of formal health care institutions. Managers of
health care services, medical records and health information technicians, and other assistive personnel and
support workers are also considered a vital part of health care teams.
In what will follow is clarified the significance of basic terms assigned to health givers.
A physician also known as medical practitioner, doctor of medicine, medical doctor, or simply doctor
is a person which practices the ancient profession of medicine, which is concerned with maintaining or
restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease or injury. This properly requires
both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines (such as anatomy and physiology) underlying diseases
and their treatment the science of medicine and also a decent competence in its applied practice the
art or craft of medicine.
The word physician comes from the Ancient Greek word (physis) and its derived adjective
physikos, meaning "nature" and "natural". From this, amongst other derivatives came the Vulgar Latin
physicus, which meant a medical practitioner. After the Norman Conquest, the word entered Middle English,
via Old French fisicien, as early as 1100. Originally, physician meant a practitioner of physic (pronounced
with a hard C). This archaic noun had entered Middle English by 1300 (via Old French fisique). Physic meant
the art or science of treatment with drugs or medications (as opposed to surgery), and was later used both as a
verb and also to describe the medications themselves.
In modern English, the term physician is used in two main ways, with relatively broad and narrow
meanings respectively. This is the result of history and is often confusing. These meanings and variations are
explained below.
Especially in North America, the title physician is now widely used in the broad sense, and applies to
any medical practitioner holding a 26
medical degree. In the United States and Canada, the term physician
usually describes all those holding the degrees of Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Osteopathic
Medicine (DO). Within North America, the title physician, in this broad sense, also describes the holders of
medical degrees from other countries that are equivalent to the North American Doctor of Medicine degrees;
typical examples of such degrees from Commonwealth countries are MB BS, MB BChir etc.
Physician is still widely used in its older, narrower sense, especially outside North America. In this
usage, a physician is a specialist in internal medicine or one of its many sub-specialties (especially as opposed
to a specialist in surgery). This traditional meaning of physician conveys a sense of expertise in treatment by
drugs or medications, rather than by the procedures of surgeons.
Currently, a specialist physician in this older, narrower sense would probably be described in the
United States as an internist. Another term, hospitalist, was introduced in 1996, to describe US specialists in
internal medicine who work largely or exclusively in hospitals. Such 'hospitalists' now make up about 19% of
all US general internists, who are often called general physicians in Commonwealth countries.
The older, more narrow usage of physician as an internist is common in the United Kingdom and
other Commonwealth countries (such as Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa,
Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe), as well as in places as diverse as Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Ireland, and
Taiwan. In such places, the more general English terms doctor or medical practitioner are prevalent,

describing any practitioner of medicine (whom an American would likely call a physician, in the newer, broad
sense). In Commonwealth countries, specialist pediatricians and geriatricians are also described as specialist
physicians who have sub-specialized by age of patient rather than by organ system.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are not described as physicians; the American College of Nurse
Practitioners do not describe themselves this way. They are classified as advance practice registered
nurses/clinicians, and are also known as mid-level (healthcare) practitioners in US government regulations.
Nurse practitioners may perform work similar to that of physicians, especially within the realm of primary
care, but use advanced nursing models instead of medical models. A nurse is a healthcare professional who, in
collaboration with other members of a health care team, is responsible for: treatment, safety, and recovery of
acutely or chronically ill individuals; health promotion and maintenance within families, communities and
populations; and, treatment of life-threatening emergencies in a wide range of health care settings. Nurses
perform a wide range of clinical and non-clinical functions necessary to the delivery of health care, and may
also be involved in medical and nursing research.
The scope of practice for a Nurse Practitioner in the United States is defined by individual state
boards of registration in nursing, as opposed to state boards of registration in medicine. Physician Assistants
are also classified as midlevel advance practice clinicians, have a similar scope of practice as nurse
practitioners, and are regulated by state boards of registration in medicine.
A paramedic is a medical professional, usually a member of the emergency medical services, who
primarily provides pre-hospital advanced medical and trauma care. A paramedic is charged with providing
emergency on-scene treatment, crisis intervention, life-saving stabilization and transport of ill or injured
patients to definitive emergency medical and surgical treatment facilities, such as hospitals and trauma
The use of the specific term paramedic varies by jurisdiction, and in some places is used to refer to
any member of an ambulance crew. In countries such as Canada and South Africa, the term paramedic is used
as the job title for all EMS personnel, who are then distinguished by the terms primary or basic (e.g. Primary
Care Paramedic) intermediate, or advanced (e.g. Advanced Care Paramedic). This approach may be
completely appropriate in such jurisdictions, where primary care staff receive more than double the classroom
and clinical training of an EMT, and in fact more than those in some jurisdictions permitted by law to call
themselves paramedics. In countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, the use of the word
paramedic is restricted by law, and the person claiming the title must have passed a specific set of
examinations and clinical placements, and hold a valid registration (in the UK, with the Health Professions
Council), certification, or license with a governing body. Even in countries where the law restricts the title, lay
persons may incorrectly refer to all emergency medical personnel as 'paramedics', even if they officially hold
a different qualification, such as emergency medical technician - basic.
Pharmacists are health professionals who practice the science of pharmacy. In their traditional role,
pharmacists typically take a request for medicines from a prescribing health care provider in the form of a
medical prescription, evaluate the appropriateness of the prescription, dispense the medication to the patient
and counsel them on the proper use and adverse effects of that medication. In this role pharmacists act as a
learned intermediary between physicians and patients and thus ensure the safe and effective use of
medications. Pharmacists also participate
in disease-state management, where they optimize and monitor drug
therapy or interpret medical laboratory results in collaboration with physicians and/or other health
professionals. Advances into prescribing medication and in providing public health advices and services are
occurring in Britain as well as the United States and Canada. Pharmacists have many areas of expertise and
are a critical source of medical knowledge in clinics, hospitals, medical laboratory and community pharmacies
throughout the world. Pharmacists also hold positions in the pharmaceutical industry as well as in
pharmaceutical education and research and development institutions.
In much of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth pharmacists are customarily
sometimes referred to as chemist (or dispensing chemists), a usage which can, especially without a context
relating to the sale or supply of medicines, cause confusion with scientists in the field of chemistry. This term
is a historical one, since some pharmacists passed an examination in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (PhC) set by
the then Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1852 and these were known as "Pharmaceutical
Chemists". This title is protected by the Medicines Act 1968 section 78.
Notion of Patient
The word patient originally meant 'one who suffers'. This English noun comes from the Latin word
patiens, the present participle of the deponent verb, patior, meaning 'I am suffering,' and akin to the Greek
verb (= paskhein, to suffer) and its cognate noun (= pathos).

A patient is any person who receives medical attention, care, or treatment. The person is most often ill
or injured and in need of treatment by a physician or other health care professional, although one who is
visiting a physician for a routine check-up may also be viewed as a patient. Nowadays we can mentioned
several types of patients.
An outpatient is a patient who is not hospitalized overnight but who visits a hospital, clinic, or
associated facility for diagnosis or treatment. Treatment provided in this fashion is called ambulatory care.
Outpatient can be met even in surgery. Outpatient surgery eliminates inpatient hospital admission, reduces the
amount of medication prescribed, and uses a doctor's time more efficiently. More procedures are now being
performed in a surgeon's office, termed office-based surgery, rather than in an operating room. Outpatient
surgery is suited best for healthy people undergoing minor or intermediate procedures (limited urologic,
ophthalmologic, or ear, nose, and throat procedures and procedures involving the extremities).
An inpatient on the other hand is "admitted" to the hospital and stays overnight or for an
indeterminate time, usually several days or weeks (though some cases, like coma patients, have been in
hospitals for years).
Due to concerns such as dignity, human rights and political correctness, the term "patient" is not
always used to refer to a person receiving health care. Other terms that are sometimes used include health
consumer, health care consumer or client. These may be used by governmental agencies, insurance
companies, patient groups, or health care facilities. Individuals who use or have used psychiatric services may
alternatively refer to themselves as consumers, users, or survivors.
In nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the term resident is generally used in lieu of patient,
but it is not uncommon for staff members at such a facility to use the term patient in reference to residents.
Similarly, those receiving home health care are called clients.
The term 'virtual patient' is used to describe interactive computer simulations used in health care
education. Virtual patients allow the learner to take the role of a health care professional and develop clinical
skills such as making diagnoses and therapeutic decisions The use of virtual patient programs is increasing in
healthcare education, partly in response to increasing demands on health care professionals and education of
students but also because they allow opportunity for students to practice in a safe environment. There are
many different formats a virtual patient may take. However the overarching principle is that of interactivity - a
virtual patient will have mechanisms for the learner to interact with the case and material or information is
made available to the learner as they complete a range of learning activities.
Medical procedures
A medical procedure is a course of action intended to achieve a result in the care of persons with
health problems. Medical procedure also is define as the act or conduct of diagnosis, treatment, or operation.
Diagnosis (from ancient Greek = discernment) is the identification of the nature and cause
of anything. Diagnosis is used in many different disciplines. In medicine diagnosis is establishment of the
nature and cause of patients illness. A patient typically presents a set of complaints (the symptoms) to the
physician, who then obtains further information about the patient's symptoms, previous state of health, living
conditions, and so forth. The physician then makes a review of systems (ROS) or systems inquiry, which is a
set of ordered questions about each major body system in order: general (such as weight loss), endocrine,
28actual physical examination and often laboratory tests; the findings are
cardio-respiratory, etc. Next comes the
recorded, leading to a list of possible diagnoses. These will be investigated in order of probability.
Therapy (in Greek: ), or treatment, is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually
following a diagnosis. In the medical field, it is synonymous with the word "treatment". A supportive therapy
is one that does not treat or improve the underlying condition, but instead increases the patient's comfort.
Supportive treatment may be palliative care.
A therapeutic effect is a consequence of a particular treatment which is judged to be desirable and
beneficial. This is true whether the result was expected, unexpected, or even an unintended consequence of
the treatment. In talk therapy a therapeutic effect can be brought on by insight from the client that is caused by
the clinician asking thoughtful and discerning questions regarding the past and/or present moment. Freud's
main purpose in therapy was to make the unconscious conscious.
A treatment treats a problem, and may lead to its cure, but treatments more often ameliorate a problem
only for as long as the treatment is continued. For example, there is no cure for AIDS, but treatments are
available to slow down the harm done by HIV and delay the fatality of the disease. Treatments don't always
work. For example, chemotherapy is a treatment for some types of some cancers, which may in some cases
enact a cure, but not in all cases for all cancers.

Cures are a subset of treatments that reverse illnesses completely or end medical problems
permanently. A cure is the end of a medical condition. The term may refer specifically to a substance or
procedure that ends the medical condition, such as a medication, a surgical operation, a change in lifestyle, or
even a philosophical mindset that helps a person suffer. It may also refer to the state of being healed, or cured.
The proportion of people with a disease that are cured by a given treatment, called the cure fraction
or cure rate, is determined by comparing disease-free survival of treated people against a matched control
group that never had the disease. If everyone treated for a disease is cured, then they will all remain diseasefree and live as long as any person that never had the disease.
Inherent in the idea of a cure is the permanent end to the specific instance of the disease. When a
person has the common cold, and then recovers from it, the person is said to be cured, even though the person
might someday catch another cold. Conversely, a person that has successfully managed a disease, such as
diabetes mellitus, so that it produces no undesirable symptoms for the moment, but without actually
permanently ending it, is not cured.
Remission is the state of absence of disease activity in patients with known chronic illness that cannot
be cured. It is commonly used to refer to absence of active cancer or inflammatory bowel disease when these
diseases are expected to manifest again in the future. The term can be used incorrectly with mental illness
when the illness is under control. A partial remission may be defined for cancer as 50% or greater reduction in
the measurable parameters of tumor growth as may be found on physical examination, radiologic study, or by
biomarker levels from a blood or urine test. A complete remission is defined as complete disappearance of all
such manifestations of disease. Each disease or even clinical trial can have its own definition of a partial
Prevention is another important medical action it is a way to avoid an injury, sickness, or disease in
the first place, and generally it will not help someone who is already ill (though there are exceptions). For
instance, many babies and young children are vaccinated against polio and other infectious diseases, which
prevent them from contracting polio. But the vaccination does not work on patients who already have polio. A
treatment or cure is applied after a medical problem has already started.
3.4. The Social Role of Doctors and Patients
The doctor-patient relationship is central to the practice of healthcare and is essential for the delivery
of high-quality health care in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The quality of the patient-physician
relationship is important to both parties. The better the relationship in terms of mutual respect, knowledge,
trust, shared values and perspectives about disease and life, and time available, the better will be the amount
and quality of information about the patient's disease transferred in both directions, enhancing accuracy of
diagnosis and increasing the patient's knowledge about the disease. Where such a relationship is poor the
physician's ability to make a full assessment is compromised and the patient is more likely to distrust the
diagnosis and proposed treatment.
Doctor - patient relationship can be analyzed in different manners. Sociologists conceptualized it in
context of social roles. As was exposed above social role is understood as the expected behaviors (including)
of someone with a given position (status) in society towards others with the same or other status. Accordingly
the relation between doctor and patient
29 is an ensemble of rights and obligations of doctor towards patient as
well as vice versa. The first who define the doctor-patient relationship in term of social role was Talcott
Parsons (1951). He consider that the illness is a form of dysfunctional deviance that requires reintegration
with the social organism. Illness, or feigned illness, exemptes people from work and other responsibilities, and
thus is potentially detrimental to the social order if uncontrolled. Maintaining the social order required the
development of a legitimized "sick role" to control this deviance, and make illness a transitional state back to
normal role performance. In Western society, there are four norms (rights and obligations) governing the
functional sick role.
(1) The sick person is exempt from normal social roles. An individuals illness is grounds for
his or her exemption from normal role performance and social responsibilities. This exemption, however, is
relative to the nature and severity of the illness. The more severe the illness, the greater the exemption.
Exemption requires legitimating by the physician as the authority on what constitutes sickness. Legitimating
serves the social function of protecting society against malingering (attempting to remain in the sick role
longer than social expectations allow usually done to acquire secondary gains, or additional privileges
afforded to ill persons).

(2) The sick person is not responsible for his or her condition. An individuals illness is usually
thought to be beyond his or her own control. A morbid condition of the body needs to be changed and some
curative process apart from person will power or motivation is needed to get well.
(1) The sick person should try to get well. The first two aspects of the sick role are conditional
upon the third aspect, which is recognition by the sick person that being sick is undesirable. Exemption from
normal responsibilities is temporary and conditional upon the desire to regain normal health. Thus, the sick
person has an obligation to get well.
(2) The sick person should seek technically competent help and cooperate with the physician.
The obligation to get well involves a further obligation on the part of the sick person to seek technically
competent help, usually from a physician. The sick person is also expected to cooperate with the physician in
the process of trying to get well.
What are the rights and obligations of physician? The physician's role is to represent and
communicate these norms to the patient to control their deviance. Physicians exemplify the shift to "affectneutral" relationships in modern society, with physician and patient being protected by emotional distance.
Medical education and social role expectations impart normative socialization to physicians to act in the
interests of the patient rather than their own material interests, and to be guided by an egalitarian universalism
rather than a personalized particularism. Because physicians have mastered a body of technical knowledge, it
is functional for the social order to allow physicians professional autonomy and authority, controlled by their
socialization and role expectations. Summarizing we can say that the physicians role includes following
Rights or privileges:
(1)access to patients physical and personal intimacy;
(2)professional autonomy;
(3)professional dominance.
(1)Acting for the benefit of patients well-being (orientation towards collective and not personal
(2)Behavior according to professional rules (universality/to treat all in the same way/ vs.
(3)Application to a high degree of acquired knowledge and skills to treatment of disease;
(4)Objectivity and emotional neutrality /do not adjudicate the patient or make them closer than it is
requested by the principles of objectivity/.
Parsons mention the idea of asymmetric physician dominance in relation with sick person. The
features of this dominance are following:
1. Higher status and power;
2. Professional prestige;
3. Situational physician authority, a monopoly over what the patient wants: since demand exceeds
4. Physician is advantageous30
because the patient has to come to him;
5. Situational dependency to receive medical care, the patient has to consent to condition prescribed
by physician.
Thus, the role of doctor is an active but the role of patient is passive one.
Talcott Parsons have a great contribution in analyses of doctor-patient relationships as a relation of
roles. Firstly because creates an original conception on it and secondly because his conception stimulates
other sociologists to formulate different approaches to the doctor- patient relation, essentially via criticism to
this original conception. The main these approaches being exposed below.
Thus, Hafferty (1988) accuses Parson of having been overly optimistic about the success of physician
socialization to universalism and affective-neutrality. Physicians often react negatively to dying patients,
patients they do not like, and patients they believe are complainers. Physicians also are subject to personal
financial and personal interests in patient care. Kelly (1987) considers that while the basic notion that norms
and social roles influence illness and doctoring has remained robust, there have been numerous qualifications
to the particular elements that Parsons attributed to the patient-physician role relationship. For instance,
physicians and the public consider some illnesses in the West and in other societies to be the responsibility of
the ill, such as lung cancer, AIDS and obesity, making it more difficult for them to be normatively reintegrated
into society. Physicians and other providers react less favorably to patients who are held responsible for their
illness than to "innocent" patients.

Another weakness of Parsons' description is that it was specific to acute illness, and did not speak to
the increasingly prevalent chronic illnesses and disabilities, a sick role which is permanent and not
transitional. Szasz and Hollender's (1956) work refined Parsons by elaborating different doctor-patient models
arising around different types of illness:
(1) Patient passivity and physician assertiveness are the most common reactions to acute illness;
(2) Less acute illness is characterized by physician guidance and patient cooperation;
(3) Chronic illness is characterized by physicians participating in a treatment plan where patients
had the bulk of the responsibility to help themselves.
Critics have also shown that there is a great deal of inter-cultural and inter-personal variation in sick
roles and norms. The "American" sick role is not as useful a concept as the more specific "white, Midwestern,
Scandinavian, male" sick role. There is also cross-class variation. Some of the poor adapt to their lack of
access to medical care by becoming fatalistic, rejecting the necessity of medical treatment, and coming to see
illness and death as inevitable. On the other hand, the educated classes have become more assertive in the
relationship, rejecting the norm of passivity in favor of self-diagnosis or negotiated diagnosis. There is also
inter-cultural variation in physician roles, and variation among physicians in the success of their role
socialization. While Parsons' model of doctors' affective neutrality, collective-orientation, and egalitarianism
towards patients did express the professional ideal, some physicians are more affectively neutral than others.
Following Parsons' lead, some sociologists began to focus on the socialization (professionalization) of
physicians and the factors in medical school and residency that facilitated or discouraged optimal role
socialization to doctor-patient relationships.
Thus, Conrad (1989) considers that the Parsons work generally took the division of labor in medicine
for granted, and painted a more or less heroic picture of medical self-sacrifice. Beginning to focus on aspects
of the physician role and medical education which themselves militated against humanistic patient care he
suggested that medical schools and residencies socialized physicians into "dehumanization," and to place
professional identity and camaraderie before patient advocacy and social idealism.
James "J." Hughes considers that the most important weakness of Parsons' functionalist account of the
doctor-patient relationship arose from his poor understanding of the ecological concepts of dysfunction and
niche width. Social structures cannot be assumed to be functional for the social system simply because they
exist, any more than an organic structure, such as an appendix, can be assumed to be functional for its
organism. All that can be said about a structure, or in this case a role relationship, is that it has not yet pushed
the organism outside its niche, causing its extinction. In other words, the study of doctor-patient relationships
in one society does not indicate how many the particular structures and norms of the provider-patient
relationship are simply the result of historical chance, rather than necessitated by the nature of illness and
healing in industrial society. And second, such a study does not indicate whether the particular practices and
norms are leading in a dysfunctional direction. A critical sociology of the doctor-patient relationship thus
arose to challenge the internal contradictions of the Parsonsian biological metaphor: were American doctors
the perfect immune system for society, or had they developed into a parasitic growth threatening the health of
To the more critical 60's generation of social scientists, inspired by growing resistance to unjust
claims to power, physicians' defense
of professional power and autonomy appeared to be merely self31
interested authoritarianism. Physicians' battle-cry of the sacred nature of the doctor-patient relationship
sounded hollow in their struggles against universal health insurance. Physicians' high incomes and defense of
autonomy appeared to result in both bad medicine and bad health policy, and physician's unaccountable power
appeared all the more nefarious because of medicine's intimate invasion of the body.
In this context, Eliot Freidson's work (1961, 1970, 1975, 1986) crystallized the notion that
professional power was more self-interested than "collectivity-oriented." Freidson saw the doctor-patient
relationship as a bargained interface between a professional system and a lay system, each with its own
interests and hence with the high potentiality of conflict. Freidson's approach to the sick role went beyond
Parsons to assert that doctors create the legitimate categories of illness. Professionalization grants physicians a
monopoly on the definition of health and illness, and they use this power over diagnosis to extend their
control. This control extends beyond the claim to technical proficiency in medicine, to claims of authority
over the organization and financing of health care, areas which have little to do with their training.
All these approaches mentioned above criticizing Parsons vision, have expose the weaknesses of the
relationship in concern but also suggest a historical evolution in patient and physician relation.
The history of medicine has witnessed a gradual erosion of the physician's time-honored role as allknowing healer. Whether physicians were experts in their fields, self-taught folk healers, or complete quacks,
the doctor's words, for generations, were accepted as correct, complete, final, and to be obeyed. Indeed, the

