• Find My Rep

You are here

The SAGE Handbook of Nonverbal Communication

The SAGE Handbook of Nonverbal Communication

  • Valerie Manusov - University of Washington, USA
  • Miles L. Patterson - University of Missouri, St. Louis, USA
  • Description

"Manusov and Patterson present a comprehensive collection of consistently excellent essays written by some of the best minds in the field of nonverbal communication. This is an unusually strong collection of essays, and the editors have done an outstanding job of choosing topics and authors. Highly recommended."

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2- The Evolution of Theories of Interactive Behavior

Chapter 4- Automatic Cognitive Process and Nonverbal Communication

Chapter 5- Nonverbal Skills and Abilities

Select a Purchasing Option

Order from:.

  • VitalSource
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Google Play

Related Products

Handbook of International and Intercultural Communication

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication

Basic Concepts and Models

  • First Online: 04 January 2022

Cite this chapter

non verbal communication project pdf

  • Ulf Lubienetzki 3 &
  • Heidrun Schüler-Lubienetzki 3  

1161 Accesses

Human communication is sometimes quite miraculous. We are often surprised when seemingly simple human encounters escalate unpredictably or when situations that seem complex at first glance suddenly resolve themselves. We want to understand what is behind this and how we can harness this knowledge to improve our communication. In order to obtain the tools that we need for communication about communication, in this chapter we take a closer look at some well-known approaches and models of communication that are frequently used in practice. These include, among others, the axioms of communication according to Watzlawick et al., the four-sided model of a message by Schulz von Thun or transactional analysis according to Eric Berne. These form the theoretical basis for us to analyse practical communication in the following chapters.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Berne, E. (1961). Transactional analysis in psychotherapy . Grove Press.

Google Scholar  

Berne, E. (1966). Games people play. The psychology of human relationships . Deutsch.

Berne, E. (1984). Spiele der Erwachsenen [Adult Games]. Reinbek: Rowohlt.

Cambridge University Press. (n.d.-a). Axiom. In Cambridge advanced learner’s dictionary & thesaurus . Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/axiom

Cambridge University Press. (n.d.-b). Communication. In Cambridge academic content dictionary . Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/communication

Gührs, M., & Nowak, C. (2014). Das konstruktive Gespräch. Ein Leitfaden für Beratung, Unterricht und Mitarbeiterführung mit Konzepten der Transaktionsanalyse [The constructive conversation. A guide to coaching, teaching and personnel management involving concepts from transaction analysis] (7th ed.). Christa Limmer.

Haley, J. (1978). Gemeinsamer Nenner Interaktion [Common denominator interaction] . Pfeiffer.

Harris, T. A. (1969). I’m OK, you’re OK. A practical guide to transactional analysis. Harper & Row.

Keller, R., Knoblauch, H., & Reichertz, J. (2013). Kommunikativer Konstruktivismus [Communicative constructivism]. Springer.

Langer, I., Schulz von Thun, F., & Tausch, R. (1974). Verständlichkeit in Schule, Verwaltung, Politik und Wissenschaft [Comprehensibility in school, administration, politics and science]. E. Reinhardt.

Langer, I., Schulz von Thun, F., & Tausch, R. (1981). Sich verständlich ausdrücken [Expressing oneself comprehensibly] (2nd ed.). E. Reinhardt.

Lubienetzki, U., & Schüler-Lubienetzki, H. (2016). Was wir uns wie sagen und zeigen. Menschliche Kommunikation [What we say and show to each other and how. Human communication] (study letter of the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences online plus GmbH). Hochschule Fresenius online plus GmbH.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Syntax. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary . Retrieved on July 25, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/syntax

Oxford University Press. (n.d.). Semantics. In Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary . Retrieved July 25, 2021, from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/semantics

Schulz von Thun, F. (2013). Miteinander Reden 1 – Störungen und Klärungen [Talking to one another 1 – Disturbances and clarifications] (50th ed.). Rowohlt.

Shannon, C. E., & Weaver, W. (1972). The mathematical theory of communication (5th ed.). University of Illinois Press.

Watzlawick, P., Beavin, J. H., & Jackson, D. D. (1968). Pragmatics of human communication. A study of interactional patterns, pathologies, and paradoxes . London: Faber and Faber.

