Chapter Six: Nonverbal Communication: Message Without Words
Nonverbal Communication is those messages expressed by other than linguistic cues. This includes sighs laughs as well as body language. It does not include sign language.
Culture and Nonverbal Communication
Fiorello La Guardia, mayor of New York from 1933-1945 was fluent in English, Italian, and Yiddish. Researchers watched films of his campaign speeches with the sound turned off and found that they could tell which language he was speaking by his nonverbal behavior.
American Adults, in one study, were presented with videotapes of speakers from the United States, France,and Germany. When the sound was eliminated, viewers judged foreigners more negatively than their fellow citizens. When the speakers voices were added (allowing viewers to recognize that they were from a different country), the critical ratings dropped.
Eye contact varies around the world. Direct gaze is appropriate in Latin America, the Arab world, and southern Europe. On the other hand, Asians, Indians, and Pakistanis, and northern Europe gaze at the listener peripherally or not at all.
Some minority children are viewed as unresponsive or slow when they are simply playing by a different set of rules. A teacher might ask: "So twelve divided by four is six, right?" This style of questioning is unfamiliar in many traditional black cultures who aren't likely to respond until they are directly questioned by the instructor.
Japanese tradition calls for suppressing emotion to keep group harmony. In Japan, until this century, some Japanese women shaved their eyebrows and blackened their teeth to veil natural expression. Many Japanese women still hide their mouths behind a hand when they speak or laugh. For men, too concealing emotion is considered a virtue.
Culture has more influence than Biology
For example: Push up bras emphasize breast size, high heels force women to wiggle their hips while walking, shaving armpits and legs minimizes body hair. These cultural customs emphasize differences rather than similarities.
Gender and Nonverbal
Women make more eye contact than men do with conversational partners
Women are more vocally expressive than men
Women interact at closer distances, both with men and with other women, than do men in same sex conversations.
Men are more likely to lean forward in conversation s than women
Men require and are given more personal space than women
Women are more likely to face conversational partners head on, whereas men more typically angle their bodies obliquely when speaking
Women express more feeling via facial expression than men. Most noticeably, women smile considerably more than men.
Women gesture more and use more expressive gestures.
Exhaustive research has shown that sex differences in communication are so minor that men and women's communication are about 99% similar and only 1% different. Of course this 1% can be powerful as in the case of the masculine acting woman or the feminine acting man.
Monica Moore spend hundreds of hours observing women and men courting one another. Moore discovered that the women most commonly makes the initial decision about whether to encourage contact by nonvervally signaling her interest to a man.
Nonverbal Communication Serves Many Functions
Deception and Nonverbals: Lying
In one experiment, subjects who were encouraged to be deceitful made more speech errors, spoke for shorter periods of time, and had a lower rate of speech than did others who were encouraged to express themselves honestly.
The vocal frequency of a liars voice tends to be higher than that of a truth teller.
Deceivers delivering a prepared lie responded more quickly than truth tellers, mainly because there was less thinking involved. When unprepared, however, deceivers generally took longer than both prepared deceivers and truth tellers.
Nonverbal evidence of lying is most likely to occur when deceivers haven't had a chance to rehearse, when they feel strongly about the information they are hiding, or when they feel anxious or guilty about their lies.
Even when deceptive clues are abundant, they aren't necessarily direct signals of lying itself rather they may signal the anxiety that some liars feel.
The average effectiveness of uncovering deceptive message is broad ranging from 45% to 70%.
Sometimes the very suspicion that someone is lying can improve the deceivers attempt to hide the truth.
Research shows that communicators who probe the messages of deceptive communicators are no better at detecting lies than those who don't investigate the truth.
Some people are better than others at uncovering deception:
Younger people are better than older ones at uncovering lies.
Women are consistently more accurate than men at detecting lying and what the underlying truth really is.
As people become more intimate, their accuracy in detecting lies declines.
Women are more inclined to fall for the deception of intimate partners than men.
Grace Lim and Michael Roloff explored the ambiguous nature of nonverbal behavior in courtship. Example, does a kiss mean, "I like you a lot" or "I want to have sex?" In a survey of 100 college students in 12 dating scenarios, verbal consent was seen as less ambiguous than nonverbals.
