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Nonverbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless (mostly visual) messages between people. Messages can be communicated through gestures and touch, by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact. Nonverbal messages could also be communicated through material exponential; meaning, objects or artifacts(such as clothing, hairstyles or architecture). Speech contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation, and stress. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the physical layout of a page. 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, physical characteristics of the communicators, and behaviors of communicators during interaction.
“Most social psychologists will tell you that nonverbal communication makes up about two-thirds of all communication between two people or between one speaker and a group of listeners.”  Nonverbal communication can portray a message both verbally and with the correct body signals. “There are numerous elements of what we call body language. They include physical features, both changeable and unchangeable, your gestures and signals you send to others at a conscience and unconscious level, and the space that you use when communicating with others.”  The wrong message can be established if the body language conveyed does not match a verbal message. Nonverbal communication strengthens a first impression in common situations like attracting a partner or in a business interview. “You have less than ten seconds and realistically close to four seconds to make a good impression on those with whom you come in contact.”  First encounters or interactions with another person strongly affect a person’s lifestyle. “People are more likely to believe that the first things they learn are the truth.”  When the other person or group is absorbing the message they are focused on the entire environment around them, meaning, the other person uses all five senses in the interaction. “Sight makes up 83% of the impact on the brain of information from the senses during a visual presentation. Taste makes up 1%, Hearing makes up 11%, smell 3% and touch 2%.”
The first scientific study of nonverbal communication was Charles Darwin's book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. He argued that all mammals reliably show emotion in their faces. Seventy years later Silvan Tomkins (1911–1991) began his classic studies on human emotions in Affects Imagery Consciousness volumes 1-4. Rudolf Laban (1879–1958) and Warren Lamb (1923-) raised body movement analysis in the world of dance to a high level. Studies now range across a number of fields, including, linguistics, semiotics and social psychology. Another large influence in nonverbal communication was Birdwhistell. “ Anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell pioneered the original study of nonverbal communication—what he called ‘kinesics.’ He estimated that the average person actually speaks words for a total of about ten or eleven minutes a day and that the average sentence takes only about 2.5 seconds. Birdwhistell also estimated we can make and recognize around 250,000 facial expressions.” 
Functions 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)
In regards to expressing interpersonal attitudes, humans communicate interpersonal closeness through a series of nonverbal 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 considered high-contact cultures.
An interesting question is: When two people are communicating face-to-face, how much of the meaning is communicated verbally, and how much is communicated non-verbally? This was investigated by Albert Mehrabian and reported in two papers. The latter paper concluded: "It is suggested that the combined effect of simultaneous verbal, vocal, and facial attitude communications is a weighted sum of their independent effects - with coefficients of .07, .38, and .55, respectively." This "rule" that clues from spoken words, from the voice tone, and from the facial expression, contribute 7 %, 38 %, and 55 % respectively to the total meaning, is widely cited. It is presented on all types of popular courses with statements like "scientists have found out that . . . ". In reality, however, it is extremely weakly founded. First, it is based on the judgment of the meaning of single tape-recorded words, i.e. a very artificial context. Second, the figures are obtained by combining results from two different studies which potentially cannot be combined. Third, it relates only to the communication of positive versus negative emotions. Fourth, it relates only to women, as men did not participate in the study.
Since then, other studies have analysed the relative contribution of verbal and nonverbal signals under more naturalistic situations. Argyle, using video tapes shown to the subjects, analysed the communication of submissive/dominant attitude and found that non-verbal cues had 4.3 times the effect of verbal cues. The most important effect was that body posture communicated superior status in a very efficient way. On the other hand, a study by Hsee et al. had subjects judge a person on the dimension happy/sad and found that words spoken with minimal variation in intonation had an impact about 4 times larger than face expressions seen in a film without sound. Thus, the relative importance of spoken words and facial expressions may be very different in studies using different set-ups.
Interaction of verbal and nonverbal communication
When communicating, nonverbal messages can interact with verbal messages in six ways: repeating, conflicting, complementing, substituting, regulating and accenting/moderating. Conflicting Verbal and nonverbal messages within the same interaction can sometimes send opposing or conflicting messages. A person verbally expressing a statement of truth while simultaneously fidgeting or avoiding eye contact may convey a mixed message to the receiver in the interaction. Conflicting messages may occur for a variety of reasons often stemming from feelings of uncertainty, ambivalence, or frustration.When mixed messages occur, nonverbal communication becomes the primary tool people use to attain additional information to clarify the situation; great attention is placed on bodily movements and positioning when people perceive mixed messages during interactions
Accurate interpretation of messages is made easier when nonverbal and verbal communication complement each other. Nonverbal cues can be used to elaborate on verbal messages to reinforce the information sent when trying to achieve communicative goals; messages have been shown to be remembered better when nonverbal signals affirm the verbal exchange.
Nonverbal behavior is sometimes used as the sole channel for communication of a message. People learn to identify facial expressions, body movements, and body positioning as corresponding with specific feelings and intentions. Nonverbal signals can be used without verbal communication to convey messages; when nonverbal behavior does not effectively communicate a message, verbal methods are used to enhance understanding.
Posture or a person's bodily stance communicates a variety of messages. Posture can be used to determine a participant’s degree of attention or involvement, the difference in status between communicators, and the level of fondness a person has for the other communicator, depending on body “openness”. Studies investigating the impact of posture on interpersonal relationships suggest that mirror-image congruent postures, where one person’s left side is parallel to the other person’s right side, leads to favorable perception of communicators and positive speech; a person who displays a forward lean or decreases a backward lean also signifies positive sentiment during communication. There are many different types of posture. Some of these postures include: slouching, towering, legs spread, jaw thrust, shoulders forward, and arm crossing. These nonverbal behaviors can indicate feelings and attitudes toward another person. An example of good posture includes standing erect, and leaning forward communicates to a person that you are approachable, receptive, and friendly. A person talking to someone that is constantly looking at the floor or ceiling makes it seem as though disinterest with the conversation. Always try to avoid negative posture. “Lean forward when listening, stand straight when speaking.”  Posture can be situation-relative. “A nineteen-year-old college student from New York will use different postures than a Mid-western housewife, and a construction worker in the state of Washington will use different postures than a salesman in Chicago Another example of posture being situational on more of a daily basis can be described in Driver’s book: “Four situational norms of posture would be, Flirting, where the norm is 60% eye contact, Job Interview with a relaxed and open body language, Business Negotiation where the norm is leaning back while steeping and Buying a Car where most have hands on hips with feet more than ten inches apart.” 
Gestures may be made with the hands, arms or body, and also include movements of the head, face and eyes, such as winking, nodding, or rolling one's eyes. Although the study of gesture is still in its infancy, some broad categories of gestures have been identified by researchers. The most familiar are the so-called emblems or quotable gestures. These are conventional, culture-specific gestures that can be used as replacement for words, such as the hand wave used in western cultures for "hello" and "goodbye." A single emblematic gesture can have a very different significance in different cultural contexts, ranging from complimentary to highly offensive. For a list of emblematic gestures, see List of gestures. There are some universal gestures like the shoulder shrug. “The shoulder shrug is a good example of a universal gesture that is used to show that a person doesn’t know or doesn’t understand what you are saying. It’s a multiple gesture that has three main parts: exposed palms to show nothing is being concealed in the hands, hunched shoulders to protect the throat from attack, and raised brow, which is a universal, submissive greeting”  Gestures can also be categorized as either speech independent or speech related. Speech-independent gestures are dependent upon culturally accepted interpretation and have a direct verbal translation. A wave or a [V-sign| peace sign] are examples of speech-independent gestures. Speech-related gestures are used in parallel with verbal speech; this form of nonverbal communication is used to emphasize the message that is being communicated. Speech-related gestures are intended to provide supplemental information to a verbal message such as pointing to an object of discussion.
Eye-contact is the primary notion to where a message of attention is being conveyed in engagement with Nonverbal communication. Eye contact is when two people look at each other's eyes at the same time; it can indicate interest, attention, and involvement. Studies have found that people use their eyes to indicate their interest and not just with the frequently recognized actions of winking and movements of the eyebrows, but it can indicate social behavior. Men and women have different ways of eye contact. Men stare at the women they are interested in for at least a half an hour were as women tend to always keep their eyes roaming around the room to see who is there. Disinterest is highly noticeable when showing little eye-contact in a social setting. Pupils dilate when they are interested in the other person. People, sometimes, even, without consciously doing so, probe each other's eyes and faces for positive or negative mood signs. Generally speaking, the longer the eye contact between two people the greater the intimacy is felt inside  According to Eckman,“Eye contact (also called mutual gaze) is another major channel of nonverbal communication. The duration of eye contact is its most meaningful aspect.)  Gaze comprises the actions of looking while talking and listening. The length of a gaze, the frequency of glances, patterns of fixation, pupil dilation, and blink rate are all important cues in nonverbal communication. “Liking generally increases as mutual gazing increases.”   Along with the detection of disinterest, deceit can also be observed in a person. Hogan states “when someone is being deceptive their eyes tend to blink a lot more. Eyes act as leading indicator of truth or deception,”  Eye aversion is the avoidance of eye contact. Eye contact and facial expressions provide important social and emotional information. Overall, as Pease states, “Give the amount of eye contact that makes everyone feel comfortable. Unless looking at others is a cultural no-no, lookers gain more credibility than non-lookers”  In 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 transcript 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. However, there are many cited examples of cues to deceit,delivered via nonverbal (Para verbal and visual) communication channels, through which deceivers supposedly unwittingly provide clues to their concealed knowledge or actual opinions. Most studies examining the nonverbal cues to deceit rely upon human coding of video footage (c.f. Vrij, 2008), although a recent study also demonstrated bodily movement differences between truth-tellers and liars using an automated body motion capture system Deceit also involves distress. One recent study set out to find how well people could communicate distress signals non-verbally. The research shows that you can identify certain social cues that can help you to predict that person's behavior. This is not always true though. The cues depend on the mindset of the person and cannot be predicted. The study was able to find 55 identifiable distress cues.
“In the study of nonverbal communications, the limbic brain is where the action is…because it is the part of the brain that reacts to the world around us reflexively and instantaneously, in real time, and without thought.”  Genetics is a harder field to study in dealing with Nonverbal Communication, but there is evidence that the nonverbal cues made from person-to-person do not entirely have something to do with environment. “When you cross your arms on your chest, do you cross left over right or right over left? – Seven out of ten people cross their left arm over their right…Evidence suggests that this may well be a genetic gesture that cannot be changed.”  So how is it studied in an entirely environmentally free environment? “Evidence has been collected from observation of blind people (who could not have learned nonverbal signals through a visual channel).”  Other than gestures, phenotypic traits can also convey certain messages in nonverbal communication, for instance, eye color, hair color and height. Research into height has generally found that taller people are perceived as being more impressive. Melamed and Bozionelos (1992) studied a sample of managers in the United Kingdom and found that height was a key factor in who was promoted. Height can have benefits and depressors too. “Being tall, however, is not always a bonus. While tall people often command more respect than short people, height can also be detrimental to some aspects of one-to-one communication, for instance, where you need to ‘talk on the same level’ or have an ‘eye-to-eye’ discussion with another person and do not want to be perceived as too big for your boots.” 
Clothing is the most common form of non-verbal communication. The types of clothing that an individual wears convey nonverbal clues about his or her personality, background and financial status, and how others will respond to them, for instance, “Miniskirts can give a woman the appearance that she is not approachable.”  This demonstrates a certain response, in this case, a negative and unapproachable response, simply via appearance. It is important to understand that their exterior and demeanor influence how others will react to them. An individual’s clothing style can demonstrate their culture, mood, level of confidence, interests, age, authority, value/beliefs, and their sexual identity. Some examples of a person’s clothing type in which a negative message is being conveyed could include the following: A person with a sloppy appearance, messy hair, and wrinkled clothes sends the message, "I don't care". Also, a woman who wears a tight dress with a low-cut neckline may convey the message "I'm attractive and sexy" or “Want to come back to my place tonight"? By showing the positive aspects of his or her self through dress attire and grooming, one can inspire confidence in his or her abilities.
Nonverbal elements such as physique, height, weight, hair, skin color, gender, odors, and clothing send nonverbal messages during interaction. For example, a study, carried out in Vienna, Austria, of the clothing worn by women attending discotheques showed that in certain groups of women (especially women who were without their partners), motivation for sex and levels of sexual hormones were correlated with aspects of their clothing, especially the amount of skin displayed and the presence of sheer clothing. Thus, to some degree, clothing sends signals about interest in courtship.
Proxemics: physical space in communication
When you are talking to someone stay out of their “ intimate space” they want to talk to you but just do not want to have you all over them. “ Most animals have a certain air space around their bodies that they claim as their personal space…1-18 in being the intimate zone, 18-48 in being the personal zone, 4-12 ft. being the social zone and the public zone at over 12 ft.” 
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. In addition, 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 used in the study of proxemics to explain human behavior regarding personal space. Hargie & Dickson (2004, p. 69) identify 4 such territories:
- Primary territory: This refers to an area that is associated with someone who has exclusive use of it. An example is a house that others cannot enter without the owner’s permission.
- Secondary territory: Unlike primary territory, there is no “right” to occupancy of secondary territory, but people may still feel some degree of ownership of such space as they develop the custom of occupying it. For example, someone may sit in the same seat in church every week and feel irritated if someone else sits there.
- 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 extend 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 held 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 their interaction territory.
Movement and body position
The term "kinesics" was first used (in 1952) by Ray Birdwhistell, an anthropologist who wished to study how people communicate through posture, gesture, stance, and movement. Part of Birdwhistell's work involved making films of people in social situations and analyzing them to show different levels of communication not clearly seen otherwise. Several other anthropologists, including Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, also studied kinesics.
Haptics: touching in communication
Haptics is the study of touching as nonverbal communication, and haptic communication refers to how people and other animals communicate via touching.
Touches among humans 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 "adapters" 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 culture, the context of the situation, the relationship between communicators, and the manner of touch.
Touch is an extremely important sense for humans; as well as providing information about surfaces and textures it is a component of nonverbal communication in interpersonal relationships, and vital in conveying physical intimacy. It can be both sexual (such as kissing) and platonic (such as hugging or tickling).
Touch is the earliest sense to develop in the fetus. The development of an infant's haptic senses and how it relates to the development of the other senses such as vision have been the target of much research. Human babies have been observed to have enormous difficulty surviving if they do not possess a sense of touch, even if they retain sight and hearing. Babies who can perceive through touch, even without sight and hearing, tend to fare much better. Touch can be thought of as a basic sense in that most life forms have a response to being touched, while only a subset have sight and hearing.
In chimpanzees the sense of touch is highly developed. As newborns they see and hear poorly but cling strongly to their mothers. Harry Harlow conducted a controversial study involving rhesus monkeys and observed that monkeys reared with a "terry cloth mother," a wire feeding apparatus wrapped in soft terry cloth that provided a level of tactile stimulation and comfort, were considerably more emotionally stable as adults than those with a mere wire mother.(Harlow,1958)
Touching is treated differently from one country to another and socially acceptable levels of touching vary from one culture to another (Remland, 2009). In Thai culture, for example, touching someone's head may be thought rude. Remland and Jones (1995) studied groups of people communicating and found that touching was rare among the English (8%), the French (5%) and the Dutch (4%) compared to Italians (14%) and Greeks (12.5%).
Striking, pushing, pulling, pinching, kicking, strangling and hand-to-hand fighting are forms of touch in the context of physical abuse. In a sentence like "I never touched him/her" or "Don't you dare touch him/her," the term touch may be meant as a euphemism for either physical abuse or sexual touching. To "touch oneself" is a euphemism for masturbation.
Stoeltje (2003) wrote about how Americans are "losing touch" with this important communication skill. During a study conducted by University of Miami School of Medicine, Touch Research Institutes, American children were said to be more aggressive than their French counterparts while playing at a playground. It was noted that French women touched their children more.
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 the willingness to wait, plus 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 two dominant time patterns: monochronic time and polychronic time.
A monochronic time system means that things are done one at a time and time is segmented into precise, small units. Under this system time is scheduled, arranged and managed.
The United States is considered a monochronic society. This perception of time is learned and rooted in the Industrial Revolution, where "factory life required the labor force to be on hand and in place at an appointed hour" (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 238). For Americans, time is a precious resource not to be wasted or taken lightly. "We buy time, save time, spend time and make time. Our time can be broken down into years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds and even milliseconds. We use time to structure both our daily lives and events that we are planning for the future. We have schedules that we must follow: appointments that we must go to at a certain time, classes that start and end at certain times, work schedules that start and end at certain times, and even our favorite TV shows, that start and end at a certain time.”
As communication scholar Edward T. Hall wrote regarding the American viewpoint of time in the business world, “the schedule is sacred.” Hall says that for monochronic cultures, “time is tangible” and viewed as a commodity where “time is money” or “time is wasted.” The result of this perspective is that Americans and other monochronic cultures, such as the German and Swiss, place a paramount value on schedules, tasks and “getting the job done.” These cultures are committed to regimented schedules and may view those who do not subscribe to the same perception of time as disrespectful.
A polychronic time system is a system where several things can be done at once, and a more fluid approach is taken to scheduling time. Unlike Americans and most northern and western European cultures, Native American, Latin American, Arab and African cultures use the polychronic system of time.