language of the 1847 Code of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association, titled "Obligations of
Patients to Their Physicians", endorsed this paradigm: The obedience of a patient to the prescriptions of his
physician should be prompt and implicit. He should never permit his own crude opinions as to their fitness, to
influence his attention to them. A failure in one particular may render an otherwise judicious treatment
dangerous, and even fatal.
The patient was treated like a child; innocent, unschooled, and too simple to know how to take care of
himself or herself. This wise father-simple child relationship led to an inherently paternalistic model of the
physician-patient relationship.
But while science and technology have filled medical books with more and more treatment options
and diseases are better understood, the instantaneous dissemination of news around the world has
simultaneously rendered the public hyper-aware of the new capabilities of medicine. As a result, patients have
shifted from approaching physicians with hope and faith to approaching them with high expectations of
precision, of speed, of a virtual superstore of treatment options.
Patients have taken the reins of health care with both hands. They come to doctor's offices armed with
reams of printouts from health Web sites. They specifically request medicines or treatments advertised in
popular magazines, on television, and on the Internet. In response to this type of informed (though sometimes
misinformed) patient, many physicians have come to grant a greater level of autonomy or shared decision
making to all the patients in their practices.
A turning point in the shift from physician paternalism to respect for patient autonomy was the
requirement for the patient's informed consent to treatment. The concept of informed consent did not exist in
writings on Egyptian, Greek, or Roman medicine. Indeed, the phrase "informed consent" was not used until
the 1950s. The notion of "consent to treatment" was a consequence of the Nuremberg Trials that later became
enshrined in the research and treatment codes of democratic nations.
There have been major changes in the doctor-patient relationship over the past decades; both from
patients' and doctors' point of view. There is, indeed, some evidence that changes in society and health care
have resulted in real changes in what people expect from their doctors and in how doctors view patients.
Many patients want more information than they are given. Many also say that they want to take an active part
in decisions about their treatment, in the light of its chances of success and any side effects. Concepts like
'patient empowerment', 'informed consent', 'shared decision making' and 'consumerism' have been introduced
to label this transformation of the patient role from that of passive dependency to active autonomy. According
to the literature, the traditional paternalistic model is no longer the only, nor the preferred doctor-patient
relationship model. There is a wide consensus that a model based on a more equal doctor-patient relationship
is both beneficial for patients and more in keeping with current ethical views.
Today, most procedures in a hospital are preceded by explanations and discussions at the patient's
bedside that make clear all the risks and benefits of the procedure. The consent conversation must be
conducted by an MD, and the patient must be able to understand what he or she is being asked to agree to.
Reflecting the importance of informed consent in modern health care, an opinion from the current
AMA Code of Ethics, on "Fundamental Elements of the Patient-Physician Relationship" states: "The patient
has the right to make decisions regarding the health care that is recommended by his or her physician.
Accordingly, patients may accept or refuse
any recommended medical treatment".
As a physician, the doctor-patient relationship greatly impacts the approach to education, motivation,
and negotiation of treatment plans. In literature are described the following four models of the physicianpatient relationship:
Paternalistic - The physician is parental, recommending what he/she feels is best for the patient.
The patient chooses whether or not to follow the recommendations.
Informative - This is a "consumer" model of care. The physician provides information about all
available treatment choices in as accurate and as unbiased a manner as possible. The patient chooses from the
available options.
Interpretive - In this model, the patient is not expected to simply choose among available options
because he/she lacks medical training. Instead, the physician tries to understand or interpret the patients
general values and preferences. The physician then recommends the treatment option which is most consistent
with the patients values.
Deliberative - In this model, part of the physicians role is to promote health by influencing the
patients health-related choices, using non-coercive approaches to motivate the patient.
All these model of doctor- patient interaction occur within the limits of professional sets of norms
designed to guide the behavior in medical context. One of such a set of norm is A U.S. Patient's Bill of
Rights is a statement of the rights to which patients are entitled as recipients of medical care. Typically, a

statement articulates the positive rights which doctors and hospitals ought to provide patients, thereby
providing information, offering fair treatment, and granting them autonomy over medical decisions.
Shrewsbury Surgery Center PATIENT BILL OF RIGHTS
1.Information Disclosure. Consumers have the right to receive accurate, easily understood
information and some require assistance in making informed health care decisions about their health plans,
professionals, and facilities.
2.Choice of Providers and Plans. Consumers have the right to a choice of health care providers that is
sufficient to ensure access to appropriate high-quality health care.
3.Access to Emergency Services. Consumers have the right to access emergency health care services
when and where the need arises. Health plans should provide payment when a consumer presents to an
emergency department with acute symptoms of sufficient severity -- including severe pain -- such that a
"prudent layperson" could reasonably expect the absence of medical attention to result in placing that
consumer's health in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of any
bodily organ or part.
4.Participation in Treatment Decisions. Consumers have the right and responsibility to fully
participate in all decisions related to their health care. Consumers who are unable to fully participate in
treatment decisions have the right to be represented by parents, guardians, family members, or other
5.Respect and Nondiscrimination. Consumers have the right to considerate, respectful care from all
members of the health care system at all times and under all circumstances. An environment of mutual respect
is essential to maintain a quality health care system.
6.Confidentiality of Health Information. Consumers have the right to communicate with health care
providers in confidence and to have the confidentiality of their individually identifiable health care
information protected. Consumers also have the right to review and copy their own medical records and
request amendments to their records.
7.Complaints and Appeals. All consumers have the right to a fair and efficient process for resolving
differences with their health plans, health care providers, and the institutions that serve them, including a
rigorous system of internal review and an independent system of external review.
8.Consumer Responsibilities. In a health care system that protects consumers' rights, it is reasonable
to expect and encourage consumers to assume reasonable responsibilities. Greater individual involvement by
consumers in their care increases the likelihood of achieving the best outcomes and helps support a quality
improvement, cost-conscious environment.
3.5. Deviations from the Role Obligations in the Doctor-Patient Relationship
As was mention above one basic obligation of physician is to behave in the best interest of patient
while the last is to find the most qualitative health aid. Medical practice exposes the significant deviation
from these obligations via medical malpractice and patient self-medication.
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which
care provided deviates from accepted33
standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury to the
patient. Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary by country and jurisdiction within countries.
Most medical malpractice actions are filed against doctors who have failed to use reasonable care to treat a
patient. But the legal concept of medical malpractice is not limited to the conduct of medical doctors, but
applies also to nurses, anesthesiologists, health care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and others that
provide health care services. Common types of medical malpractice, including bad diagnosis, sub-standard
care, lack of "informed consent", as well as breach of doctor-patient confidentiality. Cases of medical
malpractice usaly are brought in court.
When someone considers that was injured in medical care context he addresses to lawsuit, whose
goal to pay him back if a doctor injures him. For a successful medical malpractice claim a plaintiff must
establish the elements of the tort of negligence. These are as follow:
1.A duty was owed: a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or health care provider undertakes care or
treatment of a patient.
2.A duty was breached: the provider failed to conform to the relevant standard of care. The standard of
care is proved by expert testimony or by obvious errors.
3.The breach caused an injury: The breach of duty was a proximate cause of the injury.

4.Damages: Without damages (losses which may be pecuniary or emotional), there is no basis for a
claim, regardless of whether the medical provider was negligent. Likewise, damages can occur without
negligence, for example, when someone dies from a fatal disease.
The plaintiff's damages may include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are
both economic and non-economic. Economic damages include financial losses such as lost wages (sometimes
called lost earning capacity), medical expenses and life care expenses. These damages may be assessed for
past and future losses. Non-economic damages are assessed for the injury itself: physical and psychological
harm, such as loss of vision, loss of a limb or organ, the reduced enjoyment of life due to a disability or loss of
a loved one, severe pain and emotional distress. Punitive damages are only awarded in the event of wanton
and reckless conduct. Malpractice lawsuits are time consuming and costly for doctors, even if the doctor is
insured or wins the case. Thus, medical professionals are required to maintain professional liability insurance
to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice. The fear of malpractice is meant to keep
doctors from making medical mistakes and from acting carelessly. In this way, the law can control the quality
of health care. Malpractice puts the responsibility on doctors to act in a way that will not result in an injury to
you. If doctors are forced to pay for the costs of their medical mistakes, they will be more careful to make sure
that mistakes do not happen in the first place.
Confidentiality violation as a form of malpractice
The ethical principle of confidentiality requires that information shared by the client with the therapist
in the course of treatment is not shared with others. This is important for the therapeutic alliance, as it
promotes an environment of trust. However, there are important exceptions to confidentiality, namely where it
conflicts with the clinician's duty to warn or duty to protect. This includes instances of suicidal or homicidal
ideation, child abuse, elder abuse and dependent adult abuse.
Confidentiality shows a respect for an individual's autonomy and their right to control the information
relating to their own health. In keeping information about the patient secret the doctor is acting beneficently.
Disclosing information without the patient's consent can damage the patient. For instance if a doctor were to
reveal privileged information about a celebrity patient to the newspapers then this would be the very reverse
of beneficent i.e. maleficent.
Drug misuse
Drug misuse is a term used commonly for prescription medications with clinical efficacy but abuse
potential and known adverse effects linked to improper use, such as psychiatric medications with sedative,
anxiolytic, analgesic, or stimulant properties. Prescription misuse has been variably and inconsistently defined
based on drug prescription status, the uses that occur without a prescription, intentional use to achieve
intoxicating effects, route of administration, co-ingestion with alcohol, and the presence or absence of abuse
or dependence symptoms. Tolerance relates to the pharmacological property of substances in which chronic
use leads to a change in the central nervous system, meaning that more of the substance is needed in order to
produce desired effects. Stopping or reducing the use of this substance would cause withdrawal symptoms to
It is a term used to describe the use of drugs other self-soothing forms of behavior to treat untreated
and often undiagnosed distress. Every
day, everywhere, consumers reach for self-care products to help them
through their common health problems. They do so because it may be easier for them, it may be more cost or
time efficient, they may not feel their situation merits making an appointment with a healthcare professional,
or they may have few or no other options. Self medication can be very dangerous for the health of people,
because of delaying of professional aid, addiction, adverse effects of substance consumed. In condition when
there is evidence that consumer can and do practice self-medication, which can be harmful, the obligation of
governments is to elaborate a responsible framework for self-medication.
In this circumstance The World Medical Association (WMA) has developed the statement to provide
guidance to physicians and their patients regarding responsible self-medication. This statement is adopted by
the 53rd WMA General Assembly, Washington, DC, USA, October 2002.
1. Distinction between Self-Medication and Prescription Medicines
a. Medicinal products can generally be divided into two separate categories: prescription and nonprescription medicines. This classification may differ from country to country. The national authorities must
assure that medicines, categorized as non-prescription medicines, are sufficiently safe not to be harmful to
b. Prescription medicines are those which are only available to individuals on prescription from a
physician following a consultation. Prescription medicines are not safe for use except under the supervision of

a physician because of toxicity, other potential or harmful effects (e.g. addictiveness), the method of use, or
the collateral measures necessary for use.
c. Responsible self-medication, as used in this document, is the use of a registered or monographed
medicine legally available without a physicians prescription, either on an individuals own initiative or
following advice of a healthcare professional. The use of prescription medicines without a prior medical
prescription is not part of responsible self-medication.
d. The safety, efficacy and quality of non-prescription medicines must be proved according to the
same principles as prescription medicines.
2. Use of Self-Medication in conjunction with Prescription Medication
A course of treatment may combine self-medication and prescription medication, either concurrently
or sequentially. The patient must be informed about possible interactions between prescription medicines and
non-prescription medicines. For this reason the patient should be encouraged to inform the physician about his
/ her self-medication.
3. Roles & Responsibilities in Self-Medication
a. In self-medication the individual bears primary responsibility for the use of self-medication
products. Special caution must be exercised when vulnerable groups such as children, elderly people or
pregnant women use self-medication.
b. If individuals choose to use self-medication, they should be able:
i. to recognize the symptoms they are treating;
ii. to determine that their condition is suitable for self-medication;
iii. to choose an appropriate self-medication product;
iv. to follow the directions for use of the product as provided in the product labelling.
c. In order to limit the potential risks involved in self-medication it is important that all health
professionals who look after patients should provide:
i. Education regarding the non-prescription medicine and its appropriate use, and instructions to seek
further advice from a physician if they are unsure. This is particularly important where self-medication is
inappropriate for certain conditions the patient may suffer from;
ii. Encouragement to read carefully a products label and leaflet (if provided), to seek further advice if
necessary, and to recognize circumstances in which self-medication is not, or is no longer, appropriate.
d. All parties involved in self-medication should be aware of the benefits and risks of any selfmedication product. The benefit-risk balance should be communicated in a fair, rational manner without
overemphasizing either the risks or the benefits.
e. Manufacturers in particular are obliged to follow the various codes or regulations already in place
to ensure that information provided to consumers is appropriate in style and content. This refers in particular
to the labelling, advertising and all notices concerning non-prescription medicines.
f. The pharmacist has a professional responsibility to recommend, in appropriate circumstances, that
medical advice be sought.
4. Role of Governments in Self-Medication
Governments should recognize and enforce the distinction between prescription and non-prescription
medicines, and ensure that the users of
self-medication are well informed and protected from possible harm or
negative long-term effects.
5. The Promotion and Marketing of Self-Medication Products
a. Advertising and marketing of non-prescription medicines should be responsible, provide clear and
accurate information and exhibit a fair balance between benefit and risk information. Promotion and
marketing should not encourage irresponsible self-medication, purchase of medicines that are inappropriate,
or purchases of larger quantities of medicines than are necessary.
b. People must be encouraged to treat medicines (prescription and non-prescription) as special
products and that standard precautions should be followed in terms of safe storage and usage, in accordance
with professional advice.
Exercises and Discussions:
1. What is society?
2. What is the structure of human society? Describe its elements.
3. Define the terms social status and role. What is difference between them?
4. What are Role obligations and rights of physician and patient?
5. Listed the forms of role obligations deviation.
6. Find and describe the case of medical malpractice.

7. What is self medication? What risk it implies?

Recommended Essays
1. Health and Social Class
2. Social factors influencing human health.
3. Self medication or addiction?
1. Parsons Talcott. Social System. Routledge, 1991.
2. Blum R. H. The Management of the Doctor-Patient Relationship. McGraw-Hill, 1960.
3. Anderson Richard E. Medical malpractice: a physician's sourcebook. Humana Press, 2005.

Chapter 4

Communication: Definitions and Functions

Without knowing the force of words
it is impossible to know men.

What is Communication?

Communication has existed since the beginning of human beings, but it was not until the 20th century
that people began to study the process. When World War I ended, the interest in studying communication
intensified as communication technologies developed and the social-science study was fully recognized as a
legitimate discipline. During the last decade, the outpouring of scientific research on human communication
has increased at a staggering rate. This burst of research activity is due to the ever-widening usage of the term
"communication" and to a declaration of vested interest in communication research by numerous scientific
disciplines. One review of developments in the field lists more than twenty academic disciplines which
currently provide content and method for research on some phase of human interaction. This increase in
communication research or studies reveals that communication is central to the human experience and life.
The interest of many discipline in communication studies also reveal that communication is not so univocal or
obvious subject.
What is communication? The word communication derived from Latin communis common and
communication - to give and make something common. Beginning from these original meaning of Latin
words different modalities of defining or explaining communication were elaborated. Each of modality
emphasizes one aspect of communication as phenomenon. Thus, communication can be defined as speech,
36 of uncertainties, transmission, commonality, behavior modifying
understanding, social process, reduction
response, power etc.
Communication as speech: Communication is the verbal interchange of thought or idea (Hoben,
Communication as understanding: Communication is the process by which we understand others and
in turn endeavor to be understood by them. It is dynamic, constantly changing and shifting in response to the
total situation (Anderson, 1959).
Communication as social process: Interaction, even on the biological level, is a kind of
communication; otherwise common acts could not occur (Mead, reprinted 1963).
Communication as reduction of uncertainties: Communication arises out of the need to reduce
uncertainty, to act effectively, to defend or strengthen the ego (Barnlund, 1964).
Communication as transfer, transmission: The connecting thread appears to be the idea of somethings
being transferred from one thing, or person, to another. We use the word communication sometimes to refer
to what is so transferred, sometimes to the means, by which it is transferred, sometimes to the whole process.
In many cases, what is transferred in this way continues to be shared; if I convey information to another
person, it does not leave my own possession through coming into his. Accordingly, the word communication

acquires also the sense of participation. It is, in this sense, for example, that religious worshipers are said to
communicate (Ayer, 1955).
Communication as commonality: It (communication) is a process that makes common to two or
several what was the monopoly of one or some (Gode, 1959).
Communication as Discriminative Response/Behavior Modifying Response: Communication is the
discriminatory response of an organism to a stimulus (Stevens, 1950).
Communication as intention: In the main, communication has as its central interest those behavioral
situations in which a source transmits a message to a receiver(s) with conscious intent to affect the latters
behaviors (Miller, 1966).
Communication as power: Communication is the mechanism by which power is exerted (Schacter,
Communication as a process: Communication can be define as a process of conveying information
from a sender to a receiver with the use of a medium in which the communicated information is understood
the same way by both sender and receiver (Shannon, 1963).
As can be seen human communication is understood in various manners. This diversity is the result of
communication complexity as well as its being a subject - matter of a very broad constituency of disciplines
that includes Rhetoric, Journalism, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, and Semiotics, and others.
Because many fields of study dedicate a portion of attention to communication, when speaking about
communication it is very important to be sure about what aspects of communication one is speaking about.
Nevertheless beyond the diversity in understand or defining of communication there are some
common accepted things. All of humans communicate. Communication occurs to all areas of life: home,
school, community, work, and beyond. Communication includes acts or interacts that confer knowledge and
experiences, share emotion, give advice and commands, and ask questions. Communication requires a vast
repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing such as listening, observing, speaking,
questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. Communication requires skills in utilization of technique of encoding
and decoding, that is grammatical rules but also knowledge about culture, habits, behavioral rules etc.
Communication requires physical and psychological capability to send and receive information, because the
efficiency in information interchanging depends in many respects on such factor as anxiety, fatigue, boring,
annoyance, and interest. Human communication happened at many levels (i.e. verbal, nonverbal, para-verbal,
extra-verbal) take many forms (i.e. intrapersonal, interpersonal, social mediated), in one of the various
manners (i.e. verbal presentation, letter, through movements, sounds, reactions, physical changes, gestures,
languages, breath, etc).
4.2. The Communication Process
In order to clarify what is communication and how does it occur were created a lot of theoretical
models of communication. The ShannonWeaver model of communication has been called the "mother of all
models. This model was widely adopted into the social science fields, such as education, organizational
analysis, psychology, etc.
ShannonWeaver model of communication
In 1949, the American engineer
Shannon elaborated this model with intention to explain what
basically happens in communication. He developed his ideas in a 1963 book with Warren Weaver titled The
Mathematical Theory of Communication.








Shannon's diagram of a general communication system.

Here are laid out the basic elements of communication as they were developed by Shannon and others:

1. Source, emissor, sender (by whom the information is conveyed?). When we speak, write, smile, and
make gesture we are in the posture of sender. Information source produces a message or sequence of messages to
be communicated to the receiving terminal.
2. Message (what types of things and in what form are communicated?). Message is information which is
sent from a source to a receiver. It may be any thought expressed in a language, prepared in a form suitable for
transmission by any means of communication. In communication between humans, messages can be verbal or
A verbal message is an exchange of information using words. Examples include face-to-face
communication, telephone calls, voicemails, etc. A nonverbal message is communicated through actions or
behaviors rather than words. Examples include the use of body language.
3. Encoding is a process of message production. To codify means to translate our ideas, attitudes, emotions
into language. Language may be spoken and written (i.e. sounds and words). Also there are paralanguage (for
instance tone of voice, quality of voice, rhythm and intonation), and body language (for instance posture and
4. Transmitter operates on the message in some way to produce
a signal suitable for transmission over
the channel. In telephony this operation consists merely of changing sound pressure into a proportional
electrical current. In telegraphy we have an encoding operation which produces a sequence of dots, dashes and
spaces on the channel corresponding to the message.
5. Decoding is the opposite process. Sender is in this context the encoder, but receiver is the decoder.
A code is a rule for converting a piece of information (for example, a letter, word or gesture) into another form
or representation (one sign into another sign), not necessarily of the same type. Cod may also be defined as a
system of sign and symbols in communication.
6. The channel (through which medium is communication realized?) is merely the medium used to
transmit the signal from transmitter to receiver. It may be a pair of wires, a coaxial cable, a beam of light, etc.
Channel, in communications, refers to the medium used to convey information from a sender (or transmitter)
to a receiver. It may be for instance air in case of face-to-face communication, or telephone cable in case of
message telephonically sent.
7. Context (in what condition is communication realized?) refers to the interrelated conditions of
communication. It consists of everything that is not in the message, but on which the message relies in order
to have its intended meaning. Context has several dimensions:
- Space (the physical place where the communication occurs).
- Time (that is hour, day, season when communication occurs)
- Social dimension (for example: relations between participants, their assumed role).
- Psychological dimension (for instance official or nonofficial character of communication; presence
or absence of hostility in communication).
8. Communication noisy is defined as all factors which impede communication. Shannon in his
conception of communication argued that the input, or intended message, is sent by a sender via a channel.
The message received becomes the output. Input and output may differ substantially as a channel is usually
exposed to circumstances that may alter its intended quality of transmission. For instance, the channel of a
telephone communication line is usually impaired with noise, which in turn affects the outcome, i.e. output, of
the message. Reiterating in category 38
of noisy as usual are included not only physical technical impediments
of communication but all type of communicative barriers. These may be difficulties in intercultural
communication, defective perception, unclear message, social stress etc. There are many examples of noise:
Environmental noise: Noise that physically disrupts communication, such as standing next to loud
speakers at a party, or the noise from a construction site next to a classroom making it difficult to hear the
Physiological-Impairment noise: Physical maladies that prevent effective communication, such as
actual deafness or blindness preventing messages from being received as they were intended.
Semantic noise: Different interpretations of the meanings of certain words. For example, the word
"weed" can be interpreted as an undesirable plant in your yard, or as a euphemism for marijuana.
Syntactical noise: Mistakes in grammar can disrupt communication, such as abrupt changes in verb
tense during a sentence.
Organizational noise: Poorly structured communication can prevent the receiver from accurate
interpretation. For example, unclear and badly stated directions can make the receiver even more lost.
Cultural noise: Stereotypical assumptions can cause misunderstandings, such as unintentionally
offending a non-Christian person by wishing them a "Merry Christmas".

