Non-Verbal Communication _1_

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Communication (1)
    The Importance of Nonverbal
• Consciously and unconsciously,
  intentionally and unintentionally, we make
  important judgements and decisions
  concerning the internal states of others—
  states they often express without words.
• There is language in her eyes, her cheek,
  her lips. Nay, her foot speaks. —
• Anthropologists estimate:
• language — 35%
• Non-verbal — 65%
• All human beings perform actions to which
  other people attach meanings, but these
  meanings are culturally based.
• We also use the actions of others to learn about
  their affective or emotional states. Our emotions
  are reflected in our posture, face and eyes—be it
  fear, joy, anger, or sadness—so we can express
  them without ever uttering a word.
• For this reason, most of us rely heavily on what
  we learn through our eyes. In fact, research
  indicates that we will believe nonverbal
  messages instead of verbal ones when the two
  contradict with each other.
• “Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears.”
• Nonverbal communication is significant in
  human interaction because it is usually
  responsible for first impressions.
• Nonverbal communication has value in human
  interaction because many of our nonverbal
  actions are not easily controlled consciously.
  This means that they are relatively free of
  distortions and deception. It is difficult to control
  a blushing face when we are embarrassed or a
  clenched jaw when we are angry.
• Finally, nonverbal communication is
  important to the study of intercultural
  communication because a great deal of
  nonverbal behavior speaks a universal
  language. Whether in San Francisco,
  Madrid, or Beijing, people tend to have
  similar meanings for behaviors such as
  smiling, frowning, laughing, and crying.
Defining Nonverbal Communication

• Nonverbal communication involves all
  those nonverbal stimuli in a
  communication setting that are
  generated by both the source and his
  or her use of the environment and that
  have potential message value for the
  source or receiver.
        Functions of Nonverbal
•   Repeating
•   Complementing
•   Substituting
•   Regulating
•   Contradicting
             1. Repeating
• People often use nonvebal messages to
  repeat a point they are trying to make.
  Americans might hold up their hand in the
  gesture that signifies a person to stop at
  the same time they actually use the word
  stop. The gestures and words have a
  similar meaning and reinforce one another.
         2. Complementing
• Complementing adds more information to
  messages. For example, you can tell
  someone that you are pleased with his or
  her performance, but this message takes
  on extra meaning if you pat the person on
  the shoulder at the same time.
• Many writers in the area of nonverbal
  communication refer to this as a type of
  accenting because it accents the idea the
  speaker is trying to make.
            3. Substituting
• We use substitution in nonverbal
  communication when we perform some
  action instead of speaking.
• If you see a very special friend, you are
  apt to enlarge the size of your smile and
  throw open your arms to greet him or her,
  which is a substitute for all the words it
  would take to convey the same feeling.
             4. Regulating
• We often regulate and manage
  communication by using some form of
  nonverbal behavior: we nod our head in
  agreement to indicate to our
  communication partner that we agree and
  that he or she should continue talking. Or
  we have direct eye contact with someone
  to let him or her know the channels are
• In short, our nonverbal behavior helps us
  control the situation.
            5. Contradicting
• On some occasions, our nonverbal actions send
  signals opposite from the literal meanings
  contained in our verbal messages.
• You tell someone you are relaxed and at ease,
  yet your voice quavers and your hands shake.
• Because people rely mostly on nonverbal
  messages when they receive conflicting data,
  we need to be aware of the dangers inherent in
  sending opposing messages.
   Nonverbal Communication and
• Culture is pervasive, multidimensional, and
  boundless, it is everywhere and in everything.
  The same is true of nonverbal bahavior.
• Another parallel is that both need to be learned.
  Although much of outward behavior is innate
  (such as smiling, touching, eye contact), we are
  not born knowing the communication
  dimensions associated with nonverbal
     Classifications of Nonverbal
• 1. those that are primarily produced by the
  body (apperance, movement, facial
  expressions, eye contact, touch, smell,
  and paralanguage);
• 2. those that the individual combines with
  the setting (space, time, and silence)
    Nonverbal Communication
• Ⅰ. General Apperance and Dress
• Ⅱ. Kinestics (身势学movements of body)
• Ⅲ. Paralanguage (副语言)
• Ⅳ. Space and Distance (spatial language
  or proxemics空间学)
• Ⅴ. Time (temporal language or
• Ⅵ. Silence
 Ⅰ. General Apperance and Dress
• We make inferences (always faulty) about
  another’s intelligence, gender, age,
  approchability, financial well-being, class, tastes,
  values, and cultural background from
  attractiveness, dress and personal artifacts.
