There was an article which i found quite intresting in the newspaper the other day. It addresses the issue of the importance of communication in a relationship. The writer says that there are basically four viewpoints that we should avoid having when communicating with the other party in order to avoid a cycle of dissagreement. They are as follows

1) Distorted reality viewpoint/ Validation viewpoint

This means that everyone sees things from their own perspective and may therefore become unreasonable in our arguments. We are not able to view things from the other person’s point of view. According to Bacon’s 4 idols that distorts communication, viewing things according to what we know is known as idols of the cave. We have limited access to knowledge and thus, it limits our understanding on many issues. Validation viewpoint talks about our ability to filter credible information that goes against our beliefs and knowledge. Thus, we are not open to information which proves our beliefs wrong. If we choose to be less accepting to the other person’s point of view, we may encounter miscommunication and even invite a conflict. This also goes against the Psychological Perspective of communication which emphasises that effective communication is achieved with the ‘meeting of the minds’. This means that we should be able to comprehend what the other person is saying in order for us to have effective communication.

Accuser viewpoint

This is the stand that everyone usually takes in a conflict. People tend to push the blame when things go wrong. This may escalate into a quarrel. According to the 10 stages of a relationship by Knapp’s model of relational development , this tendency to push the blame is known as Negative Identity Management. By doing so, we fail to solve the problem because we are diffusing it into other issues. Conflicts usually arise due to difference in perception, lack of communication, different motivations and failure to identify and solve a problem without diffusing into another issue.

Excuser Viewpoint

We tend to practice self-serving bias by providing an excuse for anything that we do wrong. However, we fail to look at the circumstances or excuses when someone else does the same mistake. This behavior may irritate the other person. Afterall who likes to experience biasness against themselves? According to the Equity Theory, the under-benifiting person will be unhappy. In this case, the under-benifiting person would be the one who is experiencing biasness against him/her. Such behavior invites conflict which can be solved if people practice effective communication. When communicating, we should also avoid using language that is sarcastic or ambiguous. Clear and simple language should be used to avoid confusion. Words that are ambiguous may be taken in the wrong manner and may thus backfire. People may misinterpret such words and the conflict may escalate.

When faced with a problem, we also should not postpone it or avoid it by changing the subject. By doing so, we are circumscribing. Circumscribing is a stage in the Knapps’ model of relational development, which is experienced when people rather not talk about certain issues regarding their relationship. This may lead to stagnation in the relationship because avoiding an issue does not solve it.

We should also be aware of the non-verbal messages that we are sending to the other person while communicating with them. Affect Display is one way in which we can send positive/negative impressions about ourselves. Affect display is the way we sit, where we place our hands and what we do while we are speaking. Usually, we are not aware of the message we are sending through affect display. However, it is one of the most effective way in which an observer determines our interest level and sincerity about what we are saying. thus, the judge our credibility through affect display. We  should sit upright and not fold our arms or cross our legs when solving a conflict. Slouching indicates lack of interest and sincerity. Folding of arms and crossing of legs shows our pride and inability to open up to suggestions and compromise.

Haptics is extremely important in a relationship. Touch can be used to show love, concern and comfort. It is the most comforting thing a person can experience. Problems seem lighter when you get a warm hug from someone. Such actions may be so effective that it can solve the conflict without use of words. Touch, i believe is the most powerful tool in communication. From a baby to the elderly, touch is the most comforting experience that has no cultural or language barrier.


{March 9, 2008}   pepsi advertisment

This video shows us the pepsi avertisement. Pepsi uses the tagline-ask for more. This advertisement shows us an indian boy who grew up in a place where they looked after elephants. He was seen holding the can of pepsi throughout the video although the village context does not go along very well with a modern day drink like pepsi. But it is this contrast that allows viewers to notice the intention of the video. It is also very amusing when the elephants show interest in the drink and try to reach it by standing on top of each other. The boy thinks that he was able top train them well but eventually realises that the elephants were not trained, the merely tried different ways to reach that can of pepsi. So it was indeed very amusing to learn that the tricks they performed were created by the elephants’ imagination itself and not taught to them.

