Nonverbal Communication & Rapport in Online Intercultural Conversations. The impact of nonverbal communication on the creation of rapport in computer-mediated intercultural encounters.
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This thesis analyzes how nonverbal communication supports the creation of interpersonal relationships in intercultural computer-mediated conversations (CMC). For this purpose, six conversations of each two participants with different cultural background were observed, with a focus on their nonverbal behavior in relation to rapport and communicative strategies. Subsequently, the participants were interviewed following the Interpersonal Process Recall (IPR) method, to gain insights into their individual perceptions of the conversations, the observed nonverbal elements (NVEs) and the creation of rapport between the interlocutors. The analysis showed that NVEs were regularly used to support communicative strategies, as well as moments of trust and intimacy, thus supporting the creation of interpersonal relationships. While the relevancy of nonverbal behavior on the creation of rapport could be observed overall and situation-specifically, due to the significant impact of context, multifunctionality, and individual behavior, generalizations concerning single NVEs could not be established.