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Business communications systems enable the exchange of information between a business's employees, customers, partners and vendors.
Businesses have used telephonic communication systems such Public Business Exchange (PBX) systems, for more than a century, with the earliest PBX systems dating back to 1879. Modern business communications systems integrate one or more communication functions into integrated, computer-based, network-enabled communications systems.
Modern business communications systems integrate systems that were often manual rather than automated. Computerized, network-based business communications systems require robust, stable, reliable network infrastructures.
Establishing an effective communication system is one of the many keys to success in today's business. Good communication can make the difference between success and failure in the business world. Around the world, businesses utilize email for communication, data transfer and collaboration. Formal communication is the process of sharing official information with others who need to know it. Internal communication is when people within a business or organization communicate with each other. In external communication, people in the business have to communicate with people or other organizations outside the business.
Before I talk about the vertical and horizontal channels of communication, I need to tell you a little bit about the structure of an organization which is know as the hierarchy. This is a€?Types of Nonverbal Communicationa€?, section 4.2 from the book A Primer on Communication Studies (v. This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book.
PDF copies of this book were generated using Prince, a great tool for making PDFs out of HTML and CSS.
For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. DonorsChoose.org helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators. Just as verbal language is broken up into various categories, there are also different types of nonverbal communication. Just as we can trace the history of a word, or its etymology, we can also trace some nonverbal signals, especially emblems, to their origins.
IllustratorsThe most common type of gesture, used to illustrate the verbal message they accompany. I group head movements and posture together because they are often both used to acknowledge others and communicate interest or attentiveness.
Eye contact serves several communicative functions ranging from regulating interaction to monitoring interaction, to conveying information, to establishing interpersonal connections.
Aside from regulating conversations, eye contact is also used to monitor interaction by taking in feedback and other nonverbal cues and to send information.
Pupil dilation is a subtle component of oculesics that doesna€™t get as much scholarly attention in communication as eye contact does.
Smiles are powerful communicative signals and, as youa€™ll recall, are a key immediacy behavior. Our faces are the most expressive part of our body and can communicate an array of different emotions. Think of how touch has the power to comfort someone in moment of sorrow when words alone cannot. On a first date, it is less likely that you will see couples sitting a€?school-bus stylea€? (sharing the same side of a table or booth) or touching for an extended time. During a first date or less formal initial interactions, quick fleeting touches give an indication of interest. I find hugging behavior particularly interesting, perhaps because of my experiences growing up in a very hug-friendly environment in the Southern United States and then living elsewhere where there are different norms. Some other types of hugs are the a€?shake-first-then-tap huga€? and the a€?back-slap hug.a€? I observe that these hugs are most often between men. Everyone who has flown over the past ten years has experienced the steady increase in security screenings. What limits, if any, do you think there should be on the use of touch in airport screening procedures? In June of 2012 a passenger was charged with battery after a€?gropinga€? a TSA supervisor to, as she claims, demonstrate the treatment that she had received while being screened. Do you think that more targeted screening, as opposed to random screenings in which each person has an equal chance of being selected for enhanced pat-downs, is a good idea?
We learned earlier that paralanguage refers to the vocalized but nonverbal parts of a message. Pitch helps convey meaning, regulate conversational flow, and communicate the intensity of a message.
Speaking rate refers to how fast or slow a person speaks and can lead others to form impressions about our emotional state, credibility, and intelligence.
Our tone of voice can be controlled somewhat with pitch, volume, and emphasis, but each voice has a distinct quality known as a vocal signature.
We all have varying definitions of what our a€?personal spacea€? is, and these definitions are contextual and depend on the situation and the relationship. Public and social zones refer to the space four or more feet away from our body, and the communication that typically occurs in these zones is formal and not intimate. Communication that occurs in the social zone, which is four to twelve feet away from our body, is typically in the context of a professional or casual interaction, but not intimate or public.
Personal and intimate zones refer to the space that starts at our physical body and extends four feet.
Secondary territories dona€™t belong to us and arena€™t exclusively under our control, but they are associated with us, which may lead us to assume that the space will be open and available to us when we need it without us taking any further steps to reserve it. Personal presentation involves two components: our physical characteristics and the artifacts with which we adorn and surround ourselves.
Have you ever tried to consciously change your a€?look?a€? I can distinctly remember two times in my life when I made pretty big changes in how I presented myself in terms of clothing and accessories. Aside from clothes, jewelry, visible body art, hairstyles, and other political, social, and cultural symbols send messages to others about who we are.
The objects that surround us send nonverbal cues that may influence how people perceive us. Avatars are computer-generated images that represent users in online environments or are created to interact with users in online and offline situations.
People also create their own avatars as self-representations in a variety of online environments ranging from online role-playing games like World of Warcraft and Second Life to some online learning management systems used by colleges and universities.
Avatars do more than represent people in online worlds; they also affect their behaviors offline. Gestures are arm and hand movements and include adaptors like clicking a pen or scratching your face, emblems like a thumbs-up to say a€?OK,a€? and illustrators like bouncing your hand along with the rhythm of your speaking.
