Nonverbal Communication Chapter 6

Nonverbal Communication
Chapter 6
Nonverbal Communication
 Nonverbal Communication: those
behaviors and characteristics that convey
meaning without the use of words
Nonverbal Communication
 Often accompanies verbal comm.
 Can clarify or reinforce verbal
 However, nonverbal can convey meanings on
its own
Characteristics of Nonverbal
 Present in interpersonal
 -Use emoticons if necessary
 Often conveys more
information than verbal
 65-70% of meaning from NV
 Uses multiple channels
 Usually believed over verbal
 If messages conflict, we believe NV
 Hillary Clinton clip
Characteristics of NV Comm.
 Primary means of communicating emotion
 Esp. vocalics and facial expressions
 Ekman: happiness, fear, disgust, anger, sadness,
 Meta-communicative
 NV used to communicate about our communication
 Used to indicate how someone should interpret our
 Smile and wink to indicate sarcasm
 Raise eyebrows or furrow brow to indicate
Functions of Nonverbal
 Managing Conversations
 Regulates verbal communication
 Inviting conversations
 Managing conversations
 Turn-taking behavior
 Ending conversations
 Break eye contact
 Left-positioning—move body in direction we want
to go
Functions of Nonverbal
 Expressing Emotions
 Facial expressions
 “Ready revealers” wear emotions on face
 Vocal expressions
 Maintaining Relationships
 Attraction and Affiliation
 Immediacy behaviors—NV behaviors that send
messages of attraction or affiliation (flirting)
 Established relationships—hug, kiss, change in
vocalics, etc.
Functions of NV Comm.
 Maintaining Relationships
 Power and Dominance
 Power—potential to affect another person’s
 Dominance—actual exercise of that potential
 Artifacts—used as status symbols
 “The look”
Functions of NV Comm.
 Arousal and Relaxation
 Arousal—increase in energy
 Could be anxiety (negative) or excitement (positive)
 Relaxation—situation of decreased energy
 Could be contentment (positive) or depression
Functions of NV Comm.
 Forming impressions
 “People watching”
 Demographic impression
 Age, ethnicity, sex, voice
 Sociocultural impressions
 Socio-economic status, cultural, and co-cultural
 Personal appearance
Functions of NV Comm.
 Influencing others
 Creating credibility
 Project a credible image through dress, vocalics, etc.
 Promoting affiliation
 More persuaded by people we like
 Touch is very powerful
 Interactional synchrony—convergence of two
people’s behaviors—”mirroring”
 Concealing information
 Deception
 Facial expressions, mouth, eye contact, vocalics
Channels of Nonverbal
 We experience nonverbal
communication in many
different forms—known
as channels
 Also known as facial expressions
 Principle of Facial Primacy—face communicates
more information than any other channel of NV
 Identity—how we know who someone is
Facial Displays
 Attractiveness
 Consistency in what people find attractive across
 Symmetry—between left and right sides of face
 Proportionality—relative size of one’s facial
 Emotion
 Facial expression is main channel of NV behavior
 Women tend to decode/read facial cues better
 Nonmanual signals—facial expressions in sign
Eye Contact
 Oculesics—study of eye behavior
 Signals attraction, credibility, intimidation
 Pupil size—can change based on arousal
levels, not just light levels
Movement and Gestures
 Kinesics—movement
 Gesticulation—arm and hand movements
 Emblems—direct translation
 Hello, good-bye
 Illustrators—complement verbal
 “this big,” “about this tall”
Movement and Gestures
 Affect displays—communicate emotion
 Cover mouth when surprised, coincide with
 Regulators—control flow of comm.
 Raise hand in class, reduce eye contact
 Adaptors—satisfy a personal need
 Self-adaptors—scratch, fidget
 Other-adaptors—touch another
Caregiving touch
Power and Control
Aggressive Touh
Ritualistic Touch
 Greetings
 Athletic Events
 Vocalics—characteristics of your voice
 Paralanguage—”beside language”—goes
along with words we speak
 Pitch, inflection, volume, rate, fillers,
pronunciation, articulation, accent, silence
 Sense of smell
 Considered the sense that is most
likely to trigger memory
 Olfactic association
 Memories we connect with specific smells
 Sexual attraction
 Plays a major role in whom we feel attracted
 Find people more sexually attractive if their
scent is dissimilar to ours—healthier babies
 Study of personal space
 Edward T. Hall, Anthropologist
 Focuses on Western culture
Intimate Distance”-18”
Personal Distance 18”-4’
Social Distance 4’-12’
Public Distance 12’-25’ or greater
 Exception—people with disabilities
Physical Appearance
 Halo effect
 Attribute positive qualities to physically attractive
 What are the costs of a culture that puts so
much emphasis on physical attractiveness?
 Chronemics—the way people use time
 Sends messages about power
 Very culturally bound
 Not in book but of interest—Edward Hall
 Molychronic Time (M-Time)
 Time is seen as being a limited resource which is constantly
being used up. This perspective is oriented to the future.
 Polychronic Time (P-Time)
 Views time in a more "circular" fashion, as the turning of the
seasons, and time is seen as renewing itself each year.
Promptness is not considered important. This perspective is
oriented to the past and/or present.
 Physical environment we inhabit
 Objects and visual features within an
environment that reflect who we are and
what we like
 How we adorn ourselves can also be
considered part of artifacts (hair, piercing,
tattoos, dress style, etc.)
 Emblems
 Affect displays
 Greeting behavior
 Time orientations
 Personal distance
 Eye contact
 Facial displays of
 Touch
 Vocalics
 Emotional expressiveness
 Women more expressive: joy, affection, sadness, depression
 Men more expressive: anger (some studies disagree)
 Eye contact
 Women have increased eye contact in US and Japan
 Female pairs use more gaze when speaking, listening, and silence
 Male-female pairs similar to female-female findings
 Personal space
 Women approached more closely, allow more space violations,
stand/sit closer to others
 Men more likely to violate women’s space than women are to violate
men’s space
Sex Influences on NV
 Vocalics
 Men use more fillers and pauses than women
 Touch
 Men more likely to touch women than women
touching men (unless it’s a greeting)
 Same-sex pairs, women touch more than men (but
difference is reduced in close friendships)
 Appearance
 Women and men adorn differently
 Western culture—women use make-up more than
 Hair and clothing styles generally different
Improving your Nonverbal Skills
 Learn to adapt to others’ styles
 Interpreting skills
 Be sensitive to nonverbals
 Decipher the meaning of nonverbals
 Expressing skills
 Learn from others
 Practice being expressive

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