Transcultural Patterns of Ritualized Contact Behavior

  • Irenaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt


Man communicates with his fellow man, with speech but also with a number of expression-movements. Whether these signals belong to an innate repertoire of motor patterns which are not learned is a point of controversy. Gehlen is of the opinion that, except perhaps for a few reflexes of the newborn, there are no innate behavior patterns in man [14]. A similar view was expressed by Montagu [21], while Birdwhistell specifically emphasized that there are no inherited facial expressions and gestures in man, and that therefore differences are found transculturally [4,5]. Birdwhistell is very firm about this point, although in his publications concerning cross-cultural evidence he only makes statements.


Facial Expression Motor Pattern Deprivation Experiment Song Development Lens Point 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1971

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  • Irenaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt

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