• In intercultural communication, appearance and
  dress are important because the standards we
  apply and the judgements we make are subject
  to cultural interpretations.
• For example, clothing is a reflection of a
  culture’s value orientation.
• Modesty is highly valued among Arabs. Muslim
  girls usually wear scarves to cover their heads.
• In German, correct behavior is symbolized by
  appropriate and very conservative dress. The
  male business uniform is a freshly pressed, dark
  suit and tie with a plain shirt and dark shoes and
  socks. Like the dress, their manners are also
• Dressing Code (TOP): Time, Occasion, Place
 Ⅱ. Kinestics (movements of body)
• Action communicates.
• The study of how movement communicates is
  called kinestics.
• In general, kinestics cues are those visible body
  shifts and movements that can send message
  about (1) our attitude toward the other person (2)
  our emotional state and (3) our desire to control
  our environment.
• 1posture, 2 gestures, 3 facial expressions, 4 eye
  contact and gaze, 5 touch, 6 smell
• Posture and sitting habits offer insight into
  a culture’s deep structure. In many Asian
  cultures, the bow is much more than a
  greeting. It signifies that culture’s concern
  with status and rank.
• In Japan, for example, low posture is an
  indicator of respect.
                1. Japan
• Although it appears simple to the outsider,
  the bowing ritual is actually rather
  complicated. The person who occupies the
  lower station begins the bow, and his or
  her bow must be deeper than the other
  person’s. The superior, on the other hand,
  determines when the bowing is to end.
  When the participants are of equal rank,
  they begin to bow in the same manner and
  end at the same time.
              2. Thailand
• The Thai people use a similar movement
  called the wai. The wai movement—which
  is made by pressing both hands close
  together in front of one’s body, with the
  fingertips reaching to about neck level—is
  used to show respect. The lower the head
  comes to the hands, the more respect is
             Sitting Manners
• In Ghana and in Turkey, sitting
  with one’s legs crossed is
  extremely offensive.
• People in Thailand believe that
  because the bottoms of the feet
  are the lowest part of the body,
  they should never be pointed in
  the direction of another person.
  In fact, for the Thai, the feet
  take on so much significance
  that people avoid stomping with
 • 1. pointing
 • In the US, people point to
   objects and even at people
   with the index finger.
   Germans point with the little
   finger, and the Japanese
   point with the entire hand,
   palms up. In much of Asia,
   pointing with the index
   finger is considered rude.
2. OK
 • In Argentina, one
   twists an imaginary
   mustache to signify
   that everything is okay.
 • In the US, making a
   circle with one’s
   thumb and index
   finger while extending
   the others is
   emblematic of the
   word “OK”.
• In Japan (and Korea), it signifies “money”
• Among Arabs, this gesture is usually
  accompanied by a baring of teeth, and
  together they signify extreme hostility.
• This same gesture has a vulgar
  connotation in Mexico and Germany, and
  to the Tunisian it means “I’ll kill you”.
      Put the following Chinese
      expressions into English
• Do you think they can be properly
  understood by people from other cultures?
• 摩拳擦掌,拂袖而去,五体投地
• 捶胸顿足,趾高气昂,袖手旁观
• 愁眉苦脸,呆若木鸡,瞠目结舌
• 垂头丧气,满面春风,昂首阔步
Facial Expressions
                • There are universal
                  facial expressions for
                  which people have
                  similar meanings, but
                  cultural norms often
                  dictate how, when,
                  and to whom facial
                  expressions are
          Facial Expressions
• For example, smile is an
  emotional display that is
  rooted in one’s culture.
  The whole world smiles,
  but the amount of
  smiling, the stimulus
  that produces the smile,
  and even what the smile
  is communicating often
  shift from culture to

• In America, a smile can be a sign of happiness
  or friendly affirmation.
• Although these same meanings are found in the
  Japanese culture, the smile also can mask an
  emotion or be used to avoid answering a
• In Korean culture, too much smiling is often
  perceived as the sign of a shallow person.
• Thais, on the other hand, smile much of the time.
