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Nonverbal Communication

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Presentation on theme: "Nonverbal Communication"— Presentation transcript:

1 Nonverbal Communication
“The World Beyond Words” Language is very powerful and important, but we actually get most of our info from nonverbals

2 What is Nonverbal Communication?
“Messages expressed by nonlinguistic means.” Includes silent behaviors, environment, artifacts, and vocal intonation Is a powerful mode of communication Counseling sessions in Spanish Let’s do an experiment in nonverbal cmmu to start us off… Emotions charades. Chocolate! Guess emotions portrayed.

3 Characteristics/Principles of Nonverbal Communication

4 All Behavior has Communicative Value
Because we “cannot not communicate” May be intentional, but is often unconscious Although we’re always sending messages through our nonverbals, these messages aren’t always received. We especially pay attention to nonverbals when they contradict verbal communication. Can’t turn off our communication Don’t tend to think about what we’re transmitting Don’t tend to consciously attend to people’s nonverbals We really pay attention when they don’t match verbals (e.g., “What’s wrong?”, “Nothing” but they have clenched fists, are avoiding eye contact, and have tight jaw).

5 Nonverbal Communication is Primarily Relational
Responsiveness Communicates our interest in others’ communication Women are generally more responsive than men People in lower-power positions tend to be better at reading nonverbals Liking – Positive or negative feelings about others Power Touch Violence and Abuse Space Silence Dimensions of relational level of nonverbal cmmu Responsiveness People w/ lower power in our society tend to be more attuned to nonverbals (e.g., women, minorities, even prisoners – might notice this w/ teacher/student or boss/employee interactions)

6 (A little more about the relational nature of nonverbals)
Nonverbals are especially important: For identity management In defining our relationships (e.g., level of intimacy) For expressing emotions we don’t want to express, can’t express, or don’t know we’re feeling Smiling and nodding, having attentive behaviors, sitting up straight and making eye contact during an interview (I am attentive, friendly, confident, etc.) Do you hug your friends or pat them on the back? Are there some you hug or don’t hug (pat on the back or don’t pat on the back)? Demonstration? A tell B about your weekend

7 Nonverbal Communication is Ambiguous
The same nonverbal can have multiple meanings For example: “I’m feeling content” smiles “I’m feeling a little stressed” smiles “I’m a bit sad” smiles “I can’t believe you just did that” smiles “How do I get out of this conversation?” smiles

8 Nonverbal Communication Reflects Cultural Values
Some Examples… Space Americans tend to value more personal space than many other cultures Men tend to value more personal space than women Touch (Knapp, 1972) Americans – 2 touches per hour British – 0 touches per hour Parisians – 110 touches per hour Puerto Ricans – 180 touches per hour Eye-Contact In North-America: frankness, assertiveness, honesty In many Asian and northern-European countries: abrasive & disrespectful In Brazil: more intense eye-contact is the norm Another reason nonverbals are ambiguous is that different cultures have different rules about nonverbals


10 Nonverbal Communication – (Continued)
Tuesday: What nonverbal cmmu is – messages expressed by nonlinguistic means And some characteristics of nonverbal cmmu Today: Functions of nonverbal cmmu, different types, and some suggestions for improving our nonverbal cmmu

11 The Interplay Between Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
Repeating Your nonverbals simply repeat what you’ve said Substituting Your nonverbals replace language Emblems (e.g., nodding) Complementing & Accenting Your nonverbals add depth and meaning to your language Illustrators/Affect displays Regulating Your nonverbals help regulate the conversation Contradicting You say one thing, but your nonverbals say another E.g., I’m looking for a box that’s about 2’ x 2’ x 2’ “How did you do on your test?” A little smirk, or a sigh Usually unconscious – smiling, frowning, raising your eyebrows, etc. Vocal intonation, eye-contact – look when we’re listening, but not much when we’re talking Contradicting = mixed messages; “I’m not worried” while being wide-eyed and wringing your hands; “Of course I love you” while checking out other people; “What’s wrong?” “Nothing.” Or can do it to be polite, nonverbally say you’re not interested.

12 Deception Nonverbals are under less conscious control, so deception is more likely to be revealed through our nonverbals. High self-monitors and people who have lots of practice in deception are most successful at it. Women tend to be better at detecting deception. “Deceivers” tend to make more speech errors, to hesitate, to have higher vocal pitch, to fidget, blink their eyes more, and shift their posture more. Deceive others to attain our own goals, to be polite, other various reasons

13 Different Types of Nonverbal Communication

14 Face and Eyes What’s might be going on in these 2 pictures? Can you tell what emotions the woman is experiencing? What tells you that?

