Difference Between Professionals' and Non-Professionals' Interpretation on Hand Gestures

Topics: Gesture, Gestures, Interpretation Pages: 22 (6989 words) Published: March 8, 2013
In our interaction with the world around us, we always communicate to different people, especially in our everyday activities, like riding a cab, choosing a meal for breakfast, schooling, shopping, and a lot more. This interactions use our body and these convey different interpretations to people, like hand gestures it is a non verbal communication which we used consciously and unconsciously that can actually replace a verbal phrase according to Laurie Wilhem (1993) this kinds of gestures have different style for the use of communication.

However, using hand gestures may vary on how people interpret, because some hand gestures which we commonly used and interpreted as a whole may have different interpretations to other country, like hand gestures which we positively interpreted may interpret negatively by others which have different cultural aspects. Hand gestures interpretation also influenced by the environment or the society, if hand gestures are usually used by a certain group of people this will become a manner which they had already familiar with, supported by Basil Bernstein’s Sociolinguistic Theory of language codes (1971)

Hand gestures as a part of pragmatics conveys interpretations out of its physical manifestations. Like pragmatics, it allows to us to observe how this meaning “meaning beyond the words” can be understood as mentioned by Steve Campsall (1991). The appointed meaning is there not because of the semantic aspects of the words, but because we shared certain contextual knowledge with the people, thus people also share certain interpretation in a society.

In this study, the professionals and non-professionals are compared on how they interpret messages from hand gestures. This shows that the choice of an individual in interpreting hand gestures may vary on the kind of interaction in a group. The influence of the society on hoe people shares similar information in a group made them understand each other most specifically on how they move. The group wherein they communicate most of their time and encounters hand gestures and give information on how they will interpret hand gestures in a way that mutual understanding will occur. Misinterpretations on hand gestures will cause misunderstanding, however the study concerns on how the educational attainment by professionals and non-professionals affect their interpretations on hand gestures and the role of the society in conveying interpretations. The researchers interested on how professionals and non-professionals vary their interpretations which educational attainment used as the basis, thus the society is one of the foundation for a common interpretations.

Although some hand gestures are commonly interpreted nowadays, there are still significant reasons to conduct this study. First, interpreting hand gestures may cause misunderstanding, to the people who are less exposed in being familiar with it. Second this study will show what hand gestures that professionals and non-professionals share certain meaning in connection to educational attainment they undergone. Finally, the role of society on how these interpretations manifested to the hand gestures which people encounters. Furthermore, the study will significantly show that using hand gestures should be integrated with a great responsibility on when hand gestures should appropriately used, whether you are professionals or non-professionals the awareness of proper usage of hand gestures should be knowledgeable to use in communication.

Review of Related Literature

A gesture is defined as the movement of arms and hands which are different from others to understand body language with an association with speech and language. According to Laurie Wilhelm, one of the common gestures that people use is “Hand Gestures” These are forms of non-verbal communication that are considered as a body language that hand gestures can actually replace a verbal phrase because of this,...
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