The underlining message of course, is that pepsi is irresistable and everyone, including the animals, wants a share of it. As we watch the video, you would notice that the music played in the background is very light-hearted and happy. It creates a happy and relaxed mood and tells us that the video is about something that is for entertainment and not serious like an important news. The english used was simple and in short sentences. Therefore, it could be used in several countries where english might not be the first language. It complements the boy’s actions. In this clip, the verbal cues helped to emhasise and explain the non-verbal cues.

Finally, the boy realised that the hippo reacted in a more impressing manner than the elephants. While he was upset that the elephants which could stand on top of one another had left him, he was happy to find a hippo that could jump high up in the air. This comical ending also illustrates the tagline of pepsi which says to ask for more. Indeed he got alot more than he asked for when he drank pepsi the next time round. He got a flying hippo to show off with!

Companies use interesting concepts to appeal to the audience and to capture their attention on the product through a funny story. People remember graphics, taglines, ryming words and a story that either touched their hearts, tickled a funny bone or addressed an important and serious issue. As such, most advertisments make use of these few ways to draw viewer’s attention to their message. Repitition, contrast, creativity and intensity are some things that can affect our memory of things and selection of information. That is why, an advertisment would make use of contrasting concepts that would repeat the name of their product and its benefits in the advertisment.


This is an article from the Today paper. It says that Singapore could be the first in the world to interact with a computer or television through programmes. The Media Development Authority announced on Thursday (March 6, 2008) that it was awarding its first niche Internet protocol television service to VeeV Interactive. Coming September, VeeV TV will feature Knowledge based programmes ranging from cooking shows and learning to play golf, to educational themes like learning maths and science.

The communication between the programmes it offers and the viewers will be interactive. Response to quizzes and comments on performances will be available. Viewers can play games, answer questions and expect feedback to be given. Education is given a whole new meaning. This programme will allow viewers to use technology with a touch of reality. Communicating with a machine and in the process gainig knowledge from it. Don’t you think the world is becoming too involved with the virtual world that it is beginnig to lose human touch? Everything is becoming to advanced and technology based. Soon we will be confiding our problems and discussing marital issues with our new counsellor-the programmed robot. Haha.. in my opinion, if this continues, the people in the next generation will be having problems communicating face-face with a human being! Isolation and lack of display of emotions will be some of the problems faced by youths in future. Interaction with a ‘box’ is afterall without any emotion.

Already with the advancement in technology and hectic lifestyles, studies are beginning to show a corelation between television programmes or video games with high influence on children’s behaviour. If we further encourage children to ‘park’ themselves in front of the television set, we are risking the negative impact it can have on the children’s development. Communication is the cause of influence on behaviour and thoughts. We can mould a person’s thoughts via communication. Written or oral, if communication is persuasive, it has the power to influence. As such, it is very important to carefully choose what type of communication we want to expose these children to. If they become accustommed to interacting with a ‘box’  , it would be detrimental to their ability to communicate with people and vocalise their thoughts and feelings through verbal and non-verbal cues.


This is an article from the Today newspaper. It talks about the lack of verbal communication or face to face communication youth nowadays engage in. It says that even when youths are sitting together in a group, they usually seem to be more intrested or comfortable in communicating via text messages on their handphones. Their inability to communicate verbally when standing face to face with a person, may hinder their future. Buisness deals, teaching professions, leadership roles and influential posts in the government requires for public speaking and influential speeches. Not being able to engage even in small talks may be detrimental to their future success. Over dependence on technologies such as the internet chat rooms and the handphones for communication may be the cause of this problem. This shows that youth prefer the interactive model of communication where the reciever’s feedback is important but silence is not part of communication. The article also says that even on the internet, youths engage in very brief communication with limited interactions and feedback. I think that this is because, this model limits their ability to understand each other better. Emotions, tone and other non-verbal communication is not taken into account by this model. After a while, communication fades away and they do not find anything intresting to talk about. Transitional model- face to face communication is a better option. It allows an indepth understanding of each other and it also allows greater influence through communication.

