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Introduction to Nonverbal Communication

Definition of nonverbal communication ([Malandro, Barker & Barker 1989]):

Nonverbal communication is the process by which nonverbal behaviours are used, either singly or in combination with verbal behaviours, in the exchange and interpretation of messages within a given situation or context.

Classes of Nonverbal Communication ([Malandro, Barker & Barker 1989]):

  1. facial expression and eye behaviour
  2. body movement and gestures
  3. touching behaviour
  4. voice characteristics and qualities
  5. culture and time
  6. environment
  7. body types, shapes, and sizes
  8. clothing and personal artifacts

Functions of Nonverbal Communication ([Malandro, Barker & Barker 1989]):

Complementing: adding extra information to the verbal message
Contradicting: when our nonverbal messages contradict our verbal messages
Repeating: used in order to emphasize or clarify the verbal message
Regulating: serves to coordinate the verbal dialogue between people
Substituting: occurs when a nonverbal message is transmitted in place of a verbal message
Accenting: emphasizing a particular point in a verbal message

Dafydd Gibbon
Mon Sep 14 14:35:18 MET DST 1998