High Context And Low-Context Analysis

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Adaptation in a Culture’s Communication:
Priming effect on High-Context and Low-Context
Samantha Vu (41297136)
University of British Columbia

This study aims to investigate that cultural communication of high-context and low-context should not be seen as mutually exclusive, but rather that there a sense of flexibility between the two. A manipulation was created to prime individuals to either a high-context or low-context condition. Participants in the control group will be primed with a simple text that will describe an unrelated topic to cultural context. Participants placed in the experimental group will be randomly assigned to a passage that will involve characteristics of either a high-text or low-context perspective.
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The determining factor may be seen through whether the country falls into a high-context or low-context culture. Contextuality is distinguished by the amount of contextual elements that are necessary for the “transaction” of understanding a given message (Pflug, 2011). In other words, high-context cultures have the characteristic of using communication in terms of shared contextual cues (i.e., physical setting or tone of voice) and information is presented implicitly in interpersonal relationships. High context cultures can be categorized as nonverbal, intuitive, and individuals are expected to read between the lines to understand the unsaid. In contrast, low-context cultures interact in ways that do not rely on contextual elements but instead on explicit facts that are detailed and straightforward. Communications among low cultures are expected to be concise and task-centered rather than focusing on relationships. Generally, most Western cultures are categorized as low-context, while, Asian cultures are seen as high-context (Han, 2003). Although high-context communication may help save face since it provides a less direct approach, however, it …show more content…
However, individuals who received the high-context prime will become more inclined to that perspective. The response will reflect a distinct statement that involves more general information and implicit responses that they implied about the candidate. Given that were primed to have a perception of reading between the lines when encountering communication. Furthermore, they would have chosen their candidate since they felt they have a deeper sense of trust in relationship with electing this individual. Whereas, individuals in the low-context will have specific and direct facts about why they choose their UBC candidate. Providing explicit information and responding to their choice due to tasks and goals of the individual rather than establishing a relationship with the potential candidate. . If these results are reached, it can suggest that individuals are able to transition between high-low contexts or low-high contexts. Depending on the situation and information given, an individual from low-context culture can adapt or can be adjust to certain circumstances when shifting to a high-context culture, and vice

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