Title Body Languag e
Accompanying Materials 3 pairs of scissors 3 glue sticks 1 set of blue cue cards Contents may be subject to change depending upon availability. Items of equivalent value may be substituted where necessary. Accompanying Materials
Definition of Body Language Body language refers to: posture – including postural echo, open and closed postures; gestures – body, facial and hand; touch. If you choose to ignore body language then your ability to communicate is severely limited. Body Language
Reds v Blues Fans Photo Looking at the photograph below, which team has just scored – the reds or the blues? What did you base your decision on?
1. Posture Look around your class and observe peoples posture. What do you think it reveals about their frame of mind? If someone is slumped at their desk do they look energised and wide awake or tired and fed up? Do crossed arms and legs indicate a willingness to listen or do they imply defensiveness? Are some people copying the body language of the person theyre talking to? 1. Posture
Different Types of Posture (i) Open (i)Open Posture An open posture has the shoulders back, often with the arms and legs uncrossed – look at the photographs on the next screen. This implies self confidence and being relaxed and comfortable. Different types of posture:
Open Posture Photos
(ii) Closed (ii)Closed Posture A closed posture has the shoulders more stooped with the arms across the body – look at the photographs on the next screen. This is defensive body language and suggests a lack of self-confidence and being nervous. It can also be seen as aggressive.
Closed Posture Photos
(iii) Postural Echo This is when your body language copies (or echoes) the body language of the person talking to you. It implies that you are on the same wavelength as the other person: either because you are happy with each other or because you are unhappy with each other. Sales people often use this tactic to make you feel comfortable.
Postural Echo Photos
Cultural Differences in Posture Consider the following cultural differences in posture: Bowing (not done in the UK; shows rank in Japan). Slouching (rude in most Northern European areas). Hands in pocket (disrespectful in Turkey). Sitting with legs crossed (offensive in Ghana and Turkey). Showing the soles of the feet (offensive in Thailand and Saudi Arabia).
2. Gestures There are three different types of gestures: body gestures; facial gestures; hand gestures. Most people use gestures when speaking. What sort of gestures do you use regularly? Gestures are used all the time to communicate – waving to someone or pointing in a certain direction. 2. Gestures
(i) Body Gestures For example the peacock is a body gesture which involves puffing out the chest (appropriately named after the behaviour of a peacock). This gesture denotes a feeling of being superior. Consider the following body gestures: shrugging the shoulders; putting hands on hips; jumping up and down; squatting.
(ii) Facial Gestures Examples include: nodding the head; shaking the head; rolling the eyes; winking.
(iii) Hand Gestures Hand gestures can be performed either by one or both hands. Start to observe other people when they are speaking and take note of their hand movements – do they shake hands when they first meet? Can you work out when a person is being defensive about what they are saying or when they are enthusiastic about their subject matter? Watching politicians give speeches or answer questions from a news reporter is often a good source of observing hand movements.
What do these hand gestures mean to you?
Using Hands – Pointing Pointing: In the USA and the UK pointing is usually done with the index finger, but in many Asian cultures pointing with the index finger is considered to be rude. In Germany pointing is with the little finger. In Japan the entire hand is used to point. Some gestures are universal (the same in every culture) but many gestures can mean different things in different cultures and countries. Even simple things like using your hands to point and count differ between cultures. For example:
Using Hands – Counting Counting: In the UK and in Germany the thumb signifies number 1. In Japan number 5 is signified by the thumb. In Indonesia the middle finger is used to signify number 1.
Activity 1 – Body Language A is flirting with B. B is annoyed with A. A is scared of B. B is pleased with A. What do you notice about your body language in these different scenarios? Part 1 – Scenarios Get into pairs – A and B – and act out the following scenarios without speaking: Activity 1 – Body Language Part 1
Activity 1 Part 2 Part 2 – Cue Cards Stay in pairs. Use the blue cue cards. A takes a card and acts out the emotion on the cards, without speaking. B has to guess what the emotion is. B takes a different card and acts out the emotion without speaking. A has to guess what the emotion is. Continue to do this until all eight cue cards have been used.
Activity 2 – Examples of Posture Activity 2 - Examples of Posture What do you think the following postures signify? 1.Hands on knees. 2.Hands on hips. 3.Hands locked behind the back. 4.Hands locked behind the head. 5.Sitting with a leg over the arm of the chair. 6.Legs and feet pointed in a particular direction. 7.Arms folded.
Answer Sheet: Answer sheet for Activity 2 1.Hands on knees - indicates readiness. 2.Hands on hips - indicates impatience or anger. 3.Hands locked behind the back - indicates self-control. 4.Hands locked behind the head - indicates confidence. 5.Sitting with a leg over the arm of the chair - indicates indifference. 6.Legs and feet pointed in a particular direction - indicates the direction where more interest is felt. 7.Arms folded – indicates putting up a barrier.