IN laboratory settings, subjects are better at identifying positive facial expressions such as happiness, love and surprise than they were at identifying negative facial expression s such as fear, sadness, anger and disgust.
Extroverts are relatively accurate judges of nonverbal behavior where dogmatists are not.
Verbal vs Nonverbal Impact
When we are exposed to both verbal and nonverbal messages, research shows that we find the nonverbal messages much more powerful .
Raters who judged verbal and nonverbal messages separately found them equal in strength but when the two messages were combined, the nonverbal ones accounted for as 12.5 times as much power as did the verbal message.
In one study, less than 1/4 of experimental subjects who had been instructed to show increased or decreased likeing of a partner could describe the nonverbal behaviors they used.
Types of nonverbal Communication
Kinesics: Body position and motion
The degree to which we face toward or away from someone with our body, feet, and head.
Facing someone signals interest and facing away signals a desire to avoid direct involvement.
Try observing people in various settings and see who seems to be included and who is subtly shut out.
Our language is full of expression that link emotional states with body postures.
"I won't take this lying down."
"Take a load off your back."
"He can stand on his own two feet."
"She has a to carry a heavy burden."
Albert Mehrabian has found that tension and relaxation are clues to feelings.
We take relaxed posture in non threatening situation and tighten up in threatening situations.
Watching tenseness is a way of detecting status: The lower status person is generally the more rigid, tense-apprearing one, where the high status person is more relaxed.
One study revealed that rapist sometimes use postural clues to select victims they believe are easy to intimidate. Easy targets are more likely to walk slowly and tentatively stare at the ground and move their arms and legs in short, jerky motions.
When researchers asked prison inmates to judge videos of people who might be a potential victim, there were certain characteristics of a victim
Their strides were either very long or very short; they moved awkwardly, raising their left legs with their left arms; on each step they tended to lift their whole foot up and then place it down (Less muggable sorts rocked from to toe). Overall the people rated as most muggable walked as if they were in conflict with themselves; they seemed to make each move in the most difficult way possible.
Gestures--movements of the hands and arms.
Illustrators-movements that can't stand alone.
Emblems- deliberate nonverbal behaviors with a very precise meaning. Nod for yes or hand to ear for I can't hear you.
Adaptors-self touching behaviors--increases use of manipulators is a sign of discomfort.
Face and Eyes
Ekman and Friesen have identified 6 basic emotions that facial expressions reflect: Surprise, fear, anger, disgust, happiness, and sadness. These were recognized in all cultures.
Customers leave larger tips when their servers maintain eye contact with them.
Pupil Dilation: A person's eyes grow larger in proportion to the degree of interest in an object. Men's pupils grew about 18% when looking at pictures of naked women. Women's pupils grew 20% when looking at pictures of naked men. The greater pupil size occurred when women looked at a pictures of a mother and an infant.
is nonverbal, vocal messages. The way a message is spoken.
The impact of paralinguistic cues is strong. Listeners pay more attention to paralanguage than to the content of the words.
Young children respond to the paralanguage of adults, warming up to those who speak warmly and shying away form those who speak in a less friendly manner.
Researchers have discovered that communicators are most likely to comply with requests delivered by speakers whose rate what similar to their own: People who spoke rapidly responded most favorably to rapid talkers, whereas slow speakers preferred others whose rate was slow. Listens also feel more positively about people who speak at their own rate.
If a person is trying to hide fear or anger, the voice will probably sound higher and louder, and the rate of talk may be faster than normal.
Sadness produces the vocal patterns that are quieter, lower pitched and delivered at a slower rate.
Sarcasm uses emphasis on the tone of voice to change a statements meaning: "Thanks a lot!" "I really had a wonderful time on my blind date." "There's nothing I like better than lima beans."
Communicators who speak loudly and without hesitations are viewed as more confident than those who pause and speak quietly.
People with more attractive voices are rated more highly than those with less attractive voice.
Accents that identify a speaker's membership in a group leas to more positive evaluations (if the group is high status) or to negative evaluations (if the group is low status).
