Chapter 3: Nonverbal Communication
Chapter 3: Nonverbal Communication COM225
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Grace Harmon on Sunday September 20, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to COM225 at Michigan State University taught by J. Zhuang in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 49 views.
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Date Created: 09/20/15
COM 225 Chapter 3 Nonverbal Communication What is Nonverbal Communication Nonverbal competence is part of message competence Nonverbal Communication communication that does not involve words ex use of space use of time smell touch etc 2 conditions for nonverbal behaviors to be considered acts of communication 0 1 There must be some degree of intentionality o 2 There must be some level of consciousness on either the sender or receiver NonverbalCommunication o 1 Perceived consciously by either the sender or receiver 0 2 Intended as a message by the sender or o 3 Interpreted by the receiver as intended two radically different forms of communication spontaneous and symbolic Ross Buck IMPORTANT the same nonverbal behavior could be spontaneous or symbolic Spontaneous Communication refers to a sender s involuntary display of inner emotional states and a receiver s direct and immediate sensory awareness of those states It is a biologically based signal system that we share with other animals Buck When we communicate spontaneously our nonverbal signs such as gestures or facial expressions are simply external manifestations of our internal emotions They are not planned or intentional messages to others It is possible for both sender and receiver to communicate in a purely spontaneous manner 0 Where neither person consciously intends to send or receive the nonverbal signal Human sense of smell 0 Our bodies emit signals of genetic fitness via a set of genes MHC 0 Natural body odor conveys difference in MHC 0 Male participants were asked to wear the same undershirt for a week and females who smelled the shirts rated the odor of those with dissimilar MHC genes as more pleasant than the odors of those with similar MHC genes Symbolic Communication involves the use of arbitrary symbols socially defined and intended to convey specific messages Ex nodding head to show you agree With practice we can learn to inhibit our natural expressions The Power of Nonverbal Codes 1 Nonverbal codes are frequently given more credence and are more trusted than verbal forms of communication 0 Nonverbal codes have been in use longer than verbal ones 0 People read each other based off of nonverbal cues 2 Nonverbal codes are more emotionally powerful o Nonverbal behaviors tell people about our emotional state 3 Nonverbal codes while influenced by culture do express more universal meaning 0 Happiness anger disgust fear surprise and sadness are all conveyed by using the same facial muscles in much the same way 0 Facial expressions are the most universal codes because of facetoface interaction 0 The more biologically based and spontaneous a nonverbal cue is the more universal its meaning more spontaneous more universal o Nonverbal codes used in symbolic ways will express the localized meanings of a particular dyad group or culture 4 Nonverbal codes are continuous and natural 0 Nonverbal codes resemble their messages more than words form does 5 Nonverbal codes occur in clusters 0 verbal communication is limited to a single channel at a time o nonverbal communication has several channels operating simultaneously The Functions on Nonverbal Codes Nonverbal codes may be used to o 1 Express meaning in and of themselves ex intimacyhug o 2 Modify verbal messages complementing accenting repeating o 3 Regulate the flow of interaction Expressing Meaning nonverbal messaged are used to convey how we feel about other people and how we see our relationship to them 3 fundamental dimensions of feeling are expressed through nonverbal communication 0 1 Liking when you like or dislike something ex smiling or frowning o 2 Status indicating how important or influential we think we are in relation to others ex staring at a subordinate communicates snobbishness or dominance o 3 Responsiveness indicates how aware we are of the other person and what level of involvement we feel with him or her ex laughing heartily would indicate high responsiveness blank stare or little chuckle is low responsiveness Modifying Verbal Messages Nonverbals can complement accent repeat substitute for or contradict verbal messages Complementing is the nonverbal elaboration of verbal messages 0 Ex if something says they don t feel well and their face is flushed and they look like they are in pain you can assume they are pretty sick Accenting nonverbals that underline or focus attention a specific word or phrase 0 Ex pounding fist while screaming quotI ve had it makes the phrase stand out Repeating giving verbal messages and then repeating it nonverbally to help the receiver process the total message 0 Ex saying yes and nodding your head Substituting avoid verbal responses and using nonverbals as a substitute function 0 Ex a cold stare may say no better than a verbalized refusal Contradicting nonverbal messages may contradict verbal ones 0 We generally believe the nonverbal message when contradiction occurs 0 Ex girl saying she s fine after an argument and continues to be mad 0 Young children usually believe verbal statements though 0 Some people consistently rely on the verbal channel and others on the nonverbal channel I Preferences could be learned habits I Preferences could be because they are linked to patterns of the leftright hemispheric dominance in the brain or vice versa rightleft I Right hemisphere involved in processing spatial and holistic info nonverbal code I Left hemisphere better at processing verbal info Regulating the Flow of Interaction Nonverbal codes serve the function of regulating the flow of talk Nonverbals are primarily responsible for the smoothness of taking turns avoiding long pauses changing