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Chapter 7 Nonverbal Communication

Chapter 7 Nonverbal Communication. Chapter 7: Nonverbal Communication. Silence is one of the great arts of conversation. Cicero Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words? Marcel Marceu. NV Comm. In everyday Life. NV Comm. is universal.

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Chapter 7 Nonverbal Communication

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  1. Chapter 7Nonverbal Communication

  2. Chapter 7: Nonverbal Communication • Silence is one of the great arts of conversation. • Cicero • Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words? • Marcel Marceu

  3. NV Comm. In everyday Life. • NV Comm. is universal. • We use it to judge internal states. • It helps to create impressions. • We use it manage interactions.

  4. NV Comm. is universal • Young children start understanding words at around 6 months of age but understand nonverbal communication well before that. • All human beings, regardless of their culture, utilize nonverbal communication.

  5. Judging internal states • People use NV communication to express attitudes, feelings, and emotions. • Research shows that we will believe NV messages instead of verbal messages when the two contradict each other. • “One’s eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears.”

  6. Creating impressions • Usually, NV messages will arrive before the verbal messages and influence the flow of the interaction. • Your reactions to people are based on NV – their skin color, age, status, clothes, attraction, etc.

  7. Managing interactions • We use NV messages to regulate conversation. • When to speak, how to speak, how to tell others to talk more – all this is done through nonverbals.

  8. Defining NV Communication • Nonverbal communication involves all nonverbal stimuli in a communication setting that are generated by both the source and his or her use of the environment and that have potential message value for the source or receiver.

  9. Nonverbal messages may be both intentional and unintentional. • Most NV communication is unintentional, but still carries and conveys meaning to other people whether you want it to or not.

  10. Nonverbal communication has 5 basic functions: • To repeat (move your head from side to side) • Complement (facial expression while apologizing) • Substitute for a verbal action (Big smile and hug instead of verbal greeting) • Regulate (eye contact and bad behaviors) • Contradict a communication event (relaxed or nervous)

  11. Guidelines and Limitations • Nonverbal actions seldom occur in isolation. • NV Communication can be ambiguous (the meaning can be unclear). • We are more than our culture – not everyone within a particular cultures uses the same NV communication.

  12. Studying nonverbal behavior can lead to the discovery of a culture’s underlying attitudes and values. • Studying nonverbal behavior can also assist us in isolating our own ethnocentrism.

  13. NV Comm. & Culture • Much of your NV behavior, like culture, tends to be elusive, spontaneous, and frequently beyond your awareness. • Nonverbal communication and culture are similar in that both are learned, both are passed on from generation to generation, and both involve shared understanding.

  14. NV Comm. “plays a crucial and necessary part in communicative interactions between people from different cultures.” • Because people are all from one species, a general and common genetic inheritance produces universal facial expressions for most of your basic emotions (fear, happiness, anger, surprise, disgust, & sadness.)

  15. Body Behavior • Your body is a major source of nonverbal messages. These messages are communicated by means of general appearance and attire, body movements (kinesics), facial expressions, eye contact, touch, and paralanguage. • We tend to draw on a person’s attractiveness, dress, and personal artifacts to make inferences (often faulty) about that individual’s intelligence, gender, age, approachability, financial well-being, class, tastes, values, and cultural background.

  16. Skin Color • “Skin color is the first racial marker children recognize and can be considered the most salient of phenotypic attributes.” • Permanent skin colors have been the most potent body stimulus for determining interpersonal responses.

  17. Judgments of Beauty • People are fixated on their bodies. • Long ago, people were using bones as necklaces and other bodily ornaments. • People paint their bodies, fasten objects to them, dress them, undress them, burn them, and even mutilate them in the name of beauty.

  18. Face painting is still common in Africa, South America, and Native Americans. • Women in Ethiopia and Eritrea still utilize facial tattoos as beauty marks. • In India, most women have red marks on their forehead to show they are married.

  19. “One’s body image and the satisfaction with it result from comparisons with an implicit cultural ideal and standard.” • This ideal varies from culture to culture. • In America, tall, slender women and muscular men are the ideal. • In Japan, diminutive women are the ideal.

  20. In Africa, being “plump” is considered a sign of beauty, health, and wealth. Slimness is evidence of unhappiness or disease or that a woman is being mistreated by her husband. • What is seen as beautiful in one culture may look hideous to people from another culture.

  21. Question • How do judgments about body behavior affect communication in Taiwan? • What "values" of body behavior are most valued in Taiwan? Which "values" are least valued? • What is considered beautiful in Taiwan? How about hideous?

  22. Attire/Clothing • “Clothing can be used to convey economic status, education, social status, moral standards, athletic ability, and/or interests, belief system (political, philosophical, religious), and level of sophistication” (p. 203).

  23. Arab Clothing • Modesty is valued among Arabs. Girls are not allowed to go to swimming classes because they cannot expose their bodies. • Women’s garments must be “flowing” and not show off their bodies. They must also cover their face. • Men do not wear shorts or unfastened shirts in public.

  24. In all its guises, clothing inscribes ideologies of truth and deception, echoing the words of Scripture, and revealing—and unraveling—that honor can only be attained when every robe donned is a robe of honor and every garment a garment of piety. • One must be tolerant of external differences so that you do not let them impede communication.

  25. Body Movement: Kinesics • "None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing" (p. 204). • "How people hold themselves, stand, sit, and walk communicates strong nonverbal messages. Whether you intend to send a message or not, every move you make potentially communicates something about you to others" (p. 204).