Psychological noise: Certain attitudes can also make communication difficult. For instance, great
anger or sadness may cause someone to lose focus on the present moment. Disorders such as Autism may also
severely hamper effective communication.
9. Destination, receiver, target (whom is message conveyed to?) person (or thing) for whom the
message is intended. When we listen, read, look at we are in posture of receiver. Receiver may be oneself
and in this case we say that occurs intrapersonal communication, may be another person and in this case we
have interpersonal communication, may be a group of persons and when we can say that happens intercultural
10. Feedback is define as a mechanism, process or signal that is looped back to control a system
within itself. The purpose of feedback is to alter messages so the intention of the original communicator is
understood by the second communicator. It includes verbal (i.e. paraphrasing) and nonverbal (i.e. nodding
your head to show agreement,) responses to another person's message. Carl Rogers listed five main categories
of feedback. They are listed in the order in which they occur most frequently in daily conversations.
o Evaluative: Making a judgment about the worth, goodness, or appropriateness of the other person's
o Interpretive: Paraphrasing - attempting to explain what the other person's statement means.
o Supportive: Attempting to assist or bolster the other communicator.
o Probing: Attempting to gain additional information, continue the discussion, or clarify a point.
o Understanding: Attempting to discover completely what the other communicator means by her
4.3. Communication Functions
What we are communicating for? There are many significant and much elaborated answers to this
interrogation. In what proceed will be exposed the most famous of them, that introduced by the RussianAmerican linguist, Roman Jakobson (1960).
Jakobson distinguishes six communication functions, each associated with a dimension of the
communication process: context, message, sender, receiver, channel, code. Jakobson allocates a
communicative function to each of the components.
The referential function refers to the context. Here we have the function emphasizing that
communication is always dealing with something contextual, referential (the dominant function in a message
like 'Water boils at 100 degrees'). The referential function of communication is illustrated via the words: this,
that, those etc.
The poetic function is allocated to the message and puts 'the focus on the message for its own sake'.
Messages convey more than just the content. They always contain a creative 'touch' of our own. These
additions have no purpose other than to make the message "nicer". Rhetorical figures, pitch or loudness are
some aspects of the poetic function.
The emotive function focuses on the sender, as in the interjections 'Bah!' and 'Oh!'. The sender's own
attitude towards the content of the message is emphasized. Examples are emphatic speech or interjections
The conative function is allocated
to the addressee (imperatives and apostrophes). It is directed
towards the addressee. One example is the vocative or appellative, imperative, interrogation.
The phatic function helps to establish contact, prolong or discontinue communication and refers to the
channel of communication. Some of these utterances only serve to maintain contact between two speakers, for
instance via repetition, or confirm whether the contact is still there (as in 'Hello?').
The metalinguistic function deals with the code itself; is used to establish mutual agreement on the
code. This is the function of language about language (for example, a definition). This whole reader is an
example of metalanguage. We use it to examine the code. The metalinguistic function is also predominant in
questions like "Sorry, what did you say?" where the code is misunderstood and needs correction or
Naturally, several functions may be active simultaneously in utterances. To find out which function
predominates requires analysis. In a proper analysis, we start by determining whether each of the functions of
language is present or absent. In theory, each factor is necessary to communication. This does not necessarily
mean that each function is always present. We will assume that while one or more or even all of the
functions of language may be absent in short units (such as an isolated sign), lengthy units can activate all of
them. Where more than one function is present, we will establish either: (1) a simple hierarchy, by identifying
the dominant function and not ranking the other functions, or (2) a complex hierarchy, by specifying the
degree of presence of some or all of the functions.

Various criteria can be used to establish the functional hierarchy. For example, Arcand and Bourbeau
(1995) use an intention-based criterion: "The dominant function is the one that answers the question, 'With
what intention was this message transmitted?' and [...] the secondary functions are there to support it." We
must distinguish the intention associated with each fragment from the overall intention, which is "a sentence
or series of sentences that corresponds to an intention" (1995). Since the intention can be hidden, the function
that is dominant in terms of overt degree of presence may not be dominant in terms of intention. Arcand and
Bourbeau also distinguish between direct and indirect manifestations of intention, which correlate to the
opposition between actual and overt functions. The appellative (conative) function is manifested directly in
"Go answer the door" and indirectly in "The doorbell rang" (which is equivalent to "Go answer the door"),
where the overt function is the referential (or informative) function. In addition, we need to distinguish
between cause and effect functions, as well as ends and means functions (the ends being the effect that is
sought). For example, when the phatic function (cause) is overactivated, it can trigger the poetic function
(effect); overactivation can be used for esthetic ends, and in this case the poetic function is an end and the
phatic function is a means.
4.4. Communication and Health
Communication is a means of survival. This statement is not just a metaphor it is a conclusion based on
the empirical studies. Without any form of communication humans cannot live. Lack of communication or
inefficient communication could injure seriously the quality human life and health. Public Health surveys
show that:
People who lack strong relationships have 2 - 3 times the risk of early death, regardless of whether
or not they smoke or drink.
Terminal cancer strikes socially isolated people more often than those who have close personal
Divorced, separated, and widowed people are 5 - 10 times more likely to need hospitalization for
mental problems than their married counterparts.
Pregnant women under stress and without supportive relationships have three times more
complications than pregnant women who suffer from the same amount of stress but have strong social
Studies show that social isolation is a major risk factor contributing to coronary disease, comparable
to physiological factors such a s diet, smoking, obesity an lack of physical activity socially isolated people
are four times more susceptible to the common cold than those who have active social networks
When the subject of communication and health is discussed of interest is not only the impact of
communication as such on the individual health but rather the importance of communication to disease
prevention, health promotion, health care policy, and the business of health care as well as enhancement of the
quality of life and health of individuals within the community. Nowadays Health communication is an
important aria of medical activity (theory and practice) which may be defined as The art and technique of
informing, influencing, and motivating individual, institutional, and public audiences about important health
issues. Or it can be define as an area of theory, research and practice related to understanding and influencing
the interdependence of communication
(symbolic interaction in the forms of messages and meanings) and
health related beliefs, behaviors and outcomes. Accordingly to this aria an efficient communication is essential
to successful public health practice at every level of the ecological model; intrapersonal, interpersonal, group,
organizational, and societal. At each level there are a variety of communication channels which must be
considered, from face-to-face to mass communications. The social contexts in which health communication
occurs are also widely varied and can include (but are not limited to) homes, schools, doctors offices, and
workplaces. Wherever, good communication is associated with positive health outcomes, whereas poor
communication is associated with a number of negative outcomes. In what is follow we will focus on three
levels of heath communication: 1. interpersonal medical communication emphasizing especially the
importance of communication between doctor and patient; 2. Organizational level, emphasizing the
importance of communication in medical team; and 3. Societal level emphasizing the importance of
communication in public health.
The importance of communication in physician patient relationship
Good communication skills are essential to establish good doctor patient relationship, which in turn has a
positive impact on medical outcomes.
Good communication engenders meaningful and trusting relationships between healthcare
professionals and their patients. Studies suggest that physician sensitivity - specifically a doctor's interest in

people - results in greater patient confidence and increased adherence to treatment regimens. We have much
more confidence in our doctor if he or she can communicate with us and seems sensitive to our needs. Good
communication skills are integral to medical and other healthcare practice.
In delivering care, doctors encounter a diverse range of patients requiring different communication
approaches - from the very young to the elderly. Various patient subgroups may present particular difficulties
in terms of communication. For example, doctors may find it more difficult to communicate with patients with
a chronic or complex disease, a terminal illness or those for whom there is no diagnosis. Under these
circumstances more effort must be made to communicate with the patient sensitively. In some cases an
explanation of the patients illness will need to be paced over several sessions in order to suit the patient or
familys emotional or cognitive ability to attend to, comprehend or incorporate the information. Patients
themselves may have communication difficulties such as those with sensory impairments or speech problems,
those with language barriers or learning difficulties, and patients from different ethnic groups. Communication
with patients relatives is also commonly required. To provide appropriate care, doctors must possess the
appropriate skills to communicate sensitively with people, irrespective of cultural, social, religious or regional
differences. In patient-doctor interaction the main responsibility for cultural sensitivity and understanding
rests with the doctor. It is, therefore, imperative that medical education includes intercultural communication
In all doctor-patient interactions a variety of communication skills will be required for different
phases of the consultation. During the start of a consultation, doctors must establish a rapport and identify the
reasons for the consultation. They must go on to gather information, structure the consultation, build on the
relationship and provide appropriate information.
A number of healthcare trends are increasing the need for strong communication skills in medicine. In
relation to communication with patients, an increasing focus on shared decision making and communication
of risk are two of the most important factors. For example, communication skills can help healthcare staff to
explain the results of epidemiological studies or clinical trials to individual patients in ways that can help
patients to understand risk. Doctors can do this more effectively if they develop relationships with their
patients and if they take into account knowledge and perceptions of health risks in the general public.
Benefits of good communication can be identified for both doctors and patients:
Benefits for patients
The doctor-patient relationship is improved. The doctor is better able to seek the relevant
information and recognize the problems of the patient by way of interaction and attentive listening. As a
result, the patients problems may be identified more accurately.
Good communication helps the patient to recall information and comply with treatment instructions
thereby improving patient satisfaction.
Good communication may improve patient health and outcomes. Better communication and
dialogue by means of reiteration and repetition between doctor and patient has a beneficial effect in terms of
promoting better emotional health, resolution of symptoms and pain control.
The overall quality of care may be improved by ensuring that patients views and wishes are taken
into account as a mutual process in decision making.
Good communication is likely
to reduce the incidence of clinical error.
Benefits for doctors
Effective communication skills may relieve doctors of some of the pressures of dealing with the
difficult situations encountered in this emotionally demanding profession. Problematic communication with
patients is thought to contribute to emotional burn-out and low personal accomplishment in doctors as well as
high psychological morbidity. Being able to communicate competently may also enhance job satisfaction.
Patients are less likely to complain if doctors communicate well. There is, therefore, a reduced
likelihood of doctors being sued ( of medical malpractice).
The importance of good communication in medical team
Good communication within the healthcare team is essential in order to ensure continuity of care and
effective treatment for patients. Moreover, poor communication between professional staff has been identified
as an underlying factor for failed communication with patients.
For example, a patient may be given different information regarding their condition by different
members of the healthcare team.
In todays health care system, delivery processes involve numerous interfaces and patient handoffs
among multiple health care practitioners with varying levels of educational and occupational training. During
the course of a 4-day hospital stay, a patient may interact with 50 different employees, including physicians,
nurses, technicians, and others. Effective clinical practice thus involves Successful Teamwork.

Components of Successful Teamwork are as follow:

- Non-punitive environment,
- Clear direction;
- Clear and known roles and tasks for team members;
- Respectful atmosphere;
- Shared responsibility for team success;
- Appropriate balance of member participation for the task at hand;
- Acknowledgment and processing of conflict;
- Clear specifications regarding authority and accountability;
- Clear and known decision-making procedures;
- Regular and routine communication and information sharing;
- Enabling environment, including access to needed resources;
- Mechanism to evaluate outcomes and adjust accordingly.
All these elements are determine by an open and effective communication
When health care professionals are not communicating effectively, patient safety is at risk for several
reasons: lack of critical information, misinterpretation of information, unclear orders over the telephone, and
overlooked changes in status.
Lack of communication creates situations where medical errors can occur. These errors have the
potential to cause severe injury or unexpected patient death. Medical errors, especially those caused by a
failure to communicate, are a pervasive problem in todays health care organizations.
Effective communications make effective the work of teams; enhance trust, respect, and collaboration,
reduce the risk of medical errors, increase the parent as well as health professionals satisfaction.
The importance of communication in public health
Public health is the approach to medicine that is concerned with the health of the community as a
whole. Public health is community health. It has been said that: "Health care is vital to all of us some of the
time, but public health is vital to all of us all of the time."
The three core public health functions are:
1. The assessment and monitoring of the health of communities and populations at risk to identify
health problems and priorities;
2. The formulation of public policies designed to solve identified local and national health problems
and priorities;
3. To assure that all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care, including health
promotion and disease prevention services, and evaluation of the effectiveness of that care.
The efficiency in accomplishment of these tasks is directly related to efficient communication, but
there are some public health arias where good communication is of special importance.
First one is communication for health education directed to learning experiences and the voluntary
actions people can take, individually or collectively, for their own health, the health of others, or the common
good of the community. Health education is a systematically planned activity, and can thus be distinguished
from incidental learning experiences. Further, this construction of health education draws attention to
42 an individual, group, or community with the full understanding and
voluntary behavioral actions taken by
acceptance of the purposes of the actioneither to achieve an intended health effect or to build capacity for
The second aria is communication for health behavior change. Nowadays there are a lot of people that
practice behavior with high health risk, like smoking, drug abuse, alcohol consuming etc. the individuals with
such types of behavior will be more likely to change their health-related behavior if they recognize a health
risk or condition as important, if they view themselves as susceptible to the risk or condition and if they regard
the benefits of change as outweighing barriers to making change. Communication strategies play a key role in
influencing these perceptions.
The third aria is communication in condition of health emergency. Health emergencies include:
significant communicable disease outbreaks, e.g. an influenza pandemic; chemical, biological or radiological
incidents either criminal or accidental; mass casualty incidents, e.g. an earthquake or transport accident; any
emergency where there are a significant number of people needing medical treatment which requires a
coordinated national approach. In all this conditions the risk for community, damages, and panic will be low
down as a result of good (well planed) communication.
Exercises and Discussions:
1.What is communication?

2.How is communication? Give some attributes of communication.

3.What are the elements of communication as a process?
4.Describe the functions of communication.
5.Identify your own reasons for communication.
6.What is health communication?
7.What are the benefits of efficient communication in physician and patient, and in medical team?
Recommended Essays
1.Theoretical models of communication
2.E. Bern and transactional analysis
3.Neuro-linguistic programming
4.Communication behavior in a hospital setting
5.Communication in public health emergency/ its importance
1.Dance, Frank E. X., and Larson, Carl E. The Functions of Human Communication: A Theoretical
Approach. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976.
2.Berry Dianne. Health communication: theory and practice. McGraw-Hill International, 2006.
3.Brian Williams. Communications. Heinemann Library, 2002.
4.ODaniel Michelle, Rosenstein Alan H. Professional Communication and Team Collaboration.'DanielM_TWC.pdf
5.Samuel YS Wong, Albert Lee. Communication Skills and Doctor Patient Relationship.

Chapter 5

Metacommunication and Cultural Differences

Messages we send through our posture, gestures, facial expression,
and spatial distance account for 55% of what
is perceived and understood by others. In fact,
through our body language we are always communicating, whether we want to or not!

Albert Mehrabian


Metacommunication as Interpretation

According to etymological meaning of word Meta-communication is "communicating about

communication. In the early 1970s, Gregory Bateson coined the term to describe the underlying messages in
what we say and do. In other words meta-communication can be define as a process of interpretation and
understanding of communication and consequently as a tool for developing one's interpersonal relationships.
People communicate all the time. Its not possible to avoid it. We are always sending out signals that
others read, interpret, and respond to while we are reading, interpreting and responding to theirs. Our
communication occurs not flatly, but on different levels and via various processes. Could be mentioned
conventionally even four levels on which communication take place:
- Verbal level: communication by words;
- Para-verbal level: loudness of speaking, manner of speaking, when keeping silent, meaning of
interrupting or interfering the conversation;
- Non-verbal level: body language (facial expression, eye contact, gestures), messages without

Extra-verbal level: time, place, context, orientation towards target groups, tactile (feeling by
touching) and olfactory (smelling) aspects.
In condition of the complexity of communication as a process Meta-communication is an
indispensable tool. Because people communicate on different levels, one may not be aware of all the messages
he is sending. The actual content of what one says is the obvious form of communication, but there are others:
the context in which one says something, the tone and volume of his voice, the look in his eyes, and other
body language, to name a few. Meta-communication can help one ensure that his messages are consistent. It
can also help him better understand the messages sent by others.
5.2. Verbal Communication
Verbal communication includes written and oral communication.
Oral communication, is primarily referring to spoken verbal communication, which typically relies on
words. Oral communication may be face-to-face discussion, interpersonal medicate communication
(telephone discussion) or public presentations.
Written communication involves any type of interaction that makes use of the written word. Examples
of written communication avenues typically pursued include electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters,
proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases. Indifferently
of variety verbal communication supposed the use of language.
Language is a real power. Our use of language has tremendous power in the type of atmosphere that is
created at the problem-solving table. Words that are critical, blaming, judgmental or accusatory tend to create
a resistant and defensive mindset that is not conducive to productive problem solving. On the other hand, we
can choose words that normalize the issues and problems and reduce resistance.
What is the meaning of term Language? Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity
for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of
complex communication. The scientific study of language in any of its senses is called linguistics.
The approximately 30006000 languages that are spoken by humans today are the most salient
examples, but natural languages can also be based on visual rather than auditive stimuli, for example in sign
languages and written language. Codes and other kinds of artificially constructed communication systems
such as those used for computer programming can also be called languages. A language in this sense is a
system of signs for encoding and decoding information. The English word derives from Latin lingua,
"language, tongue." This metaphoric relation between language and the tongue exists in many languages and
testifies to the historical prominence of spoken languages. When used as a general concept, "language" refers
to the cognitive faculty that enables humans to learn and use systems of complex communication.
Language is thought to have originated when early hominids first started cooperating, adapting earlier
systems of communication based on expressive signs to include a theory of other minds and shared
intentionality. This development is thought to have coincided with an increase in brain volume. Language is
processed in many different locations in the human brain, but especially in Brocas and Wernickes areas.
Humans acquire language through social interaction in early childhood, and children generally speak fluently
when they are around three years old.
The use of language has become deeply entrenched in human culture
and, apart from being used to communicate and share information, it also has social and cultural uses, such as
signifying group identity, social stratification and for social grooming and entertainment.
Many spoken languages are written. Written communication is divided into three revolutionary stages
called Information Communication Revolutions. During the 1st stage written communication first emerged
through the use of pictographs. The pictograms were made in stone; hence written communication was not yet
mobile. During the 2nd stage writing began to appear on paper, papyrus, clay, and wax (etc). Common
alphabets were introduced and allowed for the uniformity of language across large distances. A leap in
technology occurred when the Gutenberg printing-press was invented in the 15th century. The 3rd stage is
characterized by the transfer of information through controlled waves and electronic signals.
However, even today, there are many world languages that can be spoken but have no standard written
form. Such languages can be expressed in writing using the International Phonetic Alphabet. Spoken language
is much richer than written language; for example, transcripts of actual speech show numerous hesitancies
which are usually left out of written forms of 'speech' such as screenplays.
Even from the point of view of syntax, spoken language usually has its own set of grammatical
patterns which sometimes may be quite different from that in written language. In many languages, the written
form is considered a different language, a situation called diglossia.

Human language is unique in comparison to other forms of communication, such as those used by
other animals, because it allows humans to produce an infinite set of utterances from a finite set of elements,
and because the symbols and grammatical rules of any particular language are largely arbitrary, so that the
system can only be acquired through social interaction. The known systems of communication used by
animals, on the other hand, can only express a finite number of utterances that are mostly genetically
transmitted. Human language is also unique in that its complex structure has evolved to serve a much wider
range of functions than any other kinds of communication system.
Verbal communication can be efficient, inefficient and even socially inacceptable.
The form of antisocial verbal communication is verbal abuse.
Verbal abuse (also called reviling or verbal attack) is a form of abusive behavior involving the use
of language. It is a form of profanity that can occur with or without the use of expletives. While oral
communication is its most common form, verbal abuse may be expressed in the form of written word as well.
Verbal abuse is a pattern of behavior that can seriously interfere with a person's healthy emotional
development. A single exposure to verbal assault can be enough to significantly affect a person's self-esteem,
emotional well-being, and physical state.
Verbal abuse is best described as an ongoing emotional environment organized by the abuser for the
purposes of control. The underlying factor in the dynamic of verbal abuse is the abusers low regard for him
or herself. The abuser attempts to place their victim in a position to believe similar things about him or
herself, a form of warped projection.
Reports of verbal and emotional abuse indicate that it frequently occurs in romantic relationships
between men and women, where women are generally reported as the victims. However, verbal abuse may
occur to a person of any gender, race, culture, size, sexual orientation, or age.
Typically, verbal abuse increases in intensity over time and often escalates into physical abuse as well.
During intense verbal abuse, the victim usually suffers from low self-worth and low self-esteem. As a
result, victims may fall into clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Verbal abuse starting from a young age contributes to inferiority complex, machismo attitudes, and
other negative behaviors that plague many people into senior age.
People who feel they are being attacked by a verbal abuser on a regular basis should seek professional
counsel and remove themselves from the negative environment whenever possible. Staying around verbal
abusers is damaging for a person's overall well-being, and all steps to change the situation should be pursued.
The way to recognize signs of verbal abuse in an unhealthy relationship is to simply know what a
healthy relationship looks like. Consider the things people value in a healthy and strong relationship. These
could be respect, acceptance, trustworthiness, and honesty with the freedom and safety to express oneself
within healthy boundaries. When we think about what constitutes a healthy relationship, it becomes easier to
identify when we are in an unhealthy relationship.
Signs of verbal abuse exhibited by the abuser are:
Actions of ignoring, ridiculing, disrespecting, and criticizing others consistently.
A manipulation of words.
Purposeful humiliation of others.
Accusing others falsely for the
45purpose of manipulating a person's decision making.
Manipulating people to submit to undesirable behavior.
Making others feel unwanted and unloved.
Threatening to leave the family destitute.
Placing the blame and cause of the abuse onto others.
Isolating a person from some type of support system, consisting of friends or family.
Threatening to do any type of harm to a family member or friend
Once the victim identifies and recognizes the signs of verbal abuse, the victim can be more proactive
in finding help. If left too long in an abusive relationship, the person will start feeling hopeless.
5.3. Para-verbal Communication
Para-verbal communication is communication by the mean of nonverbal cues of the voice. Various
acoustic properties of speech such as tone, pitch and accent, loudness of speaking, manner of speaking,
keeping silent, meaning of interrupting or interfering the conversation collectively known as prosody, can all
give off nonverbal cues.

Paraverbal communication refers to how we say something, not what we say. The paraverbal message
accounts for approximately 38% of what is communicated to someone. A sentence can convey entirely
different meanings depending on the emphasis on words and the tone of voice. For example, the statement, "I
didn't say you were stupid" has six different meanings, depending on which word is emphasized:

Or, if you say the sentence Cynthia likes you with a lilting tone you are probably teasing someone.
However, if you stress the word likes, Cynthia likes you, the message comes out, Whatever made you think
she didnt? Stress the word you this time, Cynthia likes you" and you might be saying, I wish she liked
The linguist George L. Trager developed a classification system which consists of the voice set,
voice qualities, and vocalization
The voice set is the context in which the speaker is speaking. This can include the situation, gender,
mood, age and a person's culture.
The voice qualities are volume, pitch, tempo, rhythm, articulation, resonance, nasality, and accent.
They give each individual a unique "voice print".
Vocalization consists of three subsections: characterizers, qualifiers and segregates. Characterizers are
emotions expressed while speaking, such as laughing, crying, and yawning. A voice qualifier is the style of
delivering a message - for example, yelling "Hey stop that!", as opposed to whispering "Hey stop that". Vocal
segregates such as "uh-huh" notify the speaker that the listener acceptance.
There are some points to be remembered about our para-verbal communication:
- When we are angry or excited, our speech tends to become more rapid and higher pitched.
- When we are bored or feeling down, our speech tends to slow and take on a monotone quality.
- When we are feeling defensive, our speech is often abrupt.
Vocal characterizers (laugh, cry, yell, moan, whine, belch, yawn) - send different messages in
different cultures (Japan giggling indicates embarrassment; India belch indicates satisfaction).
Vocal qualifiers (volume, pitch, rhythm, tempo, and tone) are associated with cultural distinctions.
Loudness, for example, indicates:
- Strength and sincerity in Arab culture;
- Confidence and authority to the Germans;
- Impoliteness to the Thais;
- Loss of control to the Japanese;
- Aggressiveness in North America
Gender based as well: women tend to speak higher and more softly than men.
Vocal segregates (un-huh, shh, uh, oooo, ooh, mmmh, humm, eh, mah, lah) - indicate formality,
acceptance, assent, uncertainty.
Vocal rate deals with the speed at which people talk, another factor that offers various interpretations.
In the Americas as well as in Arabic countries the pauses between words are usually not too long,
while in India and Japan pauses can give a contradictory sense to the spoken words. Enduring silence is
perceived as comfortable in India and Japan, while in Europe and North America it may cause insecurity and
embarrassment. Scandinavians, by the standards of other Western cultures, are more tolerant of silent breaks
during conversations.
5.4. Body Language
Body language is a form of non-verbal communication which consist in sending and interpreting of
non verbal signals almost entirely subconscious. Body language consists of body posture, gestures, facial
expressions, eye movements etc. Humans send and interpret such signals. When a person sends a message
with conflicting verbal and nonverbal information, the nonverbal information tends to be believed. Consider

the example of someone, through a clenched jaw, hard eyes, and steely voice, telling you they're not mad.
Which are you likely to believe? What you see or what you hear?
Argyle (1988) concluded there are five primary functions of nonverbal bodily behavior in human
Express emotions;
Express interpersonal attitudes;
To accompany speech in managing the cues of interaction between speakers and listeners;
Self-presentation of ones personality;
Rituals (greetings).
The Facial Expression
The face is perhaps the most important conveyor of emotional information. A face can light up with
enthusiasm, energy, and approval, express confusion or boredom, and scowl with displeasure. The facial
expession includes:
a) mimics, knit brows (frawn), wrinkle up forehead, corrugate nose, clench teeth etc.
b) smile, that can be recepted from delight to cinism.
c) the look, it can communicate love, frendship, sadness, guilty,
indiference, hate.

While some say that facial expressions are identical, meaning attached to them differs. Majority
opinion is that these do have similar meanings world-wide with respect to smiling, crying, or showing anger,
sorrow, or disgust. However, the intensity varies from culture to culture. Note the following:
o Many Asian cultures suppress facial expression as much as possible.
o Many Mediterranean (Latino / Arabic) cultures exaggerate grief or sadness while most American
men hide grief or sorrow.
o Some see animated expressions as a sign of a lack of control.
o Too much smiling is viewed in as a sign of shallowness.
o Women smile more than men.
Eye gaze
Eye contact is an event in which two people look at each other's eyes at the same time. It is a form of
nonverbal communication and is thought to have a large influence on social behavior. Frequency and
interpretation of eye contact vary between cultures and species. The study of eye contact is sometimes known
as oculesics. Eye contact can indicate interest, attention, and involvement. Gaze comprises the actions of
looking while talking, looking while 47
listening, amount of gaze, and frequency of glances, patterns of fixation,
pupil dilation, and blink rate.
Eye contact and facial expressions provide important social and emotional information; people,
perhaps without consciously doing so, probe each other's eyes and faces for positive or negative mood signs.
In some contexts, the meeting of eyes arouses strong emotions. Eye contact is also an important element in
flirting, where it may serve to establish and gauge the other's interest in some situations.
A 1985 study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology suggested that "3-month-old
infants are comparatively insensitive to being the object of another's visual regard". A 1996 Canadian study
with 3 to 6 month old infants found that smiling in the infants decreased when adult eye contact was removed.
A recent British study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience found that face recognition by infants was
facilitated by direct gaze. Other recent research has confirmed the belief that the direct gaze of adults
influences the direct gaze of infants.
A study by University of Stirling psychologists concluded that children who avoid eye contact while
considering their responses to questions had higher rates of correct answers than children who maintained eye
contact. One researcher theorized that looking at human faces requires a lot of mental processing, which
detracts from the cognitive task at hand. Researchers also noted that a blank stare indicated a lack of

In some parts of the world, particularly in East Asia, eye contact can provoke misunderstandings
between people of different nationalities. Keeping direct eye contact with a work supervisor or elderly people
leads them to assume you are being aggressive and rude.
In Japan, it is more common to look at the throat of the other person. In China and Indonesia, the
practice is to lower the eyes because direct eye contact is considered bad manners, and in Hispanic culture
direct eye contact is a form of challenge and disrespect. In Mediterranean society, men often look at women
for long periods of time that may be interpreted as starring by women from other cultures.
In some Western cultures the eye to eye contact is considered as positive (advise children to look a
person in the eyes). But within USA, African-Americans use more eye contact when talking and less when
listening with reverse true for Anglo Americans. This is a possible cause for some sense of unease between
races in US. A prolonged gaze is often seen as a sign of sexual interest.
In Arab culture, it is common for both speakers and listeners to look directly into each others eyes for
long periods of time, indicating keen interest in the conversation. The prolonged eye contact shows interest
and helps them understand truthfulness of the other person (a person who doesnt reciprocate is seen as
Movement and body position
Kinesics is the study of body movements, facial expressions, and gestures. It was developed by
anthropologist Ray L. Birdwhistell in the 1950s. Kinesic behaviors include mutual gaze, smiling, facial
warmth or pleasantness, childlike behaviors, direct body orientation, and the like.
The body movements way.

lateral movements good communicator.

forward / backword movements action man.

vertical movements man with strong persuasion power

Posture can be used to determine a participants degree of attention or involvement, the difference in
status between communicators, and the level of fondness a person has for the other communicator. Our body
postures can create a feeling of warm openness or cold rejection. Studies investigating the impact of posture
on interpersonal relationships suggest that mirror-image congruent postures, where one persons left side is
parallel to the others right side, leads to favorable perception of communicators and positive speech; a person
who displays a forward lean or a decrease in a backwards lean also signify positive sentiment during
communication. Posture is understood through such indicators as direction of lean, body orientation, arm
position, and body openness. For example, when someone faces us, sitting quietly with hands loosely folded
in the lap, a feeling of anticipation and interest is created. A posture of arms crossed on the chest portrays a
feeling of inflexibility. The action of gathering up one's materials and reaching for a purse signals a desire to
end the conversation.


The position of the body gives us the information about the subjects attitude and emotions. The
dominating person will keep the head up, but the inferior will keep the head down. The inclination of the body
means the interest, anxiety.
Consider the following actions and note cultural differences:
o Bowing (not done, criticized, or affected in US; shows rank in Japan)

Slouching (rude in most Northern European areas)

Hands in pocket (disrespectful in Turkey)
Sitting with legs crossed (offensive in Ghana, Turkey)
Showing soles of feet. (Offensive in Thailand, Saudi Arabia
Gesture is a non-vocal bodily movement intended to express meaning. They may be articulated with
the hands, arms or body, and also include movements of the head, face and eyes, such as winking, nodding, or
rolling one's eyes. The boundary between language and gesture, or verbal and nonverbal communication, can
be hard to identify.
According to Ottenheimer (2007), psychologists Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen suggested that
gestures could be categorized into five types: emblems, illustrators, affect displays, regulators, and adaptors
emblems are gestures with direct verbal translations, such as a goodbye wave;
illustrators are gestures that depict what is said verbally, such as turning an imaginary steering wheel
while talking about driving
an affect display is a gesture that conveys emotions, like a smile;
regulators are gestures that control interaction;
and finally, an adaptor is a gesture that facilitates the release of bodily tension, such as quickly
moving one's leg.
Some emblems seem to be universal, while others are cultural, with different interpretations in various
cultures, or perhaps with different uses by men and women. An example of a universal emblem is the uplifted
shoulders and upturned hands that indicate I dont know virtually everywhere in the world. An example of a
culture-bound emblem is the encircled thumb and forefinger "O". "Everything ok" is shown in western
European countries, especially between pilots and divers. This sign, especially when fingers are curled, means
in Korea and Japan "now we may talk about money", in southern France the contrary ("nothing, without any
value"). In Brazil, it is considered rude, especially if performed with the three extended figures shown
horizontally to the floor while the other two fingers form an O.
Gestures can be also categorized as either speech-independent or speech-related. Speech-independent
gestures are dependent upon culturally accepted interpretation and have a direct verbal translation. A wave
hello or a peace sign are examples of speech-independent gestures. Speech related gestures are used in parallel
with verbal speech; this form of nonverbal communication is used to emphasize the message that is being
Speech related gestures are intended to provide supplemental information to a verbal message such as
pointing to an object of discussion
There are some cultural differences regarding the interpretation of a certain gesture, an acceptable in
ones own culture may be offensive in another. Amount of gesturing varies from culture to culture. Even
simple things like using hands to point and count differ.
For example to point (show direction using the finger) is unpolite in Europe, offence in Thailand
and usual in the US. But, pointing: in US with index finger; Germany with little finger; Japanese with entire
hand (in fact most Asians consider pointing with index finger to be rude). Another example is putting foot on
the table in America.
Dance is a form of nonverbal communication that requires the same underlying faculty in the brain
for conceptualization, creativity and memory as does verbal language in speaking and writing. Means of selfexpression, both forms have vocabulary (steps and gestures in dance), grammar (rules for putting the
vocabulary together) and meaning. Dance, however, assembles (choreographs) these elements in a manner
that more often resembles poetry, with its ambiguity and multiple, symbolic and elusive meanings
The tactile communication
Touches can be defined as communication include handshakes, holding hands, kissing (cheek, lips,
hand), back slapping, high fives, a pat on the shoulder, hugging, taping on the shoulder and brushing an arm.
Touching of oneself during communication may include licking, picking, holding, and scratching. These
behaviors are referred to as "adaptor" and may send messages that reveal the intentions or feelings of a
communicator. The meaning conveyed from touch is highly dependent upon the context of the situation, the
relationship between communicators, and the manner of touch. It depends on age, relation and cultutre.
Touch is culturally determined. But each culture has a clear concept of what parts of the body one
may not touch. Basic message of touch is to affect or control protect, support, disapprove (i.e. hug, kiss,
hit, kick).
Example: An African-American male goes into a convenience store recently taken over by new
Korean immigrants. He gives a $20 bill for his purchase to Mrs. Cho, who is cashier, and waits for his

change. He is upset when his change is put down on the counter in front of him. What is the problem?
Traditional Korean (and many other Asian countries) doesnt touch strangers, especially between members of
the opposite sex. But the African-American sees this as another example of discrimination (not touching him
because he is black).
Cultures (English, German, Scandinavian, Chinese, and Japanese) with high emotional restraint
concepts have little public touch; those which encourage emotion (Latino, Middle-East, Jewish) accept
frequent touches. It has been noted, for example, that Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Latin American
cultures employ much social touching in conversation, including embraces and hand-holding; these are called
high-contact (or high-touch) cultures. In moderate-touch cultures such as North America and Northern
Europe, touching is used only occasionally, such as in handshakes and sporadic shoulder touching or back
slapping. In low contact cultures such as in Northern Asian cultures, meanwhile, social touching is rarely used
at all. But the geography is by no means that simple. People in the Asian nation of the Philippines, for
example, use a large amount of social touching in conversation and personal interaction.
In USA the handshake is common (even for strangers), hugs, and kisses for those of opposite gender
or of family (usually) on an increasingly more intimate basis. Note differences between African-Americans
and Anglos in USA. Most African Americans touch on greeting but are annoyed if touched on the head (good
boy, good girl overtones).
In Islamic and Hindu cultures people typically dont touch with the left hand. To do so is a social
insult. Left hand is for toilet functions. Mannerly, in India to break your bread is permitted only with your
right hand, sometimes is difficult for non-Indians.
Islamic cultures generally dont approve of any touching between genders (even handshakes). But
consider such touching (including hand holding, hugs) between same-sex to be appropriate.
Many Asians dont touch the head - head houses the soul and a touch puts it in jeopardy.
5.5. Extraverbal Communication
Extraverbal Communication is a form of communication which includes receiving and sending
of information by mean of time, place, context, orientation towards target groups aspects.
Physical environment
Environmental factors such as furniture, architectural style, interior decorating, lighting conditions,
colors, temperature, noise, and music affect the behavior of communicators during interaction. Environmental
conditions can alter the choices of words or actions that communicators use to accomplish their
communicative objective.
The space language.
Proxemics is the study of how people use and perceive the physical space around them. The space
between the sender and the receiver of a message influences the way the message is interpreted. Proxemics
was first developed by Edward T. Hall during the 1950s and 60s. Hall's studies were inspired by earlier studies
of how animals demonstrate territoriality. The term territoriality is still used in the study of proxemics to
explain human behavior regarding personal space. There are identified 4 such territories:
1. Primary territory: this refers to an area that is associated with someone who has exclusive use of it. For
example, a house that others cannot
50 enter without the owners permission.
2. Secondary territory: unlike the previous type, there is no right to occupancy, but people may still feel
some degree of ownership of a particular space. For example, someone may sit in the same seat on train
every day and feel aggrieved if someone else sits there.
3. Public territory: this refers to an area that is available to all, but only for a set period, such as a parking
space or a seat in a library. Although people have only a limited claim over that space, they often exceed
that claim. For example, it was found that people take longer to leave a parking space when someone is
waiting to take that space.
4. Interaction territory: this is space created by others when they are interacting. For example, when a
group is talking to each other on a footpath, others will walk around the group rather than disturb it.
Consequently space in nonverbal communication was devided into four main categories: intimate,
social, personal, and public space.
Intimate space (Distance: Touching to 11/2 feet). This is the distance of lovemaking, wrestling,
comforting, and protecting.
Personal Distance (Distance: 11/2 feet to 4 feet). This distance is reserved for more than just a casual
friend or fleeting encounter; however, it is a no-contact distance. Where people stand in relation to each other
signals their relationship, or how they feel toward each other, or both. A wife can stay inside the circle of her
husband's close personal zone with impunity. For another woman to do so is an entirely different story.

Social Distance (Distance: 4 to 12 feet). Impersonal business or casual conversations can be carried
on in this space. People are very much aware of the presence of one another, but they neither interfere with
each other nor are they oppressively near;
Public Distance (Distance: 12 to 25 feet, or farther). A person at this distance is outside the circle of
involvement. This is the distance reserved for public speakers and/or public officials or for anyone on public
Note that this distance can vary significantly. Extraverts, for example, may have smaller distances
whilst introverts may prefer to keep their distance. People who live in towns and cities are used to squeezing
closer to people so have smaller spaces, whilst country people stand so far apart they have to lean forwards to
shake hands. Also the distance varies greatly across cultures and different settings within cultures.
The distance between communicators will also depend on sex, status, and social role.
The time language
Chronemics is the study of the use of time in nonverbal communication. The way we perceive time,
structure our time and react to time is a powerful communication tool, and helps set the stage for
communication. Time perceptions include punctuality and willingness to wait, the speed of speech and how
long people are willing to listen. The timing and frequency of an action as well as the tempo and rhythm of
communications within an interaction contributes to the interpretation of nonverbal messages. Gudykunst &
Ting-Toomey (1988) identified 2 dominant time patterns.
Monochronic time schedule (M-time): Time is seen as being very important and it is characterized by
a linear pattern where the emphasis is on the use of time schedules and appointments. Time is viewed as
something that can be controlled or wasted by individuals, and people tend to do one thing at a time.
Polychronic time schedule (P-time): Personal involvement is more important than schedules where
the emphasis lies on personal relationships rather than keeping appointments on time.
Studies show that the monochronemic conversation (talking about one thing at a time) is common in
Northern Europe and North America. Meanwhile, Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean
cultures are more likely to use polychronemic conversation (multiple conversations at the same time, and
frequent interruption by other speaker-listeners).
The way of using the time language is correlated with:
time precision
The time is something precious and personal and when somebody tries to organize out time it shows
the status difference. To come in time or not to meeting shows the attitude of the interlocutor in regards of the
speaker or the subject, perception of the status and power, the respect and importance paid. The more people
are made to wait, the more they feel humble and disrespected.
In different cultures the punctuality means different times to come to a meeting or appointment. In
some countries like China and Japan, punctuality is considered important and being late would be considered
as an insult. However, in countries such as those of South America and the Middle East, being on time does
not carry the same sense of urgency.
Americans come earlier in order to accommodate themselves to the space and prepare for the
discussion. British and Swedish come exactly in time in order to prove efficient time management, French
come a little later in order to make the
interlocutor a little nervous to be easier to manipulate.
Thus the time language can be used consciously or not to control and subdue or to communicate
respect and interest.
time lack
The time is perceived as a personal scarce recourse therefore the way how the person allocates it to
another person who requires a part of this recourse shows the attitude of the subject regarding the demander.
Miss-allocation of time for communication with a person is considered as miss- allocation of importance.
Some sociological researches proved that a positive communication relation is built in direct proportion with
the frequency.
time as symbol
This aspect is related to certain usuality, like rhythm (for example we eat three times a day at a certain
hour). Similarly seasons impose some certain activities and a certain life style. Holydays and rituals also are
marked in time. Thus businessmen know that in the period of winter holidays people spend more money and
work less.

