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Facial Expressions and Politeness Effect in Foreign Language Training System

Ning Wang, W. Lewis Johnson, Jonathan Gratch

Previous studies on the Politeness Effect show that using politeness strategies in tutorial feedback can have a positive impact on learning (McLaren et al. 2010; Wang and Johnson 2008; Wang et al. 2005). While prior research efforts tried to uncover the mechanism through which the politeness strategies impact the learner, the results were inconclusive. Further, it is unclear how the politeness strategies should adapt over time. In this paper, we analyze the video tapes of participants’ facial expression while interacting with a polite or direct tutor in a foreign language training system. The Facial Action Coding System was then used to analyze the facial expressions. Results show that as social distance decreases over time, polite feedback is received less favorably while the preference for direct feedback increases.

The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-13388-6_21.