These cultures are much less focused on the preciseness of accounting for each and every moment. As Raymond Cohen notes, polychronic cultures are deeply steeped in tradition rather than in tasks—a clear difference from their monochronic counterparts. Cohen notes that "Traditional societies have all the time in the world. The arbitrary divisions of the clock face have little saliency in cultures grounded in the cycle of the seasons, the invariant pattern of rural life, and the calendar of religious festivities" (Cohen, 1997, p. 34).
Instead, their culture is more focused on relationships, rather than watching the clock. They have no problem being “late” for an event if they are with family or friends, because the relationship is what really matters. As a result, polychronic cultures have a much less formal perception of time. They are not ruled by precise calendars and schedules. Rather, “cultures that use the polychronic time system often schedule multiple appointments simultaneously so keeping on schedule is an impossibility.” 
Clinical studies of nonverbal communication
From 1977 to 2004, the influence of disease and drugs on receptivity of nonverbal communication was studied by teams at three separate medical schools using a similar paradigm. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, Yale University and Ohio State University had subjects observe gamblers at a slot machine awaiting payoffs. The amount of this payoff was read by nonverbal transmission prior to reinforcement. This technique was developed by and the studies directed by psychologist, Dr. Robert E. Miller and psychiatrist, Dr. A. James Giannini. These groups reported diminished receptive ability in heroin addicts  and phencyclidine abusers was contrasted with increased receptivity in cocaine addicts. Men with major depression manifested significantly decreased ability to read nonverbal cues when compared with euthymic men.
In some subjects tested for ability to read nonverbal cues, intuitive paradigms were apparently employed while in others a cause and effect approach was used. Subjects in the former group answered quickly and before reinforcement occurred. They could not give a rationale for their particular responses. Subjects in the latter category delayed their response and could offer reasons for their choice.The level of accuracy between the two groups did not vary nor did handedness.
Freitas-Magalhaes studied the effect of smile in the treatment of depression and concluded that depressive states decrease when you smile more often.
Obese women and women with premenstrual syndrome were found to also possess diminished abilities to read these cues. In contradistinction, men with bipolar disorder possessed increased abilities. A woman with total paralysis of the nerves of facial expression was found unable to transmit or receive any nonverbal facial cues whatsoever. Because of the changes in levels of accuracy on the levels of nonverbal receptivity, the members of the research team hypothesized a biochemical site in the brain which was operative for reception of nonverbal cues. Because certain drugs enhanced ability while others diminished it, the neurotransmitters dopamine and endorphin were considered to be likely etiological candidate. Based on the available data, however, the primary cause and primary effect could not be sorted out on the basis of the paradigm employed.
A byproduct of the work of the Pittsburgh/Yale/ Ohio State team was an investigation of the role of nonverbal facial cues in heterosexual nondate rape. Males who were serial rapists of adult women were studied for nonverbal receptive abilities. Their scores were the highest of any subgroup. Rape victims were next tested. It was reported that women who had been raped on at least two occasions by different perpetrators had a highly significant impairment in their abilities to read these cues in either male or female senders. These results were troubling, indicating a predator-prey model. The authors did note that whatever the nature of these preliminary findings the responsibility of the rapist was in no manner or level, diminished.
The final target of study for this group was the medical students they taught. Medical students at Ohio State University, Ohio University and Northest Ohio Medical College were invited to serve as subjects. Students indicating a preference for the specialties of family practice, psychiatry, pediatrics and obstetrics-gynecology achieved significantly higher levels of accuracy than those students who planned to train as surgeons, radiologists, or pathologists. Internal medicine and plastic surgery candidates scored at levels near the mean.
Nonverbal communication is the process of sending and receiving messages from another person. These messages can be conveyed through gestures, engagement, posture, and even clothing and hygiene. Nonverbal communication can convey a very different message than a verbal conversation. This can tell someone whether they are likes, interesting or hated. Nonverbal communication and can have meanings in objects as well. Certain articles in a person’s life can say a lot about them and can sometimes even talk for them. A person’s handwriting can also tell a lot about the way they can communicate with others. Nonverbal communication can be easiest practiced when the two communicators are face to face. The nonverbal aspect of communication is easiest when the environment is right for all communicators involved, such as, when the environment is right or the moment is right. Nonverbal communication is an important aspect in any conversation skill people are practicing. Nonverbal communication will inhibit someone to be able to tell other person how hey are really feeling without having to voice any opinions. People can interpret body signals better than they can talk most of the time.
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