Body movement and gestures
Talk to the hand “Oh no you dint!” The snap (in Z formation)
Expressions related to posture, gait “grow a spine” walking with a “spring in your step” “stand up for yourself” “stand up straight” “hold your head high” “don’t slouch.” “stand still”
In Western culture, an upright, yet relaxed body posture, is associated with confidence, positivity, high self esteem (Guerrero & Floyd, 2006).
Power walk Shuffling Runway model walk Sashay Swagger Arms swinging vs. not swinging “Light in the loafers”
Gait, posture and victimization “A weak walking style sends a cue of vulnerability to a wouldbe mugger or attacker.” (Gunn,s Johnson, & Hudson, 2002) “Confident walkers rank near the bottom of potential targets of crime”(Ivy & Wahl, 2009).
Nonverbal indicators of Liking Forward lean Body and head orientation facing the other person Open body positions Affirmative head nods Moderate gesturing and animation Close interpersonal distances Moderate body relaxation Touching Initiating and maintaining eye contact Smiling Mirroring (congruent posture)
Nonverbal indicators of dislike Indirect, oblique body orientation No eye contact, or eye contact of short duration Averted eyes Unpleasant facial expressions Relative absence of gestures Body rigidity, bodily tension Incongruent postures
inclusiveness/noninclusiveness The degree to which one’s body position includes or excludes someone else. Inclusiveness indicates liking, interest in the other person.
face to face/parallel The degree to which people face each other, square on, versus at an angle or side by side. A square on position indicates mutual involvement, some level of intimacy.
congruence/incongruence The degree of mirroring, matching, mimicry
Posture and Dominance
Taking up space Arms akimbo Maintaining gaze Pointing at someone Violating another’s personal space
Studies on “Gaydar” demonstrate that people can distinguish another’s sexual orientation at better than chance odds. This does not mean “Gaydar” is infallible.
When speaking before a group: Stand straight, yet relaxed Don’t slouch Don’t lean on or hide behind a podium Don’t look frozen, wooden Avoid nervous pacing Movement should be purposeful Movement should complement or punctuate the verbal message
What are these people conveying with their bodies?
Are these couples getting along?
Humans have uniquely expressive hands.
The meaning of a gesture depends on its context flipping someone the “bird” could be serious or playful.
Gestures may be conflicting Yawning while saying you are not tired. Looking involved but saying, “I don’t care,”
Emblems are used intentionally. They have verbal equivalents They have a clear, consistent meaning within a particular culture
Cross my heart Shame on you Peace sign I’m crazy
Illustrators are used intentionally. Illustrators are tied to speech. They reinforce or supplement what is being said.
Illustrators are most common in face-to-face interaction Illustrators are so habitual, people use them when talking on the phone
Examples of illustrators Two palms held up signify “I don’t know. Wagging a finger while making a point Rolling one’s eyes in disbelief “For example” gesture Just a pinch Hitting one’s fist for emphasis A double head nod Pointing when giving directions I caught a fish this big. After you
Affect displays may or may not be intentional Affect displays convey feeling and emotion They are often communicated via facial expressions They can be difficult to interpret
Interpreting affect displays: Look at the face to determine the emotion Look at body cues to determine the strength or intensity of the emotion.
Are these people expressing the same emotion, in differing degrees, or different emotions altogether?
Regulators are primarily unintentional They regulate turn-taking behavior Conversational give and take depends on regulators
Types of turn-taking Turn-requesting cues Turn maintaining cues Turn yielding cues Turn denying cues
Regulate the ebb and flow of conversation
Adaptors are usually unintentional. Adaptors include self-touching behaviors Adapters signal nervousness, anxiousness, boredom Generally speaking, adapters are perceived negatively However, adaptors may be perceived as more genuine, authentic
Examples of adaptors
Fiddling with one’s hair Chewing one’s fingernails Tapping one’s foot or leg Biting one’s lips Scratching one’s arm Wringing one’s hands Clenching one’s jaw
Hair twirling is an adaptor, but does it always mean the same thing?
Object adaptors include: Tapping a pencil Drumming one’s fingers Adjusting one’s clothing Playing with jewelry
Adaptors when students take tests
Hair twirling Scratching Ear pulling Forehead rubbing
What do people do when they are ending an interpersonal conversation? they are getting ready to leave class? they are ending a phone conversation?
Does it depend on: the communication context? the nature of the relationship? cultural considerations?