Head movements and posture include the orientation of movements of our head and the orientation and positioning of our body and the various meanings they send. Eye contact is studied under the category of oculesics and specifically refers to eye contact with another persona€™s face, head, and eyes and the patterns of looking away and back at the other person during interaction.
Facial expressions refer to the use of the forehead, brow, and facial muscles around the nose and mouth to convey meaning.
Vocalics refers to the vocalized but not verbal aspects of nonverbal communication, including our speaking rate, pitch, volume, tone of voice, and vocal quality. Chronemics refers the study of how time affects communication and includes how different time cycles affect our communication, including the differences between people who are past or future oriented and cultural perspectives on time as fixed and measured (monochronic) or fluid and adaptable (polychronic).
Personal presentation and environment refers to how the objects we adorn ourselves and our surroundings with, referred to as artifacts, provide nonverbal cues that others make meaning from and how our physical environmenta€”for example, the layout of a room and seating positions and arrangementsa€”influences communication. Provide some examples of how eye contact plays a role in your communication throughout the day. One of the key functions of vocalics is to add emphasis to our verbal messages to influence the meaning.
Getting integrated: Many people do not think of time as an important part of our nonverbal communication. Some business communications systems deliver only basic functions such as email, while others may provide support for virtually any kind of communication, from text to audio to video, as well as integrated versions of all three. Modern business communications systems perform functions that previously fell to disparate systems such as PBX telephonic systems, inter-office mail and memo distribution systems and paper-based accounts payable and receivable communications sent through postal mail. PBX systems evolved over time, becoming progressively more automated, and switching from analog to digital data transmission in the late 1970s early 1980s.
By combining email, telephone communications and other communications into a single, computer-based system, businesses can reduce the number of specialist roles, such as PBX operators and mailroom personnel, which can lower personnel costs. Businesses that want to move to integrated systems may first need to review their existing network's capacity. Learn the benefits of various communication systems in this free video clip about franchising a business. An information management system enables an organization to perpetually store and receive data. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. As we learn about each type of nonverbal signal, keep in mind that nonverbals often work in concert with each other, combining to repeat, modify, or contradict the verbal message being sent. Holding up the index and middle fingers in a a€?Va€? shape with the palm facing in is an insult gesture in Britain that basically means a€?up yours.a€? This gesture dates back centuries to the period in which the primary weapon of war was the bow and arrow. In terms of head movements, a head nod is a universal sign of acknowledgement in cultures where the formal bow is no longer used as a greeting. In terms of regulating communication, we use eye contact to signal to others that we are ready to speak or we use it to cue others to speak.
Our eyes bring in the visual information we need to interpret peoplea€™s movements, gestures, and eye contact.
We have social norms about how much eye contact we make with people, and those norms vary depending on the setting and the person. Pupil dilation refers to the expansion and contraction of the black part of the center of our eyes and is considered a biometric form of measurement; it is involuntary and therefore seen as a valid and reliable form of data collection as opposed to self-reports on surveys or interviews that can be biased or misleading. Think of how photos are often intended to capture a particular expression a€?in a flasha€? to preserve for later viewing. Although facial expressions are typically viewed as innate and several are universally recognizable, they are not always connected to an emotional or internal biological stimulus; they can actually serve a more social purpose.
This positive power of touch is countered by the potential for touch to be threatening because of its connection to sex and violence. At the friendship-warmth level, touch is more important and more ambiguous than at the social-polite level. A hug can be obligatory, meaning that you do it because you feel like you have to, not because you want to.
The shake-first-then-tap hug involves a modified hand-shake where the hands are joined more with the thumb and fingers than the palm and the elbows are bent so that the shake occurs between the two huggersa€™ chests. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, airports around the world have had increased security. VocalicsThe study of paralanguage, which includes the vocal qualities that go along with verbal messages, such as pitch, volume, rate, vocal quality, and verbal fillers. As with volume, variations in speaking rate can interfere with the ability of others to receive and understand verbal messages. Voices vary in terms of resonance, pitch, and tone, and some voices are more pleasing than others. They are considered a part of nonverbal communication because they are not like typical words that stand in for a specific meaning or meanings. Although our bubbles are invisible, people are socialized into the norms of personal space within their cultural group.
This distance is preferred in many professional settings because it reduces the suspicion of any impropriety. It is impossible to completely ignore people when they are in this space, even if we are trying to pretend that wea€™re ignoring them. Although these zones are well established in research for personal space preferences of US Americans, individuals vary in terms of their reactions to people entering certain zones, and determining what constitutes a a€?violationa€? of space is subjective and contextual. People are allowed to mark public territory and use it for a limited period of time, but space is often up for grabs, which makes public space difficult to manage for some people and can lead to conflict. The way we experience time varies based on our mood, our interest level, and other factors. Polychronic people do not view time as a linear progression that needs to be divided into small units and scheduled in advance.
For example, doctors can make their patients wait for extended periods of time, and executives and celebrities may run consistently behind schedule, making others wait for them. Physical characteristics include body shape, height, weight, attractiveness, and other physical features of our bodies. In high school, at the height of the a€?thrift storea€? craze, I started wearing clothes from the local thrift store daily. In the United States, body piercings and tattoos have been shifting from subcultural to mainstream over the past few decades. A ring on the a€?ring fingera€? of a persona€™s left hand typically indicates that they are married or in an otherwise committed relationship. This is included because we can often manipulate the nonverbal environment similar to how we would manipulate our gestures or tone of voice to suit our communicative needs. Research shows that the line between reality and virtual reality can become blurry when it comes to avatar design and identification.
For example, one study found that people who watched an avatar that looked like them exercising and losing weight in an online environment exercised more and ate healthier in the real world.Jesse Fox and Jeremy M. What led you to construct the avatar the way you did, and how do you think your choices reflect your typical nonverbal self-presentation?
Although he claims that his avatar is better than any human girlfriend, he has been criticized as being out of touch with reality. Head movements such as nodding can indicate agreement, disagreement, and interest, among other things. Eye contact provides turn-taking signals, signals when we are engaged in cognitive activity, and helps establish rapport and connection, among other things. Touch operates at many levels, including functional-professional, social-polite, friendship-warmth, and love-intimacy.
These qualities, also known as paralanguage, reinforce the meaning of verbal communication, allow us to emphasize particular parts of a message, or can contradict verbal messages. Provide an example of how chronemics sends nonverbal messages in academic settings, professional settings, and personal settings.
As business networks and personal computers became ubiquitous in the late 1980s and early 1990s, email began to make inroads into inter-office mail systems as well as external communications. Similarly, a basic communications tool, such as the telephone, can take advantage of IP telephony, which uses network data transfer rather than dedicated telephone cabling for voice transmissions.
The transfer of information is usually through letters, emails, face-to-face discussions, skype and etc.
More information is on the intranet, which can only be accessed by staff and members.Internal communication is important because it provides interaction between the members of the same business.
Chain of command is the continuous line of authority, extends to the highest levels in an organization to the lowest levels and clarifies who reports to whom. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (291 MB) or just this chapter (14 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). Specifically, this section will outline the use of gestures, head movements and posture, eye contact, and facial expressions as nonverbal communication.
AdaptorsTouching behaviors and movements that indicate internal states typically related to arousal or anxiety and may be directed at the self, others, or objects. These are still different from the signs used by hearing-impaired people or others who communicate using American Sign Language (ASL).


When archers were captured, their enemies would often cut off these two fingers, which was seen as the ultimate insult and worse than being executed since the archer could no longer shoot his bow and arrow. Within each of these postures there are many variations, and when combined with particular gestures or other nonverbal cues they can express many different meanings.
The saying a€?The eyes are the window to the soula€? is actually accurate in terms of where people typically think others are a€?located,a€? which is right behind the eyes.Peter A. Ia€™m sure wea€™ve all been in that awkward situation where a teacher asks a question, no one else offers a response, and he or she looks directly at us as if to say, a€?What do you think?a€? In that case, the teachera€™s eye contact is used to cue us to respond.
A speaker can use his or her eye contact to determine if an audience is engaged, confused, or bored and then adapt his or her message accordingly. Staring at another person in some contexts could communicate intimidation, while in other contexts it could communicate flirtation. Our pupils dilate when there is a lack of lighting and contract when light is plentiful.Laura K. Even though a photo is a snapshot in time, we can still interpret much meaning from a human face caught in a moment of expression, and basic facial expressions are recognizable by humans all over the world.
For example, most of the smiles we produce are primarily made for others and are not just an involuntary reflection of an internal emotional state.Peter A. In order to set a positive tone before you start speaking, briefly look at the audience and smile to communicate friendliness, openness, and confidence.
To learn about the power of touch, we turn to hapticsThe study of communication by touch., which refers to the study of communication by touch. At this level, touch interactions are important because they serve a relational maintenance purpose and communicate closeness, liking, care, and concern. Even though you may think that this type of hug doesna€™t communicate emotions, it definitely does. The hug comes after the shake has been initiated with one arm going around the other person for usually just one tap, then a step back and release of the handshake.
While passengers have long been subject to pat-downs if they set off the metal detector or arouse suspicion, recently foiled terrorist plots have made passenger screening more personal. Do you think such targeted screening could be seen as a case of unethical racial profiling?
A louder voice is usually thought of as more intense, although a soft voice combined with a certain tone and facial expression can be just as intense.
People typically find pleasing voices that employ vocal variety and are not monotone, are lower pitched (particularly for males), and do not exhibit particular regional accents. Verbal fillers such as a€?um,a€? a€?uh,a€? a€?like,a€? and a€?aha€? are common in regular conversation and are not typically disruptive.
We only need look at the ways in which space shows up in common metaphors to see that space, communication, and relationships are closely related. Scholars have identified four zones for US Americans, which are public, social, personal, and intimate distance.Edward T.
This is the least personal of the four zones and would typically be used when a person is engaging in a formal speech and is removed from the audience to allow the audience to see or when a high-profile or powerful person like a celebrity or executive maintains such a distance as a sign of power or for safety and security reasons.
Much of our communication occurs in the personal zone, which is what we typically think of as our a€?personal space bubblea€? and extends from 1.5 feet to 4 feet away from our body. A breach of this space can be comforting in some contexts and annoying or frightening in others.
