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Chapter 2
1. The statement that “culture is a powerful influence on communication behavior” means
a. traditions have little influence on how we make sense of communication.
b. culture distinguishes one group of people from another.
c. what society we identify with has little effect on us.
d. culture affects how we express ourselves and how we interpret and react to others.
Answer: d
Culture significantly shapes how individuals express themselves, interpret others'
communication, and respond in various social contexts. It encompasses shared values, norms,
beliefs, and practices, all of which influence communication behavior.
2. Which term describes the totality of learned, shared symbols, language, values, and norms
that distinguish one group of people from another?
a. Nationality
b. Society
c. Culture
d. Ethnicity
Answer: c
Culture encompasses the entirety of learned, shared symbols, language, values, and norms
that distinguish one group of people from another. It defines the way of life of a particular
group, transcending mere nationality, ethnicity, or society.
3. Which term describes a group of people who share common symbols, languages, values,
and norms?
a. Nation

b. Culture
c. Co-culture
d. Society
Answer: d
A society refers to a group of people who share common symbols, languages, values, and
norms within a particular geographic or social community. It represents a broader cultural
context within which individuals interact and communicate.
4. In recent years, individuals with dwarfism have formed their own __________, with
conventions, support groups, and television shows. In fact, they were responsible for the label
shift from “dwarfs” or “midgets” to the more respectful “little people.”
a. society
b. nation
c. ethnicity
d. culture
Answer: a
Individuals with dwarfism forming their own society with conventions, support groups, and
media representation indicates the emergence of a distinct social group based on shared
experiences and identities, illustrating the concept of a society.
5. Which classification best fits the individuals on your “friend” list on Facebook?
a. In-group
b. Culture
c. Out-group
d. Norm
Answer: a

Individuals on one's "friend" list on Facebook typically represent an in-group, referring to
individuals with whom one shares a sense of belonging, common interests, and mutual social
6. During the years of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Muslim students have
reported feeling excluded at the U.S. colleges and universities they attend. Their experience
exemplifies how sometimes we mistreat people we perceive as part of ___________.
a. enculturation.
b. a co-culture.
c. a society.
d. an out-group.
Answer: d
The experience of Muslim students feeling excluded at U.S. colleges and universities during
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan exemplifies mistreatment based on perceived out-group
status, where individuals are marginalized due to their perceived differences.
7. Research shows that many immigrants experience abnormally high levels of stress during
their first year in their homeland as a result of identifying with which of the following?
a. In-group
b. Out-group
c. Ethnicity
d. Co-culture
Answer: b
Immigrants often experience heightened stress levels during their first year in a new
homeland due to identifying as part of an out-group, feeling disconnected from the dominant
culture and facing challenges related to adaptation and integration.

8. Many countries struggle with the issue of immigration, illustrating a strongly perceived
_________________ distinction.
a. ethnocentric
b. in-group/out-group
c. cultural
d. nationality
Answer: b
The struggle with immigration in many countries highlights the strongly perceived ingroup/out-group distinction, where tensions arise between the native population (in-group)
and immigrants (out-group) due to perceived differences in culture, nationality, or ethnicity.
9. At school, Cara likes to spend time with other cheerleaders and athletes, the “jocks” of the
school. In biology class, Cara is partnered with Levi, a quiet male student who likes to dress
in black and wear eyeliner. She is angry, as all of her friends have been paired with others of
her social group. Which of the following might be contributing to Cara’s difficulty in working
with Levi?
a. Her in-group/out-group distinction
b. Pressure from friends
c. Her opinion of Levi
d. Enculturation
Answer: a
Cara's difficulty in working with Levi likely stems from her in-group/out-group distinction,
where she perceives Levi as outside her social circle (out-group) due to his differing interests
and appearance compared to her usual friends (in-group).

