General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

Does nodding your head up and down universally mean "yes"?

Asked by AstroChuck (37373points) August 23rd, 2008 from iPhone

Same question applies to shaking your head side to side to indicate “no”. Are there cultures out there where these gestures mean something different or nothing at all? It’s hard to believe that with so many diverse cultures we would all evolve to use the same head movements for yes and no.

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10 Answers

wildflower's avatar

“In many cultures, it is most commonly, but not universally, used to indicate agreement, acceptance, or acknowledgment.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nod_(gesture)

Randy's avatar

(shakes head up and down)

Mr_M's avatar

I believe on Neptune it means something else.

Magnus's avatar

Yes, though in India they nod their head from side to side instead.

AstroChuck's avatar

It must be “tribal” Indians or something. I work eithmany Indians and Pakistani and none do that.

jlm11f's avatar

Indians do the up and down thing too. I am not sure what Indians Magnus is talking about…

AstroChuck's avatar

eithmany=with many

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I’m pretty sure it is nearly universal, especially if you include the facial features. There are six basic facial features that all humans, regardless of culture, or even age, recognize. They are happiness, surprise, disgust, fear, anger, and sadness.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hm…I’m thinking that the side-to-side of shaking one’s head is more like a motion of shoving something away, and nodding is more like pulling something in and my husband wants to know why the hell I’m sitting here, all by myself, nodding and shaking my head!! Heh! Anyway, so a nod might be a universal kind of yes. But that’s just a theory.

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