Accession Number : ADA507720


Title :   Training Soldiers to Decode Nonverbal Cues in Cross-Cultural Interactions


Descriptive Note : Final rept. Sep 2007-Feb 2008


Corporate Author : JOB PERFORMANCE SYSTEMS INC ALEXANDRIA VA


Personal Author(s) : Rosenthal, Douglas B ; Wadsworth, Lee Ann ; Russell, Teresa L ; Mathew, Julisara ; Elfenbein, Hillary A ; Sanchez-Burks, Jeffrey ; Ruark, Gregory A


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a507720.pdf


Report Date : Jul 2009


Pagination or Media Count : 53


Abstract : The objective of this effort was to obtain information to increase Soldiers' ability to decode nonverbal cues (NVCs) in cross-cultural interactions. Iraq was selected as the target location for this effort. The authors conducted a literature review, ran two focus groups with Soldiers, and videotaped Iraqi actors hired to display a series of emotions, actions, and gestures that are exhibited in Iraqi culture. The findings paint an unclear picture of the extent to which differences exist in NVCs between Americans and Iraqis and their impact on mission outcomes for U.S. Soldiers. The literature describes a strong universal element to nonverbal communication. However, more recent work also documents an in-group advantage. The Iraqi actors displayed some, but not many, gestures that are unlikely to be seen in the United States. U.S. Soldiers in our focus groups felt they were generally able to read most Iraqis' nonverbal behaviors. The authors recommend that future NVC research target specific, well-defined contexts such as negotiations. They also recommend starting such efforts by carefully collecting and validating Iraqi culture-specific NVC. The final recommendation is to develop a training program that gives careful attention to the setting, training stimuli, practice and feedback, and training impact evaluation.


Descriptors :   *MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN) , *IRAQ , *CIVILIAN POPULATION , *ARMY PERSONNEL , *ARMY TRAINING , *CULTURAL DIFFERENCES , *INTERACTIONS , EMOTIONS , DECODING , CROSS CULTURE(SOCIOLOGY) , LITERATURE SURVEYS


Subject Categories : Sociology and Law
      Psychology
      Military Forces and Organizations


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE