Nonverbal communication Nonverbal communication (NVC) is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. i. e. , language is not the only source of communication, there are other means also. NVC can be communicated through gestures and touch (Haptic communication), by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact.
NVC can be communicated through object communication such as clothing, hairstyles or even architecture, symbols and infographics. Speech contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, emotion and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Dance is also regarded as a nonverbal communication. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the use of emoticons.
However, much of the study of nonverbal communication has focused on face-to-face interaction, where it can be classified into three principal areas: environmental conditions where communication takes place, the physical characteristics of the communicators, and behaviors of communicators during interaction.  History The first scientific study of nonverbal communication was Charles Darwin’s book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). He argued that all mammals show emotion reliably in their faces. Studies now range across a number of fields, including , linguistics, semiotics and social psychology.
Arbitrariness While much nonverbal communication is based on arbitrary symbols, which differ from culture to culture, a large proportion is also to some extent iconic and may be universally understood. Paul Ekman’s influential 1960s studies of facial expression determined that expressions of anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise are universal. Proxemics: physical space in communication Proxemics: physical space in communication Proxemics is the study of how people use and perceive the physical space around them. The space between the sender and the receiver of a message influences the way the message is interpreted.
The perception and use of space varies significantly across cultures and different settings within cultures. Space in nonverbal communication may be divided into four main categories: intimate, social, personal, and public space. The term territoriality is still used in the study of proxemics to explain human behavior regarding personal space.  Hargie & Dickson (2004, p. 69) identify 4 such territories: 1. Primary territory: this refers to an area that is associated with someone who has exclusive use of it. For example, a house that others cannot enter without the owner’s permission. 2.
Secondary territory: unlike the previous type, there is no “right” to occupancy, but people may still feel some degree of ownership of a particular space. For example, someone may sit in the same seat on train every day and feel aggrieved if someone else sits there. 3. Public territory: this refers to an area that is available to all, but only for a set period, such as a parking space or a seat in a library. Although people have only a limited claim over that space, they often exceed that claim. For example, it was found that people take longer to leave a parking space when someone is waiting to take that space. . Interaction territory: this is space created by others when they are interacting. For example, when a group is talking to each other on a footpath, others will walk around the group rather than disturb it. Chronemics: time in communication Chronemics is the study of the use of time in nonverbal communication. The way we perceive time, structure our time and react to time is a powerful communication tool, and helps set the stage for communication. Time perceptions include punctuality and willingness to wait, the speed of speech and how long people are willing to listen.
The timing and frequency of an action as well as the tempo and rhythm of communications within an interaction contributes to the interpretation of nonverbal messages. Gudykunst & Ting-Toomey (1988) identified 2 dominant time patterns: Haptics: touching in communication A high five is an example of communicative touch. Haptics is the study of touching as nonverbal communication. Touches that can be defined as communication include handshakes, holding hands, kissing (cheek, lips, hand), back slapping, high fives, a pat on the shoulder, and brushing an arm.
Touching of oneself may include licking, picking, holding, and scratching.  These behaviors are referred to as “adapter” or “tells” and may send messages that reveal the intentions or feelings of a communicator. The meaning conveyed from touch is highly dependent upon the context of the situation, the relationship between communicators, and the manner of touch.  Humans communicate interpersonal closeness through a series of non-verbal actions known as immediacy behaviors. Examples of immediacy behaviors are: smiling, touching,open body positions, and eye contact.
Cultures that display these immediacy behaviors are known to be high contact culturesFunctions of nonverbal communication Argyle (1970)  put forward the hypothesis that whereas spoken language is normally used for communicating information about events external to the speakers, non-verbal codes are used to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships. It is considered more polite or nicer to communicate attitudes towards others non-verbally rather than verbally, for instance in order to avoid embarrassing situations .
Argyle (1988) concluded there are five primary functions of nonverbal bodily behavior in human communication: * Express emotions * Express interpersonal attitudes * To accompany speech in managing the cues of interaction between speakers and listeners * Self-presentation of one’s personality * Rituals (greetings) Concealing deception Nonverbal communication makes it easier to lie without being revealed. This is the conclusion of a study where people watched made-up interviews of persons accused of having stolen a wallet.
The interviewees lied in about 50 % of the cases. People had access to either written transcripts of the interviews, or audio tape recordings, or video recordings. The more clues that were available to those watching, the larger was the trend that interviewees who actually lied were judged to be truthful. That is, people that are clever at lying can use voice tone and face expression to give the impression that they are truthful  Difficulties with nonverbal communication People vary in their ability to send and receive nonverbal communication.
Thus, on average, to a moderate degree, women are better at nonverbal communication than are men . Measurements of the ability to communicate nonverbally and the capacity to feel empathy have shown that the two abilities are independent of each other . For people who have relatively large difficulties with nonverbal communication, this can pose significant challenges, especially in interpersonal relationships.
There exist resources that are tailored specifically to these people, which attempt to assist those in understanding information which comes more easily to others. A specific group of persons that face these challenges are those with autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger syndrome. Footnotes 1. ^ a b Knapp & Hall, 2002, p. 7 2. ^ Grammer, Karl, Renninger, Leeann & Fischer, Bettina (2004): Disco clothing, female sexual motivation, and relationship status: is she dressed to impress? Journal of sexual research 41 (1): 66-74. 3. ^ Segerstrale & Molnar, 1997, p. 235 .
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