Activity 3 – How well can you read Body Language? Activity 3 - How well can you read Body Language? Look at the photos on the following slides. What impression do you have of the state of mind of the people?
Man with head in hands
Man hitting head
Woman biting fingers
Man scratching head
Boy under slide
Man with hand on chin
Woman with hands on hips
Man with raised finger
Woman exclaiming at computer
Man punching air
Man resting head on hand
Activity 4 - Collage on Body Language Activity 4 – Create a Collage different facial expressions; different types of body language; different types of gestures. For each one you need to describe what they represent and what they mean. Work in small groups and create a collage entitled: This is what your body language says about you. You could take photos of your friends (with their permission), cut up magazines, use the internet or draw the following:
3. Touch The study of touching is referred to as haptics. Touch is probably the most primitive form of social communication. It is widely used by young children and by many animal species. Touch is governed by many social rules in our different societies and it is important to abide by these rules. Touching can be self-focused – for example, twisting hair round a finger. Or it can be other-focused – for example, touching someones shoulder when comforting them. 3. Touch
Experimental Studies with Implications for Society Look at the four research studies on the following slides and consider these questions: How might the results of all of these studies be related to our society? Should certain groups of people pay particular attention to the results? For example, waiters and waitresses, counsellors, sales people. If so, why? Note: When experimenters are carrying out research into non-verbal communication they often have people working with them, known as confederates. The people who are subjects in their experiments dont know until afterwards that these confederates are part of the experiment.
(i) Lynn & Mynier 1993 AQA KEY STUDY Aim: To examine the the effect of waiter / waitress position when taking customers food orders on the size of tip given at the end of the meal. Procedure: Waiters / waitresses either stood to take orders or squatted (regarded as a gesture) at the side of the table. Squatting meant that their face was closer to the customer and therefore eye contact was better. (i) Lynn & Mynier (1993)
Lynn & Mynier 1993 (2) Findings: It was found that those waiting staff who squatted at the table to take food orders received a larger tip than those who stood to take the food order. Conclusion: Squatting to take food orders has a positive effect on tipping. Consider: What would you do if you had a part-time job as a waiter / waitress? Lynn, M. & Mynier, K. Effect of server position on restaurant tipping. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1993, 23(8),
(ii) Fisher, Rytting & Heslin 1976 AQA KEY STUDY Aim: To examine the effect of touch on the attitude of female student library users. Procedure: Library users were split into two groups: 1.Those who received a brief accidental touch in a non- intimate context by a library assistant (confederate) returning their library card to them. 2.Those who did not receive an accidental touch when their card was returned. (ii) Fisher, Rytting & Heslin (1976)
Fisher, Rytting & Heslin 1976 (2) Findings: The first group, when asked by researchers, rated the library as significantly more favourable than those in the second group. Curiously, none of the students were aware of having been touched! Conclusion: Touch can have a positive, but unconscious, effect on peoples attitudes. Consider: Would the results have been the same with all male students? Fisher, J.D., Rytting, M. & Heslin, R. Hands touching hands: affective and evaluative effects of an interpersonal touch. Sociometry, 1976, 39,
(iii) McGinley, Lefevre & McGinley 1975 AQA KEY STUDY Aim: To examine the effects of open and closed posture during conversations. Procedure: In an appropriate social situation individuals were approached by a confederate who began to talk to them. The confederate either adopted an open posture or a closed posture during the conversation. Individuals were asked afterwards for their views on the confederate. (iii) McGinley, Lefevre & McGinley (1975)
McGinley, Lefevre & McGinley 1975 (2) Findings: Individuals said that when the confederate showed an open posture they appeared more friendly and more attractive. When the confederate showed a closed posture they appeared less friendly and less attractive. Conclusion: Posture can determine how friendly or attractive a person appears to other people. Consider: How could this be useful in an interview situation? McGinley, H., LaFevre, R. & McGinley, A. (1975) The influence of communicator's body position on opinion change in others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 31 (4),
(iv) McGinley 1975 AQA KEY STUDY Aim: To examine the effects of postural echo during conversations. Procedure: In an appropriate social situation individuals were approached by a confederate who began to talk to them. The confederate either echoed the posture of the person being spoken to or did not echo their posture. Individuals were asked afterwards for their views on the confederate. (iv) McGinley 1975
McGinley 1975 (2) Findings: Individuals felt more comfortable when the confederate used postural echo and reported that they had got on well together. Individuals felt less comfortable when postural echo had not been used and reported that their conversation seemed more awkward. Conclusion: Using postural echo gives an impression of being more friendly. Consider: How might sales people use this research?