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Nonverbal communication NVC between people is communication through sending and receiving wordless clues. Just as speech contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality , rate, pitch, volume , and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm , intonation , and stress , so written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the physical layout of a page.
However, much of the study of nonverbal communication has focused on interaction between individuals,  where it can be classified into three principal areas: Nonverbal communication involves the conscious and unconscious processes of encoding and decoding. Encoding is the act of generating information such as facial expressions, gestures, and postures.
Encoding information utilizes signals which we may think to be universal. Decoding is the interpretation of information from received sensations given by the encoder. Decoding information utilizes knowledge one may have of certain received sensations. For example, refer to the picture provided above. The encode holds up two fingers and the decoder may know from previous experience that this means two. Only a small percentage of the brain processes verbal communication.
As infants, nonverbal communication is learned from social-emotional communication, making the face rather than voice the dominant communication channel. As children become verbal communicators, they begin to look at facial expressions, vocal tones, and other nonverbal elements more subconsciously.
Culture plays an important role in nonverbal communication, and it is one aspect that helps to influence how learning activities are organized. In many Indigenous American Communities, for example, there is often an emphasis on nonverbal communication, which acts as a valued means by which children learn.
In this sense, learning is not dependent on verbal communication; rather, it is nonverbal communication which serves as a primary means of not only organizing interpersonal interactions, but also conveying cultural values, and children learn how to participate in this system from a young age. Nonverbal communication represents two-thirds of all communications. Body signals comprise physical features , conscious and unconscious gestures and signals, and the mediation of personal space.
Nonverbal communication strengthens a first impression in common situations like attracting a partner or in a business interview: Children in these communities learn through observing and pitching in through which nonverbal communication is a key aspect of observation.
Scientific research on nonverbal communication and behavior was started in with the publication of Charles Darwin's book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. He posed questions such as: In response to the question asking why facial expressions persist even when they no longer serve their original purposes, Darwin's predecessors have developed a highly valued explanation.
According to Darwin, humans continue to make facial expressions because they have acquired communicative value throughout evolutionary history. Although The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals was not one of Darwin's most successful books in terms of its quality and overall impact in the field, his initial ideas started the abundance of research on the types, effects, and expressions of nonverbal communication and behavior.
Despite the introduction of nonverbal communication in the s, the emergence of behaviorism in the s paused further research on nonverbal communication.
Skinner trained pigeons to engage in various behaviors to demonstrate how animals engage in behaviors with rewards. While most psychology researchers were exploring behaviorism, the study of nonverbal communication began in by Adam Kendon , Albert Scheflen, and Ray Birdwhistell. They analyzed a film using an analytic method called context analysis. This method was later used in studying the sequence and structure of human greetings, social behaviors at parties, and the function of posture during interpersonal interaction.
He estimated that humans can make and recognize around , facial expressions. Research on nonverbal communication rocketed during the mid s by a number of psychologists and researchers. Argyle and Dean , for example, studied the relationship between eye contact and conversational distance.
Exline examined patterns of looking while speaking and looking while listening. Robert Sommer studied the relationship between personal space and the environment. By the s, a number of scholarly volumes in psychology summarized the growing body of research, such as Shirley Weitz's Nonverbal Communication and Marianne LaFrance and Clara Mayo 's Moving Bodies.
The pioneer F-M Facial Action Coding System 2. It takes just one-tenth of a second for someone to judge and make their first impression. The way a person portrays themselves on the first encounter is non-verbal statement to the observer.
Negative impressions can also be based on presentation and also on personal prejudice. First impressions, although sometimes misleading, can in many situations be an accurate depiction of others. There are many different types of body positioning to portray certain postures, including slouching, towering, legs spread, jaw thrust, shoulders forward, and arm crossing. The posture or bodily stance exhibited by individuals communicates a variety of messages whether good or bad.
Posture can be used to determine a participant's degree of attention or involvement, the difference in status between communicators, and the level of fondness a person has for the other communicator, depending on body "openness". Clothing is one of the most common forms of non-verbal communication. The study of clothing and other objects as a means of non-verbal communication is known as artifactics  or objectics.
Similarly, clothing can communicate what nationality a person or group is, for example, in traditional festivities Scottish men often wear kilts to specify their culture. Aside from communicating a person's beliefs and nationality, clothing can be used as a nonverbal cue to attract others. Men and women may shower themselves with accessories and high-end fashion in order to attract partners they are interested in.
