The effects of cultural awareness on nonverbal perceptual accuracy: British and Japanese training programmes

Yumi Nixon (1) , Peter Bull (2)
(1) Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK , United Kingdom
(2) Department of Psychology at the University of York , United Kingdom


Nonverbal perception training was carried out with British and Japanese university students. The main aim of the training was to examine whether increasing cultural awareness in nonverbal communication styles leads to an improvement in within- and cross-cultural perceptual accuracy. The perceptual assessment was carried out using the British and Japanese Social Perception Task (BJSPT) which is based on the Interpersonal Perception Task ( IPT) (Costanzo & Archer, 1989). The results showed that the methods used in the training sessions were effective in improving cross-cultural perceptual accuracy. The British training group made more improvement in the perception of Japanese scenes than British scenes, while the Japanese training groups made more improvement on British scenes than Japanese scenes. The different skills involved in within- and cross-cultural perception are discussed in the light of the results.


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Yumi Nixon (Primary Contact)
Peter Bull
Author Biographies

Yumi Nixon, Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK

Yumi Nixon (BSc. University of York, United Kingdom) is a Ph.D. research student in the Department of Psychology at the University of York. The present research was undertaken as part of her Ph.D. thesis.

Peter Bull, Department of Psychology at the University of York

Peter Bull (Ph.D. University of Exeter, United Kingdom) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of York.  He has 60 academic publications, principally in the form of articles in internationally recognized academic journals; he has also written several books, as well as a number of book chapters.  Most of his published output has been concerned with the analysis of interpersonal communication. He is the author of The Microanalysis of Political Communication: Claptrap and Ambiguity (2003), Communication under the Microscope: The Theory and Practice of Microanalysis (2002), Posture and Gesture (1987), Body Movement and Interpersonal Communication (1983), and co-editor (with Derek Roger) of Conversation: an Interdisciplinary Perspective (1989).

Nixon, Y., & Bull, P. (2005). The effects of cultural awareness on nonverbal perceptual accuracy: British and Japanese training programmes. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 5(2), 1–16.

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