Body language and performance psychology
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Body Language and Performance Psychology. Learning how to read people and perform better. What unconscious action happens when someone views something they like? How can this be used?. -Pupils dilate Advertising Detect lying on deception Detecting interest from a possible mate/date.

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Body Language and Performance Psychology

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Body Language and Performance Psychology

Learning how to read people and perform better.

What unconscious action happens when someone views something they like? How can this be used?

-Pupils dilate


Detect lying on deception

Detecting interest from a possible mate/date

List some non-verbal cues for the following:

Someone interested

Someone not interested

Arms fold across chest

Rigid stance

Continuing to square up to you

Glancing past you


  • exposure of elbow crease

  • long eye contact

  • Angled stance

  • Relaxed posture

  • Touching of the hand, leg, shoulder or face

  • Disbelief

  • Puzzlement

  • Protecting ourselves

  • Seeking intimacy

  • impatience

Translate these non-verbal cues:

-Lifting an eyebrow

-rubbing your nose

-clasping your arms

-wink one eye

-tap finger

Are facial displays of emotion universal among cultures?

Yes. Theorized by Darwin proven by Ekman, Friesen, and Sorenson.

Some of the displays are joy, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, contempt, and shame.

Summarize each of Dr. Halls’ concepts: Intimate distance:

-Acceptable for family, friends, lovers, and parent/child (touching 18 inches)

-In confined to indicate w/strangers body must remain rigid to indicate apology for touching

-Glances are ok but long gazes are seen as completely inappropriate

Close (18-30 inches) -wives and husbands, when others move in it portrays them as interested , can hold hands

Far (30-48 inches) called “limit of physical domination, acceptable for meeting someone on the street

Personal Distance

Social Distance

  • Close (4-7 feet) transact interpersonal business, house wife/repairman, meeting someone new, boss greeting an employee

  • Far (7-12 feet) Formal social or business relationships, Big boss and employee. This distance means steady eye contact during conversation, failure to do so is disrespectful. Can allow you to keep working w/out seeming rude.

Public Distance

  • Close (12-25 feet) teacher addressing student

  • Far (25 or more) Politicians (for safety)

  • *There are harsh sanctions for invading these distances

In what way do we use body language to indicate dominance? How is this done?

Your position in relation to someone else is judged by your height

  • Bowing

  • Seated while they stand

  • Sitting at the head of the table

In dealing with space, what is the 1st thing you can do to break down someone's self assurance? Where is this seen and used?

Intruding upon someone's person and space makes them uncomfortable and uneasy

  • Police officers

  • Integration

  • People trying to start a fight

  • Men hitting on women

  • Boss with employees

    *Makes the person that is being intruded on feel as if they are a non-person. They feel disrespect by the other person, as if they do not care.

T/F Smiling is the most common mask we wear, and it is one that is over used.

  • True. Most masking techniques are taught through culture and are considered “manners” or “etiquette”

When do we drop our masks?

  • When we are intimately comfortable w/ the person or when we see them as a non-person

    *Extreme ends of the spectrum/usually worn to protect someone's feelings or our own

In order to develop a relationship, of any kind, what must first happen?

  • Both must unmask and show their true selves, for if not they can not become close

How do our emotions manifest themselves w/out us being aware? Give examples.

  • Crossing arms in front of chest for protection –frightened

  • Curled upper lip - disgust

  • Corners of mouth up turned –enjoyment

  • Looking away or fighting -embarrassment

Besides your clothes, what is the 1st thing people notice about you? How can this help you obtain a date?




Uninterested or Defensive

Arms crossed

Tight Face

Rigid Posture


Expose neck, elbow crease, open stance

  • Stance or Walk

    • Provides messages as to your intentions

      • Hips forward w/ legs spread

      • Thumbs locked on belt with fingers pointed inward

Counter these by offering up complimentary & opposing body language. If trying to show interest hold your gaze or glance longer than appropriate (just a little/ don’t be a creeper) .

What things can be done after gaining someone’s attention to progress to a more intimate encounter?

