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Chapter 6-10

PSYC 3480 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6-10: Nonverbal Communication, Relational Aggression, Temporary Assistance For Needy Families

Course Code
PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

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Chapter 6 – Gender Comparisons 10/16/2015
-three areas:
1) communication patterns
2) characteristics related to helping and caring
3) aggression and power
Social Constructionist
- we construct or invent our own versions of reality, based on prior
experiences, social interactions, and beliefs
- focuses on language as a mechanism for categorizing our experiences
oex. emotional = women
- interpret behaviour differently depending upon who is displaying the
- shapes the way we view aggression (associated with men)
- How does our culture create gender and maintain it in our
communication patterns and in our interpersonal relationships?
- Culture provides us with schemas and other info
oCulture established different social roles for women and men
- Social setting is more important when we consider social and
personality characteristics
- Factors related to the social setting have an important influence on the
size of the gender diffs. in social and personality characteristics:
1) Gender diffs. are usually largest when other people are present
2) Gender diffs. are generally largest when gender is prominent and
other shared roles are minimized
3) Gender diffs. are usually largest when the behaviour requires
specific gender-related skills

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- Verbal communication – women and men have similar patterns
HOWEVER have great individual diffs. within each gender
- Talkativeness: mixed results
- Interruptions: men tend to interrupt more, explained by power
- Language Style: minimal gender diffs., boys like to curse more,
women more hesitant
- Content of Language: a person of their gender, a person of the other
gender, academic issues, jobs
- Nonverbal communication – refers to all forms of human
communication that does not focus on the actual words (tone of voice, facial
- Personal Space: refers to the invisible boundary around each person
– a boundary that other people should not invade during ordinary social
- Body Posture: females legs together, males legs apart, men relax,
women tense
- Visual Gaze: females gaze at controversial patterns than males do,
people gaze at females more than males, men don’t like to look at each
- Facial Expression: women smile more than men
social tension a strong predictor of a smile
sadness < anger (woman), anger < sadness (men)
- Decoding Ability – refers to your skill in looking at another person’s
nonverbal behaviour and figuring out what emotion that person is feeling
females more likely than males to decode nonverbal expressions
women significantly more accurate in decoding voices that
expressed fear, happiness, and sadness
Power and Status Explanations
- men have more power and social status in our culture

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- men talk and interrupt more, have larger personal-space zones,
more relaxed, gaze less, smile less
Social Learning Explanations
- culture provides roles, expectations, and socialization experiences
that teach males and females how to communicate
- children reinforce behaviour that is consistent with their gender
Characteristics related to helping and caring
- women more likely than men to choose occupations in the helping
professional (ex. nurses)
- helpfulness indicates high-visibility activities that are stereotypically
masculine and less visible activities that are stereotypically feminine
Providing unselfish help to others who are in need, without
anticipating any reward
Men more helpful with tasks that are more dangerous
Heroism – risking one’s life for the welfare of others
Women more likely than men to undergo pain and medical probs
Differences can be explained by social roles – culture’s shared
expectations about the behaviour of a group that occupies a
particular social category
Men greater size and strength
Men’s heroism = public, women’s heroism = private
Kind of helping in which someone gives care to another person,
usually someone who is younger and less competent
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