Download references

Author information

Authors and affiliations.

entwicklung GbR, Hamburg, Germany

Ulf Lubienetzki & Heidrun Schüler-Lubienetzki

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2022 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

About this chapter

Lubienetzki, U., Schüler-Lubienetzki, H. (2022). Verbal and Non-verbal Communication. In: How We Talk to Each Other - The Messages We Send With Our Words and Body Language. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-64437-9_2

Download citation

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-64437-9_2

Published : 04 January 2022

Publisher Name : Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

Print ISBN : 978-3-662-64436-2

Online ISBN : 978-3-662-64437-9

eBook Packages : Behavioral Science and Psychology Behavioral Science and Psychology (R0)

Share this chapter

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative

  • Publish with us

Policies and ethics

  • Find a journal
  • Track your research

Library homepage

  • school Campus Bookshelves
  • menu_book Bookshelves
  • perm_media Learning Objects
  • login Login
  • how_to_reg Request Instructor Account
  • hub Instructor Commons

Margin Size

  • Download Page (PDF)
  • Download Full Book (PDF)
  • Periodic Table
  • Physics Constants
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Reference & Cite
  • Tools expand_more
  • Readability

selected template will load here

This action is not available.

Social Sci LibreTexts

6.1: Introduction to Nonverbal Communication

  • Last updated
  • Save as PDF
  • Page ID 90697

  • Daniel Usera & contributing authors
  • Austin Community College

\( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

\( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

\( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

\( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

\( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

\( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

\( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

\( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

\( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

\( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

\( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

\( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Define nonverbal communication and explain its metacommunicative nature.
  • Describe the process of nonverbal communication.
  • Assess the impact of nonverbal communication in interpersonal relationships.

INTRO TO NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

Defining nonverbal communication

Your partner flashes a big smile when you surprise them for their birthday even though they secretly are embarrassed. You send an emoji “face with tears of joy” (��) to your BFF after getting a perfect score on a rhetorical criticism paper. You kiss someone on a first date. What do these scenarios have in common? Nonverbal communication of course -- an essential but frequently misunderstood dimension of interpersonal relations (Gifford, 2011). Nonverbal communication is often simply defined as communication without words. Others have noted that nonverbal communication includes “all behaviors that are not words” (Guerrero & Floyd, 2006, p. 4). Regardless of the deceiving simplicity of its definition, know that nonverbal communication is very complex.

In everyday life, nonverbal communication is multimodal and multifunctional in nature serving many functions. It is closely linked to how we feel about our relationships with others and how we manage those relationships. In interpersonal interaction, nonverbal messages can be found in facial expressions, eyes, body language, touching as well as clothing, tone of voice, posture and even spatial distance. Indeed, you can say a lot without saying anything, or as psychologist and philosopher Paul Watzlawick (1978) observed in the first axiom of his interpersonal communication theory that you cannot not communicate. The inevitability of sending and receiving messages is extremely important to understand because it means that each of us is a type of “transmitter” that cannot be shut off. Nonverbal behaviors are implicated in messages of intimacy, arousal and composure, dominance, formal, and task or social orientation. Whether intentional or unintentional, deceitful or sincere, no matter what we do, we give off information about ourselves. In short, nonverbal communication is an important part of human interaction and always present in face-to-face interactions.

A related concept is what social scientists call metacommunication -- communicating about communication. In interpersonal relationships, it involves how people perceive you, not just your words. For example, if I say, “Nice to see you!” to someone and roll my eyes at the same time, they will likely doubt my sincerity.

This example illustrates one of the more interesting effects of nonverbal messages: most people tend to believe the nonverbal message over the verbal message if the two appear to be in disagreement (Knapp, 1972; Knapp, Earnest, Griffin, & McGlone, 2020; Malandro & Barker, 1983; Mehrabian, 1981). People seem to believe that actions really do speak louder than words. As a result, they place a disproportionate emphasis on the nonverbal response -- therefore it’s always a good idea to make nonverbal behavior consistent with our verbal messages (Hackman & Johnson, 2000).

So, welcome to the world of nonverbal communication. Its types, its contexts, and its impacts -- all of these will be explored in the pages that follow.

The process of nonverbal communication

Is nonverbal communication its own type of language? Yes and no. Like language, the fundamental process of nonverbal communication consists of a message encoded in a selected medium (body language, for example) that is then decoded. When you form language and speak it, your brain encodes a thought into words and intelligible sounds. For example, if you want to tell someone to leave the room, you can simply speak the words, “Please leave the room.” Nonverbally, you can also encode an extra layer of “illustration” -- for example, first pointing at the person and then at the door.

Some forms of nonverbal communication are emblematic in nature, where the performance stands for a concrete idea. Emblems are gestures like pointing, giving a thumbs up, or signing “OK” in specific contexts where those gestures are intelligible. Other nonverbal emblems include wearing a uniform to indicate team membership or sporting a tattoo that has a literal, unambiguous meaning. The most famous emblem of all, of course, may be the infamous “middle finger.”