  In fact, Thailand has been called the “Land of
         Eye Contact and Gaze
•    In the US, eyes serve 6 important
     communication functions:
1.   Indicate degrees of attentiveness, interest and
2.   Influence attitude change and persuasion.
3.   Regulate interaction.
4.   Communicate emotions.
5.   Define power and status relationships
6.   Assume a central role in impression
• In the U.S., as in other societies, for every
  situation there is a proper looking time, a
  definite period during which you are
  allowed to meet and hold someone’s eyes.
  In an elevator the time is so brief that it
  can hardly be considered looking at all.
  Your eye catches that of a stranger and
  you look away at once. In a crowded bus,
  a subway or train, you can look a little
  longer. But go beyond the proper time—
  some 10 seconds—and you violate the
  unwritten but rigid code of body language.
• Trying holding a fellow pedestrian’s eye a bit
  longer than the proper time. You creat an
  awkward situation and often the only solution is
  to smile and offer a casual remark, “How are
  you?” or “Nice day.” You may find youself in
  conversation with a complete stranger.
• The unwritten laws of body language allow a
  longer time for starting when we talk to someone,
  but it is still a limited time. In all conversations
  we look away frequently and break eye contact.
  Only a lecturer or a politician addressing an
  audience can hold eye contact as long as he
      • Culture modifies the
        amount of eye
        contact in which we
        engage and who is
        the recipient of the
        eye contact.
      • People in the Western
        societies expect the
        person with whom
        they are interacting to
        “look them in the eye”.
    • Direct eye-to-eye contact
      is not a custom throughout
      the world. In Japan, for
      example, prolonged eye
      contact is considered rude,
      threatening and
      disrespectful. In fact, in
      Japan, people are not
      taught to look another in
      the eye but at a position
      around the Adam’s apple.
• People from Latin America and Carribean
  cultures also avoid eye contact as a sign
  of respect.
• Chinese, Indonesians, and rural Mexicans
  also lower their eyes as a sign of
  deference. To them too much eye contact
  is a sign of bad manners.
• Arabs, on the other hand, look directly into the
  eyes of their communication partner, and do so
  for long periods. They believe such contact
  shows interest in the other person and helps
  them assess the truthfulness of the other
  person’s words.
• In America, a prolonged stare at a member of
  the same sex is often perceived as a signal of
  interest and sexual suggestion.
• Culture teaches people how to
  communicate with touch. In the US,
  people learn that they can shake hands
  with nearly everyone (making sure it is a
  firm shake), hug certain people (but not
  everyone with the same intensity), and so
• Differences in touching behavior are highly
  correlated with culture. People in high contact
  cultures evaluate “close” as positive and good,
  and evaluate “far” as negative and bad. People
  in low contact cultures evaluate “close” as
  negative and bad, and “far” as positive and good.
• Specifically, Latin American and Mediterranean
  countries are high contact, the United States is
  moderate contact, and the Far East is low
             Shaking Hands
• In some cultures, shaking hands is the only form
  of public touch. For instance, in England,
  shaking hands lightly is fine, but other forms of
  touching (such as backslapping or putting an
  arm around the shoulder of a new acquaintance)
  are not common. People from such diverse
  cultures as the South Pacific, Eastern and
  Western Europe, and even the East and parts of
  Africa greet each other with a handshake and
  may wave at each other at a distance.
Shaking Hands
     • In most of these countries
       other forms of touching in
       public are generally not
       encouraged. In other
       countries (in parts of
       Europe, Latin America,
       and the Middle East),
       handshaking can be
       followed (or substitute for)
       by an embrace or a kiss
       on the neck.
            Shaking Hands
• In parts of Europe and other places, you
  can shake hands by offering your forearm,
  elbow or shoulder to be shaken instead of
  your hand (especially if your hand is dirty).
  The handshake is light and quick in
  France, England, and certain other parts
  of the world influenced by these countries.
  It differs from the very firm, pumping, and
  continued U.S. handshake. The German
  handshake is firm but quite stiff.
             Shaking Hands
• In some places, handshakes are, reserved for
  men. This happens frequently in parts of Africa,
  India and the Middle East. In countries where
  men and women are allowed to shake hands,
  the rules are complicated. In Eastern Europe,
  where women are allowed to shake hands, the
  woman must extend her hand before the man
  offers his, but in France and Russia, men must
  reach out first. In Germany, a man shakes a
  woman’s hand before he shakes the hand of
  another man. In some European countries—
  including Austria, Poland and Romania—
  handshaking between women and men is
  sometimes accompanied by a kiss of the
  woman’s hand by the man.