15 Face and Eyes Over 1000 distinct facial expressions
Eyes can be especially expressive “Windows to the soul” Men and women have been found to be equally expressive Men show the most emotion in the lower left quadrant of their face Women show emotion over their whole face Eyes can really communicate interest One study w/ infants found that infants became terrified if they couldn’t see their moms’ eyes, but weren’t bothered if other parts of her face were covered up UF study from about a year ago (also language functions in left hemisphere vs. all over) Our faces tell * a lot* Gottman research: Found a specific facial expression for contempt (lip corners to the side, eyes rolled upward glance) A certain # of these expressions by husbands on a videotape predicted their wives’ infectious illnesses over the next 4 years

16 Body Movement/Kinesics
Body posture Gestures Manipulators/Fidgeting An aside… What are you doing right now? What does your posture suggest? Are you fidgeting? Hunched over or upright, arms crossed or open Raising your hand in class, waving, shrugging, etc. Twirling your hair, rubbing your shoulder An aside… Research on assault Many criminals are good at reading nonverbals Chose victims whose body movement suggested passivity Suggestion: walk confidently, hold your head upright, meet others’ eyes w/o staring, don’t appear unsure or lost, especially if you are.

17 Touch Touching is considered essential and therapeutic
Touching can influence liking and compliance Is used to show intimacy or power/control People with high status touch others/invade others’ spaces more than people with lower status

18 Voice/Paralanguage Consists of vocal tone, speed, pitch, volume, number and length of pauses, and disfluencies (“um”s, “ah”s), etc. Paralanguage tends to be more powerful than language Affects how other’s perceive us Stereotyping (e.g., accents, vocabulary, grammar Influenced by culture, gender, class (intentionally or unintentionally) An illustration…

19 Try saying “You love me” to convey the following meanings:
You really do? I hadn’t realized that. That ploy won’t work. I told you we’re through. You couldn’t possibly love me after what you did! Me? I’m the one you love? You? I didn’t think you loved anyone.

20 Silence Can communicate contentment, awkwardness, anger, respect, thoughtfulness, empathy Can also be disconfirming A lot of good can come out of silence (e.g., with counseling) “The silent treatment” as if you’re not there – can be very hurtful

21 Space/Proxemics Personal Space Intimate distance Personal distance
Social distance Public distance Barrier behaviors and territory You are here Personal space bubble Intimate (body to 18”) In our personal space, only those who are really close to us – trust Personal (18”-4’) implies intimacy Social (4’-12’) acquaintances, business Public (12’ and beyond) public speaking Barrier behaviors = backing up, putting something between us, breaking eye contact Territory = geographical space belonging to us (your room, your bed, your apartment, etc.) We give more personal space and more territory to people with higher status/more power

22 Time/Chronemics Our use of time reflects: Power/status Cultural norms
Expectations Interpersonal priorities

23 Physical Appearance “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
We tend to notice obvious things first (gender, race), then note attractiveness Physically attractive people generally are perceived better Importance placed on physical appearance can be very damaging It’s what we do with it that’s most important

24 Artifacts Include clothing, jewelry, personal belongings, accessories, etc. Communicate economic level, educational level, trustworthiness, social position, level of sophistication, economic background, social background, educational background, level of success, moral character, masculinity/femininity Important part of first impressions Women’s clothes tend to send the message of being decorative, while men’s clothes tend to be more functional

25 Environment Communicates something about you
We surround ourselves with things that are important/meaningful to us Use artifacts to define our territory Can influence interactions How people use an environment communicates something about them My office How chairs are placed, how cold/warm it is, how dark/light it is Do you sit down right next to people, avoid others, 2 at a table for 4 (sit next to or across from each other?)

26 Some Guidelines for Improving Nonverbal Communication

27 Monitor Your Nonverbal Communication
Be Tentative When Interpreting Others’ Nonverbal Communication Nonverbals are personal and ambiguous Personal Qualifications: Take responsibility for your interpretations Use “I” language to check your perceptions of nonverbals Contextual Qualifications: Be aware of how the context might be influencing others’ nonverbals Be aware of how different cultural norms might influence others’ nonverbals Be careful not to jump to conclusions based on your own cultural norms * Not so much faking nonverbals, but being aware of them. What are your nonverbals telling you? (If your arms are crossed, how come? If you find yourself frowning, are you feeling sad?) And are your nonverbals conveying how you really feel? (E.g., not looking at a significant other when they’re talking, but you really do care about them)

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