Transitional model of communication is often used when  negotiating or carryiong out important deals and aggrements in the buisness world. It encompasses ethos, pathos and logos when used to persuade, influence or exert a force on a person while communicating. This is evidently seen when a person in authority gives a speech. Some examples are, the different parties during election, the government, religious group leaders, business associates and even bosses in companies. Public speaking is an extremely crucial skill that is needed in a person holding an important post. Thus, success is dependent on our ability to speak. With less youth engaging in face-face communication, not many will be able to cope with the roles in the working world.

Communication is also important in maintaining relationships. Mother and child relationship, friendships, boy-girl relationship or relatives. We all maintain relationships through communication. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is important. Face to face communication is very important in maintaining ties. Eye-contact, touch and expressions are very important to a child. They feel safe and comforted when we engage with face to face communication with them.  According to Knapp’s theory, a relationship reaches stagnation and finally reaches avoidance when the channels of communication are sealed. We communicate to learn about each other, to share experiences and information. According to Duck’s filltering theory, we choose who to engage in a relationship with based on proximity and frequency of contact, prior to interaction. This shows that being able to engage in face-face communication is important. This is also why long distance relationships are difficult to maintain. 

Relying on technology to communicate is not sufficient. Over- reliance has also killed the desire and need to communicate. Nowadays, personal blogs are becoming increasingly popular. One talks about himself/herself and the others read about them. This further restricts communication because there is very little interaction between them and the people reading about them. They could be strangers too and thus have nothing in particular to communicate with the writer. Such activities further kills the creativity and skills for engaging conversation among youths today. Youths today have to understand that face-face communication is still the most important mode of communication. It brings back the purpose for communication.

{March 4, 2008}   Effects of Mass media

Mass media comes in the form of the television programmes, news updates, internet, radio channles, magazines and advertisments that reach out to the public. They are used for many different reasons. We may not realise it, but mass media is extremely influential. It is the most influential and the most important mode of recieving or sharing information. From the latest happenings around the world, to the cheapest deals in town, we get our information from the mass media. Everyone in Singapore, Australia, France, Indonesia, Malaysia and many more countries have heard of the escape of the JI leader from Singapore’s custody. Security at the borders of some of these countries have tightened because information was passed to them via mass media. Without the use of mass media, we would not be able to know what is happening around the world. From the slightest thing such as the first new year baby or the leap year baby, to big things such as terrorism and global warming, we get our information from the media. We sign up for valentines packages because the advertisments influence us to do so. We buy the latest handphone model because the media says it is the latest and has great functions. If not for the media, we would not even know the different brands or the availability of latest models. We would not know that there had been a Sars outbreak in another country and we would not get quick information of the changes made to our laws and policies.Elections would never be the same again. People would not know about the different parties involved. In bigger countries such as the US, they depend on the mass media to convey message about their own country’s progress and happenings. It would be impossible to convey messages to millions of people with efficiency if there was no mass media. Mass media is also a huuge form of entertainment. We get live telecasts of sports such as Golf and Soccer. It adds to a lifestyle of a person. Fans are born due to the availability of mass media. Rock concerts, western hip-hop lifestyles and Manchester or Liverpool supporters have become part of our lifestyle here in Singapore. Without the internet or the television for the telecast of the programmes, we would never be part of this culture. Fans gather and support their favourite teams. They talk and share their passion for a particular sport or lifestyle. They get influenced and spend money to purchase outfits to look and behave like their idols. This is all made possible through media. If we were never exposed to a different culture, we would never indulge in something different.

