Paralanguage: Nonverbal Communication “People are more frightened of being lonely than of being hungry, or being deprived of sleep, or of having their sexual needs unfulfilled” (Frieda Fromm Reichmenn). Paralanguage: Nonverbal Communication Communication by means other than language. Paralanguage includes • • • • • • • • Facial expressions Tones of voice Gestures Eye contact Spatial arrangements Patterns of touch Expressive movements Silence Paralanguage includes intentional and unintentional nonverbal messages Paralanguage may be: • Complementary • Unconscious • Learned Universals and Cultural Variations • eyebrow flash, the nose wrinkle • basic emotions: --happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, anger, and surprise The functions of nonverbal communication • • • • To repeat what was said verbally To complement what was said verbally To contradict to what was said verbally To substitute for what would be said verbally • To regulate and manage the communication event Nonverbal communication divided into • Kinesic and Proxemic acts • Kinesics: The study of nonverbal gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and body posture • Proxemics: The study of the use of space, touch, and distance as features of nonverbal communication. Inborn Nonverbal Actions • Smiling • Crying Universality versus Relativism • Birdwhistell (1970) • Emblems: are gestures understood by participant of a communicative community to express a specific meaning Cultural Specific Emblems • Can you guess what the following gestures from Japan, France and Iran mean? Could reflect social status and gender • Dominance versus subordination In North America ---more space---take less space ---stare at others ---less eye contact --- smile more-- smile less Dangers of overgeneralizations • Cannot assume everybody in a culture behaves the same way • Infrequent actions should not be used to characterize a culture • We should not ignore that nonverbal behaviors are part of complex communication processes How do we communicate with those we don’t know? • Leonard Zunin (The First Four Minutes, 1972) • Three common behaviours: • which side of the path” look • I acknowledge you” look • Look—away priority” Proxemics • Edward, T Hall in 1963 • refers to touch and issues of personal space Distance Between Faces Tone of Voice very close (3-6") soft whisper close (8-12") audible whisper neutral (20-36") neutral (4.5-5') across the room (8-20') soft voice, low volume full voice loud voice Type of Message top secret or sensual very confidential personal subject matter non-personal information talking to a group stretching the limit All nonverbal communication is best understood within cultural context • • • • Body movements Eye contact Facial expressions Touch Silence also part of nonverbal communication • Sends nonverbal clues during communication • Culturally determined • Igbos of Nigeria Do you think that understanding nonverbal patterns can help us identify our own ethnocentric attitudes?