chapter  13
22 Pages

Learning-Disabled Students' Perceptions of Social Events

In 1896, Charles Darwin's The Expression o/the Emotions in Man and Animals was published. Since that time, there has been a great deal of interest in the various modes used by humans to communicate social messages to others. In 1927, Sapir commented on the importance of such messages when he wrote: "we respond to gestures with an extreme alertness and, one might also say, in accordance with an elaborate and secret code that is written nowhere, known by none, and understood by all" (p. 37). Statements such as the preceding have prompted scholars from such diverse disciplines as anthropology, psychology, sociology, speech and language pathology, and education to initiate scientific endeavors to "uncover" the elaborate code by which humans communicate with one another. Most recently, this interest has focused upon individuals' ability to correctly perceive and interpret social messages. For the most part, reports of these investigations are found in the social perception literature.