• Men in much of Asia shake hands when they
• Men in much of Eastern Europe, Spain, Italy,
  Portugal, and the Arab world will kiss when they
  meet their friends. There is also much more
  same-sex touching in Mexico. Men will greet
  each other with an embrace.
• Although kiss is common in most western
  cultures, it is not widespread in many parts of
  Asia. The Japanese have no word for kissing, so
  they borrowed from the English language for
  their word kissu.
• Cultures that believe in emotional restraint
  and rigid status distinction (German,
  English, Scandinavian) do very little
  touching as compared with cultures that
  encourage outward signs of affection
  (Latin America, Middle Eastern, Jewish,
  Greek, Eastern European).
• Odor communicates not only when we are
  face to face with each another person, but
  even when the other person is not present.
  Victor Hugo said, “Nothing awakens a
  reminiscence like an odor.”
• For example, Americans represent a
  culture that tends to be ucomfortable with
  natural smells. Many other cultures regard
  natural odors as normal, and most Arabs
  actually perceive a person’s smell as an
  extension of the person.
              Matching Task
• When trying to operate in a cross-cultural
  situation, we frequently face a myriad of
  potential communication hazards. Not only do
  different cultures speak unintelligible languages,
  but their body languages are often mutually
  incomprehensible as well. Different gestures
  may serve the same function, and the same
  gesture can have a number of unanticipated
  consequenses when dealing with people from
  different cultures. Think over the following and
  make a proper match between cultures and
  gestures or the meanigns they convey.
    1. How to beckon somebody to
              come over
① in the U.S.          a. waving the hand
                          with the palm down
② in the Middle East   b. just waving the index
③ in Portugal          c. downward waving of
                          the arm
                       d. waving the hand
④ in Tonga                with the palm up

•   badc
     2. How to point something or
           somebody out
①   In the U.S.        a. Pointing with the lips
②   In Mongolia        b. Pointing with the
③   In India              tongue
④   In Guinea-Bissau   c. Extending the index
                       d. Pointing with the
•   cadb
      3. How to show approval
①   In France     a. Raising one’s
②   In Greece        eyebrows
③   In Tonga      b. Having two thumbs
④   In Kenya         up
                  c. Having one thumb
                  d. Tilting one’s head
•   cdab
    4. What the OK sign may mean
①    In Brazil    a.   Rudeness
②    In Russia    b.   Money
③    In France    c.   Something vulgar
④    In Japan     d.   Something worthless

•    cadb
     5. What the folded arms may
①   In the U.S.    a.   No special meaning
②   In Russia      b.   Impatience
③   In Finland     c.   Being rude
④   In Wales       d.   Arrogance

•   bcda
            Ⅲ. Paralanguage
•  Paralanguage involves the linguistic elements
   of speech, that is, how something is said and
   not the actual meaning of the spoken words.
• Most classifications divide paralanguage into
   three kinds of vocalizations:
1. Vocal characterizers (laughing, crying, yelling,
   moaning, whining, belching, yawning)
2. Vocal qualifiers (volume, pitch, rhythm, tempo,
   resonance, tone)
3. Vocal segregates (un-huh, shh, uh, oooh,
   mmmh, humn)
• Arabs speak very loudly because loudness for
  them connotes strength and sincerity.
• For Israelis, increased volume reflects strong
  beliefs toward the issue under discussion.
• But for Thai people, a loud voice is perceived as
  being impolite.
• In Japan, raising one’s voice often implies a lack
  of self-control.
• When interacting with Americans, people from
  cultures that speak softly often believe that
  Americans are angry or upset because of their
  relatively loud speech.
• Laughing and giggling also send different
  messages, depending on the culture.
  Although smiling and laughing are signs of
  joy in all cultures, the Japanese often
  laugh to hide displeasure, anger, sorrow
  and embarrassment.
• Accents and dialects are additional
  components of paralanguage that often
  influence the communication process.
• Accent refers only to distinctive
  pronunciation, whereas dialect refers to
  grammar and vocabulary as well.