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Such is the case whenever one characterizes any given ethnic group in a categorical manner, failing to recognize substantial differences among its individual members.This stereotypical perception is accompanied by a tendency to accentuate differences and ignore similarities between oneself and the members of the outgroup and to judge the perceived differences unfavorably.Nonverbally, dissociative communication occurs through covert and subtle facial, vocal, and bodily expressions that convey lack of interest, disrespect, arrogance, and anger.

Among such behaviors are attentive and friendly facial expressions and complementary or mirroring body movements, as well as personalized (rather than impersonal) speech patterns that focus on the other person as a unique individual.Conversely, dissociative behaviors tend to contribute to misunderstanding, competition, and divergence (or the coming-apart) of the relationship between the participants in the communication process.Psychologists have tried to identify factors within individuals and the immediate social situations that help explain ingroup communication behaviors (i.e., between people of the same background) and outgroup communication behaviors (i.e., between people from different backgrounds).Sociologists have examined interethnic relations mainly from the perspective of society, focusing on macro-structural factors such as social stratification and resource distribution.Social identity theory, originally proposed by Henri Tajfel (1974), provides a systematic account of the significant role that membership in an ethnic group plays in shaping an individual's self-image and how that person behaves in relation to members of ingroups and outgroups. Milton Yinger (1986), see ethnic identity as a primordial "basic identity" that is embedded in the deep core of personhood.

For others, such as George de Vos (1990), ethnic identity provides "a sense of common origin—as well as common beliefs and values, or common values" and serves as the basis of "self-defining in-groups" (p. Interethnic communication occurs whenever at least one involved person takes an ingroup-out-group psychological orientation.

Such features associated with an ethnic group are commonly referred to as ethnic markers that connote a common tradition linking its members to a common future.

In contrast, psychological studies have defined ethnicity primarily in terms of ethnic identity, that is, an individual's psychological identification with, or attachment to, an ethnic group.

An often-investigated psychological attribute is the communicator's cognitive complexity, or the mental capacity to process incoming information in a differentiated and integrated manner.

As explained by George Kelly (1955) and by James Applegate and Howard Sypher (1988), individuals of high cognitive complexity tend to use more refined understanding of incoming messages and to display more personalized messages. Young Yun Kim gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Anthropologists have provided case studies of interethnic relations in specific societies, while sociolinguists and communication scholars have focused on the processes and outcomes of face-to-face interethnic encounters.