Document Detail

The semantic specificity of gestures when verbal communication is not possible: The case of emergency evacuation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23035650     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The aim of the present study was to examine the comprehension of gesture in a situation in which the communicator cannot (or can only with difficulty) use verbal communication. Based on theoretical considerations, we expected to obtain higher semantic comprehension for emblems (gestures with a direct verbal definition or translation that is well known by all members of a group, or culture) compared to illustrators (gestures regarded as spontaneous and idiosyncratic and that do not have a conventional definition). Based on the extant literature, we predicted higher semantic specificity associated with arbitrarily coded and iconically coded emblems compared to intrinsically coded illustrators. Using a scenario of emergency evacuation, we tested the difference in semantic specificity between different categories of gestures. 138 participants saw 10 videos each illustrating a gesture performed by a firefighter. They were requested to imagine themselves in a dangerous situation and to report the meaning associated with each gesture. The results showed that intrinsically coded illustrators were more successfully understood than arbitrarily coded emblems, probably because the meaning of intrinsically coded illustrators is immediately comprehensible without recourse to symbolic interpretation. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the comprehension of iconically coded emblems and that of both arbitrarily coded emblems and intrinsically coded illustrators. It seems that the difference between the latter two types of gestures was supported by their difference in semantic specificity, although in a direction opposite to that predicted. These results are in line with those of Hadar and Pinchas-Zamir (2004), which showed that iconic gestures have higher semantic specificity than conventional gestures.
Gabriele Prati; Luca Pietrantoni
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-10-5
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of psychology : Journal international de psychologie     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1464-066X     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Psychol     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-5     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0107305     Medline TA:  Int J Psychol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
a Faculty of Psychology , University of Bologna , Bologna , Italy.
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Previous Document:  The National Institutes of Health Criteria for Classification and Scoring of Chronic Graft versus Ho...
Next Document:  Thoracic injuries sustained by severely injured front-seat passengers and drivers: injury patterns a...