It was reported in The New Paper, that South Koreans would soon rely on the internet connection to their televisions for studying. This is a new educational move made to lower the cost of education and provide flexibility in learning. Many intrested companies have agreed to upgrade their internet-powered televisions to further enhance this use. In South Korea, education is expensive. Private tutors earn as much as bankers. The educational internet TV would lower the cost of education and possibly eliminate the need for tution. Students simply need to switch on their television sets in the comfort of their home and enjoy online studying. Educational programmes, games, puzzles and even online tutoring programme would be available. This is so flexible that students of any level, which means even adults wanting to upgrade themselves, may do so with this system. The cost is low and the time and mode of study is flexible. Families with more than one child may save alot more on their children’s education. However, some parents are feeling insecure with the idea of their children studying at home, in front of the television via a remote control. This programme however, does not replace normal school studies.  School going is still important but tution programmes may be replaced with this idea. The online-television programme is estimated to reach a market of more than 55million worldwide by 2011. The number of subscribers in South Korea is estimated to be about 3million by end of this year and 5 million by 2009. This article shows us how mass media such as the internet, can allow for efficient and accurate flow of information to hetrogeneous and anonymous audiences. The fact that the launch of this programme is known to people in South Korea shows us that mass media was used when advertising and making known this new programme to the audience. Sitting in Singapore, we are aware of the new updates and development in Korea because the mass media such as the newspapers allow us access to such information. In the article it says that this move is expected to be applauded by people from around the world. This can only be possible if people from around the world knows about this programme. To make it known, they would advertise it through the media and provide articles with sufficient information to persuade the audience to sign up for it. Emhasise will be give on the positive aspects of this programme. Exaggeration and biasness will be evident in the the advertisments. The main target audience would be the parents of school-going children. Rising costs of living will make the cost of this programme sound good. Parents will also be comfortable with the idea of the flexibility of the time and the reliability of the programme. Using ethos, the source will make use of credible researches and analysts to give positive comments about the use of this programme. Benefits towards the child’s development and grades will be emphasised. Lack of time to fix tutions for students due to the hectic schedules in schools will also sway parents into thinking that their children would be allowed sufficient rest and less stress if they learn through puzzles and quizzes at home any time they are free.

These two videos show some of the scences in the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp. It is actually a love story between two dogs that came from different backgrounds. The female cocker spaniel, Lady was a Christmas gift from Jim to his wife. When she turned six months, she was given a collar and was allowed to leave the house. She befriended two other dogs who lived down the street. The start of the love scene was when a male mutt named Tramp saw Lady in her big house. They started to pick out information on each other by having small talks. He was a stray whereas she belonged to a rich family. He was attracted to her physical apperance. From the first meeting, the story takes us through on the journey of adventures they went through as they fell in love. Their proxemics drew closer at each meeting. From a public distance, it moved slowly to social distance as Tramp entered the circle of friends Lady had. He took her out and moved on to maintaing casual distance as friends. After the restaurant scene where Tramp and Lady shared a plate of spaghetti and their first kiss, their distance narrowed to intimate distance. Then they started to disclose their feelings for one another. They began to have more private outings and spent more time being with each other with the exclusion of others. Commitment increases and they started to move around as a couple. As we can see from the movie, Tramp felt the need to fit in at first because he was not brought up in a rich family like Lady. So he was very mindful of his gestures and eating habits. However, as the relationship grew, they beagn to be more comfortable with who they were and physical apperance and status took a back seat. Tramp was attracted to her beauty but Lady was attracted to the the experience she could gain from his company. Therefore, their relationship was based upon dissimilarities but the complement each other so well.

Lady also shared a close bonding with Jim and his wife. She was the centre of attraction and always got the love she needed. However, when Jim’s wife was pregnant, Lady felt insecure. She knew their priorities would change. Upon seeing the baby at birth, Lady changed her views and grew protective of the baby. When Lady ran into some trouble with the vicious dogs in town, Tramp came to her rescue and single-handedly fought with them to protect her.  Such non-verbal cues and signals shows us the concern he had for Lady.

From the first scene when Lady was presented to Jim’s wife, to the last scene when Lady and Tramp had their own puppies, the use of haptics to indicate love, concern and hatred is common. Dogs use the form of licking to show love. Patting and cudling  is how humans show affection towards them. They rub their faces against one another to show love and intimacy. Lack of haptics and greater distance shows hatred or unacceptance. The use of artifacts such as the collar gifted to Lady, shows us how precious she is to Jim and his wife. It also gives Lady a form of status within the group of dogs as she had an expensive and shiny collar while the rest did not. The use of oculesics when Jim’s wife looks at her baby shows us the relationship she shares with her baby. The use of eye contact in some of the love scenes between Lady and Tramp shows us the intensity of love. Gazing into each other’s eyes is a romantic use of non-verbal cue to show love. Sequence is also used in this movie. Tramp, being the male character, would usually be the one who initiates the outing and picks Lady up before the outing at her place.  This shows us that he is trying to impress Lady and is being a gentleman as it is a stereotypical view that the male has to make the first move and continue to impress the lady therafter.  They expressed their feelings for one another by using symbols such as by drawing a heart on the cement and engraving their names in it. They showed their accepatance to this relationship by imprinting their paws in the heart. Doing it on cement and not sand shows us that they are establishing that place as their territory. 