However, not all nonverbal communication is emblematic. If you sway in your chair during a lecture, the meaning of that behavior may not be immediately obvious. Perhaps you need to go to the bathroom. Maybe you’re just restless. You could even be doing light exercises to help stay awake. Without asking you, any interpretation would be tentative -- a guess. In fact, you might not even know the answer to what your behavior means. It turns out that some people perform nonverbal gestures without realizing them. When some people speak before an audience, for example, they might look down a lot, move their legs a lot, or put their hands behind their backs -- all without realizing it. These are “adaptive” behaviors designed to subconsciously help the speaker feel better (more comfortable) about the situation they’re in.

How aware (or not) someone is of their nonverbal behavior raises the important question of intention . Certainly, some aspects of nonverbal are intentionally performed. Chances are, your clothing and hairstyle at the moment you’re reading this were intentional choices, but what about your posture and the position of your hands and arms? There are aspects of nonverbal communication that we may convey without meaning to. Goffman (1952) called the intentional aspects of nonverbal performance as “cues given” and the unintentional aspects as “cues given off.” Whether intentional or not, these cues can be communicated via a variety of “media” (all of them associated with you) -- your eyes, smell, tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures to name a few. Increasing your competence in nonverbal communication means learning to pay more attention to these unintentional aspects.

Later in this chapter, you will learn different channels of nonverbal communication. These channels are grouped into four categories: personal characteristics (aspects relating to a person’s physical features), environment (artifacts in a given location), motion (movement-oriented gestures), and vocal cues (relating to the non-linguistic aspects of talking).

The impact of nonverbal communication

You might have heard that 93% of communication is nonverbal. That figure comes from a famous study by Merhabian and Ferris (1967). Participants in their study were read aloud single words that they previously rated as either positive, neutral, or negative on-paper. When they were read aloud, they were read vocal tones that were previously rated as either neutral or positive. Then the experiment was repeated using facial cues, where the experimenter read the words while displaying certain facial cues (Mehrabian & Wiener, 1967). Mehrabian utilized the results to calculate the listener’s perceived attitudes, which were a combination of three cues in the following proportion: 7% verbal, 38% vocal (tone), and 55% facial expression.

Notice that these studies were focused on the utterance of single words, not complete sentences within a context. We know that our typical social interactions occur in contexts of complete thoughts and actions, not just single words. These studies, therefore, face issues with external validity (the ability to apply to actual social situations). This criticism (among others concerning sample size and possible participant biases) was expressed by Burgoon, Woodall, and Ferris (1989). Though you may hear the 93% number frequently expressed in popular culture, you now know that this is based on a very limited study.

So if it isn’t 93%, how much of communication is nonverbal? The only thing that scholars agree on is that it matters , and that it matters in many contexts. In the next section, we will explore 14 channels (yes, 14!) and the many ways they allow us to communicate ideas beyond the power of words. In the end, our competence in nonverbal communication can help determine how an interaction will proceed and, perhaps, whether it will take place at all.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Gestures List

Ask students: How do we communicate without words? What are some common gestures? Divide students into groups and give each group just two minutes to come up with as many ways of communicating without using words as they can.

Activity 2: Silent Scene

Divide students into pairs. Have each pair create a one-minute scene featuring a problem that needs to be solved. When performing the scene, neither member of the pair can talk (all communication has to be expressed nonverbally). Can the audience guess the content of the scene without any dialogue to help?

Ambady, N., & Weisbuch, M. (2010). Nonverbal behavior. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology, ( pp. 464-497). Wiley.

Burgoon, J. Buller, D, & Woodall, W. (1989) Nonverbal communication: The unspoken dialogue . Harper and Row.

Gifford, R. (2011). The role of nonverbal communication in interpersonal relations. In L. Horowitz, & S. Strack (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal psychology Theory, research, assessment, and therapeutic interventions (pp. 171-190). Wiley.

Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life . Anchor Books.

Hackman, M.Z., & Johnson, C.E. (2000). Leadership: A communication perspective . Waveland.

Knapp, M. L. (1972). Nonverbal communication in human interaction . Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Knapp, M., Earnest, W., Griffin, D., & McGlone, M. (2020). Lying and deception in human interaction (3rd ed.). Kendall Hunt.

Knapp, M., Hall, J., & Horgan, T. (2014). Nonverbal communication in human interaction (8th ed.). Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Malandro, L. A., & Barker, L. (1983). Nonverbal Communication . Addison-Wesley.