For example, another persona€™s presence in our social or public zones doesna€™t typically arouse suspicion or negative physical or communicative reactions, but it could in some situations or with certain people.
This drive is shared by many creatures and entities, ranging from packs of animals to individual humans to nations. Students often sit in the same desk or at least same general area as they did on the first day of class. To avoid this type of situation, people use a variety of objects that are typically recognized by others as nonverbal cues that mark a place as temporarily reserveda€”for example, jackets, bags, papers, or a drink. Time can be classified into several different categories, including biological, personal, physical, and cultural time.Peter A. Think about how quickly time passes when you are interested in and therefore engaged in something. Some people experience seasonal affective disorder that leads them to experience emotional distress and anxiety during the changes of seasons, primarily from warm and bright to dark and cold (summer to fall and winter).
Polychronic people keep more flexible schedules and may engage in several activities at once. Promptness and the amount of time that is socially acceptable for lateness and waiting varies among individuals and contexts. We do not have as much control over how these nonverbal cues are encoded as we do with many other aspects of nonverbal communication.
Of course, most of them were older clothes, so I was basically going for a a€?retroa€? look, which I thought really suited me at the time. A thumb ring or a right-hand ring on the a€?ring fingera€? doesna€™t send such a direct message. The books that we display on our coffee table, the magazines a doctor keeps in his or her waiting room, the placement of fresh flowers in a foyer, or a piece of mint chocolate on a hotel bed pillow all send particular messages and can easily be changed. This can become even more pronounced when we consider that some users, especially of online role-playing games, spend about twenty hours a week as their avatar. Bailenson, a€?Virtual Self-Modeling: The Effects of Vicarious Reinforcement and Identification on Exercise Behaviors,a€? Media Psychology 12, no.
If you havena€™t ever constructed an avatar, what would you make your avatar look like and why?
Posture can indicate assertiveness, defensiveness, interest, readiness, or intimidation, among other things. More robust types of business communications systems may support video conferencing, using video and audio transmissions sent through internal networks and through the Internet, and may integrate with IP telephony and email systems.
This type of communication helps superiors tell their subordinates what they need to do in order to make the business successful.
Even though they have a generally agreed-on meaning, they are not part of a formal sign system like ASL that is explicitly taught to a group of people.
Unlike emblems, illustrators do not typically have meaning on their own and are used more subconsciously than emblems.
An innate and universal head movement is the headshake back and forth to signal a€?no.a€? This nonverbal signal begins at birth, even before a baby has the ability to know that it has a corresponding meaning.
As we learned, eye contact is a key immediacy behavior, and it signals to others that we are available for communication.
Much research has supported the universality of a core group of facial expressions: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust. Beyond your opening and welcoming facial expressions, facial expressions communicate a range of emotions and can be used to infer personality traits and make judgments about a speakera€™s credibility and competence. We probably get more explicit advice and instruction on how to use touch than any other form of nonverbal communication.
At the functional-professional level, touch is related to a goal or part of a routine professional interaction, which makes it less threatening and more expected. The types of touching at this level also vary greatly from more formal and ritualized to more intimate, which means friends must sometimes negotiate their own comfort level with various types of touch and may encounter some ambiguity if their preferences dona€™t match up with their relational partnera€™s.
In this hugging behavior, the handshake that is maintained between the chests minimizes physical closeness and the intimacy that may be interpreted from the crisscross or engulfing hug where the majority of the huggersa€™ torsos are touching. The a€?shoe bombera€? led to mandatory shoe removal and screening, and the more recent use of nonmetallic explosives hidden in clothing or in body cavities led to the use of body scanners that can see through clothing to check for concealed objects.Andrew R. Of course, no one ever tells us these things explicitly; we learn them through observation and practice. We typically adjust our volume based on our setting, the distance between people, and the relationship. A fast speaker may be difficult to follow, and the fast delivery can actually distract from the message. Many people perceive nasal voices negatively and assign negative personality characteristics to them.Peter A. As we learned earlier, the use of verbal fillers can help a person a€?keep the floora€? during a conversation if they need to pause for a moment to think before continuing on with verbal communication. For example, when we are content with and attracted to someone, we say we are a€?closea€? to him or her. In terms of regular interaction, we are often not obligated or expected to acknowledge or interact with people who enter our public zone.
If two people held up their arms and stood so just the tips of their fingers were touching, they would be around four feet away from each other, which is perceived as a safe distance because the possibility for intentional or unintentional touching doesna€™t exist. Even though we are getting closer to the physical body of another person, we may use verbal communication at this point to signal that our presence in this zone is friendly and not intimate.
However, many situations lead to our personal and intimate space being breached by others against our will, and these breaches are more likely to be upsetting, even when they are expected. Whether ita€™s a gang territory, a neighborhood claimed by a particular salesperson, your preferred place to sit in a restaurant, your usual desk in the classroom, or the seat youa€™ve marked to save while getting concessions at a sporting event, we claim certain spaces as our own. There may be some small adjustments during the first couple of weeks, but by a month into the semester, I dona€™t notice students moving much voluntarily. I have taught fifty-minute classes that seemed to drag on forever and three-hour classes that zipped by.