The movie uses great pathos via display of appropriate emotions and words to fit the scene. gestures complemented each scene and the music sets the mood be it happy, sad, fearful or angry. Due to their differnce in upbringing and background, we can see how this would sometimes create a barrier while communicating. Tramp would watch how Lady reacted to a situation and then he would copy her behaviour. He used her as a guide so that he would not embarass himself. We can sense a little bit of inferiority complex at the start of the relationship. However, as the relationship develops, Tramp boldly displays his habits of rolling in the mud and eating in a messy way. As they are already commited to the relationship, impressions takes a back seat so they are more accepting towards each other’s flaws and habits.  Lady plays along in the mud and joins in the fun to show Tramp that it is ok to be who he really is. This boosts Tramp’s confidence level.

Their relationship goes through the process of engagement and management but does not go through dissengagement. It ends with them happily together with their four puppies. Like every relatiopnship though, they also went through a conflict when Lady was captured by the dog catcher and put in the pound with other stray dogs in the town. There, the other dogs told Lady that Tramp has had many girlfriends but was never serious with any one of them. He was just fooling around. Upon release, Lady refused to see Tramp and she never wanted to speak to him again. However, after Tramp helped to save the baby from a rat and got into trouble when others misunderstood his actions, Lady forgave hima dn understood his true love for her. This ends on a happy note.

I think this a cute and wonderful love story between two dogs. Everyone should watch it. Please feel free to leave any comments on the clips or the story review.  

{February 23, 2008}   Interpersonal

Interpersonal communication is communication that involves two people. Its is usually direct and informal. Interpersonal communication is important in forming 

interpersonal relationships. In some cultures, interpersonal relationships are established by different forms of interpersonal communication. For example, in Japan, status

and superiority plays an important role in interpersonal communication. Respect is given to the person who is of a higher status or superior in terms of the relationship

between a boss and a subordinate. The person who is from a lower status bows and initiates greeting in interpersonal communication. Society emphasises manners and

respect while communicating. Japanese do not engage in physical contact publicly. It is uncommon to see normal handshakes as  a form of greeting.  Although  arranged

marriages are common, dating is becoming quite common for working adults. Schools discourage dating but teenagers often engage in group dating.

In America, interpersonal relationships take up a whole new meaning. Non-verbal communication such as haptics are commonly used to define one’s relationship with the

other person. Americans are also more vocal and do not hesitate to speak their minds regardless of status, gender and superiority. Dating is common however, interpersonal

relationships within the family varies. According to a survey done by the Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ) and the Assessment of Interpersonal Relations (AIR)  , they

found that interpersonal relationships within a family was dependent on the parenting styles of each family. Parenting styles were mainly split into 3 styles, authoritarian,

permissive and authoritative. Those who had authoritative parents had a closer relationship with

their parents compared to those who had authoritarian and permissive parents.

Culture also influenced the groups of people whom children established an interpersonal relationship with. During the filltering stage, when we filter out people whom we do 

not want to have a relationship with, our decisions are affected by our upbringing, culture and personal constructs. We have a  criteria based on which we choose whom to

establish different levels of relationships with. Our most intimate relationship often is established with someone of close proxemics. Being visible and spending quality time

together so that we can have face-face communication, is an important criteria for interpersonal relationships. An  example of how culture influences our choice is a study to

show that African -American children were more attached to their parents as compared to their friends and teachers. The White-American children had a better

interpersonal relationship with their peers and teachers but not as much with their parents. This maybe due to the lack of time spent with their parents and the family 

upbringing. Families have a way of life and set of beliefs they impart to their family members. If family closeness is not an emphasis, children do not bond with their family 

and they donot share thoughts with one another.

There are four specific perspectives from which to study interpersonal communication:

Relational (Qualitative)
Communication in which the roles of sender and receiver are shared 
by two people simultaneously in order to create meaning.

