Robert Brown
Spee 633
Abstract 2 Phase I
APA Citation:
Mausehund, J.A., Timm, S.A., & King, A.S. (1995). Diversity training: Effects of intervention treatment of nonverbal awareness. Business Communication Quarterly, 58(1), 27-30.

Once again, I have selected an older article. I think this is particularly relevant in business today because diversity is becoming a more common part of business everywhere. As the world is becoming more connected, people have to engage with one another across cultures and this can lead to communication misunderstanding. Learning how to engage in healthy communications across cultures is a relevant skill in the business world.
Indeed, the article indicates numbers of racial minorities that will be engaging in the workforce. Estimates at this time indicated five sixth of the new entrants into the labor force would be of nonwhites, immigrants or women. The literature review for this article is extremely exemplary. The researchers briefly discuss the work of Mehrabian from the 1970’s that indicates 93% of message impact comes from nonverbal communication. Miller (1988) is also discussed because of issues regarding the Pygmalion Effect. The Pygmalion Effect deals with the interpretations of the nonverbal messages from an authoritative figure and how the nonverbals might impact motivation and achievement.

The study in the article was conducted at a large Midwestern university. Subjects were 72 students that were enrolled in four different classes of writing for accountancy. Of the 72 participants, 43 were male and 29 female. The purpose for selecting students from accounting classes was the researchers did not want students that had been taught an emphasis in communication skills. The participants took a pretest to determine nonverbal awareness that contained ten multiple choice questions. An intervention group and a nonintervention group were created and administered the test on the first day of class. On the second day of class the nonintervention group went about normal class work while the intervention group conducted a nonverbal experiential exercise. The exercise involved looking at pictures of people from different cultures and demography. The students were asked to give interpretations of the pictures. Groups would then form to come to a consensus on the interpretations. A posttest was administered to both the nonintervention group and the intervention group on the third day of class.

The results showed a greater increase in posttest results from the intervention group. However, after only being administered a pretest and posttest the nonintervention group did show a slight increase in results. Gender-wise both groups saw females reporting higher numbers than males which supported the past research in the field.

The research shows that even a small amount of training, in the form of pretests and posttests can in fact decrease the amount of biases, preconceptions, and insensitivities of cross cultural nonverbal communication. This is promising for the business world because a small amount of training has proven to help manage diversity. These same principles can be applied within organizations to help increase interpersonal competency skills.