Nonverbal Communication and the Influence of Film Success: A Literature Review

By: Celina Stratton (2017)

Concordia University Irvine

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Erin Nelson

This review of literature focuses on the use of various nonverbal channels in film and explain how nonverbal communication influences the success (critical or commercial) of films. The different nonverbal channels, or cues, explored are environment, physical characteristics, gestures, and touch. Within each of these channels, subtopics are examined including color, sound, physical attractiveness, costume design, and more. Rather than a conducting a study testing respondents on any physiological reactions to films, this is an extensive literature review supporting the claim that nonverbal cues do in fact influence the success of films, specifically, critical success. While each channel could also be described as “visual cues,” they each fall under the general discipline of nonverbal communication and thus, are referred to as exclusively nonverbal “cues” or “channels.” Influence is directly related to persuasion, and for a film to be successful, audiences must be engaged. This engagement leads moviegoers to rate the film favorably, resulting in more people spending money to view the film (commercial success) and/or writing reviews praising the film’s efforts (critical success).

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Self-Disclosure, Culture and Situational Influence: An Analysis of Interracial Interaction

By: DeRae Berry-Cyprian, Rachel nelson, and Belinda Yang (2017)

Concordia University, St. Paul

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Kim Flottemesch

Diversity is continuously growing throughout college campuses which influence interactions between students from all different backgrounds. Researchers of this study chose to investigate how individuals communicate with those of different racial backgrounds. Specifically, this study explored the communication strategies used during interracial interactions. Participants of the study attend a private faith-based institution, in the Midwestern area of the United States. This study focuses on an individual’s willingness to learn and teach, preferred level of self-disclosure, and communication accommodation as it relates to how one communicates during interracial interaction. Overall, findings revealed individuals are generally comfortable interacting with those of a different cultural background; however, different situations can play a part in how individuals communicate with one another.

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Can You Handle the Distance? A look into Social Media & the Effects on Long-Distance Relationships

By: Bailey House, Marisa McGinty, and Linzy Heim (2017)

Concordia University, St. Paul

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Kim Flottemesch

The following research study focused on long distance romantic relationships and the communication used when faced with separation. Many different medias are utilized in relational maintenance and the literature review of this paper explores those options. Online communication and numerous social media sites can positively or negatively affect the relationship quality. After analyzing secondary research, a primary research study was conducted monitoring one newly formed college age couple and their communication for a four-week time period. When looking at the information and data collected, there were numerous examples to show the Social Penetration Theory in this couple’s growing relationship. The final section offers limitations and suggestions for further research of similar studies.

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First Impressions, Cultural Assimilation, and Hireability in Job Interviews: Examining Body Language and Facial Expressions’ Impact on Employer’s Perceptions of Applicants

By: Renee Cortez, David Marshall, Cydi Yang, Loc Luong (2017)

Concordia University- St. Paul

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Kim Flottemesch

The purpose of this study was to discover what nonverbal facial behaviors are important in an interview setting. This was done by conducting interviews with eight current employers as well as four college age persons who have recently interviewed for a job. As a result, the data suggests that the two main facial behaviors sought by employers in the interview of the applicant were smiling and eye contact. Other nonverbal communication behaviors were analyzed as well. These findings will allow people to be better prepared and be more conscious of what they are displaying in the interview setting in the terms of nonverbal facial cues when interviewing for a future career.

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How Do Violent News Stories Affect Viewers?

By: Chris Faison, Michael Prochno, Hussain al-Abdullah, & Salman Almadoug (2017)

Concordia University- St. Paul

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Kim Flottemesch

Television news broadcasts have been airing since the mid-1930s, and has since then, implemented itself into viewer’s everyday lives. In the 1980s, Cable News Network, or CNN, introduced the 24-hour news cycle. Because of this, there was a sharp increase of violent news being reported. In this study, the researchers chose to study both the emotional and physical reactions to the violent news media. Specifically, the researchers explored the possibility that too much violence could affect their mental and physical health. Participants from this study hailed from a faith-based institution of higher learning in an urban area of the Midwestern United States. The study found that there is a relationship between the violence in news media and mental and physical effects of the body.

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Locking Eyes with Strangers

By:  Jackie Kuehl, Kenitra Foote, Justin Ortt & Allison Larson (2017)

Concordia University- St. Paul

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Kim Flottemesch

The topic of reactive body language and eye contact between strangers is necessary research because it differs from typical face to face relational interactions. Stranger interactions among genders and one’s eye contact are often avoided by most people, whether it’s due to the setting, awkward feelings, or one’s vulnerability. It seems like there is a common communicative trend found in Late Generation Y and Early Generation Z, is avoiding eye contact with strangers when outside of one’s comfort zone (Nemko, 2016). The lack of stranger interaction involving eye contact and its effect on society is considered in this study. The researchers chose to investigate how eye contact between strangers differs in today’s society. Specifically, the researchers explored the effect of eye contact in different settings and compared that with race and gender. Participants of the study hailed from a private, faith-based institution of higher education in an urban area in the Midwestern United States. The study thoroughly addressed the relationship between how one averts their eyes because there is an uncomfortable feeling. The lack of eye contact can show a lack of empathy towards the other person; they may go through their day feeling as if they don’t exist.

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The Prevalence of Gender Communication in Social Media

By: Alicia Eckman, Kelsey Fisher, Talia Stifter
Concordia University, St. Paul
Advising Professor: Dr. Kim Flottemesch, PhD

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between online self-disclosure and perceived appeal and define characteristics that individuals find appealing and unappealing in online self-disclosure. The findings from this study reveal significant differences in gender communication that distinctly affect the perceptions of online social media profiles. Using Deborah Tannen’s Genderlect theory, these gender differences are explained.

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Anonymous Communication on the Internet and Trolling

By: Allison Klempka and Arielle Stimson
Concordia University, St. Paul
Advising Professor: Dr. Kim Flottemesch, PhD

Internet Trolls are an online subculture who participate in posting upsetting or shocking content, harassing users, and spreading false information for their own enjoyment. As of the time of this study, research is limited on the trolling culture, the perception of trolls, and trolling behavior. The researchers have investigated trolling culture, as well as conducted a study in which subjects were asked to relay their emotional reactions to a selection of online comments, and mark the comments they considered to be trolling behavior. The results were meant to discover whether subjects of different age generations differed in their perception and definition of trolls. The results clarified that trolling was frequently associated with poor behavior, although the degree of disapproval and definitions for trolling varied between age groups.

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A Feminist Analysis of the Film “The Hunger Games”

By Kristi Loobeek
Concordia University, St. Paul
Advising Professor: Dr. Alan Winegarden

The purpose of this paper was to analyze the appearance of feminism throughout The Hunger Games, especially when pertaining to the lead female character of Katniss Everdeen. The thesis of this paper is that, while characteristics of all three “waves” of feminism were present within the motion picture, third-wave feminism prevailed as most apparent.

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A Communication Analysis of Religion in Education

By:Cody Wilcoxson, Kelley Spencer, and Savannah Nolen
Concordia University, St. Paul
Advising Professor: Dr. Kim Flottemesch, PhD

The researchers chose to examine religion as a factor in the decision to attend a university and the way that students adapt communicatively to faith-based universities. The concept brought many aspects of communication into play, but only a specific group of theories were applicable to the research findings. The researchers selected two theories to help explain the data: Communication Accommodation Theory and Symbolic Interactionism Theory. Both, Communication Accommodation Theory and Symbolic Interactionism Theory, focus on the decision-making and adaptation aspects of the study.

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