10. Jorge’s mother, father, and aunt are from Nicaragua. He and his cousins are proud of their
Nicaraguan _________, wearing traditional clothing and preparing traditional dishes from
their parents’ country.
a. nationality
b. ethnicity
c. culture
d. in-group
Answer: b
Jorge's pride in his Nicaraguan heritage, as evidenced by his family's traditions and cultural
practices, aligns with the concept of ethnicity, which refers to shared cultural characteristics,
such as language, customs, and traditions, that distinguish one group from another.
11. Which of the following terms refers to the status of citizens of a particular country?
a. Nationality
b. Ethnicity
c. Enculturation
d. Culture
Answer: a
Nationality refers specifically to the legal relationship between an individual and a country. It
denotes citizenship and the rights and responsibilities that come with it, such as voting,
passport privileges, and protection by the government.
12. What term best describes the process of acquiring a culture?
a. Nationalization
b. Enculturation
c. Culturization

d. Normalization
Answer: b
Enculturation refers to the process by which individuals learn and acquire the values, norms,
customs, and behaviors of their culture. It occurs through socialization within a particular
cultural context, such as family, education, and community.
13. Which of the following statements is the most accurate about culture?
a. Culture is based on ethnicity.
b. Culture is based on nationality.
c. Culture is largely determined by who raised you and their cultural codes.
d. Culture is largely determined by the country in which you were born.
Answer: c
Culture is primarily shaped by the environment in which an individual is raised and the
people who influence them during their formative years. This includes family, peers,
educators, and other socializing agents who impart cultural values, beliefs, and practices.
14. Because culture is not necessarily related to ethnicity or nationality, communicating in
another culture often involves a period of which of the following?
a. Symbolism
b. Ethnocentrism
c. Learned behaviors
d. Enculturation
Answer: d
Communicating effectively in another culture often requires individuals to undergo a process
of enculturation, wherein they learn and adapt to the norms, values, and behaviors of that

culture. This process enables better understanding and interaction within diverse cultural
15. In 2010, Monaco’s Prince Albert got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, South African
Charlene Wittstock. According to reports, Wittstock immediately began taking French lessons
and meeting with Albert’s sisters, Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, to learn about royal
etiquette. If these reports were true, Wittstock was trying to become ___________ to her new
country before the wedding.
a. enculturated
b. acclimated
c. socialized
d. accustomed
Answer: a
Wittstock's actions indicate her efforts to assimilate into the culture of Monaco, including its
language, social norms, and customs, which aligns with the concept of enculturation. By
engaging in these activities, she aims to integrate herself into her future husband's culture and
16. What do Bobby and Carrie share if they are both avid fans of the same football team?
a. A language
b. A social custom
c. A co-culture
d. A hobby
Answer: c
Bobby and Carrie's shared enthusiasm for the same football team represents a shared interest
or affiliation beyond mere individual hobbies. This shared interest forms a basis for a co-

culture, wherein individuals bond over shared values, norms, and behaviors related to a
specific interest or characteristic.
17. Groups of people who share values, customs, and norms related to mutual interests or
characteristics besides their national citizenship belong to which of the following group
a. Co-culture
b. Culture
c. Society
d. Group
Answer: a
Co-culture refers to a subgroup within a larger culture whose members share common values,
customs, and norms based on specific interests or characteristics, such as hobbies, beliefs, or
identities. These groups may transcend national boundaries and include individuals from
diverse backgrounds who share common affiliations.
18. Identify which factor would NOT help create a co-culture.
a. Religion
b. Political activism
c. Physical abilities
d. All of the above would help create a co-culture.
Answer: d
All the factors listed—religion, political activism, and physical abilities—can contribute to
the formation of co-cultures by bringing together individuals with shared interests, beliefs, or
characteristics. Therefore, none of these factors would exclude the creation of a co-culture.
19. Many deaf populations have certain values and customs that differ from those of hearing
populations, including social customs, thus making them members of the same

a. co-culture.
b. culture.
c. society.
d. community.
Answer: a
Deaf populations often form co-cultures characterized by shared values, norms, and customs
related to deafness, sign language, communication methods, and social interactions. These
shared experiences and perspectives create a distinct cultural identity within the broader
society, qualifying them as a co-culture.
20. Mary, who is deaf, is used to notifying her own deaf friends when she is leaving the room
because she knows she cannot hear them if they call out to her, thus perhaps worrying them.
When spending time with her new roommates, who are not deaf, Mary does not notice that
they are becoming annoyed with her frequent announcements of her whereabouts. It would
probably help the situation if her roommates remembered to be ______________ when
learning to communicate with someone from another co-culture.
a. cognizant
b. ethnocentric
c. collectivistic
d. adaptable
Answer: d
Mary's roommates can improve communication by being adaptable, meaning they are open to
adjusting their behaviors, expectations, and communication styles to accommodate
differences in cultural backgrounds or co-cultures. By being adaptable, they can foster
understanding and mutual respect in their interactions with Mary and other members of
diverse cultural groups.

21. Bruce is a very active individual while he goes to college. He is a baseball player, vice
president of the honor society, and a bassist in a band. Bruce seems to identify with multiple
a. societies.
b. cultures.
c. communities.
d. co-cultures.
Answer: d
Bruce's involvement in various activities reflects his affiliation with different subcultures
within his larger societal context. Co-cultures refer to smaller groups within a dominant
culture that share particular attributes or experiences, such as being part of a baseball team,
an honor society, and a music band concurrently.
22. Which term best classifies the role of the U.S. flag and the bald eagle in United States
a. norms
b. values
c. symbols
d. gestures
Answer: c
The U.S. flag and the bald eagle are emblematic symbols deeply entrenched in American
culture, representing ideals like freedom, patriotism, and national identity. Symbols are
objects, gestures, or images that carry shared meanings within a culture.
23. According to the New York State Comptroller’s office, 138 languages are spoken in
Queens, New York. This illustrates that which of the following can vary within and among
a. Language

b. Symbols
c. Values
d. Norms
Answer: a
The diversity of languages spoken in Queens demonstrates the variation in language within a
single cultural context. Language is a key aspect of culture that can vary significantly among
different groups and regions.
24. Which best describes the standards by which a culture judges what is good, desirable, or
a. Symbols
b. Values
c. Norms
d. Language
Answer: b
Values represent the core beliefs and principles that guide a culture's judgments of what is
good, desirable, or beautiful. They serve as the foundation for cultural norms and behaviors.
25. Which of the following describes the rules or expectations that guide people’s behavior
within a culture?
a. Norms
b. Values
c. Symbols
d. Morals
Answer: a

Norms are the rules or expectations that dictate appropriate behavior within a cultural
context. They vary across cultures and can encompass both formal and informal guidelines.
26. Elena is used to kissing her friends on both cheeks as a form of greeting in her native
country. She notices that her new friends in the United States get uncomfortable with this,
thus showing her she is violating her friends’
a. values.
b. protocol.
c. norms.
d. standards.
Answer: c
Elena's observation indicates that she is violating the social norms of her new cultural
environment by engaging in a greeting practice that differs from what is customary or
expected. Norms govern behavior within a culture.
27. Which of the following is NOT a cultural difference that influences how people
communicate with each other?
a. Orientation toward time
b. Power distance
c. Communicative context
d. Ethnocentrism
Answer: d
Ethnocentrism is a belief in the superiority of one's own culture over others and does not
directly influence communication style. In contrast, orientation toward time, power distance,
and communicative context are all factors that significantly impact communication patterns.
28. Research shows that the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and Australia are the most highly
a. feminine cultures.

b. collectivistic cultures.
c. polychronic cultures.
d. individualistic cultures.
Answer: d
These countries are commonly characterized as individualistic cultures, emphasizing personal
achievement, independence, and self-expression. Individualism is a cultural dimension that
contrasts with collectivism, where group harmony and interdependence are prioritized.
29. In class, Mark frequently interrupts Professor Chang, asking direct questions and
sometimes challenging her statements. Mark believes it is his right to question an instructor,
as that is how he learns. Professor Chang also calls on Mark frequently in class, as she knows
he will have a comment or observation related to the lecture. This style of classroom
interaction represents what type of culture?
a. Collectivistic
b. Individualistic
c. Masculine
d. Feminine
Answer: b
Mark's behavior aligns with individualistic cultural norms that value assertiveness, autonomy,
and active participation in learning environments. Individualistic cultures emphasize personal
goals and achievements.
30. Chin believes her primary responsibility is to her family, community, and employer. She
considers the needs of her in-groups more important than her own needs. This example
illustrates what type of culture?
a. Collectivistic
b. Low-context

c. Low-power-distance
d. Monochronic
Answer: a
Chin's prioritization of familial and communal obligations over individual interests reflects
collectivistic cultural values, which emphasize group harmony, interdependence, and loyalty
to in-groups.
31. The motto “I am my family and my family is me” is representative of what type of
a. Collectivistic
b. Individualistic
c. Low-power-distance
d. High-power-distance
Answer: a
The motto "I am my family and my family is me" reflects a collectivistic culture where
individuals prioritize the welfare of their family and community over personal interests. In
collectivistic cultures, there is a strong emphasis on interdependence, cooperation, and loyalty
to the group.
32. People in a ___________ culture are taught that their primary responsibility is to their
families, their communities, and their employer.
a. low-power-distance
b. collectivistic
c. high-power-distance
d. individualistic
Answer: b

In collectivistic cultures, individuals are taught to prioritize the well-being of their families,
communities, and other group affiliations over personal interests. This reflects a strong sense
of interconnectedness and mutual support within the community.
33. Which term best describes cultures that emphasize the importance of knowing oneself,
being self-sufficient, and being true to what one wants in life?
a. High-context
b. Low-context
c. Individualistic
d. Collectivistic
Answer: c
Cultures that emphasize individualism prioritize personal autonomy, self-expression, and
pursuit of individual goals. Individuals in such cultures are encouraged to discover and assert
their own identities and aspirations.
34. Which term best describes a culture in which people are expected to be direct, to say what
they mean, and to avoid “beating around the bush”?
a. High-context
b. Low-context
c. Monochronic
d. Polychronic
Answer: b
In low-context cultures, communication tends to be explicit and direct. People are expected to
communicate clearly and openly, avoiding ambiguity or indirectness in their speech.

35. Sue has an issue with her best friend. Rather than state the problem directly, Sue talks
indirectly about the issue so her friend won’t be embarrassed. With which type of cultural
affiliation does Sue most likely identify?
a. Collectivistic
b. High-context
c. Polychronic
d. Low-context
Answer: b
Sue's preference for indirect communication to avoid embarrassment suggests she identifies
with a high-context culture, where communication relies on implicit cues, shared
understandings, and subtleties rather than explicit statements.
36. In what type of culture would a supervisor publicly reprimand an employee, directly
stating the employee’s shortcomings in front of others?
a. Collectivistic culture
b. High-context culture
c. High-power-distance culture
d. Low-context culture
Answer: d
Public reprimand and direct criticism in front of others are more characteristic of low-context
cultures, where communication tends to be explicit and confrontational rather than implicit or
37. The belief that all people are created equal and that no one person or group should have
excessive power is characteristic of what type of culture?
a. Low-power-distance
b. Low context

c. High-power-distance
d. High context
Answer: a
The belief in equality and the rejection of excessive power differentials align with the
characteristics of low-power-distance cultures, where there is an emphasis on egalitarianism
and minimizing hierarchical structures.
38. In which instance is Mia most likely functioning in a low-power-distance culture?
a. Mia believes her employer should make all decisions, which she follows without question.
b. Mia faces pressure to choose her mate from within her social class.
c. Mia feels it is her right to question her professor in class if she does not agree.
d. Mia uses direct language with her friends and tells them what she thinks; she does not
“beat around the bush.”
Answer: c
Mia's willingness to question authority figures like her professor suggests she operates within
a low-power-distance culture, where individuals feel empowered to challenge authority and
express dissent without fear of repercussion.
39. Maricel is from the Philippines, where she has been taught that certain people or groups
deserve more power than others and that respecting power is more important than equality.
Maricel is from a ________________ culture.
a. collectivistic
b. high-context
c. high-power-distance
d. low-context
Answer: c

Maricel's description aligns with the characteristics of high-power-distance cultures, where
there is a strong acceptance of hierarchical structures and unequal distribution of power and
40. Because the U.S. tends to value sex-differentiated roles and places value on qualities such
as achievement and the acquisition of resources, the U.S. could be considered a moderately
____________ culture.
a. high-power-distance
b. low-power-distance
c. masculine
d. feminine
Answer: c
The emphasis on achievement, competitiveness, and material success aligns with traits
typically associated with masculine cultures, where assertiveness, ambition, and achievement
are valued. Therefore, the U.S. could be considered a moderately masculine culture.
41. Which of the following statements represents a feminine culture?
a. Ally is the primary wage earner, while her husband stays home to care for the children.
b. Ally stays at home and cares for the children while her husband goes to work.
c. Ally believes that she should be direct and to the point while speaking.
d. Ally values her autonomy and freedom of choice in how she does her job.
Answer: a
Option (a) represents a feminine culture because it challenges traditional gender roles where
the male is typically the primary wage earner and the female takes on nurturing roles. In this
scenario, Ally being the primary wage earner while her husband cares for the children reflects
a culture that values roles traditionally associated with femininity.

42. Anika, a new mother in Sweden, gets 450 days of paid maternity leave, a practice most
common in what type of culture?
a. Collectivistic
b. Individualistic
c. Masculine
d. Feminine
Answer: d
The provision of extensive paid maternity leave, as in Sweden, reflects a feminine culture
where there is a strong emphasis on supporting and valuing the role of motherhood and
caregiving. This policy is characteristic of countries with feminine cultural traits.
43. Which type of culture values sex-specific roles for men and women, preferring that men
hold the wage-earning and decision-making positions while women occupy the nurturing
positions, such as mother and homemaker?
a. Low-power distance
b. High-power-distance
c. Feminine
d. Masculine
Answer: d
Option (d) describes a masculine culture, which traditionally values distinct gender roles with
men in dominant positions in the workforce and decision-making roles, while women are
expected to fulfill nurturing and domestic duties.
44. Which of the following categories is LEAST accurate in describing the United States?
a. Low-power-distance
b. Feminine

c. Individualistic
d. Low-context
Answer: b
The United States is traditionally considered an individualistic culture, valuing independence
and self-reliance. While there are elements of femininity present, such as advocacy for gender
equality, it is not predominantly a feminine culture compared to other aspects like
45. Which of the following statements exemplifies a polychronic culture?
a. Time is a finite commodity.
b. Time must be properly managed.
c. Time is fluid and flexible.
d. Time is valuable.
Answer: c
Option (c) reflects a polychronic culture where time is seen as flexible and less rigidly
structured. In such cultures, activities and interactions may overlap, and punctuality is not as
strict as in monochronic cultures.
46. Sara decides to host a party for her new American friends. She tells them the party will be
at 9 p.m. She is shocked when most of her guests arrive at or near 9 p.m., as in her culture a 9
p.m. start time means that guests will arrive no sooner than 10 p.m., if not later. Sara most
likely comes from which type of culture?
a. Polychronic
b. Monochronic
c. Low-context
d. High-context
Answer: a

Sara's expectation of guests arriving later than the specified time suggests she comes from a
polychronic culture where time is perceived as more fluid and less strictly adhered to than in
monochronic cultures.
47. If you expect class to begin promptly on time, you are most likely from which type of
a. Low-context
b. Polychronic
c. Monochronic
d. High-context
Answer: c
Expecting classes to start promptly indicates a monochronic culture where time is segmented
into precise units, and punctuality is highly valued.
48. If Jamaica takes a “live and let live” approach, preferring as few rules as possible that
restrict behavior, we would consider Jamaica to be what type of culture?
a. High-context
b. Uncertainty-accepting
c. Feminine
d. Low-power-distance
Answer: b
Jamaica's preference for minimal rules and acceptance of uncertainty suggests an uncertaintyaccepting culture where there is a high tolerance for ambiguity and unpredictability.
49. What term is used to describe the extent to which people try to avoid situations that are
unstructured, unclear, or unpredictable?

a. Communication apprehension
b. Power distance
c. Uncertainty avoidance
d. Awareness
Answer: c
Uncertainty avoidance refers to the extent to which cultures try to avoid ambiguous situations
and prefer clear rules and structures to mitigate unpredictability.
50. Amish communities in the U.S. adhere to strict guidelines regarding dress, behavior, and
the use of modern technology. This co-culture has a ____________ tolerance for uncertainty.
a. high
b. low
c. average
d. typical
Answer: b
The adherence to strict guidelines in Amish communities indicates a low tolerance for
uncertainty, as evidenced by the desire for clear rules and structures to minimize ambiguity
and unpredictability.
51. The statement “be mindful about cultural differences” is equivalent to which of the
following statements?
a. Operate on similarity assumptions.
b. Be unaware of cultural differences.
c. Avoid the tendency to judge all differences negatively.
d. Don’t question cultural assumptions.
Answer: c

