Perhaps the most surprising theory to come out of kinesics, the study of body movement, was suggested by Professor Ray Birdwhistell. He believes that physical appearance is often culturally programmed.

In other words, we learn our looks – we are not bom with  them.

A baby has generally unformed facial features, i.e. eyes, mouth, nose and chin. A baby, according to Birdwhistell, learns where to set his features by looking at those around – family and friends. This helps explain why the people of some regions of the United States look so much alike.

New Englanders or Southerners have common facial  characteristics that cannot be explained by genetics. The exact shape of the mouth is not determined at birth, it is learned later.

In fact, the final shape of the mouth is not formed until permanent teeth are set.

Non verbal communication - Body Language

A husband and wife together for a long time often come to look quite alike. We learn our looks from those around us. This is perhaps why in  a single country there are areas where people smile more than those in other areas.

In the United States, for example, the Southerners smile frequently. In New England they smile less and in the western part of New York State even less. People on Madison Avenue, New York, smile less than those on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia.

Therefore, many Southerners find cities such as New York cold and unfriendly.

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A. What do the following refer to?
1. ‘them’ (line 5):
2. ‘if (line 11):
3. ‘those’ (line 14): ..
4. ‘This’ (line 14):
B. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).
1. Genetics explains why people have common facial characteristics.
2. It takes a long time for facial features to take their final shape.
3. Men and women who have similar facial features usually get married.
4. According to Birdwhistell, a child whose parents are bad-tempered will become a bad-tempered person himself.

1. What is Professor 8irdwhistelPs theory in kinesics?
2. Why do Southerners consider cities like New York cold and unfriendly?

D. Which of the following best expresses the main idea of the passage?

a) Birdwhistell can tell what region of the United States a person is from by how much he or she smiles.

b) Birdwhistell is a leader in the field of kinesics.

c) Birdwhistell says that our physical appearance is affected by the appearance of people around us.

d) People who live in the country are friendlier than people who live in heavily populated areas.

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