In this case, clothing is used as a form of self-expression in which people can flaunt their power, wealth, sex appeal, or creativity. The way one chooses to dress tells a lot about one's personality. In fact, there was a study done at the University of North Carolina, which compared the way undergraduate women chose to dress and their personality types.
The study showed that women who dressed "primarily for comfort and practicality were more self-controlled, dependable, and socially well adjusted" "Sarasota Journal" Clothing, although non-verbal, tells people what the personality of the individual is like. The way a person dresses is typically rooted from deeper internal motivations such as emotions, experiences and culture.
It shows other people who they want to be associated with, and where they fit in. Clothing can start relationships, because they clue other people in on what the wearer is like "Sarasota Journal" Gestures may be made with the hands , arms or body , and also include movements of the head, face and eyes , such as winking , nodding, or rolling one's eyes.
Although the study of gesture is still in its infancy , some broad categories of gestures have been identified by researchers. The most familiar are the so-called emblems or quotable gestures. These are conventional, culture-specific gestures that can be used as replacement for words, such as the hand wave used in western cultures for "hello" and "goodbye.
There are some universal gestures like the shoulder shrug. Gestures can also be categorized as either speech independent or speech related. Speech-independent gestures are dependent upon culturally accepted interpretation and have a direct verbal translation. Speech-related gestures are used in parallel with verbal speech; this form of nonverbal communication is used to emphasize the message that is being communicated.
Speech-related gestures are intended to provide supplemental information to a verbal message such as pointing to an object of discussion. Facial expressions, more than anything, serve as a practical means of communication.
With all the various muscles that precisely control mouth, lips, eyes, nose, forehead, and jaw, human faces are estimated to be capable of more than ten thousand different expressions. This versatility makes non-verbals of the face extremely efficient and honest, unless deliberately manipulated.
In addition, many of these emotions, including happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust, shame, anguish and interest are universally recognized. Displays of emotions can generally be categorized into two groups: Negative emotions usually manifest as increased tension in various muscle groups: In contrast, positive emotions are revealed by the loosening of the furrowed lines on the forehead, relaxation of the muscles around the mouth, and widening of the eye area.
When individuals are truly relaxed and at ease, the head will also tilt to the side, exposing our most vulnerable area, the neck.
This is a high-comfort display, often seen during courtship, that is nearly impossible to mimic when tense or suspicious. Some hand movements are not considered to be gestures. They consist of manipulations either of the person or some object e. Such behaviors are referred to as adapters. They may not be perceived as meaningfully related to the speech in which they accompany, but may serve as the basis for dispositional inferences of the speaker's emotion nervous, uncomfortable, bored.
Other hand movements are considered to be gestures. They are movements with specific, conventionalized meanings called symbolic gestures. Familiar symbolic gestures include the "raised fist," "bye-bye," and "thumbs up. Every culture has their own set of gestures, some of which are unique only to a specific culture. Very similar gestures can have very different meanings across cultures. Symbolic gestures are usually used in the absence of speech, but can also accompany speech.
The middle ground between adapters and symbolic gestures is occupied by conversational gestures. These gestures do not refer to actions or words, but do accompany speech. Conversational gestures are hand movements that accompany speech, and are related to the speech they accompany. Though they do accompany speech, conversational gestures are not seen in the absence of speech and are only made by the person who is speaking.
According to Edward T. Hall, the amount of space we maintain between ourselves and the persons with whom we are communicating shows the importance of the science of proxemics.
In this process, it is seen how we feel towards the others at that particular time. Within American culture Hall defines four primary distance zones: Intimate distance is considered appropriate for familiar relationships and indicates closeness and trust.
Personal distance is still close but keeps another "at arm's length" the most comfortable distance for most of our interpersonal contact, social distance is used for the kind of communication that occurs in business relationships and, sometimes, in the classroom. Public distance occurs in situations where two-way communication is not desirable or possible.
Eye contact is the instance when two people look at each other's eyes at the same time; it is the primary nonverbal way of indicating engagement, interest, attention and involvement. Some studies have demonstrated that people use their eyes to indicate interest.
This includes frequently recognized actions of winking and movements of the eyebrows.
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