Mehrabian, A. (1981). Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes (2nd ed.). Wadsworth.

Mehrabian, A. & Ferris, S. (1967). Inference of attitudes from nonverbal communication in two channels. Journal of Consulting Psychology , 13 , 248-252.

Mehrabian A., & Wiener, M. (1967). Decoding of inconsistent communications. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 6 , 109-114.

Watzlawick, P. (1978). The language of change: Elements of therapeutic communication . Norton W.W., & Company, Inc.

Competence: One’s ability to encode and decode nonverbal communication.

Decoding: The process of interpreting and assigning meaning to a message.

Encoding: The process of organizing a message, choosing words and sentence structure, and verbalizing the message.

Medium: The channel or system by which information is transmitted.

Metacommunication: Messages that refer to other messages, usually in the context of a relationship.

Nonverbal Communication: Communication enacted by means other than words.

Emblem: A nonverbal signal that stands for an established semantic meaning.

1. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

At the TEDGlobal 2012 conference, social psychologist Amy Cuddy gave the talk “Your body language shapes who you are,” based on research in which she detailed the effects of “power posing.” Do you agree or disagree with her that our body language can change other people’s perceptions—and perhaps even our own body chemistry—simply by changing body positions? Are her findings consistent with definitions of nonverbal communication? https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_may_shape_who_you_are?language=en

2. The Secrets of Body Language

Full documentary ; This 90-minute documenary shows us several examples of this, including the summit meetings between U.S. president Bill Clinton, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak which took place at the dawning of the new millennium, and President Richard Nixon's offerings of transparency while in the throes of the Watergate scandal more than two decades earlier. In each instance, the simplest pat on the back, crossing of arms across the chest, quiver in the voice, speed of a footstep or stance during a handshake illustrates underlying tensions and doubt. Can you identify or describe the process of creating and interpreting nonverbal cues in this documentary?

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Therapy Center
  • When To See a Therapist
  • Types of Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy
  • Best Couples Therapy
  • Best Family Therapy
  • Managing Stress
  • Sleep and Dreaming
  • Understanding Emotions
  • Self-Improvement
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Student Resources
  • Personality Types
  • Guided Meditations
  • Verywell Mind Insights
  • 2024 Verywell Mind 25
  • Mental Health in the Classroom
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board
  • Crisis Support

Types of Nonverbal Communication

Often you don't need words at all

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

non verbal communication project pdf

 Tim Robberts / Getty Images

Why Nonverbal Communication Is Important

  • How to Improve

Nonverbal communication means conveying information without using words. This might involve using certain facial expressions or hand gestures to make a specific point, or it could involve the use (or non-use) of eye contact, physical proximity, and other nonverbal cues to get a message across.

A substantial portion of our communication is nonverbal. In fact, some researchers suggest that the percentage of nonverbal communication is four times that of verbal communication, with 80% of what we communicate involving our actions and gestures versus only 20% being conveyed with the use of words.

Every day, we respond to thousands of nonverbal cues and behaviors, including postures, facial expressions, eye gaze, gestures, and tone of voice. From our handshakes to our hairstyles, our nonverbal communication reveals who we are and impacts how we relate to other people.

9 Types of Nonverbal Communication

Scientific research on nonverbal communication and behavior began with the 1872 publication of Charles Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals . Since that time, a wealth of research has been devoted to the types, effects, and expressions of unspoken communication and behavior .

Nonverbal Communication Types

While these signals can be so subtle that we are not consciously aware of them, research has identified nine types of nonverbal communication. These nonverbal communication types are:

  • Facial expressions
  • Paralinguistics (such as loudness or tone of voice)
  • Body language
  • Proxemics or personal space
  • Eye gaze, haptics (touch)
  • Artifacts (objects and images)

Facial Expressions

Facial expressions are responsible for a huge proportion of nonverbal communication. Consider how much information can be conveyed with a smile or a frown. The look on a person's face is often the first thing we see, even before we hear what they have to say.

While nonverbal communication and behavior can vary dramatically between cultures, the facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, and fear are similar throughout the world.

Deliberate movements and signals are an important way to communicate meaning without words. Common gestures include waving, pointing, and giving a "thumbs up" sign. Other gestures are arbitrary and related to culture.

For example, in the U.S., putting the index and middle finger in the shape of a "V" with your palm facing out is often considered to be a sign of peace or victory. Yet, in Britain, Australia, and other parts of the world, this gesture can be considered an insult.

Nonverbal communication via gestures is so powerful and influential that some judges place limits on which ones are allowed in the courtroom, where they can sway juror opinions. An attorney might glance at their watch to suggest that the opposing lawyer's argument is tedious, for instance. Or they may roll their eyes during a witness's testimony in an attempt to undermine that person's credibility.

Paralinguistics

Paralinguistics refers to vocal communication that is separate from actual language. This form of nonverbal communication includes factors such as tone of voice, loudness, inflection, and pitch.

For example, consider the powerful effect that tone of voice can have on the meaning of a sentence. When said in a strong tone of voice, listeners might interpret a statement as approval and enthusiasm. The same words said in a hesitant tone can convey disapproval and a lack of interest.

Body Language and Posture

Posture and movement can also provide a great deal of information. Research on body language has grown significantly since the 1970s, with popular media focusing on the over-interpretation of defensive postures such as arm-crossing and leg-crossing, especially after the publication of Julius Fast's book Body Language .

While these nonverbal communications can indicate feelings and attitudes , body language is often subtle and less definitive than previously believed.

People often refer to their need for "personal space." This is known as proxemics and is another important type of nonverbal communication.

The amount of distance we need and the amount of space we perceive as belonging to us are influenced by several factors. Among them are social norms , cultural expectations, situational factors, personality characteristics, and level of familiarity.

The amount of personal space needed when having a casual conversation with another person can vary between 18 inches and four feet. The personal distance needed when speaking to a crowd of people is usually around 10 to 12 feet.

The eyes play a role in nonverbal communication, with such things as looking, staring, and blinking being important cues. For example, when you encounter people or things that you like, your rate of blinking increases and your pupils dilate.

People's eyes can indicate a range of emotions , including hostility, interest, and attraction. People also often utilize eye gaze cues to gauge a person's honesty. Normal, steady eye contact is often taken as a sign that a person is telling the truth and is trustworthy. Shifty eyes and an inability to maintain eye contact, on the other hand, is frequently seen as an indicator that someone is lying or being deceptive.

However, some research suggests that eye gaze does not accurately predict lying behavior.

Communicating through touch is another important nonverbal communication behavior. Touch can be used to communicate affection, familiarity, sympathy, and other emotions .

In her book Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters , author Julia Wood writes that touch is also often used to communicate both status and power. High-status individuals tend to invade other people's personal space with greater frequency and intensity than lower-status individuals.

Sex differences also play a role in how people utilize touch to communicate meaning. Women tend to use touch to convey care, concern, and nurturance. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to use touch to assert power or control over others.

There has been a substantial amount of research on the importance of touch in infancy and early childhood. Harry Harlow's classic monkey study , for example, demonstrated how being deprived of touch impedes development. In the experiments, baby monkeys raised by wire mothers experienced permanent deficits in behavior and social interaction.

Our choice of clothing, hairstyle, and other appearance factors are also considered a means of nonverbal communication. Research on color psychology has demonstrated that different colors can evoke different moods. Appearance can also alter physiological reactions, judgments, and interpretations.

Just think of all the subtle judgments you quickly make about someone based on their appearance. These first impressions are important, which is why experts suggest that job seekers dress appropriately for interviews with potential employers.

Researchers have found that appearance can even play a role in how much people earn. Attractive people tend to earn more and receive other fringe benefits, including higher-quality jobs.

Culture is an important influence on how appearances are judged. While thinness tends to be valued in Western cultures, some African cultures relate full-figured bodies to better health, wealth, and social status.

Objects and images are also tools that can be used to communicate nonverbally. On an online forum, for example, you might select an avatar to represent your identity and to communicate information about who you are and the things you like.

People often spend a great deal of time developing a particular image and surrounding themselves with objects designed to convey information about the things that are important to them. Uniforms, for example, can be used to transmit a tremendous amount of information about a person.

A soldier will don fatigues, a police officer will wear a specific uniform, and a doctor will wear a white lab coat. At a mere glance, these outfits tell others what that person does for a living. That makes them a powerful form of nonverbal communication.

Nonverbal Communication Examples

Think of all the ways you communicate nonverbally in your own life. You can find examples of nonverbal communication at home, at work, and in other situations.

Nonverbal Communication at Home

Consider all the ways that tone of voice might change the meaning of a sentence when talking with a family member. One example is when you ask your partner how they are doing and they respond with, "I'm fine." How they say these words reveals a tremendous amount about how they are truly feeling.

A bright, happy tone of voice would suggest that they are doing quite well. A cold tone of voice might suggest that they are not fine but don't wish to discuss it. A somber, downcast tone might indicate that they are the opposite of fine but may want to talk about why.

