Nonverbal Communication • Definition • Components • Power and functions of nonverbal • Types of nonverbal comm.
Definition • “Oral or nonoral messages expressed by other than linguistic means” (Adler & Rodman, 2003, p. 150).
Nonverbal can be… • Perceived by sender or receiver, or • Intended as a message by the sender, or • Interpreted by the receiver as intended. (Trenholm & Jensen, 2000)
Characteristics of Nonverbal Communication • Nonverbal Communication Exists • You can interpret others’ feelings • No formal training needed to do this • Nonverbal Behavior Has Communicative Value • You cannot not communicate (think about this) • We aren’t always aware of what we are communicating nonverbally • Not everyone can interpret nonverbal clues
Characteristics of Nonverbal Communication • Nonverbal communication assists with: • Identity management • the Presenting Self • How we want others to view us • Defining relationships • Conveying emotions • Difficult to convey ideas nonverbally
Components, cont. • Nonverbal comm. is ambiguous • Difficult to interpret accurately • Some emotions are easier to decode accurately than others • SADFISH & L • Sadness • Anger • Disgust • Fear • Interest • Surprise • Happiness • Love
Components, cont. • Better senders of nonverbal messages are better receivers • Decoding ability can be learned • Extroverts better than dogmatics • Women better than men • No one has 100% accuracy
Components, cont. • Considerations when decoding NVC • Context (situation) • History of relationship with sender • Other’s mood at the time • Your feelings • NV messages are CLUES not fact • Nonverbal comm. is culture bound
Verbal vs. Nonverbal • Nonverbal communication operates on multiple channels • Nonverbal communication is continuous and never ending • Nonverbal communication can be unconscious
The Power of Nonverbal Codes (Trenholm & Jensen, 2000) • Nonverbal codes are given more credence and are more trusted than verbal codes. • Nonverbal codes are more emotionally powerful. • Nonverbal codes express more universal meaning. • Nonverbal codes are continuous and natural. • Nonverbal codes occur in clusters.
Functions of Nonverbal • Repeating • Emblems: deliberate nonverbal behaviors that have precise meanings known to everyone within a culture group. “Wave” or “Nod” • Substituting • Emblems can replace a verbal message • Complementing • Nonverbal behavior matches verbal message- • Sincere apology • Tone of voice and appropriate facial expression • Illustrators • Scratching head when trying to think of something
Functions of Nonverbal • Accenting • Pointing your finger at someone when making a point • Regulating • Taking turns speaking has a pattern that we understand when it is our turn to talk, e.g. pauses, tone of voice • Contradicting • Mixed messages • Nonverbal message is believed more than verbal message • Deceiving • Not all deception is self-serving or malicious – Face saving • High self-monitors are usually better at deception • People whose jobs require them to act differently than they feel are better at it: actors, lawyers, diplomats, salespeople
Types of Nonverbal Comm. • Posture • Kinesics: the study of body movements, gesture and posture. • Mirroring posture makes good impression • Posture reveals one’s vulnerability to violence • Gestures • Fundamental behavior that even people blind from birth use gestures • Manipulators: Movements in which one part of the body touches another body part • Using manipulators is often a sign of discomfort – but not always • Also used when one is relaxed and lets guard down
Types of Nonverbal, cont. • Face • Very complicated to discern facial expressions • High number of facial expressions • Facial expressions change quickly • Affect blends: showing two emotions simultaneously • Fearful and surprised • Disgusted and angry • Eyes • Eye Contact • “The Window to the Soul” • Cultural differences
Types of Nonverbal, cont. • Voice • Paralanguage: nonverbal vocal messages that reinforce or contradict our words • Tone • Speed • Pitch • Volume • Pauses: Number and length • Disfluencies (stammering, fillers “Like”) • Sarcasm
Types of Nonverbal, cont. • Touch • a.k.a. Haptics • Babies died from lack of touching • Disease called “Marasmus” means wasting away • Touch increases a child’s mental functioning and physical health
Types of Nonverbal, cont. • Physical Attractiveness • People prefer others who they find attractive • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder • Three year olds already have opinions • What can we do to be perceived as more attractive? • Posture • Gestures • Facial expressions • Physical fitness • Choice of clothing
Types of Nonverbal, cont. • Clothing • Conveys economic status, education level, social status moral standards, athletic ability and/or interests, belief system, level of sophistication • We make assumptions about people based on clothing choices • Flying on airplanes and courtesy of airline personnel • Interviews • Dates
Distance • Proxemics: the study of the way people and animals use space • Intimate distance: Skin to 18 inches • Personal distance: 18 inches to four feet • Social distance: 4 feet to 12 feet • Public distance: 12 feet to 25 feet
Types of nonverbal, cont. • Time • Chronemics • Cultural rules • Polychronic • Monochronic • Geographic or Situational rules
Types of nonverbal, cont. • Territoriality • Fixed Space (room, house, neighborhood, country) • Not all territory is permanent – library, computer lab • Power and status relationships • Knocking before entering • More and/or better space is expected for higher status personnel
Types of nonverbal, cont. • Environmental • Reflects Interaction • Research: Photos of upper-middle-class homes • Communicated accurate information about the homeowners: intellectualism, politeness, maturity, optimism, tenseness, willingness to risk, family orientations, and reservedness • Home exteriors: Artistic interests, graciousness, privacy and quietness
Types of nonverbal, cont. • Environmental • Shapes Interaction • Research: Workers feel better and are more productive in attractive environment • Building design shapes communication • Cubicles, Open Space, Offices • Use of space tells much about a person • Want privacy • Open to others