How Expectations = norms can be a barrier regarding the perception process.
Research has consistently shown that how we perceive the world around us is a factor in our expectations. The expectations, which can also be referred to as 'prior beliefs" help us in arriving at sensible conclusions concerning what we actively perceive as a factor of previous experiences of a similar nature (Hinrichs, 2019). Bayesian integration is the process of combining evidence of uncertain nature with previous knowledge and is known to exert a massive impact on our actions, thoughts, and perceptions. Of late, scientists are in the process of investigating recently discovered brain signals of a distinctive nature that encode such previously held perceptions.
Expectations, however, lead to the formation of rigid mental conclusions given the evidence as a factor of repeat experiences and may lead to the wrong conclusions. One may be inclined to rely on previous experiences to form conclusions as opposed to the evidence at hand, thereby leading to the formation of the wrong conclusions.
How Experiences = authentic and pseudo can be a barrier regarding the perception process.
The formation of perceptions is influenced by present feelings, culture, past experiences, among other factors (Hinrichs, 2019). While perception formation involves the selection, organization, interpretation, and processing of information, and experiences, both authentic and pseudo, both validate and invalidate previously held perceptions. Experience can be a barrier to arriving at the right perception, however. For instance, through experience, it may be concluded that women with loose morals dress in a certain way. This may impair the formation of genuine relationships with women who chose to dress in a certain manner when they do so owing to their expression of femininity.
How Observations = what gets an individual's attention can be a barrier regarding the perception process.
Perceptions are generally inclined to be more determined by top-down neurons rather than by sensory information of a bottom-up nature. For example, visual information usually leads the way in the formation of perceptions, from a preliminary perspective. The formation of deeper and better-informed perceptions is a factor of more engaged self-observation and expanded the state of a mental nature (Hinrichs, 2019). Since observations lead to the formation of initial perceptions, when used in isolation they could lead to the formation of misleading conclusions. One may, for example, conclude that a body lying by the roadside is that of a drunk and passed-out alcoholic from initial observation. However, it could turn out to be one of a hit-and-run victim who was on walking to work.
2. Briefly describe what kinesics, in the forms of posture and stance, is to at least two different cultures. What do you need to interpret posture and stance correctly when doing business with another culture?
Kinesics is the inference of nonverbal communication from the motions of the body either in parts or as a whole and involves the use of gestures and facial expressions. Gestures and stances convey different meanings from culture to culture. For example, the "OK" hand signal in the United States is used to send the message that something is acceptable (Hadnagy, Ekman, & Kelly, 2014). However, in Eastern Europe, the sign is used to swear offensively and is therefore unacceptable informal settings. In the United States, standing with the hands of the hips may be suggestive of power and pride. However, in some countries such as Argentina, it is suggestive of a challenge or anger, and may, therefore, send the wrong signal. Sitting with the leg resting on the opposite knee and therefore showing the bottom of the foot may suggest being in control in the United States. Nonetheless, in the Middle East, this is considered 'dirty' and is not welcomed.
3. Define "chromatics" and contrast two countries' perceptions of chromatics. What should you do about chromatics when conducting business in another country?
Chromatics is the scientific study of colours with particular reference to saturation and hue. Colours influence perception, and can also alter the mood (Bennett, 2015). This is especially because colours are the most readily discernible characteristics of our focus of attention. We should, therefore, be wary of sending the right message through the colours that we adopt, for instance, through dressing for particular occasions. Colours, however, convey different meanings in different cultures. For example, in China, the colour yellow is associated with pornography, and when the terms "yellow book" or "yellow picture" appears in the media or any publication in the country, it is usually about a discussion of pornographic websites or images. In Africa, however, yellow, due to its close resemblance in appearance to precious metals such as gold, the colour yellow is reserved for high ranking members of society. It is important to carry out a background check of the symbolism and meaning of colours in other countries, especially when conducting business, to avoid sending the wrong message through appearance.
4. Explain the barriers of ethnocentrism.
Ethnocentrism is evaluating other cultures following preconceptions arising from the customs and standards of one's native culture (Bizumic, 2019). There are various barriers to ethnocentrism as explained below:
Anxiety, which is the natural focus on one's feelings on the initial interaction with a foreign culture and thereby not being present in the transactional communication, is a barrier to ethnocentrism (Bizumic, 2019). It arises from being overly conscious of being out of place or new to an extent that common mistakes are made to the extent of appearing awkward. The assumption of similarity rather than difference poses a barrier to ethnocentrism as well. This is the leeway of being caught unaware by stark differences in cultures (Bizumic, 2019). For example, leaving children in strollers parked outside cafeterias earned a Danish woman two nights in jail in New York. Explanations that this is a common practice in Copenhagen came too late. A well documented and rich cultural history also impedes ethnocentrism, which is a high-handed approach to other cultures. Being aware of one's cultural heritage makes it convenient to reprimand extreme ethnocentrism, which is the consequence of rejecting the knowledge and richness of other cultures.
3). What should you be aware of when interpreting symbols while doing business with another culture? Provide examples for two different cultures.
Other than language, this is the most common means of verbal communication, communication through symbols is also comparatively common. However, in the business context, communication through symbols should be navigated carefully owing to the ease with which the wrong message could be conveyed as well as the high potential of rubbing potential business associates the wrong way (Virk, 2017). It must be remembered that just like language, symbols are closely associated with the culture, and in as much as they may enjoy popular use and generalization in one culture they may convey different meanings to members of a different culture. An example is the thumbs-up signal. In Australia and Russia, the sign is offensive and is regarded as a curse. However, in the United States, it denotes positive reinforcement.
6. How does oculesics affect verbal communication? Provide examples to support your answer
Oculesics, which is the subcategory of kinesics that is concerned with nonverbal communication associated with the eye, invariably influences verbal communication. Communication of a verbal nature typically involves face-to-face meetings (Bennett, 2015). The focus point of the eyes is a cue to attentiveness and nonverbal reaction to what is being communicated. Typical turn-offs and signs of inattentiveness include focusing on a different area other than the communicator, a gazing view denoting disinterest in what is being communicated, and even dozing off in the process of communication.
Watching out for important cues communicated through oculesics can be important in gauging the seriousness with which the other party involved in the communication is receiving the message. This could be important in formulating a different approach or drawing meaningful conclusions that could better inform the communicator. For instance, rolling the eyes is a sign of disinterest, and as such, the communicator could be better of switching to a different topic or abandoning the effort if, for instance, it was an attempt at closing a business deal.
Bennett, J. M. (2015). The Sage Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Bizumic, B. (2019). Ethnocentrism: Integrated Perspectives. New York: Routledge.
Hadnagy, C., Ekman, P., & Kelly, P. F. (2014). Unmasking the Social Engineer: The Human Element of Security. Indiana: Wiley.
Hinrichs, E. (2019). Perceptions and Expectations: Career Advice on Surviving in the Working World. California: Archway Publishing.
Virk, R. (2017). Treasure Hunt: Follow Your Inner Clues to Find True Success. New York: Penguin Books.
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