5.6. Interaction Between Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Non-verbal communication consists of all the messages other than words that are used in
communication. Humans use consciously or unconsciously nonverbal communication for many reasons:
To create impressions beyond the verbal element of communication (kinesics, chronemics, vocalics,
To repeat and reinforce what is said verbally (occulesics, kinesics).
To manage and regulate the interaction among participants in the communication exchange (kinesics,
occulesics, proxemics, synchrony).
To express emotion beyond the verbal element (kinesics, occulesics, haptics, vocalics, proxemics).
To convey relational messages of affection, power, dominance, respect, and so on (proxemics,
occulesics, haptics).
To promote honest communication by detecting deception or conveying suspicion (kinesics, occulesics,
To provide group or social leadership by sending messages of power and persuasion (kinesics, vocalics,
Nonverbal communication is a part of communication process. That mean it is in continuous
interaction with verbal communication. When communicating, nonverbal messages can interact with verbal
messages in six ways: repeating, conflicting, complementing, substituting, regulating and
Repeating - consists of using gestures to strengthen a verbal message, such as pointing to the object of
Conflicting - verbal and nonverbal messages within the same interaction can sometimes send
opposing or conflicting messages. A person verbally expressing a statement of truth while simultaneously
fidgeting or avoiding eye contact may convey a mixed message to the receiver in the interaction. Conflicting
messages may occur for a variety of reasons often stemming from feelings of uncertainty, ambivalence, or
frustration. When mixed messages occur, nonverbal communication becomes the primary tool people use to
attain additional information to clarify the situation; great attention is placed on bodily movements and
positioning when people perceive mixed messages during interactions
Complementing - accurate interpretation of messages is made easier when nonverbal and verbal
communication complement each other. Nonverbal cues can be used to elaborate on verbal messages to
reinforce the information sent when trying to achieve communicative goals; messages have been shown to be
remembered better when nonverbal signals affirm the verbal exchange
Substituting - nonverbal behavior is sometimes used as the sole channel for communication of a
message. People learn to identify facial expressions, body movements, and body positioning as corresponding
with specific feelings and intentions. Nonverbal signals can be used without verbal communication to
convey messages; when nonverbal behavior does not effectively communicate a message, verbal methods are
used to enhance understanding.
Regulating - nonverbal behavior also regulates our conversations. For example, touching someone's
arm can signal that you want to talk next
52 or interrupt.
Accenting/Moderating - nonverbal signals are used to alter the interpretation of verbal messages.
Touch, voice pitch, and gestures are some of the tools people use to accent or amplify the message that is sent;
nonverbal behavior can also be used to moderate or tone down aspects of verbal messages as well. For
example, a person who is verbally expressing anger may accent the verbal message by shaking a fist.
5.7. Appearance of Medical Students and Doctors. The Dress Code.
Appearance refers to the communication role played by a persons look or physical appearance. It
deals with physical aspects of body shape, hair color and skin tone, as well as grooming, dress (both clothing
and jewelry) and use of appearance enhancements such as body piercings, brandings and tattoos. Appearance
is an important aspect of personal as well professional image. Having a professional image is important for
any practice and especially for medical practice. If patients see professionalism, in addition to receiving
courteous treatment and quick service, they will be impressed. Patient satisfaction with health care,
compliance with medication and treatment outcome is related to the physicians interpersonal skills including
his/her sensitivity to nonverbal behavior and appearance.
You may think that setting guidelines for professional appearance is more difficult today than in years
past, but women's skirt lengths and men's long hair used to challenge human resources managers. Now it's
body piercing, tattoos and skimpy clothing. Whether it's the 1970s or the 2010s, these issues have a common

source people declaring themselves as individuals or maybe not knowing what's considered "professional."
Either way, today's medical practice administrators and human resources managers must know where to draw
the line so the group practice projects a competent, professional image.
As students/physicians will encounter patients from diverse groups, their personal appearance
becomes an important part in establishing rapport with each patient. Therefore, the therapeutic alliance must
be secured before initial verbal interaction has occurred. Student/physicians should place the patients needs
first even if this necessitates curtailing some aspects of ones individual expression. Because of the
responsibility to inspire confidence in our professionalism and high quality of care, physicians are expected to
wear appropriate dress as defined herein; in a manner which reflects positively on the department, hospital
and their profession. Each student/physician is expected to reflect the organizations high standards through
professional dress, grooming, conduct, language, and decorum.
Standards for dress, grooming, and personal cleanliness contribute to the morale of all staff members
and affect the image of the Medicine as a Practice. During business hours, student/physicians are expected to
present an appearance and dress according to the requirements of their positions. Clothing worn to work
should reflect professional status, provide for mechanical safety of student/physicians and patients, allow for
full performance of all duties and provide easy identification of student/physicians.
Dress codes for a job at a hospital, medical office or any other medical institution require conservative
styles. The dress code is not simply a matter of professionalism, but also a matter of safety.
Students/physicians come into contact with patients and medical equipment. They must be prepared for a
number of situations, such as excessive bleeding, vomiting, chemical spills and other accidents.
Appropriate dress for all medical personnel is as follows:
Dress of medical students in routine class in the first two years could be informal.
All medical students are required to wear a clean, short white coat.
Hair (including facial hair) should be clean, neatly trimmed, and contained so that it does not come in
contact with patients. Mens beards are acceptable when neatly trimmed. Hair colored green, blue, pink, etc.,
is not acceptable
Anything that is exaggerated or overdone, whether it is jewelry, make-up, hairstyle, perfume, or
clothing, is inappropriate. A minimum of jewelry such as wedding rings or class rings are acceptable, it must
be small and simple. It cannot obstruct his or her work, and should be visible on the ear only (that means no
facial jewelry such as nose, eyebrow, lip, etc., piercings). Multiple rings, i.e., one on each finger, are
unacceptable. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other piercings may impede the employee's work or catch on
a patient or equipment.
Student/physicians are required to maintain a clean, odor-free personal hygiene. Strong-smelling
perfume, aftershave, scented lotions, and cologne are not permitted, as some patients may be allergic.
Button-down shirts should not be open below the second button (sterno-manubrial junction). Ties are
required for men.
Shoes should be polished, neat and clean, and always with closed toes. Do not wear sandals in patient
care areas because dropped needles may pierce your feet.


Student/physicians are required to maintain fingernails clean, well-manicured, and moderate in length.
Nail color will be in keeping with the professional image.

Tattoos and other body art must be covered at all times while on duty.

Clothing should fully cover the mid-back, lower-back, and stomach. Undergarments should not be
visible. Bare legs, if applicable, must be neat and presentable.
Women should wear professional blouses or sweaters. Low cut or clinging shirts, sweaters or blouses
are inappropriate.
Skirts should be at least three inches below the white coat and below the knee if no stockings are
worn. Shorter skirts are acceptable with tights or stockings. No clam-digger or Capri pants, jeans, cargo pants
or leggings without skirts. Minimize excessively bright, dark or creatively-colorful polish.

Blue scrub suits are permitted in direct patient care areas and in the Operating Room
In the Operating Room
Women who wear scrub suits with a deep V-neck should wear the V-neck behind so as to prevent
gapping in the front.

Jewelry must come off before scrubbing. Earrings are unacceptable in the Operating Room because
they may fall into the field. Short necklaces are acceptable as they are covered by O.R. gowns.
Inappropriate dress for all medical personnel is as follows:
Soiled, tattered, torn, frayed, or ripped clothing
Shorts of any kind
See-through garments, or those with plunging or revealing necklines
Garments exposing midriff or undergarments
Tube-tops, tank tops, or tight, form-fitting shirts
Spaghetti straps, and low-cut or off-the-shoulder shirts or dresses
Stirrups, leggings, or exercise attire
Tight or transparent clothing (including tight-fitting T-shirts)
Any clothing with slogans, advertising, or questionable or suggestive logos or emblems
Any clothing that promotes alcohol or tobacco
Belly shirts
Baseball caps or hats
Low-rise jeans
Do not chew gum.
No eating or drinking in front of patients or in patient care areas.
Speak softly in the hospital.
Never discuss ones own or friends personal issues in public areas.
Never discuss patient care issues in public areas, such as cafeterias and elevators.
Do not criticize pedagogy, faculty, staff, others or institutions in public areas.
Do not carry patient charts or X-ray folders with the name exposed.
Keep beepers on vibrator-silent mode so as not to interrupt attendings and patients.
Exercises and Discussions:
1. What is metacommunication?
2. What are verbal communication forms and types?
3. Describe the elements of paraverbal communication.
4. Describe the elements of body language. What are your preferable gesture, body posture, face
expression etc?
5. What is extra verbal communication? Do you have a monochronemic or polychronemic perception
of time?
6. Learn the elements of professional dress code.
7. Identify three of the seven uses of nonverbal communication.
8. Explain from personal experience an example of misunderstood communication caused by differing
interpretations of nonverbal communication techniques.
Recommended Essays
1. The therapeutic miracle of words
2. Language of colors
3. Language of flowers
4. Dress code in the intercultural contexts
5. How to make a good first impression?
6. Smile and its significance
1. Burgoon Judee K., Buller David B., Woodall William Gill. Nonverbal communication: the unspoken
dialogue. Harper & Row, 1989.
2. Esposito Anna. Fundamentals of verbal and nonverbal communication and the biometric issue. IOS
Press, 2007.
3. Keidar Daniela Classroom Communication. Use of Emotional Intelegence and Non-Verbal
Communication in Ethics Education at Medical Schools. UNESCO Chair Office, Haifa, 2005. 116 p.

4. Krueger Juliane. GRIN Verlag, 2008.

5. Kendon Adam. Gesture: visible action as utterance. Cambridge University Press, 2004.

6. Wood Julia T.. Communication in Our Lives. Cengage Learning, 2008.

Chapter 6
Barriers and Cleavages in Communication
A barrier to communication is something that keeps meanings from meeting. Meaning barriers exist
between all people, making communication much more difficult than most people seem to realize. It
is false to assume that if one can talk he can communicate. Because so much of our education
misleads people into thinking that communication is easier than it is, they become discouraged and
give up when they run into difficulty. Because they do not understand the nature of the problem,
they do not know what to do. The wonder is not that communicating is as difficult as it is, but that it
occurs as much as it does."
Reuel Howe, theologian and educator

6.1 Communication Distorting Factors

Every time people inject voluntary or involuntary barriers into their communication. These barriers
can exist in any of the three components of communication (verbal, paraverbal, and nonverbal). Any one of
the components of the communication model (sender, message, receiver, context, code, channel etc) can
become a barrier to communication. For this reason, it is worthwhile to describe some of the common
responses that will, inevitably, have a negative effect on communications. The most common of them are
listed and analyzed below.
a. Barrier of communication on the level of message Muddled messages
Muddled messages are a barrier to communication because the sender leaves the receiver unclear
about the intent of the sender. Contrast these two messages: "Please be here about 7:00 tomorrow morning."
"Please be here at 7:00 tomorrow morning." The one word difference makes the first message muddled and
the second message clear. Muddled messages have many causes. The sender may be confused in his or her
thinking. The message may be little more than a vague idea. The problem may be semantics, e.g., note this
muddled newspaper ad: "Dog for sale. Will eat anything. Especially likes children. Call 888-3599 for more
Clarifying muddled messages is the responsibility of the sender. The sender hoping the receiver will
figure out the message does little to remove this barrier to communication.
Effective communication starts with a clear message. Making messages when intend an efficient
communication sender should also take
in account the receivers interests and abilities of decoding.
Verbal Message can be a serious impediment of communication when:
1. Attacking, interrogating, criticizing, blaming, and shaming:
"If you were doing your job and supervising Susie in the lunch line we probably wouldn't be in this
situation, would we?"
"Have you followed through with the counseling we asked you to do? Have you gotten Ben to the
doctor's for his medical checkup? Did you call and arrange for a Big Brother? Have you found out if you're
eligible for food stamps?"
"From what I can see, you don't have the training to teach a child with ADHD. Obviously if you did
you would be using different strategies that wouldn't make her feel like she's a bad person."
2. Moralizing, preaching, advising, and diagnosing:
"You don't seem to understand how important it is for your child to get this help. Don't you see that
he's well on his way to becoming a sociopath?"
"You obviously don't realize that if you were following the same steps we do at home you wouldn't be
having this problem. You don't seem to care about whats going on in this child's life outside of school."
3. Ordering, threatening, commanding, and directing:

"If you don't voluntarily agree to this evaluation we can take you to due process. Go ahead and file a
complaint if you want to."
"I'm going to write a letter of complaint to the superintendent and have this in your file if you don't
stop humiliating my son in front of his classmates. I know my rights."
4. Shouting, name calling, refusing to speak.
Some Nonverbal messages which could be Communication Barriers are:
1. Flashing or rolling eyes,
2. Quick or slow movements,
3. Arms crossed, legs crossed,
4. Gestures made with exasperation,
5. Slouching, hunching over,
6. Poor personal care,
7. Doodling,
8. Staring at people or avoiding eye contact,
9. Excessive fidgeting with materials.
b. Barrier of communication on the receivers level
Listening is difficult. A typical speaker says about 125 words per minute. The typical listener can
receive 400-600 words per minute. Thus, about 75 percent of listening time is free time. The free time often
sidetracks the listener. Letting your attention drift away you put deliberately a barrier in commutation.
Others impediments of communication related to poor listening skills are:
- Automating listening.
- Selective listening.
Automatic listening happens when a person listening just long enough to find a word that he knows
something about. Then shut off the rest of what is being said, particularly the emotional content. Then starts
talking about the word he knows something about. This blocks real communications by not hearing the total
content. This is the most used form of blocking true communication.
Selective listening is when a person hears another but selects to not hear what is being said by choice
or desire to hear some other message. This can take several forms and result in acting out in destructive ways.
An example is to become passive aggressive by pretending to hear and agree to what was said when actually
your intent is to NOT act on the message, but make the other person think you will. Another form is to act on
what you wanted to hear instead of what was said. Continued selective listening is one of the best ways to
destroy a relationship.
c. Barriers on the channels level
In order to avoid misunderstanding, in choice of a channel, the sender needs to be sensitive to such
things as the complexity of the message (good morning versus a construction contract); the consequences of a
misunderstanding (medication for a sick animal versus a guess about tomorrow's weather); knowledge, skills
and abilities of the receiver (a new employee versus a partner in the business); and immediacy of action to be
taken from the message (instructions for this morning's work versus a plan of work for 1994). Variation of
channels helps the receiver understand the nature and importance of a message.
For instance an oral channel56
is highly appropriate for such a message as Good morning". Writing
"GOOD MORNING!" on a chalkboard in the machine shed is less effective than a warm oral greeting. On the
other hand, a detailed request to a contractor for construction of a far rowing house should be in writing, i.e.,
d. Barriers on the contexts level
Barriers on the context level refer to all condition in which communication occurs. These may be:
Physical (for instance spatial barriers);
Biological (physiological and gender barriers);
Psychological (emotional, perceptual, cognitive barriers etc)
Physical barriers:
Physical distractions are the physical things that get in the way of communication. Examples of such
things include the telephone, a pick-up truck door, a desk, an uncomfortable meeting place, and noise.
A supervisor may give instructions from the driver's seat of a pick-up truck. Talking through an open
window and down to an employee makes the truck door a barrier. A person sitting behind a desk, especially if
sitting in a large chair, talking across the desk is talking from behind a physical barrier. Two people talking
facing each other without a desk or truck-door between them have a much more open and personal sense of

communication. Uncomfortable meeting places may include a place on the farm that is too hot or too cold.
Another example is a meeting room with uncomfortable chairs that soon cause people to want to stand even if
it means cutting short the discussion. Noise is a physical distraction simply because it is hard to concentrate
on a conversation if hearing is difficult.
Biological barriers:
Gender barriers
There are distinct differences between the speech patterns in a man and those in a woman. A woman
speaks between 22,000 and 25,000 words a day whereas a man speaks between 7,000 and 10,000. In
childhood, girls speak earlier than boys and at the age of three, have a vocabulary twice that of boys.
The reason for this lies in the wiring of a man's and woman's brains. When a man talks, his speech is
located in the left side of the brain but in no specific area. When a woman talks, the speech is located in both
hemispheres and in two specific locations.
This means that a man talks in a linear, logical and compartmentalized way, features of left-brain thinking;
whereas a woman talks more freely mixing logic and emotion, features of both sides of the brain. It also explains
why women talk for much longer than men each day.
Physiological barriers:
They may result from individuals' personal discomfort, caused, for example, by ill health, poor eye
sight or hearing difficulties.
Psychological barriers:
Perceptual barriers
The problem with communicating with others is that we all see the world differently. If we didn't, we
would have no need to communicate: something like extrasensory perception would take its place.
The following anecdote is a reminder of how our thoughts, assumptions and perceptions shape our
own realities:
A traveller was walking down a road when he met a man from the next town. "Excuse me," he said. " I
am hoping to stay in the next town tonight. Can you tell me what the townspeople are like?"
"Well," said the townsman, "how did you find the people in the last town you visited?"
"Oh, they were an irascible bunch. Kept to themselves. Took me for a fool. Over-charged me for what
I got. Gave me very poor service."
"Well, then," said the townsman, "you'll find them pretty much the same here."
Emotional barriers
One of the chief barriers to open and free communications is the emotional barrier. It is comprised
mainly of fear, mistrust and suspicion. The roots of our emotional mistrust of others lie in our childhood and
infancy when we were taught to be careful what we said to others.
"Mind your P's and Q's"; "Don't speak until you're spoken to"; "Children should be seen and not
heard". As a result many people hold back from communicating their thoughts and feelings to others.
They feel vulnerable. While some caution may be wise in certain relationships, excessive fear of what
others might think of us can stunt our development as effective communicators and our ability to form
meaningful relationships.
Cognitive barriers:
One of the most frequent cognitive barriers is stereotypes.
Stereotyping causes us to typify a person, a group, an event or a thing on oversimplified conceptions,
beliefs, or opinions. Thus, basketball players can be stereotyped as tall, green equipment as better than red
equipment, football linemen as dumb, Ford as better than Chevrolet, Vikings as handsome, and people raised
on dairy farms as interested in animals. Stereotyping can substitute for thinking, analysis and open
mindedness to a new situation.
Stereotyping is a barrier to communication when it causes people to act as if they already know the
message that is coming from the sender or worse, as if no message is necessary because "everybody already
knows." Both senders and listeners should continuously look for and address thinking, conclusions and
actions based on stereotypes.
Social barriers
When we join a group and wish to remain in it, sooner or later we need to adopt the behavior patterns
of the group. These are the behaviors that the group accepts as signs of belonging.
The group rewards such behavior through acts of recognition, approval and inclusion. In groups
which are happy to accept you and where you are happy to conform, there is a mutuality of interest and a high
level of win-win contact.

Where, however, there are barriers to your membership of a group, a high level of game-playing
replaces good communication.
e. Barriers on the level of code
When is spoken about barriers on the level of code is meant most commonly language barriers.
Language that describes what we want to say in our terms may present barriers to others who are not familiar
with our expressions, buzz-words and jargon. When we couch our communication in such language, it is a
way of excluding others.
Different languages represent a national barrier which is particularly important for organizations
involved in overseas business. In a global market place the greatest compliment we can pay another person is
to talk in their language
Individual linguistic ability is also important. The use of difficult or inappropriate words in
communication can prevent people from understanding the message.
Poorly explained or misunderstood messages can also result in confusion. We can all think of
situations where we have listened to something explained which we just could not grasp.
6.2. Stereotypes, Stigma and Discrimination
The term stereotype derives from the Greek words stereos - "firm, solid" and typos "impression"
hence "solid impression". The term, in its modern psychology sense, was first used by Walter Lippmann in his
1922 work Public Opinion .
A stereotype is a fixed, commonly held notion or image of a person or group; a generalization based
on an oversimplification of some observed or imagined trait of behavior or appearance. We develop
stereotypes when we are unable or unwilling to obtain all of the information we would need to make fair
judgments about people or situations. In the absence of the "total picture", stereotypes in many cases allow us
to "fill in the blanks."
Stereotypes can be either positive (black men are good at basketball) or negative (women are bad
drivers). But most stereotypes tend to make us feel superior in some way to the person or group being
stereotyped. Stereotypes ignore the uniqueness of individuals by painting all members of a group with the
same brush. It is easier to create stereotypes when there is a clearly visible and consistent attribute that can
easily be recognized. This is why people of color, police and women are so easily stereotyped.
People from stereotyped groups can find this very disturbing as they experience an apprehension (stereotype
threat) of being treated unfairly.
For example, if we are walking through a park late at night and encounter three senior citizens
wearing fur coats and walking with canes, we may not feel as threatened as if we were met by three high
school-aged boys wearing leather jackets. Why is this so? We have made a generalization in each case. These
generalizations have their roots in experiences we have had ourselves, read about in books and magazines,
seen in movies or television, or have had related to us by friends and family. In many cases, these
stereotypical generalizations are reasonably accurate. Yet, in virtually every case, we are resorting to prejudice
by ascribing characteristics about a person based on a stereotype, without knowledge of the total facts. By
58or group has certain characteristics. Quite often, we have stereotypes
stereotyping, we assume that a person
about persons who are members of groups with which we have not had firsthand contact.
A stereotype can be embedded in single word or phrase (such as, "jock" or "nerd"), an image, or a
combination of words and images. The image evoked is easily recognized and understood by others who share
the same views.
Stereotyping can be subconscious, where it subtly biases our decisions and actions, even in people
who consciously do not want to be biased. Stereotyping often happens not so much because of aggressive or
unkind thoughts. It is more often a simplification to speed conversation on what is not considered to be an
important topic.
Stereotyping can go around in circles. Men stereotype women and women stereotype men. In certain
societies this is intensified as the stereotyping of women pushes them together more and they create men as
more of an out-group. The same thing happens with different racial groups, such as white/black (an artificial
system of opposites, which in origin seems to be more like European/non-European).
Television, books, comic strips, and movies are all abundant sources of stereotyped characters. For
much of its history, the movie industry portrayed African-Americans as being unintelligent, lazy, or violenceprone. As a result of viewing these stereotyped pictures of African-Americans, for example, prejudice against