  • After flirting as commenced:

    • Invade body space minimally enough for obvious objection. Stay till they become comfortable

    • Let eyes linger in areas where short glances would be neccassary

    • Stare into her/him while drawing attention to places like mouth, neck, chest groin.

  • Attention must be narrowed to that one person, not spread around to others

What are some ways you can tell if he/she is available?

  • Look for a ring or pale skin on the ring finger

  • Stance while sitting

    • Knees apart/ holding gaze/ loose posture

  • Gestures

    • Draws attention to mouth, neck, thighs, chest, hips, butt

  • Walk

    • Hips forward or loose/ sway or swagger of hips/ shoulders back 7 head up

When on “the make” what rules are different for a man and woman? How are they different?

TouchingMen can not touch, while women can.

*when a man touches a woman will be seen as being uncomfortable, while a woman’s touch is seen as showing a sign of great interest.

A woman may also adjust her skirt, uncross her legs, draw attention to her chest, or pout her mouth

According to Dr. Scheflen, what happens to both men & women upon meeting someone they are interested in breeding with?

-Step 1 Posture Changes

Muscles Tense

Body sagging disappears

Posture becomes erect

Stomach tightens

Face Blushes or glows

Preening begins

Adjusting of clothes/ hair/ makeup

Step two- Positioning

  • Couples will sit together

  • Face each other

  • Lean into one another

  • Use arms to make a circle

  • Cross their legs towards each other

According to Dr. Scheflen, what happens to both men & women upon meeting someone they are interested in breeding with?

What are some things a less aggressive woman might do to convey interest to a man?

  • Flirting glances

  • Holding his eye

  • Turning her head to one side (expose neck)

  • Rolling her lips

  • Revealing the top of her thigh by crossing her legs

  • Putting her hand on her hip

  • Exposing her wrist or palm

T/F 93% of communication is understood through the spoken word.

  • The answer is FALSE

  • 7% spoken 93% body language

What can posture be used to transmit?

  • Question

  • Statement

  • Interest

  • Non- Interest

  • Protection

  • Inclusion

  • Exclusion

What are the “rules of thumb” for looking at a person in the following situations:

  • Passing someone on the street:

    • Must look away when within 8 feet

  • Putting a person down:

    • Stare and continue

  • People with unusual hair, clothes, facial hair, hair or piercings:

    • Stare then look away

  • Make sure to follow these rules as not to be socially awkward!!!

True/False When studying kinesics, one must take all of the following into account:

  • 1. Situation

  • 2. All body movements at the time

  • 3. Any physiological patterns

  • True- No single motion stands alone, there is always a pattern

It’s the MOUTH, dude!That’s right it’s your pie hole!

In a sequence of Kines, what body part needs to change in order to change the meaning of the expression?

Using the example of Bob, what is a common trait among successful leaders?

  • Listening to what followers have to say & want, then leading them in the that direction.

  • Imitate body language to denote interest while subduing signs of disinterest

  • Not making to many movements without real meaning

What are some ways an athlete can prepare for competition in order to perform at a higher level? Rank these in their order of importance.

1. Intense Practice of both Physical and Mental skills.

2. Rest

3. Relaxation

4. Healthy Diet

What must be done prior to performance to stimulate enhancement of performance?

The participant must go through their physical warm up, and then needs to become calm and relaxed, almost in a state of meditation, and start to visualize their performance. This visualization should be as if the participant is watching a movie, they should be able to rewind, fast forward, and put it in slow motion.

Explain how visualization helps to better performance.

  • Visualization will allow the participant to focus and concentrate on how they want/need for their body to react and function in order to perform to their optimal level.

  • Visualization also allows the participant to continue to perform reguardless of what happens around them during competition, due to the fact that they are still focused on performing the way they saw in their mind.

  • Visualization allows for relaxation of the body to stimulate recovery, and also allows the muscles to react to the situation the way it was imagined.

Outline the proper way to visualize prior to performing.

  • Quite & Relaxed

  • Slow Down Breathing & Heart Rate

  • Become introspective

  • Start to begin playing movie

  • Check to make sure you can use all of your senses in the movie

  • Begin to slowly move back to your normal state

What is key to performing well?

Having the right mind set and having confidence in yourself!!

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