As Chapter 2 "Communication and Perception" noted, these characteristics play a large role in initial impression formation even though we know we a€?shouldna€™t judge a book by its cover.a€? Although ideals of attractiveness vary among cultures and individuals, research consistently indicates that people who are deemed attractive based on physical characteristics have distinct advantages in many aspects of life. Then in my junior year of college, as graduation finally seemed on the horizon and I felt myself entering a new stage of adulthood, I started wearing business-casual clothes to school every day, embracing the a€?dress for the job you wanta€? philosophy.
People also adorn their clothes, body, or belongings with religious or cultural symbols, like a cross to indicate a persona€™s Christian faith or a rainbow flag to indicate that a person is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or an ally to one or more of those groups.
The placement of objects and furniture in a physical space can help create a formal, distant, friendly, or intimate climate. Avatars vary in terms of functionality and technical sophistication and can include stationary pictures like buddy icons, cartoonish but humanlike animations like a Mii character on the Wii, or very humanlike animations designed to teach or assist people in virtual environments.
Do you think the boundaries between human reality and avatar fantasy will continue to fade as we become a more technologically fused world? Some advanced communications systems may also provide support for emerging business communications formats, such as instant messaging. That means that Mr A in charge of them and has supervision over them.Now, let's move on to vertical and horizontal communication.
A hitchhikera€™s raised thumb, the a€?OKa€? sign with thumb and index finger connected in a circle with the other three fingers sticking up, and the raised middle finger are all examples of emblems that have an agreed-on meaning or meanings with a culture. These largely involuntary and seemingly natural gestures flow from us as we speak but vary in terms of intensity and frequency based on context.
One interesting standing posture involves putting our hands on our hips and is a nonverbal cue that we use subconsciously to make us look bigger and show assertiveness. Certain eye behaviors have become tied to personality traits or emotional states, as illustrated in phrases like a€?hungry eyes,a€? a€?evil eyes,a€? and a€?bedroom eyes.a€? To better understand oculesics, we will discuss the characteristics and functions of eye contact and pupil dilation.
US Americans typically shift eye contact while speakinga€”looking away from the listener and then looking back at his or her face every few seconds. People know not to interrupt when we are in deep thought because we naturally look away from others when we are processing information.
These social smiles, however, are slightly but perceptibly different from more genuine smiles. Facial expressions can communicate that a speaker is tired, excited, angry, confused, frustrated, sad, confident, smug, shy, or bored. A lack of nonverbal communication competence related to touch could have negative interpersonal consequences; for example, if we dona€™t follow the advice wea€™ve been given about the importance of a firm handshake, a person might make negative judgments about our confidence or credibility.
For example, we let barbers, hairstylists, doctors, nurses, tattoo artists, and security screeners touch us in ways that would otherwise be seen as intimate or inappropriate if not in a professional context. In a friendship, for example, too much touch can signal sexual or romantic interest, and too little touch can signal distance or unfriendliness. So as the daters sit across from each other, one person may lightly tap the othera€™s arm after he or she said something funny.
This move away from physical closeness likely stems from a US norm that restricts mena€™s physical expression of affection due to homophobia or the worry of being perceived as gay.
In our age of computer-mediated communication, TYPING IN ALL CAPS is usually seen as offensive, as it is equated with yelling.
Speaking a little faster than the normal 120a€“150 words a minute, however, can be beneficial, as people tend to find speakers whose rate is above average more credible and intelligent.David B. Verbal fillers in more formal settings, like a public speech, can hurt a speakera€™s credibility. When we lose connection with someone, we may say he or she is a€?distant.a€? In general, space influences how people communicate and behave.
It is also possible to have people in the outer portion of our social zone but not feel obligated to interact with them, but when people come much closer than six feet to us then we often feel obligated to at least acknowledge their presence.
Even people who know each other could be uncomfortable spending too much time in this zone unnecessarily. We have already discussed the importance of touch in nonverbal communication, and in order for that much-needed touch to occur, people have to enter our intimate space. A half-empty cup of coffee may be seen as trash and thrown away, which would be an annoying surprise to a person who left it to mark his or her table while visiting the restroom. A polychronic or monochronic orientation to time influences our social realities and how we interact with others. Wea€™ve already learned that conversational turns and turn-taking patterns are influenced by social norms and help our conversations progress. This fact, along with media images that project often unrealistic ideals of beauty, have contributed to booming health and beauty, dieting, gym, and plastic surgery industries. Men with short hair are generally judged to be more conservative than men with long hair, but men with shaved heads may be seen as aggressive. People now wear various types of rubber bracelets, which have become a popular form of social cause marketing, to indicate that they identify with the a€?Livestronga€? movement or support breast cancer awareness and research. In terms of formality, we can use nonverbal communication to convey dominance and status, which helps define and negotiate power and roles within relationships.
Seeing an older version of them online led participants to form a more concrete social and psychological connection with their future selves, which led them to invest more money in a retirement account. How do you feel about interacting more with avatars in customer service situations like the airport avatar mentioned above?