African-Americans has been encouraged. In the same way, physically attractive women have been and
continue to be portrayed as unintelligent or unintellectual and sexually promiscuous.
We change our stereotypes infrequently. Even in the face of disconfirming evidence, we often cling to
our obviously-wrong beliefs. When we do change the stereotypes, we do so in one of three ways:
Bookkeeping model: As we learn new contradictory information, we incrementally adjust the
stereotype to adapt to the new information. We usually need quite a lot of repeated information for each
incremental change. Individual evidence is taken as the exception that proves the rule.
Conversion model: We throw away the old stereotype and start again. This is often used when there
is significant disconfirming evidence.
Subtyping model: We create a new stereotype that is a sub-classification of the existing stereotype,
particularly when we can draw a boundary around the sub-class. Thus if we have a stereotype for Americans,
a visit to New York may result in us having a New Yorkers are different sub-type.
Our society often innocently creates and perpetuates stereotypes, but these stereotypes often lead to
unfair discrimination and persecution when the stereotype is unfavorable. When we judge people and groups
based on our prejudices and stereotypes and treat them differently, we are engaging in stigmatization and
Stigma is a Greek word that in its origins referred to a kind of tattoo mark that was cut or burned into
the skin of criminals, slaves, or traitors in order to visibly identify them as blemished or morally polluted
persons. These individuals were to be avoided or shunned, particularly in public places. Modern American
usage of the words stigma and stigmatization refers to an invisible sign of disapproval which permits
"insiders" to draw a line around the "outsiders" in order to demarcate the limits of inclusion in any group. The
demarcation permits "insiders to know who is "in" and who is "out" and allows the group to maintain its
solidarity by demonstrating what happen to those who deviate from accepted norms of conduct.
Stigmatization is an issue of disempowerment and social injustice. In this context, stigma is considered to be a
powerful social control tool applied through the marginalization, exclusion, and exercise of power over
individuals who present particular characteristics.
Stigma exists when four specific components converge:
1. Individuals differentiate and label human variations.
2. Prevailing cultural beliefs tie those labeled to adverse attributes.
3. Labeled individuals are placed in distinguished groups that serve to establish a sense of
disconnection between "us" and "them".
4. Labeled individuals experience "status loss and discrimination" that leads to unequal
Stigma and health
Stigma is typically a social process, experienced or anticipated, characterized by exclusion, rejection,
blame or devaluation that results from experience, perception or reasonable anticipation of an adverse social
judgment about a person or group. This judgment is based on an enduring feature of identity conferred by a
health problem or health-related condition, and the judgment is in some essential way medically unwarranted.
In addition to its application to persons
59 or a group, the discriminatory social judgment may also be applied to
the disease or designated health problem itself with repercussions in social and health policy. Many conditions
and symptoms from nervous ticks and stuttering to tuberculosis and leprosy carry stigmatizing connotations. It
is more expedient to focus here on several illnesses in some details.
Patients with HIV
Stereotypes about HIV that are commonplace among the general public are also evident in a
surprising number of clinical staff. More than 25 years after its discovery, HIV still has the power to generate
a broad array of stigmatizing behavior. People infected with HIV have previously labeled dealing with stigma
as the most significant social and psychological challenge of the HIV experience. Sufferers' experiences were
categorized by the type of stigmatizing behavior that they experienced most often in the presence of healthcare personnel. These categories were: lack of eye contact; assuming physical distance; using disdainful voice
tone or inflection; asking confrontational questions; showing irritation, anger, nervousness, fear or panic;
taking excessive precautions; scaring, mocking, blaming or ignoring patients; providing substandard care or
denying care, and being generally abusive.
Patients with mental illnesses
Patients with mental illnesses are stigmatized and suffer adverse consequences such as increased
social isolation, limited life chances, and decreased access to treatment. In addition to poorer social
functioning as assessed by housing and employment status, those with the stigma of mental illness also

encounter a significant barrier to obtaining general medical care and to recovery from mental illness. Stigma
also affects family members of persons with mental illness.
Obese persons
Negative attitudes toward obese persons are pervasive in contemporary society. Numerous studies
have documented harmful weightbased stereotypes that overweight and obese individuals are lazy, weakwilled, unsuccessful, unintelligent, lack self-discipline, have poor willpower, and are noncompliant with
weightloss treatment. These stereotypes give way to stigma, prejudice, and discrimination against obese
persons in multiple domains of living, including the workplace, health care facilities, educational institutions,
the mass media, and even in close interpersonal relationships. Perhaps because weight stigma remains a
socially acceptable form of bias, negative attitudes and stereotypes toward obese persons have been frequently
reported by employers, coworkers, teachers, physicians, nurses, medical students, dietitians, psychologists,
peers, friends, family members,14 and even among children aged as young as 3 years.
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based solely on their membership in a
certain group or category. Discrimination is the actual behavior towards members of another group. It
involves excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to other groups.
There are two types of discrimination: direct discrimination and indirect discrimination.
Direct discrimination is pretty straightforward in most cases. It happens when a person is dealt with
unfairly on the basis of one of the grounds (compared with someone who doesnt have that ground) and in one
of the areas covered by the act.
Somebody is asked at a job interview whether he/she has children. When he/she told the interviewer
that has four children, she makes a remark about he/she needing a lot of time off work if theyre sick, and says
he/she wont be suitable for the position.
An Aboriginal woman wanting to rent a house. When she arrives to inspect a house she is told its
already been taken. The woman arranges for a non-Aboriginal friend to enquire about the house. She rings, is
told its still available, looks at the house and is offered a lease. This is the third time this woman tried to rent
a house through this agency. In spite of the fact she has a good tenancy record, each time she phone, she is
told a house is available, and each time she meet one of the agents, she is told its been rented already.
When a woman advises her employer that she is pregnant, she was moved to a lower-paying job out
of the public view, because clients dont want to look at people in her condition.
Indirect discrimination is often less obvious. Sometimes, a policy, rule or practice seems fair because
it applies to everyone equally, but a closer look shows that some people are being treated unfairly. This is
because some people or groups of people are unable or less able to comply with the rule or are disadvantaged
because of it.
(People with children or family responsibilities could be disadvantaged.)
A public building, while fitted with lifts, has a set of six steps at the front entrance. Entry for those
needing to use the lift is through the60
back entrance near the industrial bins. Those using a wheelchair cant
get into the building from the front entrance.)
Minimum height requirements apply for jobs in a resort, for no apparent reason. (People from an
Asian background, or women, may not be able to meet the requirement.)
All information about workplace health and safety in a factory, is printed in English. (Those whose
first language isnt English may be at risk.).
Unlike direct discrimination, indirect discrimination is not always intentionally perpetrated.
In addition, direct discrimination proceeds from an individualistic, personal complaint to the situation
faced, whereas indirect discrimination is concerned with group disadvantage and group rights.
Now regulations and laws are in place in most Western countries to outlaw both direct and indirect
discrimination. However, cases continue to arise which prove that discrimination still occurs.
Discrimination behaviors can take many forms:
Racial and ethnic discrimination - differentiates between individuals on the basis of real and
perceived racial differences, and has been official government policy in several countries, such as South
Africa in the apartheid era, and the USA. It is direct race discrimination to treat someone less favorably than
someone else would be treated in the same circumstances, because of race. Racist abuse and harassment are
forms of direct discrimination. Genocide is the last step in a continuum of actions taken by those who are
prejudiced. The first step of this continuum is discrimination and treating certain groups of people differently.

The second step is isolation, such as the physical segregation of minorities in ghettos or setting up separate
schools. The third step is persecution, followed by dehumanization and violence. As example is the Holocaust
tragedy, which was the destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis through an officially sanctioned,
government-ordered, systematic plan of mass annihilation. As many as six million Jews died, almost twothirds of the Jews of Europe.
Linguistic discrimination is discrimination based on native language, usually in the language policy
especially in education of a state that has one or several linguistic minorities. People are sometimes subjected
to different treatment because their preferred language is associated with a particular group, class or category.
Commonly, the preferred language is just another attribute of separate ethnic groups. Discrimination exists if
there is prejudicial treatment against a person or a group of people who speak a particular language or dialect.
Language discrimination is suggested to be labeled linguicism or logocism. Anti-discriminatory and inclusive
efforts to accommodate persons who speak different languages or cannot have fluency in the country's
predominant or "official" language, is bilingualism such as official documents in two languages, and
multiculturalism in more than two languages.

The Coptic language: At the turn of the 8th century, Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan decreed
that Arabic replace Koine Greek and Coptic as the sole administrative language. Literary Coptic gradually
declined such that within a few hundred years, and suffered violent persecutions especially under the
Mamluks, leading to its virtual extinction by the 17th century.

Language policy of the British Empire in Ireland, Wales and Scotland: Cromwell's conquest,
the long English colonization and Great Irish Famine made Irish a minority language by the end of 19th
century. It had not official status until the establishment of Republic of Ireland. In Wales speaking of the
Welsh language in schools was prohibited. Scottish Gaelic also had not official status until the end of 20th
century. Scots was often treated as a mere dialect of English.

Basque: Public usage of Basque was prohibited in Spain under Franco, 1939 to 1965. Galician
and Catalan have similar histories.

Kurdish: Kurdish remains banned in Syria. Until August 2002, the Turkish government placed
severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media.

Russification: Under the Russian Empire there were some attempts in 1899-1917 to make
Russian the only official language of Finland. In the Soviet Union, following the phase of Korenizatsiya
("indigenization") and before Perestroika (late 1930s to late 1980s), Russian was termed as "the language of
friendship of nations", to the disadvantage of other languages of the Soviet Union.
Age discrimination - is discrimination on the grounds of age; can refer to the discrimination against
any age group, usually comes in one of three forms: discrimination against youth (also called adultism),
discrimination against those 40 years old or older, and discrimination against elderly people.
Sex, Gender and Gender Identity discrimination - refers to beliefs and attitudes in relation to the
gender of a person, such beliefs and attitudes are of a social nature and do not, normally, carry any legal
Caste discrimination - currently, there are an estimated 160 million Dalits or Scheduled Castes
(formerly known as "untouchables")61in India. Dalit people face severe problems, such as segregation and
violence against them.
Religious discrimination - Religious discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group
differently because of what they do or do not believe. It is discrimination to treat you unfairly compared to
someone else, because of your religion or belief. This is called direct discrimination and is illegal. Examples
include: refusing a bank loan because the person is Jewish; refusing to allow into a restaurant because the
person is Muslim ; dismissing from work because the person is Rastafarian.
Disability discrimination - against people with disabilities in favor of people who are not, is called
ableism or disablism. Disability discrimination, which treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of
normal living, results in public and private places and services, education, and social work that are built to
serve 'standard' people, thereby excluding those with various disabilities.
Example of direct discrimination because of disability: a pub allows a family with a child who has
cerebral palsy to drink in their beer garden but not in their family room. The family with the disabled child is
not given the same choices that other families have.
Example of indirect discrimination: A local authority produces an information leaflet about its
services for local people. It does not produce an easy-to-read version of the leaflet in order to save money.
This would make it more difficult for someone with a learning disability to access the services and could
amount to indirect discrimination.

It is not count as a disability:

Addiction to alcohol, nicotine or any other substance not prescribed by a doctor. However, damage to
health caused by the addiction may be considered a disability.
High fever.
Certain personality disorders (for example exhibitionism, voyeurism or a tendency to steal, set fires,
or physically or sexually abuse other people).
Tattoos and body piercing.
6.3. Active Listening
Effective communication is vital for people. If humans wish to construct good personal or professional
relationships, to satisfy their needs, to accomplish their tasks, goals, desire they must know how to
communicate efficiently. What mean to communicate efficiently? There are many and different rules of
efficient communication in different settings. But indifferently is communication occurring in personal or
professional, interpersonal or collective setting it has to involve among other rules active listening in order to
be efficient.
The key to receiving messages effectively is listening. Active listening is an intent to "listen for
meaning", and requires more than hearing words. It requires a desire to understand another human being,
interpret, and evaluate what he or she heard; an attitude of respect and acceptance, and a willingness to open
one's mind to try and see things from another's point of view.
The ability to listen actively can improve personal relationships through reducing conflicts,
strengthening cooperation and fostering understanding. True listening requires that we suspend judgment,
evaluation, and approval in an attempt to understand another frame of reference, emotions, and attitudes.
Listening to understand is, indeed, a difficult task!
When interacting, people often are not listening attentively to one another. They may be distracted,
thinking about other things, or thinking about what they are going to say next (the latter case is particularly
true in conflict situations or disagreements).
Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding to others. It focuses attention on the
speaker. Suspending ones own frame of reference and suspending judgment are important in order to fully
attend to the speaker.
When we listen effectively we gain information that is valuable to understanding the problem as the
other person sees it. We gain a greater understanding of the other person's perception. After all, the truth is
subjective and a matter of perception. When we have a deeper understanding of another's perception, whether
we agree with it or not, we hold the key to understanding that person's motivation, attitude, and behavior. We
have a deeper understanding of the problem and the potential paths for reaching agreement.
Active listening involves and an effective attending which is a careful balance of alertness and
relaxation that includes appropriate body movement, eye contact, and "posture of involvement". Fully
attending says to the speaker, "What you are saying is very important. I am totally present and intent on
understanding you". We create a posture of involvement by:
- Leaning gently towards the speaker;
- Facing the other person squarely;
- Maintaining an open posture with arms and legs uncrossed;
- Maintaining an appropriate distance between us and the speaker;
- Moving our bodies in response to the speaker, i.e., appropriate head nodding, facial expressions.
When we pay attention to a speaker's body language we gain insight into how that person is feeling as
well as the intensity of the feeling. Through careful attention to body language and paraverbal messages, we
are able to develop hunches about what the speaker (or listener) is communicating. We can then, through our
reflective listening skills, check the accuracy of those hunches by expressing in our own words, our
impression of what is being communicated.
Providing feedback is the most important active listening skill. Ask questions. Nod in agreement.
Look the person straight in the eye. Lean forward. Be an animated listener. Focus on what the other person is
saying. Repeat key points. Active listening is particularly important in dealing with an angry person.
Encouraging the person to speak, i.e., to vent feelings, is essential to establishing communication with an
angry person. Repeat what the person has said. Ask questions to encourage the person to say again what he or
she seemed most anxious to say in the first place. An angry person will not start listening until they have
"cooled" down. Telling an angry person to "cool" down often has the opposite effect. Getting angry with an
angry person only assures that there are now two people not listening to what the other is saying.

Reflective listening or responding is the process of restating, in our words, the feeling and/or content
that is being expressed and is part of the verbal component of sending and receiving messages. By reflecting
back to the speaker what we believe we understand, we validate that person by giving them the experience of
being heard and acknowledged. We also provide an opportunity for the speaker to give us feedback about the
accuracy of our perceptions, thereby increasing the effectiveness of our overall communication. Responses
can take different forms. Some of the them are as followed.
This is a concise statement of the content of the speaker's message. A paraphrase should be brief,
succinct, and focus on the facts or ideas of the message rather than the feeling. The paraphrase should be in
the listener's own words rather than "parroting back", using the speaker's words.
"You believe that Jane needs an instructional assistant because she isn't capable of working
"You would like Bob to remain in first grade because you think the activities would be more
developmentally appropriate."
"You do not want Beth to receive special education services because you think it would be humiliating
for her to leave the classroom at any time."
"You want to evaluate my child because you think he may have an emotional disability."
Reflecting Feeling
The listener concentrates on the feeling words and asks herself, "How would I be feeling if I was
having that experience?" She then restates or paraphrases the feeling of what she has heard in a manner that
conveys understanding.
"You are very worried about the impact that an evaluation might have on Lisa's self esteem".
"You are frustrated because dealing with Ben has taken up so much of your time, you feel like you've
ignored your other students."
"You feel extremely angry about the lack of communication you have had in regards to Joe's failing
"You're upset because you haven't been able to get in touch with me when I'm at work."
The listener pulls together the main ideas and feelings of the speaker to show understanding. This skill
is used after a considerable amount of information sharing has gone on and shows that the listener grasps the
total meaning of the message. It also helps the speaker gain an integrated picture of what she has been saying.
"You're frustrated and angry that the assessment has taken so long and confused about why the referral
wasn't made earlier since that is what you thought had happened. You are also willing to consider additional
evaluation if you can choose the provider and the school district will pay for it".
"You're worried that my son won't make adequate progress in reading if he doesn't receive special
services. And you feel that he needs to be getting those services in the resource room for at least 30 minutes
each day because the reading groups in the classroom are bigger and wouldn't provide the type of instruction
you think he needs."
The listener asks open ended questions (questions which can't be answered with a "yes" or a "no") to
get information and clarification. This helps focus the speaker on the topic, encourages the speaker to talk, and
provides the speaker the opportunity to give feedback.
"Can you tell us more about Johnny's experience when he's in the regular classroom?"
"How was it for Susie when she rode the special ed. bus for those two weeks?"
"Tell us more about the afterschool tutoring sessions."
"What kinds of skills do you think are important for Jim to learn in a social skills class?"
"Could you explain why you think its difficult for Ben to be on the playground for an hour?"
"I'm confused - are you worried that the testing may mean time out of the classroom for Jim or is
there something else?"
6.4. Barriers and Solutions for Effective Medical Communication
In the first paragraph of this chapter we make the general approach to the topic of communication
barriers. The barriers discussed can be met in any professional setting. And they are met in medical context
also but with some peculiarities proper to medical profession.
Barriers and solution for effective communication between physician and patient

While the majority of doctors seek to encourage open and informative dialogue with patients, it is
recognized that episodes of poor communication occur. There are a number of barriers to communication
ranging from personal traits to organizational:
A lack of skill and understanding of the structures of conversational interaction. For example, the
importance of providing accessible information in a language that is tailored to the patient, giving structured
explanations and listening to patients views, thereby encouraging two-way communication.
Inadequate knowledge of, or training in, other communication skills including body language and
speed of speech. Problems may be caused by insufficient personal insight into communication difficulties. In
some cases communication will be hampered by factors as straightforward as poorly laid out furniture.
Doctors undervaluing the importance of communicating. For example, not appreciating the
importance of keeping patients adequately informed. In some cases this will stem from a wider imbalance in
the relationship between doctor and patient.
Negative attitudes of doctors towards communication. For example, giving it a low priority due to
a concern primarily to treat illness rather than focusing on the patients holistic needs such as psychological
and social wellbeing. This is often an artificial distinction since health and ill health tend to be composed of
physical, psychological and social components. A lack of inclination to communicate with patients can be due
to lack of time, uncomfortable topics, lack of confidence and concerns relating to confidentiality lack of
knowledge about the illness/condition or treatment. The last need not be a barrier to effective communication
so long as doctors are honest about the limitations of their knowledge.
Doctors should recognize that in many cases patients may be as knowledgeable or insightful about
their own conditions as the doctor human failings, such as tiredness and stress inconsistency in providing
information language barriers.
Identifying the specific factors inhibiting good communication should be mentioned that these are
overcoming by the mean of communication skills training and reflection.
Good communication skills expected of healthcare workers include the ability to:
o talk to patients, carers and colleagues effectively and clearly, conveying and receiving the intended
o providing patients and others with adequate information;
o handling complaints appropriately;
o enable patients and their carers to communicate effectively;
o listen effectively especially when time is pressured;
o identify potential communication difficulties and work through solutions;
o understand the differing methods of communication used by individuals;
o understand that there are differences in communication signals between cultures;
o cope in specific difficult circumstances;
o understand how to use and receive non verbal messages given by body language;
o utilize spoken, written and electronic methods of communication;
o know when the information received needs to be passed on to another person/professional for action;
o know and interpret the information
64 needed to be recorded on patients records, writing discharge letters,
copying letters to patients and gaining informed consent;
o recognize the need for further development to acquire specialist skills.
Barriers and solution for effective communication in medical team
Health professionals tend to work autonomously, even though they may speak of being part of a team.
Efforts to improve health care safety and quality are often jeopardized by the communication and
collaboration barriers that exist between clinical staff. Although every organization is unique, the barriers to
effective communication that organizations face have some common themes. There are some common barriers
to inter-professional communication and collaboration:
Personal values and expectations,
Personality differences,
Hierarchy ,
Disruptive behavior,
Culture and ethnicity,
Historical interprofessional and intraprofessional rivalries,
Differences in schedules and professional routines,

Varying levels of preparation, qualifications, and status,

Differences in requirements, regulations, and norms of professional education,
Fears of diluted professional identity,
Differences in accountability, payment, and rewards,
Concerns regarding clinical responsibility,
Emphasis on rapid decision making.
The indicated barriers can occur within disciplines, most notably between physicians and residents,
surgeons and anesthesiologists, and nurses and nurse managers etc. However, most often the barriers manifest
between nurses and physicians. Even though doctors and nurses interact numerous times a day, they often
have different perceptions of their roles and responsibilities as to patient needs, and thus different goals for
patient care. One barrier compounding this issue is that because many clinicians come from a variety of
cultural backgrounds. In all interactions, cultural differences can exacerbate communication problems. For
example, in some cultures, individuals refrain from being assertive or challenging opinions openly. As a result,
it is very difficult for nurses from such cultures to speak up if they see something wrong. In cultures such as
these, nurses may communicate their concern in very indirect ways. Culture barriers can also hinder nonverbal
communication. For example, some cultures ascribe specific meaning to eye contact, certain facial
expressions, touch, tone of voice, and nods of the head.
Issues around gender differences in communication styles, values, and expectations are common in all
workplace situations. In the health care industry, where most physicians are male and most nurses are female,
communication problems are further accentuated by gender differences.
A review of the organizational communication literature shows that a common barrier to effective
communication and collaboration is hierarchies. The communication failures in the medical setting arise from
vertical hierarchical differences, concerns with upward influence, role conflict, and ambiguity and struggles
with interpersonal power and conflict. Communication is likely to be distorted or withheld in situations where
there are hierarchical differences between two communicators, particularly when one person is concerned
about appearing incompetent, does not want to offend the other, or perceives that the other is not open to
In health care environments characterized by a hierarchical culture, physicians are at the top of that
hierarchy. Consequently, they may feel that the environment is collaborative and that communication is open while
nurses and other direct care staff perceive communication problems. Hierarchy differences can come into play and
diminish the collaborative interactions necessary to ensure that the proper treatments are delivered appropriately.
When hierarchy differences exist, people on the lower end of the hierarchy tend to be uncomfortable speaking up
about problems or concerns. Intimidating behavior by individuals at the top of a hierarchy can hinder
communication and give the impression that the individual is unapproachable.
Staff who witness poor performance in their peers may be hesitant to speak up because of fear of
retaliation or the impression that speaking up will not do any good. Relationships between the individuals
providing patient care can have a powerful influence on how and even if important information is
communicated. Research has shown that delays in patient care and recurring problems from unresolved
disputes are often the by-product of physician-nurse disagreement. Nurses are either reluctant or refuse to call
physicians, even in the face of a deteriorating status in patient care. Reasons for this include intimidation, fear
of getting into a confrontational or antagonistic discussion, lack of confidentiality, fear of retaliation, and the
fact that nothing ever seems to change. Many of these issues have to deal more with personality and
communication style.
The major concern about disruptive behaviors is the potential negative impact they can have on
patient care. In condition of the high rate fervency of such behavior the high responsibility lay on the
shoulders of heath managers. Leaders in both medicine and nursing are obliged to issue initiatives for the
development of a cooperative rather than a competitive agenda to benefit patient care. A powerful incentive
for greater teamwork among professionals is created by directing attention to the areas where changes are
likely to result in measurable improvements for the patients they serve together, rather than concentrating on
what, on the surface, seem to be irreconcilable professional differences. The fact that most health
professionals have at least one characteristic in common, a personal desire to learn, and that they have at least
one shared value, to meet the needs of their patients or clients, is a good place to start.
Exercises and Discussions:
1.What are the barriers in communication?
2.Give the definition of terms stereotype, stigmatization, and discrimination. Describe the effects of
discrimination in health care.

