Lecture Nine: Communication
In every dyadic relationship you need to communicate in verbally and non-verbally. The ﬁgure depicts how communication can get “mangled”.
The person conveying the information has their own intentions which only they are aware of. The sender’s style of encoding could include
differences in language, if there is an accent, etc. The senders actions could include differing mannerisms and body language. The style of
decoding could be ﬁltered based on the listener’s decoding style.
Noise and interference are dependent on the environment.
Men are from mars, women are from Venus.
- men and women interact and communicate differently
- women prefer face-to-face interactions
women establish topics early in a conversation, and discuss them in depth
- men show low topical cohesion and cover lots of topics in a shorter period of time
- it is not the effect of dramatic gender differences, much more of it is due to socialization issues
Interruptions in Discussion
men and women may have different expectations about communication based on their preferred style of communication
- one study predicted that men would interrupt women more in order to start a new conversation and potentially assert dominance
- data did not support this prediction
- meta analysis of studies between 1965 and 1991 shows little evidence that men cause all interruptions in conversations
- 6/20 studies showed men interrupting, 13/20 showed men and women interrupting, 2/20 found women interrupting men more often
Functions of Interruption
i. Conﬁrmation or clariﬁcation of agreement
ii. Rejection or disagreement
iii. Disconﬁrmation — making light of speaker’s statement, ultimately the goal is to change topics (or be dismissing)
Kennedy and Camden (1983): women interrupted more than men, 50% if these instances being for conﬁrmation.
Conclusions: no support for belief that en interrupt more than women.
Language and conversations: a recent review suggest that women are more polite then men. Newman et al. (2008) supports this idea. Other
evidence suggests that men and women use similar speech devices when purchasing tickets for a train or other incidences of public sector
Tag Questions: tagging along a question to the end of a statement (“We’re having sex tonight, aren’t we?”) Lakoff proposed that there is gender
differences in the use of tag questions.
- women use them more to promote questions
- men use them during uncertainty
both of which can be interpreted differently by the speaker
If the credibility of the speaker is low, the use of tag questions reduces the persuasiveness of the message. If the credibility of the speaker is high,
the use of tag questions makes the message more persuasive.
Qualiﬁers and Hedgers: Layoff claimed that women use qualiﬁers and hedges such as — I guess/I think/sort of/I mean/you know — to express
- unable to draw conclusions
- some show gender differences in how men and women use the term “you know”
- Women: You already have enough video games, you know?
- Men: You know what I mean?
Back-channeling: verbal and nonverbal responses to someone’s utterances, these could include hmm/yeah/right/nodding. Some evidence shows
that women rely on these more than men, other evidence shows that men rely on these more.Again, no signiﬁcant data to show differences.
Emotionality and support: women converse with more affective orientation and men use more instrumental orientation. However, this is most
likely attributable to socialization differences.
Fox et al. 2007: analyzed IMs and found similarity on all categories except for expressiveness, women were more expressive then men.
Newman et al. 2008: found that of 14 000 written texts by men and women — women were more likely to express their thoughts, emotions,
doubts, and used more verbs, while men referred to objects, processes, external events, numbers, longer words, articles and prepositions. They
also swore a lot more than women.
Separate Culture Hypothesis (Wood, 1994): seeks are socialized into different cultures
- each develops unique ways of communicating, expressing intimacy and emotions, and support
- if we are intact from different culture, it indicates that we should be studying and treating the two genders differently
- this also implies that each gender needs to get special training on how to interact with the other gender
Evidence against this hypothesis: 56% of men and 87% of women list self disclosure as the primary meaning of intimacy.An equal amount of
men and women list emotional expressiveness as the second meaning of intimacy.
Additionally, people tend to want to interact with those from their own culture, which would not explain how most couples are heterosexual.
- both genders seek emotional support from women -
women are considered experts in emotional support because they are culturally brought up to be good at affective skills and thus have more
experience in them
In everyday interactions women put more emphasis on affective skills while men put more emphasis on technical skills. However, in relationships
both genders put emphasis on affective skills in relationships.
Brain Wiring: Imaging study looking at brain connections conducted by Ingalhalikar et al. 2014.
DTI (Diffusor Tensor Imaging): MRI based neuro-i