Other examples of nonverbal communication at home include:

  • Going to your partner swiftly when they call for you (as opposed to taking your time or not responding at all)
  • Greeting your child with a smile when they walk into the room to show that you're happy to see them
  • Leaning in when your loved one speaks to show that you are listening and that you are interested in what they're saying
  • Shoving your fist into the air when you're upset that something isn't working

Nonverbal Communication in the Workplace

You can also find nonverbal communication in the workplace. Examples of this include:

  • Looking co-workers in the eye when speaking with them to be fully engaged in the interaction
  • Throwing your hands in the air when you are frustrated with a project
  • Using excitement in your voice when leading work meetings to project your passion for a specific topic
  • Walking down the hall with your head held high to convey confidence in your abilities

Nonverbal Communication in Other Situations

Here are a few additional examples of nonverbal communication that say a lot without you having to say anything at all:

  • Greeting an old friend at a restaurant with a hug, handshake, or fist bump
  • Placing your hand on someone's arm when they are talking to you at a party to convey friendliness or concern
  • Rolling your eyes at someone who is chatting excessively with a store clerk as a line begins to form
  • Scowling at someone who has cut you off in traffic, or "flipping them the bird"

Nonverbal communication serves an important role in conveying meaning. Some benefits it provides include:

  • Strengthening relationships : Nonverbal communication fosters closeness and intimacy in interpersonal relationships.
  • Substituting for spoken words : Signaling information that a person might not be able to say aloud. This can be helpful in situations where a person might not be heard (such as a noisy workplace) or in therapy situations where a mental health professional can look at nonverbal behaviors to learn more about how a client might be feeling.
  • Reinforcing meaning : Matching nonverbal communication to spoken words can help add clarity and reinforce important points.
  • Regulating conversation : Nonverbal signals can also help regulate the flow of conversation and indicate both the start and end of a message or topic.

Nonverbal communication is important because it can provide valuable information, reinforce the meaning of spoken words, help convey trust, and add clarity to your message.

How to Improve Your Nonverbal Communication Skills

If you want to develop more confident body language or improve your ability to read other people's nonverbal communication behaviors, these tips can help:

  • Pay attention to your own behaviors : Notice the gestures you use when you're happy versus when you're upset. Think about how you change the tone of your voice depending on the emotions you are feeling. Being aware of your own nonverbal communication tendencies is the first step to changing the ones you want to change. It can also give you insight into how you're feeling if you're having trouble putting it into words.
  • Become a student of others : It can also be helpful to consider how others around you communicate nonverbally. What do their facial expressions say? What type of gestures do they use? Becoming familiar with their nonverbal communication patterns helps you recognize when they might be feeling a certain way quicker because you're actively watching for these cues. It can also help you recognize nonverbal behaviors you may want to adopt yourself (such as standing tall when talking to others to display self-confidence ).
  • Look for incongruent nonverbal cues : Do you say that you're fine, then slam cupboard doors to show that you're upset? This can give those around you mixed messages. Or maybe when someone is speaking with you, they are saying yes while shaking their head no. This is another example of incongruent behavior. Both can be signs of feeling a certain way but not yet being ready to admit or discuss it.
  • Think before you act : If your middle finger seems to automatically fly up when a car cuts you off—even if your young child is in the back seat, causing you to regret it as soon as it happens—you can work to stop this reaction. Train yourself to stop and think before you act. This can help you eliminate or replace nonverbal behaviors that you've been wanting to change.
  • Ask before you assume : Certain types of nonverbal communication can mean different things in different cultures. They can also vary based on someone's personality . Before assuming that a person's body language or tone means something definitively, ask. "I notice that you won't look me in the eye when we speak. Are you upset with me?" Give them the opportunity to explain how they are feeling so you know for sure.

A Word From Verywell

Nonverbal communication plays an important role in how we convey meaning and information to others, as well as how we interpret the actions of those around us.

The important thing to remember when looking at nonverbal behaviors is to consider the actions in groups. Consider what a person says verbally, combined with their expressions, appearance, and tone of voice and it can tell you a great deal about what that person is really trying to say.

American Psychological Association. Nonverbal communication (NVC) .

