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Cross-cultural differences in nonverbal behaviours during face-to-face communication

School of Psychology

About the Project


Effective cross-cultural interaction requires not only understanding spoken language but also the ability to decode nonverbal cues in face-to-face communication. Research on cross-cultural communication to date has almost exclusively focused on spoken language and the nonverbal aspects have been largely ignored. The proposed PhD project aims to establish how cross-cultural differences in expressing and decoding nonverbal behaviour (e.g., facial expression, eye movement, gesture) influence interpersonal communication. The findings of this project will provide a unique opportunity to understand the impact of completely different social and cultural norms on the production and comprehension of nonverbal behaviour in human interaction.

The first part of the project involves identifying the common and culture-specific nonverbal behaviours produced by English and Mandarin speakers during everyday communication. The second part of the project aims to establishe whether English and Mandarin speakers can decode meanings from nonverbal behaviour in their own culture and in the other culture. The third part of the project aims to develop an online training tool to help learner of English and Mandarin to learn those frequently misinterpreted nonverbal behaviours by foreigners. Depending on the progress of the project, there is a possibility to use eye-tracking technique (i.e., dual eye-tracking) to investigate the role of nonverbal cues in cross-culture communication.

Full training on relevant skills and techniques will be provide. The PhD researcher will have access to a large volunteer participant panel and well-equipped labs for behavioural and eye-tracking studies.

• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:
• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV
• Details of 2 academic referees

Informal inquiries can be made to Mingyuan Chu () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research area of the School of Psychology. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THESE PROJECTS.

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