Vertical communication is the communication between different levels of the organizational structure. In regular social situations, adaptors result from uneasiness, anxiety, or a general sense that we are not in control of our surroundings. Although we are never explicitly taught how to use illustrative gestures, we do it automatically. This biologically based movement then sticks with us to be a recognizable signal for a€?no.a€? We also move our head to indicate interest. When the elbows are pointed out, this prevents others from getting past us as easily and is a sign of attempted dominance or a gesture that says wea€™re ready for action.
Toward the end of our speaking turn, we make more direct eye contact with our listener to indicate that we are finishing up. Making eye contact with others also communicates that we are paying attention and are interested in what another person is saying. We can also use our eye contact to signal that we do not want to make a connection with others.
People generally perceive smiles as more genuine when the other person smiles a€?with their eyes.a€? This particular type of smile is difficult if not impossible to fake because the muscles around the eye that are activated when we spontaneously or genuinely smile are not under our voluntary control.
Even if you arena€™t bored, for example, a slack face with little animation may lead an audience to think that you are bored with your own speech, which isna€™t likely to motivate them to be interested. A lack of competence could have more dire negative consequences, including legal punishment, if we touch someone inappropriately (intentionally or unintentionally). At the social-polite level, socially sanctioned touching behaviors help initiate interactions and show that others are included and respected. At the love-intimacy level, touch is more personal and is typically only exchanged between significant others, such as best friends, close family members, and romantic partners. If the daters are sitting side by side, one person may cross his or her legs and lean toward the other person so that each persona€™s knees or feet occasionally touch. The slap hug is also a less physically intimate hug and involves a hug with one or both people slapping the other persona€™s back repeatedly, often while talking to each other.


Protests against and anxiety about the body scanners, more colloquially known as a€?naked x-ray machines,a€? led to the new a€?enhanced pat-downa€? techniques for passengers who refuse to go through the scanners or passengers who are randomly selected or arouse suspicion in other ways. Children, for example, have a difficult time perceiving sarcasm, which is usually conveyed through paralinguistic characteristics like pitch and tone rather than the actual words being spoken.
A voice at a low volume or a whisper can be very appropriate when sending a covert message or flirting with a romantic partner, but it wouldna€™t enhance a persona€™s credibility if used during a professional presentation. Smaller spaces with a higher density of people often lead to breaches of our personal space bubbles.
The zones are more elliptical than circular, taking up more space in our front, where our line of sight is, than at our side or back where we cana€™t monitor what people are doing. In many typically sized classrooms, much of your audience for a speech will actually be in your social zone rather than your public zone, which is actually beneficial because it helps you establish a better connection with them. Being close to someone and feeling their physical presence can be very comforting when words fail. In such situations, we may rely on some verbal communication to reduce immediacy and indicate that we are not interested in closeness and are aware that a breach has occurred.
I do classroom observations for the graduate teaching assistants I supervise, which means I come into the classroom toward the middle of the semester and take a seat in the back to evaluate the class session. One scholara€™s informal observations revealed that a full drink sitting on a table could reserve a space in a university cafeteria for more than an hour, but a cup only half full usually only worked as a marker of territory for less than ten minutes. Humans follow a circadian rhythm, meaning that we are on a daily cycle that influences when we eat, sleep, and wake. People with past-time orientations may want to reminisce about the past, reunite with old friends, and put considerable time into preserving memories and keepsakes in scrapbooks and photo albums.
We all know how annoying it can be when a person dominates a conversation or when we cana€™t get a person to contribute anything.
While there have been some controversial reality shows that seek to transform peoplea€™s physical characteristics, like Extreme Makeover, The Swan, and The Biggest Loser, the relative ease with which we can change the artifacts that send nonverbal cues about us has led to many more style and space makeover shows.
Television programs like What Not to Wear seek to show the power of wardrobe and personal style changes in how people communicate with others.
Whether a person has a part in their hair, a mohawk, faux-hawk, ponytail, curls, or bright pink hair also sends nonverbal signals to others. Fancy cars and expensive watches can serve as symbols that distinguish a CEO from an entry-level employee. Peoplea€™s actions online also mirror the expectations for certain physical characteristics, even when the user doesna€™t exhibit those characteristics and didna€™t get to choose them for his or her avatar.
Many of us subconsciously click pens, shake our legs, or engage in other adaptors during classes, meetings, or while waiting as a way to do something with our excess energy. Think about how you still gesture when having an animated conversation on the phone even though the other person cana€™t see you. While listening, we tend to make more sustained eye contact, not glancing away as regularly as we do while speaking.Judith N.
For example, in a public setting like an airport or a gym where people often make small talk, we can avoid making eye contact with others to indicate that we do not want to engage in small talk with strangers.
For example, advertisers use pupil dilation as an indicator of consumer preferences, assuming that more dilation indicates arousal and attraction to a product. However, the triggers for these expressions and the cultural and social norms that influence their displays are still culturally diverse.
So make sure your facial expressions are communicating an emotion, mood, or personality trait that you think your audience will view favorably, and that will help you achieve your speech goals. Touch is necessary for human social development, and it can be welcoming, threatening, or persuasive. A handshake, a pat on the arm, and a pat on the shoulder are examples of social-polite touching.
Touching faces, holding hands, and full frontal embraces are examples of touch at this level.