  26. Kinesics • Send messages about • Your attitude toward the other person • Your emotional state • Your desire to control your environment. • Although all people use movement to communicate, it is culture which teaches us how to use and interpret these movements.

  27. Posture • Posture, like movement, is also culturally specific and can be used to send NV messages. • Ways of sitting also vary from culture to culture. The way someone sits in one culture may be rude or very offensive in another culture.

  28. Sitting • Slumping, upright, legs together, legs apart, legs crossed – all convey something. • What are the proper posture and sitting position for males and females in Taiwan? Are they different than Japan? How about America?

  29. Gestures • Gestures vary from culture to culture. • A gesture in one culture may be very rude or offensive in another culture. • In the U.S., pointing is a very common gesture, but pointing varies from culture to culture.

  30. Idiosyncratic gestures are gestures towards yourself or using yourself to make the gesture. • Beckoning means gestures designed to get people to come to you. • Head movements are often used to denote acceptance and understanding.

  31. Cultures also vary about the amount and size of gestures used. • Generally, Italians, South Americans, Africans, and Middle Eastern people use a lot of big gestures. • Japanese tend to use fewer, smaller gestures. • Women tend to use fewer and smaller gestures than men.

  32. Facial Expressions • You actually have THREE faces: • The first is your assigned face, the one you are born with. • The second face you can manipulate at will. • The third face is changed by your surroundings and the messages you receive.

  33. Even though all other NVs are culturally-specific, there is evidence to suggest that culture does not control the face. • Most researchers believe that there are six facial expressions which are innate, universal, and carry the same meaning around the world: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, and surprise. • Cultural norms, however, still dictate when and where we can use these expressions.

  34. Eye Contact • Eyes have 6 important communication functions: • Indicate degrees of attentiveness, interest, and arousal. • Influence attitude change and persuasion • Regulate interaction • Communicate affect • Define power and status relationships • Assume a central role in impression management.

  35. Direct eye-to-eye contact is common and expected in America, but it is taboo in many other parts of the world. • There can be problems when Asians and Westerners communicate with people from cultures where prolonged, direct eye contact is customary. • Women maintain more eye contact than men.

  36. Touch • Touch is essential to our socialization process. • We use touch for social politeness, sex, consolation, support, and control. • Touch varies among cultures and sexes.

  37. Paralanguage • Vocal cues let us make judgments about the person’s personality, emotional state, ethnic background, and rhetorical activity. • Paralanguage focuses on how something is said and not the actual meaning of the spoken words. • Paralanguage has 3 parts: 1) Vocal qualifiers; 2) vocal characterizers; and 3) vocal segregates

  38. Vocal Qualifiers • We can learn a great deal about a person just by their vocal qualifiers. • Cultures vary on vocal qualities such as volume. • Women tend to have more varied vocal qualities in their voices than men.

  39. Vocal characteristics • These are vocalizations that for a specific culture convey a learned meaning. • The meaning for sneezing and laughing, as well as other vocal characteristics, varies among different cultures.

  40. Vocal segregates • These are sounds that are audible and have meaning in a specific culture, but are not actual words. • English: uh, uhm…. • Japanese: hai, so, e… • Chinese: ???

  41. Space and Distance • Proxemics is concerned with people’s personal space, seating, furniture arrangement, and other such matters of space. • Our use of personal space is learned on both the conscious and unconscious level. • There are 4 levels of personal space.

  42. 4 levels of space • Intimate (contact to 18 inches) • Casual-personal (18 inches to 4 feet) • Social (4-12 feet) • Public (12+ feet)

  43. Something as simple as seating arrangements also varies from culture to culture. • Americans usually reserve the end/head of a table for leaders. • How do people assign status and hierarchy in China with seating?

  44. Chinese believe in feng shui / 風水 and will often arrange furniture according to specific rules. • American living rooms often have all furniture pointed toward the television set. • American offices, especially those of bosses/leaders, are often arranged to maximize status/power.

  45. Time • We can understand a culture’s sense of time by learning about how members of that culture view informal time, the past, present, and future, and whether or not their orientation toward time is monochromic or polychromic (p. 224).

  46. “To cut up life into moments of being, in sum, is for the individual to possess a means by which that life can be filled, shaped, and reshaped in significant ways” (p. 219). • Cultures vary in their use of and perception of time.

  47. Informal time • Cultures take different approaches to showing up to engagements on time or late. • Cultures also vary as to the pace with which they perform specific acts. • What are some differences in punctuality and pace between America and Taiwan?

  48. Cultures vary in their perceptions and uses of the past, present, and future. • How do America and Taiwan differ in their perceptions of the past, present, and future? • Cultures organize time in two ways: Monochronic (M-Time) or Polychronic (P-Time).

  49. M-Time is when a culture believes that time is lineal and segmented. • “time is a scarce resource which must be rationed and controlled through the use of schedules and appointments, and through aiming to do only one thing at any one time” (p. 223). • M-Time cultures value punctuality, good organization, and judicious use of time.

  50. P-Time cultures see “the maintenance of harmonious relationships as the important agenda, so that use of time needs to be flexible in order that we do right by the various people to whom we have obligations” (p. 223-224). • For P-Time cultures, time is less tangible; hence, feelings of wasted time are not as prevalent as in M-time cultures.

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