3.What involve and active listening? Find the other rules besides active listening for an efficient
4.What are the barriers in communication between physician and patient? How can be they overcome?
5.What the communication skills need physicians?
6.What are the impediments of good collaboration in medical team?
7.How to construct good team collaboration in medical setting?
8.What communication skills need a manager in health area?
Recommended Essays
1. Genocide, from history to solutions
2. Stigma and Discrimination in Health Care Service
3. Causes and consequences of HIV patients stigmatization
4. Good management of medical team
1. Aggleton Peter, Wood Kate, Malcolm Anne. HIV - Related Stigma, Discrimination and Human Rights
Violations. WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data. UNAIDS. Geneva, 2005.
2. Burnard Ph. Effective communication skills for health professionals. Nelson Thornes, 1997.
3. Hogan K, Stubbs R. Can't Get Through: 8 Barriers to Communication. Pelican Publishing, 2003.
4. Macrae Neil C., Stangor Charles, Hewstone Miles. Stereotypes and stereotyping. Guilford Press, 1996.
5. Fishbein Harold D. Peer prejudice and discrimination: the origins of prejudice. Routledge, 2002.
6. Ray Berlin Eileen, Donohew Lewis. Communication and health: systems and applications. Routledge,
7. Ray Berlin Eileen. Case studies in health communication. Routledge, 1993.
8. Thompson Teresa L.. Handbook of health communication. Routledge, 2003.
Chapter 7

Behavior and Cultural Contexts

Culture is the sum of all the forms of art, of love,
and of thought, which, in the course or centuries,
have enabled man to be less enslaved
Andre Malraux

7.1. The Concept of Culture

The concept of culture has a long and complicated story. Nowadays is accounted more than one
hundred meaning or definition of it. The word culture comes from the Latin root colere (to inhabit, to
cultivate, or to honor). So the firstly this concept connoted a process of cultivation or improvement, as in
agriculture. Cicero, the roman ancient philosopher used an agricultural metaphor to describe the development
of a philosophical soul, which was 66
understood teleologically as the one natural highest possible ideal for
human development. In other words Cicero defines culture as development or improvement of the mind by
education. In the nineteenth century, humanists such as English poet and essayist Matthew Arnold used the
word "culture" to refer to an ideal of individual human refinement, of "the best that has been thought and said
in the world." Thus culture is the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded
as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.
Sir Edward B. Tylor in 1871 gave the very cited especially by anthropologist definition of culture. He
said "culture or civilization, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law,
custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society". In the 20th century
"culture" emerged as the central and unifying concept of American anthropology, where it most commonly
refers to the universal human capacity to classify and encode their experiences symbolically, and
communicate symbolically encoded experiences socially. In 2002 United Nations agency UNESCO states
that culture is the "set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a
social group and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value
systems, traditions and beliefs".
Analyzing the mentioned definitions it is possible to conclude that culture is a quality of an
individual, social organization, social group (i.e. ethnic, or age group) or society as a hole to share the

systems of symbols, beliefs, attitudes, values, expectations, and norms of behavior. Culture is a quality
acquired by the means of education and it is a quality which makes the difference between humans and
animals, between individuals of one community, between organization, social groups and societies (of the
same or different epochs).
7.2. Etiquette and Cultural Differences
Etiquette is French word that literally means ticket of admission. Etiquette is a code of behavior that
delineates expectations for social behavior according to conventional norms within a society, social class, or
group. Rules of etiquette encompass most aspects of social interaction in any society, though the term itself is
not commonly used. A rule of etiquette may reflect an underlying ethical code, or it may reflect a person's
fashion or status. Rules of etiquette are usually unwritten, but aspects of etiquette have been codified from
time to time.
Etiquette evolves within culture. Thus etiquette is a component part of culture. It is dependent on
culture. What is excellent etiquette in one society may shock another. The Dutch painter Andries Both shows
that the hunt for head lice (illustration, right), which had been a civilized grooming occupation in the early
Middle Ages, a bonding experience that reinforced the comparative rank of two people, one groomed, one
groomer, had become a peasant occupation by 1630. The painter portrays the familiar operation matter-offactly, without the disdain this subject would have received in a nineteenth-century representation.
Etiquette could vary widely between different cultures and nations. In China, a person who takes the
last item of food from a common plate or bowl without first offering it to others at the table may be seen as a
glutton and insulting the generosity of the host. In America a guest is expected to eat all of the food given to
them, as a compliment to the quality of the cooking.
The term etiquette is used interchangeable with word manners which is define as the unenforced
standards of conduct which show the actor that you are proper, polite, and refined. They are like laws in that
they codify or set a standard for human behavior, but they are unlike laws in that there is no formal system for
punishing transgressions, other than social disapproval. They are a kind of norm. What is considered
"mannerly" is highly susceptible to change with time, geographical location, social stratum, occasion, and
other factors. That manners matter is evidenced by the fact that large books have been written on the subject,
advice columns frequently deal with questions of mannerly behavior, and that schools have existed for the
sole purpose of teaching manners. A lady is a term frequently used for a woman who follows proper manners;
the term gentleman is used as a male counterpart; though these terms are also often used for members of a
particular social class.
Politeness is best expressed as the practical application of good manners or etiquette. It is a culturally
defined phenomenon, and therefore what is considered polite in one culture can sometimes be quite rude or
simply strange in another cultural context.
While the goal of politeness is to make all of the parties relaxed and comfortable with one another,
these culturally defined standards at times may be manipulated to inflict shame on a designated party.
The British social anthropologists Penelope Brown and Stephen Levinson identified two kinds of
Negative politeness: Making
67 a request less infringing, such as "If you don't mind..." or "If it isn't
too much trouble..."; respects a person's right to act freely. In other words, deference. There is a greater use of
indirect speech acts.
Positive politeness: Seeks to establish a positive relationship between parties; respects a person's
need to be liked and understood. Direct speech acts, swearing and flouting maxims can be considered aspects
of positive politeness because:
o they show an awareness that the relationship is strong enough to cope with what would normally
be considered impolite (in the popular understanding of the term);
o they articulate an awareness of the other person's values, which fulfills the person's desire to be
Some cultures seem to prefer one of these kinds of politeness over the other. To be polite in one
culture or society mean to know and to follow the etiquette accepted in them.
Examples of etiquette:
If invited to dinner, in some Asian countries it is well-mannered to leave right after the dinner:
the ones who dont leave may indicate they have not eaten enough. In the Indian sub-continent, Europe, South
America, and North American countries this is considered rude, indicating that the guest only wanted to eat
but wouldnt enjoy the company with the hosts.

In Mediterranean European countries, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa, it is normal, or at

least widely tolerated, to arrive half an hour late for a dinner invitation, whereas in Germany and in the United
States this would be considered very rude.
Showing the thumb held upwards in certain parts of the world means "everything's ok", while it
is understood in some Islamic countries (as well as Sardinia) as a rude sexual sign. Additionally, the thumb is
held up to signify "one" in France and certain other European countries, where the index finger is used to
signify "one" in other cultures.
In Africa, Arab cultures, and certain countries in South America (not in Brazil), saying to a
female friend one has not seen for a while that she has put on weight means she is physically healthier than
before, whereas this would be considered an insult in India, Europe, North America, Australia, and Brazil.
In Africa and Asian countries, avoiding eye contact or looking at the ground when talking to
one's parents, an elder, or someone of higher social status is a sign of respect. In contrast, these same actions
are signals of deception or shame (on the part of the doer) in North America and most of Europe.
In African, South American and Mediterranean cultures, talking and laughing loudly in the streets
and public places is widely accepted, whereas in some Asian cultures it is considered rude and may be seen as
a mark of self-centeredness or attention-seeking.
In this context is opportune to ask the question: how is possible the communication between
communicators belonging to different cultures? With such an interrogation is dealing discipline called crosscultural communication.
7.3. The Conflict Definition and Resolution
In first paragraph of this chapter is said that culture as system of values, attitudes, beliefs, expectations,
norms and principles of behavior make the difference between us as humans and as representatives of diverse
communities. The differences can be source of tension and finally the source of conflict. In what will follow
we will try to clarify the nature of conflict.
What is a conflict? The term "conflict" has been defined as "intense interpersonal and/or intrapersonal
dissonance (tension or antagonism) between two or more parties based on incompatible goals, needs, desires,
values, beliefs, and/or attitudes. Conflict can appear as Racial and Cross Cultural Issues - Interracial
conflict, Cross-racial confrontations, Religious conflict. Nevertheless it is present in such areas as:
Neighborhood Noise, Pets, Shared common areas, Disturbances (except for domestic violence); Housing Landlord/Tenant, Roommate/Roommate, Mobile Home Parks; Family - Parent/Teen, Youth, Peer Relations;
Organization - Private Nonprofit Agencies, Community Groups, Home Owner Associations, Neighborhood
The conflict response styles
People may appreciate the same situation in different ways, and so respond differently to the conflict
situation. According to Turner and Weed (1983), there are several response styles to conflict and classified
them as follows:
1. Style of addressers. Addressers are the people who are willing to take initiatives and risk to resolve
conflicts by getting their opponents to agree with them on some issues. Addressers can either be first-steppers
or confronters: A) First-steppers are68
those who believe that some trust has to be established to settle conflicts.
They offer to make a gesture of affability, agreeableness or sympathy with the other person's views in
exchange for a similar response. B) Confronters think that things are so bad that they have nothing to lose by
a confrontation. They might be confronting because they have authority and a safe position, which reduces
their vulnerability to any loss.
2. Style of concealers. Concealers take no risk and so say nothing. They conceal their views and
feelings. Concealers can be of three kinds: a) Feeling-swallowers swallow their feelings. They smile even if
the situation is causing them pain and distress. They behave thus because they consider the approval of other
people important and feel that it would be dangerous to affront them by revealing their true feelings. B)
Subject-changers find the real issue too difficult to handle. They change the topic by finding something on
which there can be some agreement with the conflicting party. This response style usually does not solve the
problem. Instead, it can create problems for the people who use this and for the organization in which such
people are working. C) Avoiders often go out of their way to avoid conflicts.
3. Style of attackers. Attackers cannot keep their feelings to themselves. They are angry for one or
another reason, even though it may not be anyone's fault. They express their feelings by attacking whatever
they can even, though that may not be the cause of their distress. Attackers may be up-front or behind-theback: a) Up-front attackers are the angry people who attack openly; they make work more pleasant for the

person who is the target, since their attack usually generates sympathy, support and agreement for the target.
B) Behind-the-back attackers are difficult to handle because the target person is not sure of the source of any
criticism, nor even always sure that there is criticism.
Types of conflict management
Out of conflict styles response there are also studied the style of conflict management. Conflict
management is a process in which conflict is used as a deliberate personal, social, or organizational tool. Reg
Adkins considers that there are at least four such styles, no one superior than other, but all depend on the
people, environment and the context: Competing; Avoiding; Harmonizing; Compromising.
The avoiding style of conflict management is a non-confrontational approach to problems. It involves
passive behaviors such as withdrawing or side stepping issues of contention in order to avoid issues which
might be harmful to relationships involved. This approach is best used when disagreements develop from
minor unimportant issues. This is a useful technique when time is needed in order to gather additional
information for informed decision making. Unfortunately, sometimes the problems that are not quickly
addressed tend to grow over time. Relationships can be damaged by unresolved issues. Overuse of this style
can lead us into giving up too many of our personal goals and enable others to take advantage of us.
The competing style of conflict management is an authoritarian approach to problems and involves
only one side getting their say. It is goal oriented and quick. It is most effective in conflict which involves
personal differences that are unlikely to change. It is valuable as a counter measure in situations where others
are likely to take advantage of those who display a non-competitive nature. It is also valuable in circumstances
which require a quick decision. Finally, one of its greatest values is in making unpopular decisions which need
to be implemented. The down side of the model is the hostility it has a tendency to breed in those on the
losing side. This is especially true when it is the only style of conflict management being utilized.
The harmonizing style of conflict management puts the relationship of the interacting parties before
the conflict at hand. When utilizing this technique you may find yourself giving in to the other person for the
sake of the relationship. There are two situations in which this technique is particularly useful. One is when
we are caught off guard by the conflict and the other party is well prepared. In these circumstances when we
find ourselves situationally outmatched the technique allows us to save face and move forward. As second
instance in which this technique is valuable is in the client service model. It is nearly always more important
to maintain a positive relationship with a client than it is to be victorious in a confrontation. This is especially
true if you are goal oriented toward repeat business. On the other hand, when this technique is over used it can
manifest some negative results. If you find yourself over utilizing this strategy and always putting the needs of
other before your own you will find yourself with a buildup of feelings of resentment. Another negative result
occurs when dealing with the unscrupulous. Those persons who perceive this technique as a weakness will
always put their own interest in the self before the good of the many.
Compromise is a technique often known as the "middle ground" approach. It supposes a negotiation
process in which both parties give up something they want. Whatever one side gets, the other side loses.
Neither side gets what they want but both sides make concessions in order to reach a conclusion that is
equally acceptable to both. It is most useful when both parties are of equal stature and there is no simple
solution. Unfortunately, no one is ever really satisfied with the results of this technique. But, at least both
parties are equally dissatisfied.
Ways of Conflict resolution
The term "conflict resolution" refers to a range of processes aimed at alleviating or eliminating
sources of conflict. Conflict resolution aims to end conflicts before they start or before they lead to verbal,
physical, or legal fighting. This is different from conflict management, in which conflict is used as a
deliberate personal, social, or organizational tool. Though conflict management is the more common road, it is
not popular with practitioners of conflict resolution; it is better to avoid the conflict at the start. As pioneering
self-help author Napoleon Hill said: The most important job is that of learning how to negotiate with others
without friction.
Duke Ellington had it right when he said, A problem is a chance for you to do your best. To deal
with conflict successfully, be concerned about your own outcomes and also the outcomes for the other party.
Processes of conflict resolution generally include negotiation, mediation, collaborative law, and
The salient features of each type are as follows:
1. In negotiation, participation is voluntary and there is no third party who facilitates the resolution
process or imposes a resolution.

2. In mediation, there is a third party, a mediator, who facilitates the resolution process (and may even
suggest a resolution, typically known as a "mediator's proposal"), but does not impose a resolution on
the parties.
3. In collaborative law, each party has an attorney who facilitates the resolution process within
specifically contracted terms. The parties reach agreement with support of the attorneys (who are
trained in the process) and mutually-agreed experts. No one imposes a resolution on the parties.
4. In arbitration, participation is typically voluntary, and there is a third party who, as a private judge,
imposes a resolution. Arbitrations often occur because parties to contracts agree that any future
dispute concerning the agreement will be resolved by arbitration.
Beyond the peculiarities of each form of conflict resolution there are some common used strategies
for conflict solving. Among success strategies for conflict resolution are following directives:
Have a high concern for both your own and the other partys outcomes, and attempt to identify mutually
beneficial solutions.
Know and take care of yourself.
o Understand your perceptual filters, biases, and triggers.
o Create a personally-affirming environment for yourself before addressing the conflict (sleep, eat, seek
counsel, etc.).
Clarify personal needs threatened by the conflict.
o Know your substantive, procedural, and psychological needs.
o Determine your desired outcomes from a negotiated process.
Identify a safe place to meet and negotiate.
o Arrange an appropriate space for the discussion that is private and neutral.
o Gain mutual consent to negotiate and ensure the time is convenient for all parties.
o Consider if support people would be beneficial (for example, facilitators, mediators, advocates, etc.).
o Agree to ground rules.
Take a listening stance.
o Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
o Use active listening skills, and listen loudly.
Assert your needs clearly and specifically.
o Use I-messages as tools for clarification.
o Build from what you have heard; continue to listen loudly and actively.
Approach the interaction with flexibility.
o Identify issues clearly and concisely.
o Participate in generating options (brainstorming), while deferring judgment.
o Be open and dont get distracted by tangents and other problem definitions.
o Clarify criteria for decision-making.
Manage impasses with calm, patience, and respectful behavior.
o Clarify feelings.
o Focus on underlying needs, interests,
and concerns.
o Take a structured break if needed.
Build an agreement that works.
o Review hallmarks of a good agreement.
o Implement and evaluatelive and learn.
Using these techniques can improve the outcome of a conflict resolution process for everyone
7.4. Intercultural Communication
We live in multicultural world, in which cultural differences could be and are the source of deep
interpersonal, institutional, group and social conflicts. The ways of conflict resolution mentioned above imply
communication. How must be the communication process between cultures is a complex question address by
Cross-cultural communication (also frequently referred to as intercultural communication) - a field of study
that looks at how people from differing cultural backgrounds endeavor to communication. Beside that the
significant objective of this discipline is to produce intercultural communication principles designed to guide
the process of exchanging meaningful and unambiguous information across cultural boundaries, in a way that
preserves mutual respect and minimizes antagonism.

Rules of efficient Intercultural Communication

1. The key to effective cross-cultural communication is knowledge. It is essential that people research
the cultures and communication conventions of those whom they propose to meet. This will minimize the risk
of making the elementary mistakes.
2. When language skills are not high or unequal, clarifying ones meaning in five ways will improve
avoid using slang and idioms, choosing words that will convey only the most specific denotative
listen carefully and, if in doubt, ask for confirmation of understanding (particularly important if local
accents and pronunciation are a problem);
recognize that accenting and intonation can cause meaning to vary significantly;
respect the local communication formalities and styles, and watch for any changes in body language;
Investigate their culture's perception of your culture by reading literature about your culture through
their eyes before entering into communication with them. This will allow you to prepare yourself for
projected views of your culture you will be bearing as a visitor in their culture.
3. If it is not possible to learn the other's language, it is expedient to show some respect by learning a
few words. In all important exchanges, a translator can convey the message.
4. It is essential that people understand the potential problems of cross-cultural communication, and
makes a conscious effort to overcome these problems. It is important to assume that ones efforts will not
always be successful, and adjust ones behavior appropriately. For example, one should always assume that
there is a significant possibility that cultural differences are causing communication problems, and be willing
to be patient and forgiving, rather than hostile and aggressive, if problems develop. One should respond
slowly and carefully in cross-cultural exchanges, not jumping to the conclusion that you know what is being
thought and said.
5. Suggestion for heated conflicts is to stop, listen, and think, that means withdraw from the situation,
step back, and reflect on what is going on before you act. Ask yourself: What could be going on here? Is it
possible I misinterpreted what they said, or they misinterpreted me? Often misinterpretation is the source of
the problem. Active listening can sometimes be used to check this out by repeating what one thinks he or
she heard, one can confirm that one understands the communication accurately. If words are used differently
between languages or cultural groups, however, even active listening can overlook misunderstandings.
6. Often intermediaries who are familiar with both cultures can be helpful in cross-cultural
communication situations. They can translate both the substance and the manner of what is said.
7. Do put aside defensiveness. When accused of not understanding, admit that its probably true. Ask
for help in understanding your partners code.
8. Try continuously to improve your intercultural competence. That means to be intercultural sensitive
(to capture and understand, in interaction with people from foreign cultures, their specific concepts in
perception, thinking, feeling and acting, while being free from prejudices); and to be self-confident (to know
what you want, your strengths and weaknesses, to be emotional stabile in order to express your own point of
view in a transparent way with the aim to be understood and respected by staying flexible where this is
possible, and being clear where this is71necessary).
Exercises and Discussions:
1. What is culture? Give some alternative definition to the term culture?
2. What is the meaning of term etiquette? What is the relation between etiquette, politeness and
culture? Give some examples cultural differences in etiquette.
3. What is conflict? Describe the styles of conflict responses and types of conflict management.
4. Describe the ways of conflict resolution and strategies of success conflict solving.
5. What is intercultural communication? Learn the rules of successful intercultural communication.
Recommended Essays
1. Ethno medicine/Global health
2. Health, food and culture
3. Conflict in health system
4. Etiquette: norms of behavior in public place, at the business lunch, in the formal meeting, a
family lunch etc.
1. Bartos Otomar J., Wehr Paul Ernest. Using conflict theory. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

2. Engender Health. (2004) Reducing Stigma and Discrimination Related to HIV and AIDS: Training
for Health Care Workers, Trainer's Manual and Participant's Handbook.
3. MacLachlan Malcolm. Culture and health: a critical perspective towards global health. John Wiley
and Sons, 2006.
4. Pagano Michael P., Michael Pagano. Interactive Case Studies in Health Communication. Jones &
Bartlett Learning, 2010.
5. Storey John. Cultural theory and popular culture: a reader. Pearson Education, 2006. 657 p.
6. Winkelman Michael. Culture and health: applying medical anthropology. John Wiley and Sons,

Chapter 8
Health Risk Behaviors and Communication in Risk Conditions
Every human being is the author of his
own health or disease.