Situational (Contextual)
Communication that occurs between two people in a specific context.

Dyadic interactions, including impersonal communication.

Functional (Strategic)
Communication for the purpose of achieving interpersonal goals.

In my next post, I will be analysing the interpersonal communication and interpersonal relationships shared by the characters in the disney movie-The Lady and The Tramp.

{February 19, 2008}   still going strong!

img015.jpgimg015.jpgI was heading back from school when i decided to pick up a copy of Women’s Weekly to keep me occupied throughout the journey.(its a long way back home….) An article in it

caught my attention. I was attracted to this advertisment as it was hard to miss it due to the size of the picture. There was a picture of a family of four having breakfast. They

seemed like a happy family. Naturally, i though this advertisment is about family and staying together happily or something along that line. The words influenced me to think

that way too. The headings read, “fifteen years of petty squabbles, uncountable cold wars, two active kids later…And still going strong.” The words sounded like an

advertisment that is sending out a message to all families who are having fights and problems and encouraging them to sort their differences and stay together. However,

when i read the bottom prints which were smaller in size, i realised that they were advertising the break and chip-reisitant, microwavable plates that was in the picture on the

breakfast tables. Intresting choice of words that can be misinterpreted as we form judgements based on the family picture and our knowledge on family squabbles and rising

divorce rates. The plates were made of three layers glass for extra protection from breking especiall for families which have active kids. Although the main point of the

advertisment was not evident at first, it is a creative way of looking at the quality of plates they sell. Afterall, their target audiences are the housewives who are concerned

about breakable plates especially if they have young children. The durability of the plates was clearly illustrated in the advertisment.

{February 17, 2008}   5 types of kinesics

Hey guys i know we all got confused over the types of kinesics that was tested in quiz 2. Illustrators and regulators etc. So what i did was to surf the net and i came up with some examples of all these five types of kinesics used in communication. Hope it will help you gain a better understanding on this topic. read the examples below.

 Kinesics is the non-verbal behaviour related to movement, either of any part of the body, or the body as a whole. In short all communicative body movements are generally classified as kinesic. There are basically five different types of kinesics; emblems, regulators, illustrators, affective display and adaptors.


Emblems are non-verbal cues that have a verbal counterpart.For example, the British sign for Victory (forefinger and middle finger erect) symbolises the letter V, a sign for victory often seen painted onto house walls during WWII. However, the same movement may symbolise the number two in the US and may be seen as insulting in Australia.
Another example is the “ok” sign made by forming a circle with your thumb and forefinger and streching out the rest of the three fingers. This may be seen as an indication for zero or the number three in some countries. It is considered obscene in Australia though. Emblems as such are a bewildering array of different meanings. The list of possible interpretations and different meanings is, unfortunately, sheer endless. In short, emblems are signs used to refer to certain words. Its interpretation may vary across different cultures and groups of people.


Regulators are non-verbal signs that regulate, modulate and maintain the flow of speech during a conversation. These can be both kinesic, such as the nodding of a head, as well as nonkinesic, such as eye movements. They are often used as feedback to find out if one is clear of the instructions given or if the audience is intrested in the speech. Different cultures use different forms of regulators to show confusion or understanding of a certain information. For example, the white american students may use sounds such as “uh-huh” followed by nodding of the head to indicate understanding. However, the black american students use silence to show understanding. Therefore, it may lead to confusion for the white americans as to whether the black students understand what is being said. Regulators may also modulate the flow of speech when someone who wishes to interrupt with a point, he/she raises up his/her hand to indicate that he/she has something to say. This action is a form of regulator as it controls the flow of speech by an interuption and changes it flow towards a new speaker.


Illustrators are used more consistently to illustrate what is being said. For example pointing to something that you are discussing about. It reinforces what you are saying. Again, the usage and the amount of illustrators used is different from culture to culture. For example Latin cultures in general make more use of illustrators than Anglo-Saxon cultures. And again, Anglo-Saxon cultures make more use of illustrators than many Asian cultures. In Asian culture, the use of illustrators show lack of intelligence while the absence of illustrators, indicate lack of intrest in the Latin culture.