topics and signaling when it is appropriate to end the conversation The Structure of Nonverbal Codes Nonverbal codes are structured in terms of multiple channels Nonverbal communication in 3 interlocking systems visual auditory and invisible includes the codes of proxemics use of space kinesics gestures body movement and eye and face behavior and artifacts physical appearance clothing and accessories involves what is commonly called vocalics or paralinguistics vocal qualities consisting of chronemics use of time olfactics smell and haptics touch or tactile all powerful but less easily detected codes We organize 7 nonverbal codes bolded words The Visual Communication System Proxemics kinesics gaze facial expressions artifacts Predominantly a visual species Visual codes represent the majority of ways we categorize nonverbal interaction PROXEMICS 0 Environmental preference I We are programmed genetically and culturally to react to the environment in some similar ways I How we perceive the environments I Environment has a spillover effect on social interaction beautiful roomhappier Physical features of an environment lighting color noise extremes in temp affect our preference for that environment Subjective perceptions familiarity etc affect whether we approach or avoid an environment Combination of environmental factors and our own predisposed mental sets produces emotional reactions along 3 dimensions arousalnonarousal dominancesubmissiveness pleasuredispleasure o Territoriality the legal or assumed ownership of space Ex where they stop mowing grass placement of personal photographs on institutional looking desk 4 types of territoriality in human interaction owned by no one and accessible to anyone territories that are created by and exist only during an interaction ex softball team takes over a park to use as a practice field allow for a greater degree of privacy personal space most private territory 0 Personal space an imaginary bubble an area considered to be almost as private as the body itself Some people need more space than others 018 inches Reserved for lovemaking and very private conversations 18 inches 4 feet The range at which one is comfortable with friends and acquaintances 412 feet Used for business transactions and role relations 1225 feet Appropriate for public ceremonies speechmaking classroom lectures and so on a mere object ex waiters servants people in crowds KINESICS body movementsposture gestures eye gaze facial expression 0 Body Movements I Open body positions and leaning in toward people are perceived as an invitation to interact I Many kinesics movements besides emblems may operate as unconscious messages on the sender s part 0 Types of Gestures 5 categories emblems illustrators affect displays regulators adaptors gestures that can easily be translated into verbal statements widely shared agreement as what they mean serves substitutingrepeating function I nonverbal behaviors that accompany speech often emphasizing particular words or painting a picture of what is being said serve complimentingaccenting function I nonverbal cues that signal emotions 0 service expressing meaning function I nonverbals that help control interaction flow serve regulating function I body movements to manage anxious emotionally charged or novel situations service expressing meaning function self adaptors manipulations of your own body ex crossing your arms pressing hand up against your mouth etc object adaptors material objects used in the tension management process ex smoking chewing on a straw Eyes not only receive stimuli but send out messages Gaze serves 3 primary functions in communication expressive regulative and monitoring The Expressive Function of Gaze I Eyes are especially expressive in conveying fear and surprise I Gazing can frequently create arousal of those being stared at Using Gaze to Regulate and Monitor Interaction I Gaze first signals that we are available for communication I Averting our eyes says we are busy and can t talk I quoteyebrow flash a common sign of recognition wo committing yourself to a conversation that involves a look a smile raising of eyebrows or nod I eye behavior helps turntaking and transitions flowing smoothly I women gaze more than men Looking vs Seeing I I refers to gazing in the direction of the other s eyes I visual contact with the whole person I Seeing is more important than looking when regulating and monitoring feedback FACIAL EXPRESSION O O O O 0 Universal expression cultural display rules facial blend Single most important channel of nonverbal communication People infer personality traits and attitudes from our facial expressions Perceptions of liking and affection are tied to facial expressions Universal Expressions I 6 basic human emotions happiness sadness surprise fear anger disgust part of our biological heritage communicated spontaneously I 3 sets of facial muscles that are manipulated to form the 6 expressions 1 The brow and forehead 2 The eyes eyelids and root of the nose 3 The cheeks mouth most of the nose and chin I a mixture of traces of various emotions on the face such as fear and anger Most facial expressions are shortlived and thus reflect the transition from one emotional state to another I social and cultural guidelines regarding when and in what contexts it is appropriate to convey particular emotional expressions I unintended signs of our real feelings o Misreading Facial Expressions I Norms regarding eye behavior we only look at the other person s face about 50 of the time during conversation I Attending to competing verbal and nonverbal channels ARTIFACTS facial features body characteristics clothing personal artifacts 0 Physical Appearance I Facial features beauty color length of hair skin color body shape and posture I Communication value of most natural body features is limited I Different cultures have different prototypes of beauty I Body symmetry extent to which both sides of the body or face mirror each other universal feature of physical appearance I Body