The crisscross hug is a rather typical hug where each persona€™s arm is below or above the other persona€™s arm.
Ia€™ve seen this type of hug go on for many seconds and with varying degrees of force involved in the slap. The strong reactions are expected given what wea€™ve learned about the power of touch as a form of nonverbal communication. Adults with lower than average intelligence and children have difficulty reading sarcasm in another persona€™s voice and instead may interpret literally what they say.Peter A.
Burgoon, a€?The Effects of Vocalics and Nonverbal Sensitivity on Compliance,a€? Human Communication Research 13, no. Whether they are a public figure like President Bill Clinton, a celebrity like Snooki from the Jersey Shore, or a fictional character like Peter Griffin from Family Guy, some peoplea€™s voices stick with us and make a favorable or unfavorable impression. If this is a setting in which this type of density is expected beforehand, like at a crowded concert or on a train during rush hour, then we make various communicative adjustments to manage the space issue.
You can see how these zones relate to each other and to the individual in Figure 4.1 "Proxemic Zones of Personal Space". Students in large lecture classes should consider sitting within the social zone of the professor, since students who sit within this zone are more likely to be remembered by the professor, be acknowledged in class, and retain more information because they are close enough to take in important nonverbal and visual cues. There are also social norms regarding the amount of this type of closeness that can be displayed in public, as some people get uncomfortable even seeing others interacting in the intimate zone. People make comments about the crowd, saying, a€?Wea€™re really packed in here like sardines,a€? or use humor to indicate that they are pleasant and well adjusted and uncomfortable with the breach like any a€?normala€? person would be. When our natural rhythms are disturbed, by all-nighters, jet lag, or other scheduling abnormalities, our physical and mental health and our communication competence and personal relationships can suffer. People with future-time orientations may spend the same amount of time making career and personal plans, writing out to-do lists, or researching future vacations, potential retirement spots, or what book theya€™re going to read next.
A room with soft lighting, a small fountain that creates ambient sounds of water flowing, and a comfy chair can help facilitate interactions between a therapist and a patient. For example, experimental research showed that people using more attractive avatars were more extroverted and friendly than those with less attractive avatars, which is also a nonverbal communication pattern that exists among real people. Public speaking students who watch video recordings of their speeches notice nonverbal adaptors that they didna€™t know they used. We dona€™t consciously read othersa€™ pupil dilation in our everyday interactions, but experimental research has shown that we subconsciously perceive pupil dilation, which affects our impressions and communication. If youa€™ve spent much time with babies you know that theya€™re capable of expressing all these emotions. People are able to distinguish the difference between these smiles, which is why photographers often engage in cheesy joking with adults or use props with children to induce a genuine smile before they snap a picture. Research projects have found that students evaluated a library and its staff more favorably if the librarian briefly touched the patron while returning his or her library card, that female restaurant servers received larger tips when they touched patrons, and that people were more likely to sign a petition when the petitioner touched them during their interaction.Peter A.
A handshake is actually an abbreviated hand-holding gesture, but we know that prolonged hand-holding would be considered too intimate and therefore inappropriate at the functional-professional or social-polite level.
Although this level of touch is not sexual, it does enhance feelings of closeness and intimacy and can lead to sexual-arousal touch, which is the most intimate form of touch, as it is intended to physically stimulate another person. One of my interpersonal communication professors admitted that she enjoyed going to restaurants to observe a€?first-date behaviora€? and boasted that she could predict whether or not there was going to be a second date based on the couplea€™s nonverbal communication. A light touch from one dater will be followed by a light touch from the other to indicate that the first touch was OK. This hug is common among friends, romantic partners, and family members, and perhaps even coworkers. When the slap is more of a tap, it is actually an indication that one person wants to let go. Unexpected breaches of personal space can lead to negative reactions, especially if we feel someone has violated our space voluntarily, meaning that a crowding situation didna€™t force them into our space.
Even within a particular zone, interactions may differ depending on whether someone is in the outer or inner part of the zone. Students who talk to me after class typically stand about four to five feet away when they speak to me, which keeps them in the outer part of the social zone, typical for professional interactions. The outer-personal zone extends from 2.5 feet to 4 feet and is useful for conversations that need to be private but that occur between people who are not interpersonally close.
While some people are comfortable engaging in or watching others engage in PDAs (public displays of affection) others are not.
Interestingly, as we will learn in our discussion of territoriality, we do not often use verbal communication to defend our personal space during regular interactions. These spaces are known as our primary territories because they are marked or understood to be exclusively ours and under our control. Obviously, leaving a laptop on a table indicates that the table is occupied, but it could also lead to the laptop getting stolen.
In summary, whether we know it or not, our physical characteristics and the artifacts that surround us communicate much. Research has shown, though, that humanlike avatars influence people even when they are not sophisticated in terms of functionality and adaptability.Amy L. In summary, people have the ability to self-select physical characteristics and personal presentation for their avatars in a way that they cana€™t in their real life. Grapevine is definitely not a reliable source of information ,since it's unofficial, people can make up their own stories. For example Mr B, C and D communicating with each other would be considered "horizontal communication".
