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Vocabulary – TED talk by Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
Task A Task B Task C Task D Rating Form
A. Pre-viewing

Before watching a video about how people’s body positions influence both others and their own brain, familiarize yourself with the following entries:

  1. prejudice - an unfair and unreasonable opinion or feeling, especially when formed without enough thought or knowledge
  2. nonverbal - not using spoken language
  3. dominance - more important, strong, or noticeable than anything else of the same type
  4. primate - a member of the most developed and intelligent group of mammals, including humans, monkeys, and apes
  5. chronic – (especially of a disease or something bad) continuing for a long time
  6. congenitally - describes a disease or condition that exists at or from birth
  7. heckle - to interrupt a public speech or performance with loud unfriendly statements or questions
  8. quicksand - deep wet sand that sucks in anyone trying to walk across it
  9. cortisol – is a steroid hormone; It is released in response to stress
  10. "high-power" poses - expansive and open postures, for example, standing with hands on hips and feet spread
  11. “low-power” poses - contractive and closed postures, for example, wrapping arms around torso, crossing ankles, lowering chin
  12. competence - the ability to do something well
  13. mediate - to talk to two separate people or groups involved in a disagreement to try to help them to agree or find a solution to their problems
  14. fraud - the crime of getting money by deceiving people
  15. impostor – a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others
B. Comprehension

Watch the video and answer the following questions about the people in the video

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Video ©TED.com
  1. The speaker is a …
    1. physiologist.
    2. sociologist.
    3. social philologist.
    4. social psychologist.
  2. I study prejudice, and I teach at a competitive business school, so it was inevitable that I would become interested in power dynamics.” ‘inevitable’ describes something which is…
    1. unexpected.
    2. necessary.
    3. certain to happen
    4. difficult to get rid of
  3. According to the speaker, what do we do when we feel powerless?
    arms up
    close up
    lift our chin
    pretend we can’t see anyone
    wrap ourselves up
    make ourselves small

  4. “What we tend to do when it comes to power is that we complement the others’ non-verbals. So if someone is being really powerful with us, we tend to make ourselves smaller.”
    To ‘complement’ means…
    1. to show praise or admiration for something
    2. to complete or enhance by providing something additional
    3. to make something seem larger, better, worse, etc than it really is
  5. “…if someone is being really powerful with us, we tend to make ourselves smaller. We don't mirror them. We do the opposite of them.”
    What does ‘to mirror’ mean in the above context?
    1. to look up to
    2. to deal with
    3. to be similar to
  6. “You are, you know, you're looking at your notes, you're hunching up, making yourself small.”
    To ‘hunch’ means…
    1. to show praise or admiration for something
    2. to complete or enhance by providing something additional
    3. to make something seem larger, better, worse, etc than it really is
C. Using vocabulary

Complete the following sentences using the words in the box. Use the correct grammatical form of the words

  • prejudice
  • dominance
  • chronically
  • congenitally
  • heckle
  • competence
  • mediate
  • inevitable
  • complement
  1. He claims that prejudice against homosexuals would cease overnight if all the gay stars in the country were honest about their sexuality.
  2. The music complements her angelic voice perfectly, creating a breath-taking love song of all time.
  3. The accident was the inevitable consequence of carelessness.
  4. Music Company, Sony, profited from the dominance of CDs during the 80s when superstars like Michael Jackson sold millions of CDs each year.
  5. Richards exploded when the two black audience members apparently began to heckle him.
  6. School students are chronically sleep deprived. They are always sleepy during the morning classes.
  7. Poor Alison is congenitally deaf so she is unable to appreciate the beauty of music.
  8. Her competence as a teacher is unquestionable because she is experienced and well-learnt.
  9. The two government representatives have succeeded in mediating an end to the war.
D. Verb-noun collocation
  1. A collocation is a group of words or terms that occur together more frequently than synonyms of the same words. In the left column below are some collocations consisting of a verb plus a body part, match them with the attitudes and emotions they express, consult a dictionary if you are not sure about the meaning of the verbs:

  1. Please complete the following sentences by selecting the appropriate options which fit their contexts.
  1. Peter was irritated by the idea that he simply curled/ shrug/ rolled his eyes to show dissatisfaction.
  2. Mr. Johnson was furious when he saw his expensive watch was broken. He stamped his feet/ head/ fists off in frustration.
  3. He scrunched up his eyes/ face/ fists when he heard his enemy won the competition.
  4. It's not enough for us to stand by and stamp/ wring/ clench our hands - we've got to take action.
  5. Don't you roll/ curl/ wring your lip at me, young Miss! I know you are frustrated and angry but so am I!
  6. She lift/ bang/ hang her head the moment the judge ordered to send her to jail. She finally felt shameful about her act.
  7. Alice crunched/ clenched/ clutched her fists and get ready for a fight.
  8. “Where’s Amy?”- “I don’t know,” Sharon shrugged her shoulders/ lips/ face .
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