Hull R. The art of nonverbal communication in practice . Hear J . 2016;69(5);22-24. doi:10.1097/01.HJ.0000483270.59643.cc

Frith C. Role of facial expressions in social interactions . Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci . 2009;364(1535):3453-8. doi:10.1098/rstb.2009.0142

Goldin-Meadow S. How gesture works to change our minds . Trends Neurosci Educ . 2014;3(1):4-6. doi:10.1016/j.tine.2014.01.002

Guyer JJ, Briñol P, Vaughan-Johnston TI, Fabrigar LR, Moreno L, Petty RE. Paralinguistic features communicated through voice can affect appraisals of confidence and evaluative judgments .  J Nonverbal Behav . 2021;45(4):479-504. doi:10.1007/s10919-021-00374-2

Abdulghafor R, Turaev S, Ali MAH. Body language analysis in healthcare: An overview .  Healthcare (Basel) . 2022;10(7):1251. doi:10.3390/healthcare10071251

Mccall C, Singer T. Facing off with unfair others: introducing proxemic imaging as an implicit measure of approach and avoidance during social interaction . PLoS One . 2015;10(2):e0117532. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117532

Wiseman R, Watt C, ten Brinke L, Porter S, Couper SL, Rankin C. The eyes don't have it: lie detection and Neuro-Linguistic Programming .  PLoS One . 2012;7(7):e40259. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040259

Sekerdej M, Simão C, Waldzus S, Brito R. Keeping in touch with context: Non-verbal behavior as a manifestation of communality and dominance . J Nonverbal Behav . 2018;42(3):311-326. doi:10.1007/s10919-018-0279-2

Bambaeeroo F, Shokrpour N. The impact of the teachers' non-verbal communication on success in teaching .  J Adv Med Educ Prof . 2017;5(2):51-59.

Dilmaghani M. Beauty perks: Physical appearance, earnings, and fringe benefits . Economics & Human Biology . 2020;38:100889. doi:10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100889

Darwin C. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals .

Wood J.  Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters .

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

IMAGES

  1. A Simple Guide to Non Verbal Communication

    non verbal communication project pdf

  2. Nonverbal Communication Posture Examples

    non verbal communication project pdf

  3. (PDF) NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

    non verbal communication project pdf

  4. Nonverbal Communication

    non verbal communication project pdf

  5. 100+ Nonverbal Communication Examples, How to Use, Tips, PDF Download

    non verbal communication project pdf

  6. Non Verbal Communication

    non verbal communication project pdf

VIDEO

  1. Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

  2. Non

  3. Non-Verbal Communication Tools : Non-Verbal Communication: Positive Touch

  4. Communication Project

  5. Communication Skills / Non verbal communication ( Module 5 ) / 2nd year/ Answers

  6. Non Verbal Reasoning All Previous Year Questions

COMMENTS

  1. (PDF) Non-Verbal Communication

    Dickson and Hargie (2003, p. 50) suggest that we use. nonverbal communication in order to: 1. replace verbal communication in situations where it may be impossible or inappropriate. to talk. 2 ...

  2. PDF The Importance of Non-Verbal Communication

    Being mindful of our non-verbal communication can prevent the wrong or unintended message from inadvertently being passed on. Face-to-face communication allows for the most richness in non-verbal communication; this richness recedes from our interactions as we move from telephone conversations to e-mail, memos, bulletins and post-it notes.

  3. (PDF) Nonverbal Communication

    Abstract. Nonverbal communication is hard to define but is often said to be all those modes of communicating other than words or a parallel way to process social stimuli alongside language cues ...

  4. PDF Understanding Nonverbal Communication

    communication is a ubiquitous part of everyday life. We see it in the way people move, how they relate to each other, and even in the design of spaces. This course is designed to explore the science of nonverbal communication by examining what we do and why we do it. The course has three main segments.

  5. PDF The Power of Nonverbal Communication

    Nonverbal communication can be a vital tool that helps individuals to connect, a way of. expression, and help build a better relationship (Otu, 2015). Otu (2015) study focused on how. effectively the law enforcement officers are at decoding nonverbal communication (Otu, 2015).

  6. (PDF) Nonverbal communication in the workplace

    workplace. Abstract: Nonverbal communication is an important but under-studied element. of organizational life. This chapter summarizes k ey insights into the functions, applications, and ubiquity ...

  7. PDF NoN-Verbal CommuNiCatioN

    Non-Verbal Communication | CommGAP | 4 • 27 Burgoon and Dunbar (2000) report that exhibiting power or dominance in interpersonal communica- tion is linked to individual social skills as well as to the situation and relationships that people have with others. • Aguinas, Simonson, and Pierce (1998)28 report that nonverbal behaviors do impact perceptions of

  8. PDF Welcome to The Nonverbal Communication Book

    This book presents a three-step system for learning nonverbal communication: • Step 1. Identifi cation of objectives. • Step 2. Text explaining the content relative to the objectives. • Step 3. Exercises to encourage you to apply what was covered in Step 2 in order to achieve the objectives noted in Step 1.

