nonverbal communication in the contemporary operating

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  • Technical Report 1238

    Nonverbal Communication in the Contemporary Operating Environment Mark Yager, Beret Strong, and Linda Roan eCrossCulture Corporation David Matsumoto San Francisco State University Kimberly A. Metcalf U.S. Army Research Institute January 2009 United States Army Research Institute For the Behavioral and Social Sciences

    Approved for public release: distribution is unlimited

  • U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences A Directorate of the Department of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G1 Authorized and approved for distribution:

    BARBARA A. BLACK, Ph.D MICHELLE SAMS, Ph.D. Research Program Manager Director Training and Leader Development

    Research accomplished under contract For the Department of the Army eCrossCulture Corporation Technical review by Allison Abbe, U.S. Army Research Institute Sharon Riedel, U.S. Army Research Institute

    NOTICES DISTRIBUTION: Primary distribution of this Technical Report has been made by ARI. Please address correspondence concerning distribution of reports to: U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Attn: DAPC-ARI-MS, 2511 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202-3926. FINAL DISPOSITION: This Technical Report may be destroyed when it is no longer needed. Please do not return it to the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences. NOTE: The findings in this Technical Report are not to be construed as an official Department of the Army position, unless so designated by other authorized documents.

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    REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE

    1. REPORT DATE (dd-mm-yy) January 2009

    2. REPORT TYPE Final

    3. DATES COVERED (from. . . to)

    September 2007 February 2008

    4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE

    Nonverbal Communication in the Contemporary Operating Environment

    5a. CONTRACT OR GRANT NUMBER

    W91WAW-07-P-0458

    5b. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER

    622785 6. AUTHOR(S) Mark Yager, Beret Strong, and Linda Roan (eCrossCulture Corporation); David Matsumoto (San Francisco State University); Kimberly A. Metcalf (U.S. Army

    5c. PROJECT NUMBER

    A790

    Research Institute) 5d. TASK NUMBER

    333

    5e. WORK UNIT NUMBER

    7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)

    eCrossCulture Corporation San Francisco State University 777 29

    th Street, Suite 202 1600 Holloway Avenue

    Boulder, CO 80303 San Francisco, CA 94132

    8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER

    9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)

    U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences 851 McClellan Avenue

    10. MONITOR ACRONYM

    ARI-FLRU

    Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-1360 11. MONITOR REPORT NUMBER Technical Report 1238

    12. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT

    Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

    13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES

    Contracting Officers Representative and Subject Matter POC: Dr. Kimberly Metcalf 14. ABSTRACT (Maximum 200 words):

    Nonverbal behavior (NVB) is a key part of communication, arguably accounting for considerably more of the communicative message than that contained in verbal exchanges. This is especially true when a language barrier exists, as it does for many Soldiers stationed overseas. Universal and culture-specific NVB knowledge, skills, and attitudes (propensity) enable Soldiers to better identify opportunities to influence individuals, groups, and situations, especially when seeking cooperation or needing to identify friendly vs. hostile intent. The goal of the training proposed herein is to prepare Soldiers to predict and interpret nonverbal behavior. To develop the training framework, a literature review, a preliminary emblem extraction effort, and SME interviews and surveys were conducted. Competencies identified in NVB training include relevant attention and observation skills; cognitive processes to baseline people and scenes to develop expectancies of normative states and detect changes to a baseline; and knowledge of NVB functions and cues relevant to specific applications such as aggression and deception detection. This report describes a conceptual framework for teaching specific NVB concepts and cues designed to provide maximum benefit to Soldiers and makes specific recommendations about how such a curriculum may be taught.

    15. SUBJECT TERMS

    nonverbal communication, nonverbal behaviors, cultural training, cross-cultural skills, cultural understanding

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 19. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT

    20. NUMBER OF PAGES

    21. RESPONSIBLE PERSON

    16. REPORT

    Unclassified 17. ABSTRACT

    Unclassified 18. THIS PAGE

    Unclassified

    Unlimited

    Diane Hadjiosif Technical Publications Specialist 703-602-8047

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    Technical Report 1238

    Nonverbal Communication in the Contemporary Operating Environment

    Mark Yager, Beret Strong, and Linda Roan eCrossCulture Corporation

    David Matsumoto

    San Francisco State University

    Kimberly A. Metcalf U.S. Army Research Institute

    Fort Leavenworth Research Unit (Leader Development) Stanley M. Halpin, Chief

    U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences 2511 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202-3926

    January 2009

    Army Project Number Personnel, Performance and 622785.A790 Training Technology

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    NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION IN THE CONTEMPORARY OPERATING

    ENVIRONMENT

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Research Requirement:

    The contemporary operating environment often requires Soldiers to have direct

    involvement with civilians, foreign militaries, nongovernmental agencies and others from

    the host nation. Furthermore due to a lack of training resources, time and the difficulty of

    learning certain languages a Soldier may not reach a high level of language proficiency

    before being deployed therefore possibly limiting his effectiveness in cross-cultural

    interactions. A time and cost alternative is to train Soldiers how to accurately decode

    universal and cultural specific instances of nonverbal behavior. Teaching nonverbal

    decoding skills is often less difficult than language learning, may help to improve

    Soldiers interpersonal skills and safety, and as seen in specific interactions, like a

    negotiation context, being able to accurately interpret an individuals nonverbal behavior

    is often more important than the actual spoken words. The goal of this research was to

    develop a nonverbal behavior training curriculum to improve Army Soldiers

    interpersonal interactions with individuals from other cultures.

    Procedure:

    The research emphasis of this effort focused on identifying the reliability and validity

    of NV cues, especially in cross-cultural settings, the determination of universal and

    culture-specific NVB cues, and the identification of cues that could provide Soldiers with

    maximum benefits in terms of safety, communication, and mission success. A pilot

    emblem extraction investigation was performed across several culture groups to

    demonstrate the feasibility of selected extraction techniques. In addition, thirty-nine

    Soldiers of various ranks provided information about their experience of NVB in Iraq and

    Afghanistan, their perception of the need for and utility of NVB knowledge, skills, and

    training, and their impressions of how well they could decode host national NVB. Two

    NVB SMEs were also interviewed. The report details a method for teaching the decoding

    of nonverbal behavior using observations of valid cues and functions based on an

    extensive literature review as well as interviews with NVB experts and Soldiers.

    Findings:

    The literature survey and iterative interviews with two NVB SMEs led to the

    following conclusions: Facial expressions of emotion are the one set of NVB cues that

    are universal, reliable, and validated by cross-cultural research. Emblematic gestures are

    universal and validated in terms of function (i.e., cultures all over the world use them),

    but the cues themselves are predominantly culture-specific. Most experimental NVB

    research has been conducted with an American population, and so it is problematic to

    conclude universality definitely exists in relation to cues other than those related to facial

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    expressions of emotion. At the same time, researchers believe there is some degree of

    universality in the temporal aspect of speech production (e.g., pause frequency,

    hesitation, fluency), the function of cultural display rules (whose form will be culture-

    specific), the use of gestures to illustrate speech and perform other communicative

    functions, body postures indicating emotion (though with culture-specific

    manifestations), and certain reflex movements (such as squinting in bright light or turning

    away from offensive odors). It should be noted that universality and cultural specificity

    are not antithetical terms. A NVB cue can be universal, with modest differences in

    expression across cultures. This is true of facial expressions of em

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