Being mindful about cultural differences implies recognizing and respecting the diversity of
cultures without automatically assuming that one's own cultural norms are superior. Option c,
"Avoid the tendency to judge all differences negatively," aligns with this idea by emphasizing
the importance of not making negative judgments about cultural differences.
52. Upon his return from vacation in France, Matt tells his friends how rude and backward
French people are. What is Matt illustrating in his response?
a. American values
b. Ethnocentrism
c. A superiority complex
d. Similarity assumptions
Answer: b
Matt's response demonstrates ethnocentrism, which is the tendency to view one's own culture
as superior to others. By labeling French people as rude and backward based on his own
cultural perspective, Matt is exhibiting ethnocentric behavior.
53. Which of the following is an example of ethnocentrism?
a. Nadia thinks Americans are rude and too outspoken.
b. Nadia doesn’t understand why Americans shake hands upon meeting.
c. Nadia enjoys learning new American norms because they are so different from hers.
d. Nadia is homesick and wants to return to her own country.
Answer: a
Option a illustrates ethnocentrism because Nadia is making a negative judgment about
Americans based on her own cultural standards, considering them rude and outspoken.
54. Which of the following terms refers to the tendency to judge other cultures’ practices as
inferior to one’s own?

a. Uncertainty avoidance
b. Ignorance
c. Similarity assumption
d. Ethnocentrism
Answer: d
Ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to evaluate other cultures according to the standards and
values of one's own culture, often leading to the perception that other cultures' practices are
55. Jenny, born and raised in the U.S., is visiting her father’s family in Brazil. She has only a
very basic understanding of the language, since her father speaks English at home. As she is
taking her leave of her cousin, he says, “Lavar a egua,” an expression used in his culture to
wish someone success. Jenny is confused, interpreting her cousin as telling her to “wash the
horse.” Jenny’s confusion demonstrates a breakdown in which communication code?
a. Values
b. Norms
c. Symbols
d. Idioms
Answer: d
Jenny's misinterpretation of her cousin's phrase as a literal instruction to "wash the horse"
highlights a breakdown in understanding idiomatic expressions, which are a form of
communication code.
56. Which of the following is NOT an example of a communication code?
a. Gestures
b. Idioms
c. Metaphors

d. Jargon
Answer: c
Metaphors are a type of communication code, as they convey meaning through symbolic
language. Therefore, they are not excluded from the examples of communication codes
provided in the options.
57. Jane, an American student, tells her Brazilian friend Lucia that it is “raining cats and
dogs.” Lucia is confused when she looks outside to see only rain falling from the sky. This is
an example of a breakdown of which type of communication code?
a. Gestures
b. Language
c. Jargon
d. Idioms
Answer: d
Jane's use of the idiomatic expression "raining cats and dogs" causes confusion for Lucia
because it is an example of an idiom, a form of communication code whose meaning may not
be immediately apparent from the literal words used.
58. Language whose technical meaning is understood by people within a given co-culture but
not necessarily by those outside it is what type of communication code?
a. Jargon
b. Symbols
c. Idioms
d. Norms
Answer: a

Jargon refers to specialized language or terminology that is specific to a particular group or
profession, making it a form of communication code understood by insiders but not
necessarily by outsiders.
59. In 2007, actor Richard Gere sparked massive protests in India after kissing Bollywood
star Shilpa Shetty at a rally in New Delhi. Later, an Indian court even issued an arrest warrant
for Gere. The actor clearly did not understand the significance of
a. communication codes.
b. the media.
c. Bollywood.
d. women.
Answer: a
Richard Gere's action of kissing Shilpa Shetty, which was considered disrespectful in Indian
culture, demonstrates a lack of understanding of communication codes specific to that
60. In December 2008, President George W. Bush was giving a news conference in Iraq when
Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi shouted an insult and threw his shoe at Bush, nearly hitting
the president. Since showing the soles of one’s shoes is a sign of disrespect in many Arab
cultures, al-Zaidi was using which of the following as a code to communicate his insult?
a. Language
b. Symbols
c. Idioms
d. Values
Answer: b
By throwing his shoe at President Bush, Muntadar al-Zaidi was employing a symbolic action
that carries cultural significance in Arab societies, where showing the soles of one's shoes is

considered highly disrespectful. This action represents the use of symbols as a
communication code.
61. In 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama bumped his fist against wife Michelle
Obama’s fist before going onstage to accept the Democratic nomination. The Washington
Post would go on to call it “the fist bump heard ‘round the world.” Many media outlets and
pundits would weigh in on the meaning and appropriateness of this fist bump in the following
days, thus illustrating the _________________ nature of this action.
a. symbolic
b. odd
c. ethnocentric
d. valuable
Answer: a
The fist bump between Barack and Michelle Obama was symbolic because it conveyed a
message beyond the physical action itself. It was interpreted by many as a gesture of
solidarity, intimacy, and modernity, showcasing the symbolic power of cultural gestures.
62. The fact that putting a thumb between the index and middle finger means good luck in
Brazil but is an obscene expression in Russia shows that cultures can differ a great deal in
their use of
a. gestures.
b. idioms.
c. mindfulness.
d. values.
Answer: a