proportionality phi ratio relative length size or distance between related physical features Most notable waisttohip ratio for the female body type 0 Clothing and Adornment I Clothing has been recognized as a way to communicate social status group identification and personality I Dress may convey messages about self whether intentional or not The Auditory Communication System vocalics or paralanguage characteristics of the voice What is said is less important than how it is said VOCAL CHARACTERISTICS o loudness pitch inflection tempo rhythm intensity articulation and resonance 0 more specific sounds that we may recognize as speech acts themselves ex laughing crying moaning yelling and whining o sounds that get in the way of fluent speech including quotuhsquot and quotumsquot stuttering and uncomfortable silence MESSAGES IN THE VOICE o The voice is often used to infer personality traits 0 We use vocal cues to infer emotional states 0 2 emotions were most likely to be interpreted accurately joy and hate 0 the hardest to communicate were love and shame The Invisible Communication System time smell and touch CHRONEMICS o interpreting messages associated with time 0 how we use time o Polychronic Ptime flexible schedule Monochronic M time very fixed schedule 0 Time is related to status ex doctor s time is more valuable than the patient s 0 We make judgments of people based on timerelated cues how fast or slow they talk the duration of their turns at talk overall percentage of quottalk time OLFACTICS o has to do with messages we attach to smells emitted by the body 0 Effects are typically not under our conscious control HAPTICS o nonverbal code of touch 0 Types of Touch I Its meaning depends so much on the nature of the relationship the age the sex and the situation where we are being touched how much pressure was applied whether the touch was intentional or accidental and how long the touch lasted 0 The Contexts and Functions of Touch I Touching may be used to signal aggression status friendliness or sexual interest or to regulate interaction I Mediated by context I Professionalfunction context legitimates any kind of touch necessary to accomplish impersonal ends or services ex doctors and hairstylists I SocialZPolite relationship allow for minimum of touching during greetings goodbyes and conversations Culture and Nonverbal Communication Different cultures use different nonverbal languages 0 Ex Latin Americans have a much smaller personal space bubble than us Be aware that cultural understandings change over time Balancing Nonverbal Codes 1 reaction to a nonverbal violation by doing the opposite of what the violator did for example if someone came too close we back off 2 a negotiating strategy that involves finding a way to pay back an accommodating party in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement we react in kind to a change that has occurred 0 Ex if someone was coming near us we would reciprocate by moving even closer We form expectations based on a range of sources from biologically hardwired perceptions to our own person experience Expectancy Violations Theory 2 factors are working to determine how we respond 1 violation valence 2 the reward value of the other person 0 Combination of these two factors produces an overall assessment of the situation and a behavioral response compensation or reciprocation our perception of the positive or negative value of the violating behavior itself 0 Ex on a crowded bus if you space is invaded it is moderately negative valence because it is crowded Theory predicts that behavior that conforms to expectations will be viewed positively and behavior that violates expectations will be perceived negatively Cognitive Valence Theory theory that builds on expectancy violations theory by adding perception physiological arousal and a variety of cognitive schema as leading to reciprocal or compensatory responses 0 Immediacy behavior first has to be perceived even unconsciously before another person will respond to it 0 Ex stalking behavior is a high arousal immediacy 6 cognitive schemata are drawn upon to make sense of expectancy violations 0 1 Cultural appropriateness 2 Personal predispositions 3 The nature of the situation 4 The reward value of the other person 5 Relationship expectations 6 Temporary mood states OOOOO Compensating and Reciprocating in Everyday Life communication is used to regulate the tension between feeling independent and feeling connected with others compensation becomes a tool for establishing your own identity and status as an adult 0 ex limiting nonverbal interaction with parents not hold their hand and standing close to them while shopping The Interplay of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication some scholars believe that emotions are socially constructed Emotions transitory social roles involving one s assessment of a social situation that are experienced as passions rather than actions James Averill we are surrounded by situational cues that prompt our emotions The communication of emotions is not always a straightforward process Skill Building Communicating Feelings Expressing Feelings O O O The first step in improving our skills is to become more aware of the emotions we do experience Actively seek feedback about your expressions of emotion from trusted sources Express your feelings in a way that indicates your ownership of them Match the form of expression with the situation and your own personal relational goals 3 options regarding the communication of emotions I 1 Avoid communication altogether I 2 Express our feelings directly I 3 Express our feelings in an indirect equivocal fashion messages that are ambiguous uncertain or open to more than one equally appropriate interpretation Reflecting Feelings 0 Look for hidden feelings in others behavior and carefully bring them to the surface Help others clarify their own feelings by pointing our any contradictory or ambivalent equivocal expressions
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