Older sounding communicators whose language was accent free were rated as most competent
Older sounding communicators who did not speak in a culturally standard way were rated as least competent.
Touch increases liking
Touch increases compliance
Subjects were approached by a female confederate who requested that they return a dime left in the phone booth from which they had just emerged. When the request was accompanied by a light touch, the probability that the subject would return the dime increased significantly.
Subjects were asked by a male or female confederate to sign a petition or complete a rating scale. The subjects were more likely to cooperate when they were touched lightly on the arm: 70% of the touched complied and only 40% of the untouched did.
A restaurant waiter's fleeting touch on the hand and shoulder result in larger tips.
Both men and women in taverns increase their alcohol consumption when touched by the waitress.
During the 19th and early 20th century many children died from lack of touch.
Some early orphanages has a mortality rate of nearly 100%.--researchers found these infants did form lack of physical contact with parents or nurses rather than lack of medical care.
One hospital began "mothering children"--picking them up and carrying them around-- and the death rate fell from between 30 to 35% to below 10%.
Premature babies grow faster and gain weight more when massaged.
Massage can help premature children gain weight, help colicky children sleep better, improve the moos of depressed adolescents, and boost the immune function of cancer and HIV patients.
Touch between therapists and clients has the potential to encourage a variety of beneficial changes:more self disclosure, client self-acceptance, and more positive client-therapist relations.
Attractive applicants find it easier to find jobs.
Shorter men have more difficulty finding jobs
Men over six feet have starting salaries that average 12.4% higher than comparable applicants under 6 feet.
Children as young as 3 can pick out children that are attractive and unattractive.
Preschool children rated by their peers as pretty were the most liked and those rated as the least pretty were least liked.
Attractive students are usually judged more favorable--as being more friendly, popular--by teachers.
Posture, gestures, facial expressions and other behaviors can increase the attractiveness of an otherwise unremarkable person.
Clothing conveys at least 10 types of messages to others
Level of Success
Level of sophistication
Experimenters dressed in uniforms resembling police officers. They were more successful than those in civilian clothes in requesting that pedestrian pick up litter and persuading them to lend a dime to an over parked motorist.
Solicitors wearing sheriff's and nurse's uniforms increased the level of contributions to law enforcement and health care campaigns.
Male and female students were stationed in a hallway so anyone who wished to avoid them had to pass in between them. In one condition, the couple wore daytime formal dress and in another they wore casual attire. Passers by responded positively to the well-dressed couple and negatively to the casually dressed couple.
College students judged victims of sexual harassment differently depending on the clothing they wore. Victims dressed in black were rated as less honest and more aggressive than those dressed in light colors.
Pedestrians were more likely to return lost coins to people dressed in high status clothing than those dressed in low status clothing.
83% of pedestrians followed a jaywalker in high-status clothing who violated a "wait" crossing signal versus 48% followed a confederate in low status clothing.
Women who are wearing a jacket are rated as being more powerful than those wearing only a dress or skirt and blouse.
Proxemics is the study of the way people and animals use space.
"Your persona hula hoop," according to a student
Edward Hall identified 4 main distances
Intimate distance: Skin to 18 inches
Personal distance: 18 inches to 4 feet.
Social distance: 4 feet to 12 feet
Public distance: 12 feet outward
Personal space we carry around and territory remains stationsy.
We grant people with higher status more personal territory and greater privacy.
Students looked at slides of 12 upper middle class homes and then researchers asked them to infer the personality of the owners from the impressions. The students were especially accurate after glancing at the interior photos. The decorating schemes communicated accurate information about intellectualism, politeness, maturity, optimism, tenseness, willingness to take adventures, and family orientation. The home exteriors also gave viewers accurate perceptions of the owners artistic interest, graciousness, privacy, and quietness.
Removing a donctor's desk in a doctor's office makes pationed feel almost 5 times more at ease during office visits.
Chronmeics is the study of how humans use structure and time
Important people may be seen by appointment only.
In NY City an invitation for 9:00 to a party means no one should come until 9:30
In Salt Lake City, guests would be expected to be on time or even a little early.