The example provided demonstrates how gestures can carry vastly different meanings across
cultures, emphasizing the importance of understanding cultural differences in nonverbal
63. Which of the following statements is important to remember when interacting with people
from other cultures?
a. Expect consistency.
b. Adapt to the behavior patterns you observe.
c. Be aware of similarities in access to communication technology.
d. It is disadvantageous to adapt to communication behaviors from other cultures.
Answer: b
Adapting to the behavior patterns observed in other cultures is crucial for effective crosscultural communication as it demonstrates respect and understanding for cultural differences.
64. Marissa travels to Israel as part of her study abroad program. Because she knows little
about the culture and language, she feels unsure and not certain of what to do. It is important
for Marissa to remember that such __________________ is common when we travel crossculturally.
a. adaptation
b. ambiguity
c. ethnocentrism
d. tolerance
Answer: b
When encountering unfamiliar cultures, individuals often experience ambiguity as they
navigate unknown social norms, behaviors, and languages, highlighting the challenges of
cross-cultural interactions.

65. Because cultures can differ substantially in communication patterns, it is common to
experience a lack of certainty when communicating with someone from another culture. What
is this experience called?
a. Uncertainty avoidance
b. Disorientation
c. Flexibility
d. Ambiguity
Answer: d
The experience of uncertainty when communicating across cultures is termed ambiguity,
reflecting the difficulty in interpreting messages due to cultural differences in communication
66. Atsuko is from Japan and Mahek is from Pakistan. They meet as exchange students in
Australia. At the end of the semester, they return to their native countries. Atsuko has regular
access to a computer and e-mails Mahek regularly. She grows frustrated as Mahek, instead of
e-mailing back, sends letters via traditional mail, which can take weeks. What term would a
social scientist use to describe what Atsuko and Mahek are experiencing?
a. The digital divide
b. Culture clash
c. Ethnocentrism
d. Values
Answer: a
Atsuko and Mahek are experiencing the digital divide, which refers to differences in access to
communication technology between individuals or groups, leading to disparities in
communication methods and speed.

67. Kyle, an Australian student, uses the Internet regularly to do research for projects. His
Bolivian friend, Diego, instead goes to a local library to use books. Social scientists refer to
this difference in access to communication technology as
a. ethnocentrism.
b. low-power-distance.
c. the digital divide.
d. norms.
Answer: c
The difference in access to communication technology between Kyle and Diego is referred to
as the digital divide, highlighting the disparity in technological resources and their utilization
across different cultures or socioeconomic backgrounds.
68. To _____________ means to change your behavior to accommodate what others are
a. alter
b. overcome
c. be respectful
d. adapt
Answer: d
Adapting involves modifying one's behavior to align with the practices or customs of others,
facilitating smoother interactions and promoting cultural understanding.
69. The musician Madonna, although born and raised in the United States, has been filmed by
media speaking with a British accent since moving to England several years ago. In fact, her
publicist once e-mailed a major newspaper saying that Madonna naturally picks up on the
languages and sounds of people around her. This could be seen as an example of which of the

a. Ethnocentrism
b. Adaptation
c. Values
d. Norms
Answer: b
Madonna's adoption of a British accent after residing in England exemplifies adaptation, as
she has assimilated linguistic features from her environment, demonstrating flexibility in
language and cultural expression.
70. In order to overcome ethnocentrism and adapt to other cultures’ customs, we should
a. remember that “different” doesn’t mean “wrong.”
b. promote our differences.
c. assume others understand our cultural customs.
d. copy others’ behavior even if it causes offense.
Answer: a
Overcoming ethnocentrism involves recognizing and respecting cultural diversity,
acknowledging that differences in customs do not imply superiority or inferiority. This
attitude fosters openness, tolerance, and effective cross-cultural communication.

Test Bank for Communication Matters
Kory Floyd
9780078036866, 9781259707766

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