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Nonverbal Communication “The World Beyond Words”.

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Presentation on theme: "Nonverbal Communication “The World Beyond Words”."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nonverbal Communication “The World Beyond Words”

2 What is Nonverbal Communication? “Messages expressed by nonlinguistic means.” –Includes silent behaviors, environment, artifacts, and vocal intonation –Is a powerful mode of communication

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.

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

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

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

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10 Nonverbal Communication – (Continued)

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

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.

13 Different Types of Nonverbal Communication

14 Face and Eyes

15 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

16 Body Movement/Kinesics Body posture Gestures Manipulators/Fidgeting An aside…

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: 1)You really do? I hadn’t realized that. 2)That ploy won’t work. I told you we’re through. 3)You couldn’t possibly love me after what you did! 4)Me? I’m the one you love? 5)You? I didn’t think you loved anyone.

20 Silence Can communicate contentment, awkwardness, anger, respect, thoughtfulness, empathy Can also be disconfirming

21 Space/Proxemics Personal Space Intimate distance Personal distance Social distance Public distance Barrier behaviors and territory You are here

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

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

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


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