Cultural communication styles and accuracy in cross-cultural perception: A British and Japanese study

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


This study examines the effects of cultural communication styles on cross-cultural perceptual accuracy. In Experiment 1, the communication accuracy of British and Japanese participants was assessed within their own cultures and compared across five interpersonal contexts: age, competition, intimacy, kinship and status. The results showed that the British were significantly more accurate on intimacy scenes while the Japanese were significantly better on age, competition and status scenes. In Experiment 2, accuracy between cultures was compared. When British and Japanese participants viewed both British and Japanese scenes, the British were more accurate in the perception of kinship and status scenes while the Japanese were more accurate on intimacy scenes. The significance of the results is discussed in light of expressivity, perceptual sensitivity and social rules.

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Yumi Nixon (Primary Contact)
Peter Bull
Author Biography

Yumi Nixon, 2 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 (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. (2006). Cultural communication styles and accuracy in cross-cultural perception: A British and Japanese study. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 6(2), 1–21.

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