Nonverbal Communication in Mediated Encounters

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					Nonverbal Communication in
   Mediated Encounters
         Chapter 11
          The End
• Look at importance of nonverbal
  communication in media encounters.
• 3 kinds of media encounters:
   – Those that keep us connected to the
     outside world
   – Those that seek to influence us, and
   – Those that assimilate us into the popular
      Informative Encounters
• Rely on media communications to keep use
  connected with the outside world.
   – News, weather, friends, doing business,
     getting an education, building
     relationships, etc.
   – Look at television news and interactive
     uses of media.
           Television News
• Television news includes the nonverbal
  communication – the physical appearance,
  facial expressions, vocal cues, gestures, and
  so forth – of those who report it.
• Challenges for those who produce the news
  and for those who deliver it.
Nonverbal Communication of the
• Physical Appearance
   – News anchors at highest levels are male,
     white and middle aged.
   – No unattractive people (especially
     women) for highly visible anchor
   – Anchors must also have attractive on air
Nonverbal Communication of the
• Approach-Avoidance signals
  – Need for ratings conflicts with the need
    for clear and impartial reporting to
    produce a highly restrictive and
    somewhat paradoxical set of cues:
    Approachability and Detachment.
  – May have lighthearted banter in between
    segments to improve approachability.
  – Talk shows are different.
Nonverbal Signals of Media Bias
• Questions concerning newscasters’ ability
  to inhibit facial signs of bias while reporting
  the news.
• Confirmed presence of a facial bias.
• Connection between viewers’ choice of
  candidates and their choice of network news
Nonverbal Signals of Media Bias
• Exclusive presence of white male
  journalists constitutes an unequivocal sign
  of sexist and racist policies.
• 1990 – 11/13 stations among the nation’s 25
  largest markets employed at least one black
  in a co-anchor role.
• Belies the presence of “modern racism” in
  reporting news.
• Definite beauty bias.
     Interactive Uses of Media
• Albert Mehrabian comparing relative
  weight we attach to facial, vocal, and verbal
  channels of communication.
   – Heavy reliance on nonverbal over verbal
   – Studies suggest nonverbal signals account
     for about 65% of the message.
   Comparing Communication
• Use social presence as a comparison attribute
  – refers to a medium’s capacity to
  approximate the conditions of face-to-face
   – Removing visual cues generally make an
     interaction more task-oriented, more
     impersonal, and less spontaneous.
   – Negotiation sessions were more efficient
     when participants worked in a low social
     presence environment.
    Comparing Communication
• Absence of social cues in computer-
  mediated communication (CMC) makes it
  difficult to form impressions, contributing
  to judgments that such interactions are
  relatively cold and impersonal.
   – Compensate with emoticons, embedded
     text that brackets an expression <smile>,
     and statements
     New Media Applications
• Distance Education
  – No difference in outcomes in terms of
    student learning (grades)
  – Students at remote locations perceive
    instructor as behaving more distantly
  – Likely consequence of the instructor’s
    reduced social presence is a negative impact
    on student evaluations.
  – Students less likely to form relationships
    with peers.
     New Media Applications
• Video Dating
  – Clients tend to receive more accurate
    information from videos than they do
    from written descriptions and photos.
  – Tend to follow matching norms.
  – Mend more interested in looks, women
    more interested in social status.
       Persuasive Encounters
• Debate of Nixon vs. Kennedy
  – No other single event gets more credit for
    changing the face of American political
    rhetoric and ushering in a new age of
    image consultants, media advisors,
    television ads, sound bites, and spin
        Physical Appearance
• Significant impact on first impressions,
  gaining compliance of strangers, attracting
  romantic partners, and helping at work.
• Shelly Chaiken – Studies show bias with:
   – Disposable razors, new pain relievers,
     brand of cologne.
• Politicians benefit from being attractive
• Does sex sell?
• What about facial features? (Baby-faced?)
         Nonverbal Behavior
• Carter vs. Ford
• Clinton vs. Dole
• Voter preferences for a political candidate
  may be influenced as much by the
  candidate’s physical appearance and
  demeanor as they are by the candidate's
  stand on the issues.
   Explaining the Impact of NC
• Petty and Cacioppo
   – Elaboration Likelihood Model
      • Central route – If listeners are informed
        or care about message
      • Peripheral route – if listeners don’t care
        or are uniformed – nonverbals that
        indicate expertise and trustworthiness
        more important here.
   – More likely a listener is to focus on issues,
     less influential are nonverbal cues
      Entertaining Encounters
• Modeling
  – Appearance of idols
  – Behaviors that are depicted on television
    or movies
      Media Portrayals of PA
• Study examined 4300 TV commercials – 1
  out of 4 contains some form of
  attractiveness-based message.
• More important for the well-being of
• Network and MTV commercials are more
  likely to present women rather than men as
  young and attractive and as sex objects.
       Media Portrayals of PA
• Typology of female good looks
  – Feminine/classic – light hair, Nordic
    features and a soft image.
  – Sensual/exotic – sexual in a classy
    understated way, and is ethnic looking
  – Cute – youthful, shorter, dresses causal
  – Girl-next-door – outdoorsy, casual, athletic
  – Sex kitten – skin revealing attire, cool
  – Trendy – current and faddish clothes
       Media Portrayals of PA
• 30 minutes of exposure to these media
  images is enough to alter a woman’s image
  of her own body.
• To predict identification with a character:
   – For boys – character’s intelligence
   – For girls – character’s attractiveness
 Media Portrayals of Nonverbal
• Media portrayals of everyday life give us an
  endless stream of images about how to
  relate to one another.
• How does this affect us?
• Female characters are more likely to exhibit
  deferential and nurturing behavior.
• Even if showcase strong professional
  women, a softer side is often portrayed.
    Media Portrayals of Nonverbal
•  Saturday morning commercials:
  – Girls more likely to engage in all sorts
     of shy and submissive behaviors –
     giggling, face covering, gaze aversion,
• Expressing emotions is another area that is
   portrayed very stereotypically.
The End