Affective Display:

Affective Displays are body, or more frequently facial, movements that display a certain affective state, i.e. emotions. A lack of such affective displays may well be understood as a lack of emotion, which in turn is probably wrong. Different cultures may practice the displaying of emotions differently. Although two people may be feeling just as angry, their display of anger may be totally different. One may blow up in the face while the other may use silence to show displeasure. Therefore the lack of display may not indicate the  lack of emotions.


Adaptors include postural changes and other movements at a low level of awareness, frequently made to feel more comfortable or to perform a specific physical function. Because adaptors are usually carried out a low level of awareness, they have been hailed as the secret to understanding what your conversation partner really thinks. A slumped posure indicates that you have low spirits, fatigued or that you feel inferior.Whereas, an erect posture shows high spirits and confidence. If you lean foward it implies that you are open and interested. Leaning away shows disinterest and defensiveness. Maintaining a rigid posture may mean that you are defensive, while a relaxed posture may translate to openess. Crossed legs and arms shows unwillingness to listen while uncrossed arms and leg indicates that you are approcahable.

I hope you have gotten a better view of this topic. It is actually not that difficult after all. Enjoy your weekend!

{February 10, 2008}   Haptics

Haptics refers to touch. Touch is an important aspect in life. Touching and being touched is a basic need which many of us do not realise. Deprivation of touch may lead to mental, physical, social disorders and even death. Never though it was that important right? Read the following example:

Withholding touch from infants generally tends to maintain results of the largest consequences. History has proven that deprivation of touch to infants is quite detrimental, even fatal. Hygienic institutes in 1920 experienced a near 100% infant death rate. Medical scientists were confused. The children were well-fed and well taken care of but left virtually untouched. By the late 1920’s, various changes were made to infant care facilities, including the provision of “mothering.” Infants were held, rocked and stroked by nurses at feeding time and other particular periods. Death rates immediately dropped to 40%.

Infants also learn the exsistence of their body parts via touch. Without sufficient touch, a child may not develop mentally and therefore suffer from retardation. Hugging, cradling and even inflicting pain, are some form of touch that a child needs to be exposed to in order to learn about love, affection, self identity and danger.

Different cultures view haptics in a different manner. For example, Americans are most comfortable with a handshake. Personal space is important to them. However, although they may refrain from touching one another, they do need to fulfil their basic needs. Thus they turn to touching their pets, touching themselves, hugging pillows and even getting ‘liscensed touchers”  to make up for the absence. Americans depend on masseurs, hospital attendants, chiropractors, and pastors to supply them with the necessary care, affection, and support.

Habitants of Europe are generally more touch-inclined than Americans, with the exception of the English; haptics behaviors actually are more scarce in England. French greetings are filled with touch–it is a custom to kiss both cheeks upon greeting someone in France. Frequent pats and nudges exemplify the interpersonal norm in Germany.

Greeting and haptic habits vary quite drastically geographically. In the middle east, heterosexual male friends may hold hands when in each other’s presence–a behavior that may be judged as odd in other parts of the world. In Japan it is not uncommon for an entire family to bathe together, until the children reach age 10. Whereas Japanese children receive more physical attention, much more than American or English children, at this point haptic behavior comes to a sudden halt.In many Arab countries, men frequently touch each other in public, or walk arm in arm down the street. This behaviour could suggest a sexual relationship between them in other cultures.

Remland and Jones (1995) recorded the touching behaviour of a number of different groups of people while communicating. They found that in England (8%), France (5%) and the Netherlands (4%) touching was relatively rare compared to their Italian (14%) and Greek (12.5%) sample.

The degree of touch we engage in also tells us the relationship we share with the person by comparing our touching behaviour with the social norm. Haptics can help a person to recover from depression, counsel a frightened child and build a lasting relationship with people more compared to the extent of what words can do. The disabled, old aged, terminally ill and the mentally unstable people, are some groups of people who get very little exposure to human touch. This may affect the rate of recovery. That is why pets are being introduced in hospitals as part of the treatment for the terminally ill. The touch and warmth they recieve form these animals have proven to improve their speed of recovery tremendously.

et cetera