Chapter 5
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
It’s impossible not to communicate
nonverbally
Why?
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
There are many types of nonverbal
communication including…
•Posture and gesture
•Face and eyes
•Voice
•Touch
•Physical appearance & attractiveness
•Distance and territory
•Time
•Physical environment
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Why are nonverbal skills important?
•Nonverbal sensitivity is a key part of
emotional intelligence.
•Good nonverbal communicators are
more persuasive than people who are
less skilled.
•They have a greater chance of
success in life.
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Social functions of nonverbal communications:
•Identity management: Project an image
•Relations: Gestures you use when meeting
someone
•Conveying emotions.
Especially useful in suggesting how
others feel about you and the
relationship.
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Nonverbal messages are more ambiguous
than verbal communication. Why? How?
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Nonverbal communication has several
important characteristics:
• It’s always present when people encounter
each other and in many situations where
they aren’t physically present.
• It has great value in conveying
information about others.
• Much of that information isn’t what
others intentionally want to reveal.
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Nonverbal communication serves many
functions, when compared to verbal messages.
• It can repeat, complement, and accent
spoken words. How?
• It can substitute for speech.
• It can regulate conversations. How?
• It can contradict spoken words, or
even deceive others. How?
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Functions of Nonverbal Communication
•Repeating
•Emblems:
•Pointing – deliberate nonverbal
behaviors that have precise
meanings (directions)
•Shrugging shoulders
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Functions of Nonverbal Communication
•Complementing:
•Facial expressions match what’s being
said (apology)
•Illustrators: Nonverbal behaviors
that support spoken words
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Functions of Nonverbal Communication
•Accenting
•Pointing
•Regulating
•Sending unconscious send/receive
cues
•Taking a breath ready to talk
•Contradicting
•Verbal and nonverbal don’t match
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
•What might be the signs of someone
deceiving you?
•Tend to make more speech errors
(stutter, hesitate, false starts, etc)
•Vocal pitch may rise
•Eye may blink more
•May rapidly shift their posture
•May fidget more
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
•Culture shapes many nonverbal
practices. How?
• Gender plays a role in the way we
communicate. How?
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
How could you show the following in a
nonverbal way:
•You’re bored
•You’re interested
•You’re happy
•You don’t understand
•You’re nervous
•You’re sad
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Impact of the Internet
Misunderstandings
E-mail
Examples
How can you avoid e-mail
misunderstandings?
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Types of nonverbal communication
•Face and eyes
•Voice
•Touch
•Physical attractiveness
•Clothing
•Distance
•Time
•Territory
•Environment
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
FACE AND EYES
Researchers Ekman and Friesen ID six basic
emotions that facial expressions reflect:
•Surprise
•Fear
•Anger
•Disgust
•Happiness
•Sadness
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
FACE AND EYES
•Smiling cocktail waitresses get more tips
•Influence of a smile
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
POSTURE AND GESTURE
•How you sit
•“Kinesics”
•See someone slumping into a room,
what might that mean?
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
VOICE
“Paralanguage” is ….
nonverbal, vocal messages.
Listeners respond more to
people who talk at the same
rate as the listener.
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
TOUCH
•Touch increases a child’s mental
functioning as well as physical health.
•Touch affects how we respond to
others.
•Touch can communicate what?
•Positive, playful, control,
aggression
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
TOUCH
•Factors: Area being touched, how long touch
lasts, how much pressure used, movement
after touch, anyone else present,
relationship between the two people
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS
•Research shows it does make a
difference in how people perceive others
•Women who are perceived as more
attractive get more dates
•Children rate good looking children as
having positive social characteristics
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
CLOTHING
•Clothing can be used to display economic
status, educational level, social status,
moral standards, athletic ability, etc.
•We are more likely to obey people
dressed in a high-status manner.
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
DISTANCE
The study of the way people and animals
use space is called….
“proxemics.”
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
DISTANCE
Research indicates we choose a
distance depending upon how we feel
toward the other person at a given
time, context of the conversation, and
our personal goals.
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
DISTANCE
Choosing the optimal distance can have a
powerful effect on communication.
WHY?
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
DISTANCE
•Imitate distance: skin – 18 inches
•Emotionally close, doctor, dentist, etc
•Personal distance: 18 inches – 4 feet
•We can be uncomfortable in this zone.
Why?
•Social distance: 4-12 feet
•Business situations
•Public distance: 12 feet+
•Two-way communication more difficult
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
TIME
• What do we call the study of how
humans use and structure time?
• “Chronemics”
• Our culture values time
• In others---it may be barely
considered
• “Hawaiian” time
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
TERRITORY
•Territory is a fixed space: Room, house,
neighborhood, country.
•How people use space can
communicate a good deal about what?
•Power and status.
•High status people tend to be granted
more territory and greater privacy. (Boss
at work)
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
ENVIRONMENT
Physical environment affects
communication. It creates perceptions.
Understanding Human Communication, Ninth Edition
Adler/Rodman
Copyright © 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
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