8.1. Dangerous Factors Determining Appearance of Illness

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and
social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." When these conditions of well being
are not fulfilled, then one can be considered to have an illness or be ill. Illness sometimes referred to as illhealth or a state of poor health. Taking in account the broad definition of health given by WHO, it is possible
to resume that human health is influenced at least by three factors: physical, mental and social. And
consequently the state of poor health is determined by the same factors.
Physical factors strongly influence health status and health practices. Among them can be listed:
genetic make-up, age, developmental level, race and sex etc. For instance the young woman who has a family
history of breast cancer and diabetes is at a higher risk to develop these conditions.
Mental factor include some dimensions: emotional, intellectual and spiritual. It is proved that emotion
affect body function and consequently influences health. For instance long term stress affects the body
systems and anxiety affects health habits; conversely, calm acceptance and relaxation can actually change
body responses to illness. Or a relevant example is a student that prior to a test always has diarrhea.
The intellectual dimension encompasses cognitive abilities, educational background and past
72responses to teaching about health and reactions to health care during
experiences. These influence a clients
illness. They also play a major role in health behaviors. For instance a young person with diabetes who
follows a diabetic diet but continues to drink beer and eat pizza with friends several times a week is at risk
because did not realize the danger of such a behavior.
Spiritual dimension refers to spiritual and religious beliefs. These two are important components of the
way the person behaves in health and illness. For instance Jehovah Witnesses are opposed to blood
transfusions which could make a banal illness lethal one
Social factors imply usually to dimensions: environmental and Socio-cultural.
Housing, sanitation, climate and pollution of air, food and water are aspects of environmental
dimension which have many influences on health and illness. For instance in large cities with smog are
increased incidence of asthma and respiratory problems.
Socio-cultural dimension includes a persons economic level, lifestyle, family and culture. Low-income
groups are less likely to seek health care to prevent or treat illness; high-income groups are more prone to
stress-related habits and illness. The family and the culture to which the person belongs determine patterns of
livings and values, about health and illness that are often unalterable. For instance the adolescent whose
parents smoke and drink will see nothing wrong with smoking or drinking. Or for instance the person of Asian

descent is more likely to use herbal remedies and acupuncture to treat an illness then results of conventional
8.2. Risky Health Lifestyles
Lifestyle is a term to describe the way a person lives. It is the style of living that reflects the attitudes
and values of a person. A lifestyle is a characteristic bundle of behaviors (patterns of behavior) including
social relations, consumption, entertainment, and dress. The behaviors and practices within lifestyles are a
mixture of habits, conventional ways of doing things, and reasoned actions.
In public health, "lifestyle" generally means a pattern of individual practices and personal behavioral
choices that are related to elevated or reduced health risk. Since the mid-1970s, there has been a growing
recognition of the significant contribution of personal behavior choices to health riskin the United States
thirty-eight percent of deaths in 1990 were attributed to tobacco, diet and activity patterns, and alcohol.
Equally important, illnesses attributable to lifestyle choices play a role in reducing health-related quality of
life and in creating health disparities among different segments of the population.
In what will follow are unfolded the most heath risky lifestyle.
Smoking is a major cause of heart and blood vessel disease. The American Heart Association has named
cigarette smoking as the most dangerous of the modifiable risk factors. Overall, smokers experience a 70%
greater death rate from heart and blood vessel disease than nonsmokers; and heavy smokers (two or more
packs per day) have a death rate two to three times greater than nonsmokers. Inhaling cigarette smoke
produces temporary effects on the heart and blood vessels. The nicotine in the smoke increases blood
pressure, heart rate, and the amount of blood pumped by the heart and the blood flow in the vessels in the
heart. Other effects include narrowing of the vessels in the arms and legs. Nicotine is not the only bad element
in cigarette smoke. Carbon monoxide gets in the blood which reduces the amount of oxygen available to the
heart and all other parts of the body. Cigarette smoking also causes the platelets in the blood to become sticky
and cluster which can harm the heart and blood vessels. No cigarettes are considered safe. Many smokers who
have switched to low tar and low nicotine cigarettes smoke more or inhale more deeply to make up for the
decreased nicotine. By inhaling more deeply, smokers may increase their risk of disease. Regardless of how
much or how long you have smoked, when you quit smoking your risk of heart and blood vessel disease
gradually decreases.
Finnish researchers report that men who smoke not only die younger but they have a poorer quality of
life than those who never smoked. "An especially large negative effect was seen for heavy smokers [more
than 20 cigarettes daily], who lost about 10 years of their life expectancy, and those who survived experienced
a significant decline in their quality of life," said lead researcher Dr. Arto Y. Strandberg, from the University
of Helsinki. The report was published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. For the study,
Strandberg's team collected data on 1,658 men born between 1919 and 1934 and interviewed in 1974. Over 26
years of follow-up, 372 men had died. Men who had never smoked lived an average of 10 years longer than
men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day, the researchers found. Non-smokers also scored better on
quality-of-life measures, compared with smokers. "Especially significant differences were seen in physical
functioning, general health, vitality73
and bodily pain," Strandberg said. "The impairment of the physical
functioning score of smokers was equal to a 10-year age difference in the general population." Quality of life
was worse even among men who stopped smoking. "On the individual level, the bad news is that while
beneficial compared to continued smoking, cessation of smoking after midlife could not fully recover the
higher risk in mortality and poorer health-related quality of life seen in smokers," Strandberg said.
Alcohol consuming
Each time someone has a drink, whether it is beer, wine, or liquor, he or she is consuming alcohol.
Alcohol is a drug that is absorbed into the bloodstream from the stomach and small intestine. It is broken
down by the liver and then eliminated from the body. There are limits to how fast the liver can break down
alcohol and this process cannot be sped up. Until the liver has time to break down all of the alcohol, the
alcohol continues to circulate in the bloodstream, affecting all of the body's organs, including the brain. In
general, the liver can break down the equivalent of about one drink per hour and nothing can speed this up-including black coffee.
As alcohol reaches the brain, the person begins to "feel" drunk. The exact nature of this feeling can vary
considerably from individual to individual and even within the same individual from situation to situation.
What is common to all individuals and all situations is that alcohol depresses the brain and slows down its
ability to control the body and the mind. This is one reason why alcohol is so dangerous. Alcohol acts like a

sedative and slows down muscle coordination, reflexes, movement, and speech. If an individual drinks too
much alcohol, his or her breathing or heart rate can reach dangerously low levels or even stop.
Drugs abuse and addiction
People experiment with drugs for many different reasons. Many first try drugs out of curiosity, to have
a good time, because friends are doing it, or in an effort to improve athletic performance or ease another
problem, such as stress, anxiety, or depression. Use doesnt automatically lead to abuse (addiction), and there
is no specific level at which drug use moves from casual to problematic. It varies by individual. But in many
case if left unchecked, the drug is going to win, becoming a disease. Drug abuse is a disease of the brain, and
the drugs change brain chemistry, which results in a change in behavior. While each drug produces different
physical effects, all abused substances share one thing in common: repeated use can alter the way the brain
looks and functions.
1. Taking a recreational drug causes a surge in levels of dopamine in brain, which trigger feelings of
pleasure. Brain remembers these feelings and wants them repeated.
2. If person becomes addicted, the substance takes on the same significance as other survival
behaviors, such as eating and drinking.
3. Changes in brain interfere with ability to think clearly, exercise good judgment, control behavior,
and feel normal without drugs.
4. Whether one is addicted to inhalants, heroin, Xanax, speed, or Vicodin, the uncontrollable craving to
use grows more important than anything else, including family, friends, career, and even your own health and
5. The urge to use is so strong that one mind finds many ways to deny or rationalize the addiction. A
person may drastically underestimate the quantity of drugs taken, how much it impacts his life, and the level
of control he have over his drug use.
Aside from the obvious behavioral consequences of addiction, the negative effects on a persons health
are potentially devastating. People who use drugs experience a wide array of physical effects other than those
expected. The excitement of a cocaine effect, for instance, is followed by a "crash": a period of anxiety,
fatigue, depression, and an strong desire to use more cocaine to alleviate the feelings of the crash.
Marijuana and alcohol interfere with motor control and are factors in many automobile accidents. Users
of marijuana and hallucinogenic drugs may experience flashbacks, unwanted recurrences of the drug's effects
weeks or months after use. Abrupt abstinence from certain drugs result in withdrawal symptoms. For example,
heroin withdrawal symptoms cause vomiting, muscle cramps, convulsions, and delirium. With the continued
use of a physically addictive drug, tolerance develops; i.e., constantly increasing amounts of the drug are
needed to duplicate the initial effect. Sharing hypodermic needles used to inject some drugs dramatically
increases the risk of contracting AIDS and some types of hepatitis. In addition, increased sexual activity
among drug users, both in prostitution and from the disinhibiting effect of some drugs, also puts them at a
higher risk of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Because the purity and dosage of illegal drugs
such as heroin are uncontrolled, Drug Overdose is a constant risk. There are over 10,000 deaths directly
attributable to drug use in the United States every year. Many drug users engage in criminal activity, such as
burglary and prostitution, to raise the money to buy drugs, and some drugs, especially alcohol, are associated
with violent behavior.
Sedentary lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is a mode of living in which a person, an adult or child, does not engage in
sufficient physical activity or exercise for what is generally considered healthy living. The term is often used
by doctors or professionals within the medical community to describe a lifestyle among many people in
highly developed countries that does not afford them opportunities for physical activity. This type of living
has been heavily influenced by the propagation of passive forms of entertainment such as television, video
games, and computer use. Along with such inactive types of entertainment, shifting of large numbers of adult
workers from physical labor to office jobs has also increased the tendency for many people, especially in
technologically developed nations, toward a sedentary lifestyle. Numerous studies conducted by doctors and
researchers have indicated a variety of negative impacts on a persons life due to living a sedentary lifestyle.
Some of the negative effects mentioned by researches are as follows:
The major effect of a sedentary lifestyle is increased weight gain and obesity. Ingesting a lot of
calories and not really burning any of them, body deposit them as excess fat. Obesity is a big problem of
contemporary society because it causes many difficult health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and
increased chances of certain types of cancer.

Lack of physical exercise increased risk of heart diseases. Heart in order to keep functioning
efficiently must get a proper supply of blood from the blood vessels (coronary arteries). Leading a sedentary
lifestyle can slow the blood circulation and blood vessels can get stiff and blocked. In serious cases, this can
lead to arteriosclerosis and cardiac arrest. According to a study, lack of physical activity in middle age can
increase risk of dying from heart disease by 52 percent in men and 28 percent in women.
Sedentary lifestyle increased risk of diabetes. According to study conducted by researchers at Duke
University Medical Center, regular exercise helps in regulating the blood glucose levels. The lack of exercise
results in increased blood sugar levels putting excess stress on your pancreas (which secretes the hormone
Insulin), which increases chances of diabetes.
Decreased activity increases the risk of developing certain types of cancers such as breast cancer,
colon cancer, and other types of malignant tumors. According to a study carried out by the University of Hong
Kong, physical inactivity can increase the risk of dying from cancer by 45 percent in men and 28 percent in
Increased risk of osteoporosis: The prolonged inactivity causes your bones to lose their strength as
they are no longer challenged to support your body structure, which can result in Arthritis and Osteoporosis.
Sedentary lifestyle lead to muscles tone loose: The more sedentary lifestyle one has the lesser
muscles one is likely to posses. The less muscles one possesses the lesser is one ability to carry out the day-today tasks.
Sleeping difficulties: A sedentary lifestyle doesn't put any physical pressure on the body. Thus the
body doesn't feel like taking a rest often which leads to sleeping difficulties and in severe cases can also lead
to insomnia.
Headaches: Researchers in Norway found that that people who did not exercise were 14 percent more
likely to develop non-migraine headaches than those who did exercise.
Faster aging process: Telomeres are repeat sequences of DNA that sit on the ends of chromosomes,
protecting them from damage. As we get older, the telomeres get shorter, and their deterioration is associated
with the physical signs of middle and old age. A research study found that in inactive people the telomeres
shortened more quickly than in active people. The faster is the rate of shortening, the faster is the ageing
process. The faster is ageing process, the higher is the mortality rate.
Unhealthy eating habits
Many genetic, environmental, behavioral and cultural factors can affect a person's health.
Understanding family history of disease or risk factors, such as body weight and fat distribution, blood
pressure and blood cholesterol, can help people make more informed decisions about how to improve health.
Making good food choices is among the most pleasurable and effective ways of improving health. People
require energy and certain essential nutrients. These nutrients are essential because the body cannot make
these nutrients on its own and must obtain them from food. Essential nutrients include vitamins, minerals,
certain amino acids and certain fatty acids. Foods also contain fiber and other components that are important
for health. Each of these food components has a specific function in the body and they are all required for
overall health. For example, people need calcium for strong bones, for example, but many other nutrients also
take part in building and maintaining75
bones. The carbohydrates, fats and proteins in food supply energy, which
is measured in calories. Carbohydrates and proteins provide 4 calories per gram. Fat contributes more than
twice as much -- 9 calories per gram -- and foods that are high in fat are also high in calories.
Healthy nutrition is a diet of balanced nutrients. Healthful nutrition help children grow develop and
perform well in school. A healthy diet allows adults to work productively and feel their best. Good food
choices also can help to prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, stroke and
osteoporosis, which are leading causes of death and disability. A proper diet can also reduce major risk factors
for chronic diseases, such as obesity, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. In opposition unhealthy
nutrition can cause all mentioned above health problems. Unhealthy nutrition is not only imbalanced
nutritionist diet but also unhealthy eating habits. Bad eating habits include: skipping breakfast, eating before
bed, excessive consuming of fast food, starvation, eating while doing something, eating too fast, lake of water.
Healthy breakfast is very important because give boost of energy and help clear the fog out of brain.
Eating before bed could result in bad sleep and exacerbating indigestion.
Fatty snack foods like chips, pizza or cookies can lead to weight gain and dissatisfaction..
Contrary to what many may think, the bodys first reaction to starvation is weight gain via the storage
of fat. Well, when one doesnt eat for long periods of time, ones body thinks it needs to store calories as fat
because it doesnt know when the chance to eat will come again. And then, the fat remains with person.

Eating while doing something lead to overeating, and subsequently, weight gain. Plus, once begin
eating while doing something else, one often cant stop it and becomes a mechanical act.
Eating too quickly also encourages weight gain and indigestion as well.
Water is necessary for the optimal functioning of all life forms, humans included. Whats surprising is
that not drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day can actually slow down metabolism, making
weight gain a likely possibility, since water is necessary for all metabolic functions, including calorie burning.
Concluding it is possible to say that bad food habit is a serious cause of obesity and all associated health
Stress, as defined by Dr. Hans Selye, is "the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made
upon it." More specifically, stress is defined by perception. If a person finds a job situation, or another
personality particularly stressful, the feeling often will trigger a physiological response. On the other hand,
studies have shown that when a job situation or another personality stimulate feelings of challenge or a
positive reaction, these same physiological reactions do not occur. Therefore, when we talk about stress in
relation to disease, we are looking at the more negative stress. Physiological responses to stress include an
increase in heart rate, an increase in blood pressure, and an increased rate of breathing. These symptoms are
caused by the release of adrenaline, which also narrows your arteries, and results in a greater workload on the
heart. If you are unable to control your stress, you may be at risk for high blood pressure and possibly injury
to your artery walls which sets the stage for plaque deposits. Negative stress is a risk factor for the
development of coronary artery disease.
Stress management is a learning process. First, you need to identify the particular cause of your stress.
Second, you need to take steps to change those circumstances that are stressful whenever possible. Third, you
need to relearn ways to cope with stress in your everyday life. The following are a few suggestions for coping
with stress:
- Do not waste energy being upset over little things. Remember that stress is our reaction to situations,
not the situation itself. Often it helps to talk it out and get a different perspective of the situation while at the
same time venting your concerns.
- Escape from the stress for a period of time. Exercise, taking a walk before lunch to get rid of the
morning's frustrations or taking a walk after work to help unwind, can be very helpful to reduce your stress.
- Beware of the super-person urges. Set priorities, establish realistic goals and stop trying to do too
- Take time to relax daily whether you learn relaxation techniques or just take time out for a favorite
- Take it easy with criticism or arguments. Stand your ground on what you believe is right, but make
allowances for the other party. Search for the "positives" of an argument, of a critical person, as well as your
own positive qualities.
- Finally, if stress seems out of control, discuss it further with your doctor or health care professional.
They may be able to direct you to other sources for help such as support groups or professionals trained in
stress management.

8.3. Behavior Change Communication

Lifestyles are directly related to the health state. More over studies say that behavioral factors play a
role in each of the twelve leading causes of death, including chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer,
and stroke. In United States and other developed countries the most common behavioral contributors to
mortality, or death, in 1990 included the use of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and motor vehicles; diet and
activity patterns; sexual behavior; and illicit use of drugs. Behaviors such as these are thought to contribute to
almost half of the deaths in the United States, and, according to J. McGinnis and W. Foege (1993), they were
responsible for nearly 1 million deaths in the United States in the year of 1992 alone.
The last two decades of the twentieth century saw a rising interest in preventing disability and death
through changes in health-related behaviors. Behavior change is not understood as an even but a complex
process that occurs in stages. It is not a question of someone deciding one day to stop smoking and the next
day becoming a nonsmoker for life. Likewise, most people won't be able to dramatically change their eating
patterns all at once. Even where there is good initial compliance to a health-related behavior change, a relapse
to previous behavior patterns is very common.

Positive health-related changes come about when people learn about risks and ways of enhancing
health, and when they develop positive attitudes, social support, self-efficacy, and behavioral skills. The main
tool for acquiring this objective is communication.
Communication has long been an important tool in health promotion. Although its roots date back
hundreds of years (to Cotton Mather's smallpox vaccination campaign during Colonial American times), if not
thousands of years (to Aristotle's theories of persuasion), the field of public health communication is very
much an outgrowth of contemporary social conditions. Demographic, social, and technological trends that
developed over the second half of the twentieth century fostered conditions in which the value of good health
information, and thus the value of effective health communication, became increasingly clear. Public health
communication includes a continuum of activities that span from research to interventions. Communication
interventions are effectively used in order to change risky behavior and to improve health outcomes. For
example, the National Institutes of Health of USA recently (in partnership with health professional
associations, voluntary health agencies, and pharmaceutical companies) has conducted a communication
campaign that has contributed to more than a 60 percent reduction in the death rate from stroke. Sudden infant
death syndrome (SIDS) campaigns conducted around the globe during the 1990s led to rapid and dramatic
(5080%) reductions in death rates from SIDS.
More over communication for behavior change is also economically efficient. Treatment of behaviorrelated diseases like cancer is expensive, while the cost of behavior change interventions is low. For example
each Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY), say one England journal, gained via a brief smoking cessation
intervention costs 500 compared with 30,000-40,000 per QALY for treating patients with advanced cancer.
Many distinctions can be made between the various types of health communication activities. The most
important of them are the activities that seek to influence the actions of individuals and small groups or the
actions of larger groups such as workplaces, communities, states, or nations. The objectives of communication
interventions at the larger levels are focused on bringing about changes in policies. Example includes
improved safety a policy is the law prohibiting the driving under the influence of alcohol. At the individual (or
small group) level there are two forms of activities. The first one is informed decision-making interventions
that seek to inform people for the purpose of enabling them to make better health decisions. The second is
persuasion-oriented interventions seek to persuade people to change their behaviors or beliefs. Situational
factors determine which of these two approaches is most appropriate.
Persuasion-oriented interventions are appropriate when there is clear evidence that the behavior change
is likely to benefit the individual, and when society is able to reach consensus about the worthiness of the
behavior as a societal goal. Examples include promotion of teen substance-abuse prevention. Informed
decision-making interventions are indicated in situations when persuasion would be inappropriate, when an
individual's values must be taken into consideration to determine the optimal behavior (e.g., prevention of
sexual assault), and when society has been unable to reach consensus about the optimal recommended
behavior (e.g., prevention of teen pregnancy).
But indifferently of forms of communication interventions, they do share some underlying principles of
The first and most important step in communication planning is to gain as much insight as possible
into the target audience. This is done77
primarily by conducting original audience research (e.g., focus groups,
surveys), assessing the results of previous communication efforts, and drawing from theories of
communication and behavior change.
The strategies and tactics of a communication intervention will differ depending on the
stated objective (e.g., informed decision-making, persuasion, policy change). A clear
statement of objectives focuses and enhances all other elements of the communication
planning process.
A critical step in communication planning is to determine what information has the greatest value in
helping to achieve the stated objective of the campaign. The ideal (albeit rare) scenario is when a single
powerful idea is sufficient to motivate and enable members of the target audience to embrace the campaign's
After the information with the greatest value has been identified, communication planners must
determine how to convey that information simply and clearly, often, and by many trusted sources. Message
repetition is an important element of program success. Audiences tend to process information incrementally
over time. When the message is stated simply and clearly, when it is repeated often enough, and when it is
stated by many trusted sources, audience members are more likely to learn and embrace the message.


Exercises and Discussions:

What is health and illness?
What are the factors which determine appearance of illness? Share your oven experience.
What is lifestyle? Describe the elements of unhealthy life style.
What are the effects of alcohol consuming, of the drug abuse, smoking, sedentary life, unhealthy
nutrition? Analyze each of them.
Sketch a list of healthy lifestyle rules.
How do you think what are the effects of unhealthy lifestyle on family and society?
How can be communication used to change the health related behavior? Give exemples.
Recommended Essays
Distress as a factor influencing appearance of illness.
Environmental illnesses
Occupation and illness.
Grieving and depression
Blaxter Mildred. Health and lifestyles. Routledge, 1990 .
Communication for health
Bury Michael. Health and illness. Polity, 2005.
Bury Michael. Health and illness in a changing society. Routledge, 1997.
Nettleton Sarah. The sociology of health and illness. Polity, 2006.
Kafle KK et al. Training intervention to improve the use of medicines in the communitz through
school teachers and women]s groups. Pharmaceutical Horiyon of Nepal. INRUD Newa, 2001, Oct; 11
Sally A. Shumaker, Ockene Judith K., Riekert Kristin A.. The handbook of health behavior change.
Springer Publishing Company, 2009.
Selection and rational use of medicine. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2006,
The Role of Education in the Rational Use of Medicine. World Health Organization, Regional Office
for South-East Asia, Technical Publication Series no.45, April, 2007.


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