  9. The SAGE Handbook of Nonverbal Communication

    Preview. This first of its kind handbook provides an up-to-date discussion of the central issues in nonverbal communication and examines the research that informs these issues. Editors Valerie Manusov and Miles Patterson bring together preeminent scholars, from a range of disciplines, to reveal the strength of nonverbal behavior as an integral ...

  10. PDF Verbal and Non-verbal Communication

    The communication model of Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson is presented in more detail in 7 Sect. 2.3. Here you can get an initial overview. Denition Human communication is the verbal or nonverbal interaction between at least two people (Schulz von Thun, 2013; Watzlawick et al., 1968). Chapter 2 erbal nd˜Non-verbal ommunication

  11. PDF rvlsoft/Shutterstock.com 2 Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

    KEYS to Excellence in Verbal and Nonverbal Communication 38 Chapter objectives After studying this chapter, you should be able to 1. Define verbal communication 2. Define nonverbal communication 3. Appraise your verbal and nonverbal communication skills 4. Discuss examples of how verbal and nonverbal communication are related 5.

  12. PDF Nonverbal Communication

    Nonverbal Communication in Presentations Effective presenters communicate significant and valuable messages using verbal and non-verbal communication. Presenters must be aware of nonverbal communication during a pre-sentation to avoid giving mixed messages, such as by speaking confidently but acting apprehen-sively.

  13. PDF An Introduction to the Basics of Non-Verbal Communication

    Personalities in Non-verbal Communication Shakespeare was keenly aware of the power and importance of non-verbal communication, and some of his most famous lines reflect this. Your face, my Thane, is a book where men may read strange things. (MacBeth, Act 1, Scene 5) Charles Darwin was one of the first to identify non-verbal behaviour

  14. (PDF) Nonverbal Communication

    Abstract and Figures. Nonverbal behavior plays an important role for the communication of states such as emotions as well as in first impressions. The present article discusses models of nonverbal ...

  15. PDF PRAGMATICS AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION

    Centre of the Study of Mind in Nature Project at the University of Oslo, whose financial support during the final stages of the ... 978--521-87097-9 - Pragmatics and Non-Verbal Communication Tim Wharton Frontmatter More information. Title: crop.pdf Author: Administrator Created Date: 8/12/2009 9:24:22 AM ...

  16. 6.1: Introduction to Nonverbal Communication

    Nonverbal communication is often simply defined as communication without words. Others have noted that nonverbal communication includes "all behaviors that are not words" (Guerrero & Floyd, 2006, p. 4). Regardless of the deceiving simplicity of its definition, know that nonverbal communication is very complex.

  17. Project on non verbal communication

    Project on non verbal communication. Aug 31, 2015 • Download as PPTX, PDF •. 6 likes • 8,650 views. AI-enhanced description. Abheek Bhattacharya. This document discusses non-verbal communication and its importance. It defines non-verbal communication as communication without words, including facial expressions, gestures, and posture.

  18. PDF Power of Nonverbal Communication in Project Management

    Non-verbal communication refers to a speaker's actions and attributes that are not purely verbal. It can be reflected in the way people dress, their tone and stance while talking, their gestures, facial expressions and their body language (Verma, 1996). Communication is a vital element of a well-managed project.

  19. 9 Types of Nonverbal Communication

    While these signals can be so subtle that we are not consciously aware of them, research has identified nine types of nonverbal communication. These nonverbal communication types are: Facial expressions. Gestures. Paralinguistics (such as loudness or tone of voice) Body language. Proxemics or personal space.

  20. (PDF) NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION: AN INFLUENTIAL TOOL FOR ...

    non-verbal communication in effective management. It examines the case specifically by keep ing under r eview the f our. areas of nonverbal communication: kinesics, proxemics, vocalics, and ch ...

  21. PDF The Importance of Non Verbal Communication

    Non-verbal communication is the use of the body, environment, and personal attributes in order to communicate messages either consciously or unconsciously. Using clothing, facial expressions, and touch are ... It is important to project oneself in the most assertive and confident manner. Our appearance communicates a lot about our education ...

  22. (PDF) Communicating Successfully: The Importance of Nonverbal Messages

    Abstract. The ability to communicate effectively is seen as a key requirement for successful managers. The communication process is complex and the increased need for cross-cultural communication ...

  23. (PDF) A Review of Communication, Body Language and ...

    Communication is carried out in two ways: verbal and non-verbal [34]. The means of The means of expression of non-verbal communication are the head, face, various parts of the body or the body itself