For example, when one person continues to stare at another person who is not reciprocating eye contact, the person avoiding eye contact might eventually give in, become curious, or become irritated and say, a€?Can I help you with something?a€? As you can see, eye contact sends and receives important communicative messages that help us interpret othersa€™ behaviors, convey information about our thoughts and feelings, and facilitate or impede rapport or connection.
Getting to see the pure and innate expressions of joy and surprise on a babya€™s face is what makes playing peek-a-boo so entertaining for adults. When delivering something light-hearted or humorous, a smile, bright eyes, and slightly raised eyebrows will nonverbally enhance your verbal message. At the functional-professional and social-polite levels, touch still has interpersonal implications. While verbal communication could also be used to indicate romantic interest, many people feel too vulnerable at this early stage in a relationship to put something out there in words. The neck-waist hug usually occurs in more intimate relationships as it involves one persona€™s arms around the othera€™s neck and the other persona€™s arms around the othera€™s waist. The video footage of then-president Bill Clinton hugging Monica Lewinsky that emerged as allegations that they had an affair were being investigated shows her holding on, while he was tapping from the beginning of the hug. When speaking at a faster-than-normal rate, it is important that a speaker also clearly articulate and pronounce his or her words. Additionally, research has shown that crowding can lead to criminal or delinquent behavior, known as a a€?mob mentality.a€?Peter A.
When students have more personal information to discuss, they will come closer, which brings them into the inner part of the social zone. This zone allows for relatively intimate communication but doesna€™t convey the intimacy that a closer distance would, which can be beneficial in professional settings.
Instead, we rely on more nonverbal communication like moving, crossing our arms, or avoiding eye contact to deal with breaches of space.
A persona€™s house, yard, room, desk, side of the bed, or shelf in the medicine cabinet could be considered primary territories. Remember that early morning conversations and speeches may require more preparation to get yourself awake enough to communicate well and a more patient or energetic delivery to accommodate others who may still be getting warmed up for their day. Baylor, a€?The Design of Motivational Agents and Avatars,a€? Educational Technology Research and Development 59, no.
Common self-touching behaviors like scratching, twirling hair, or fidgeting with fingers or hands are considered self-adaptors.
Even though we may not be aware of this subtle nonverbal signal, we have social norms and practices that may be subconsciously based on pupil dilation.
As we get older, we learn and begin to follow display rules for facial expressions and other signals of emotion and also learn to better control our emotional expression based on the norms of our culture. When delivering something serious or somber, a furrowed brow, a tighter mouth, and even a slight head nod can enhance that message.
The touch, although professional and not intimate, between hair stylist and client, or between nurse and patient, has the potential to be therapeutic and comforting. If your date advances a touch and you are not interested, it is also unlikely that you will come right out and say, a€?Sorry, but Ia€™m not really interested.a€? Instead, due to common politeness rituals, you would be more likely to respond with other forms of nonverbal communication like scooting back, crossing your arms, or simply not acknowledging the touch. I think of this type of hug as the a€?slow-dance hug.a€? The engulfing hug is similar to a bear hug in that one person completely wraps the arms around the other as that person basically stands there. Interestingly, police have long been able to use more invasive pat-downs, but only with probable cause.
Boomhauer, a character on the show King of the Hill, is an example of a speaker whose fast rate of speech combines with a lack of articulation and pronunciation to create a stream of words that only he can understand. Take for example the notion of mood lighting and the common practice of creating a a€?romantica€? ambiance with candlelight or the light from a fireplace. If your facial expressions and speech content are not consistent, your audience could become confused by the mixed messages, which could lead them to question your honesty and credibility. In addition, a social-polite touch exchange plays into initial impression formation, which can have important implications for how an interaction and a relationship unfold. This hugging behavior usually occurs when someone is very excited and hugs the other person without warning.
In the case of random selection at the airport, no probable cause provision has to be met, giving TSA agents more leeway with touch than police officers.
A higher rate of speech combined with a pleasant tone of voice can also be beneficial for compliance gaining and can aid in persuasion.
To better understand how proxemics functions in nonverbal communication, we will more closely examine the proxemic distances associated with personal space and the concept of territoriality. In this subzone, we can easily touch the other person as we talk to them, briefly placing a hand on his or her arm or engaging in other light social touching that facilitates conversation, self-disclosure, and feelings of closeness.
Avatars are especially motivating and influential when they are similar to the observer or user but more closely represent the persona€™s ideal self.
C and D arrange a meeting to talk about what they are going to do in their next project, as mentioned before, this would horizontal. Softer and more indirect light leads to pupil dilation, and although we intentionally manipulate lighting to create a romantic ambiance, not to dilate our pupils, the dilated pupils are still subconsciously perceived, which increases perceptions of attraction.Peter A.
Experts in aviation security differ in their assessment of the value of the pat-downs and other security procedures.
Appearance has been noted as one of the most important attributes of an avatar designed to influence or motivate. Specifically, I subconsciously gravitate toward metallic objects like paper clips or staples holding my notes together and catch myself bending them or fidgeting with them while Ia€™m speaking. Several experts have called for a revision of the random selection process in favor of more targeted screenings.
Attractiveness, coolness (in terms of clothing and hairstyle), and age were shown to be factors that increase or decrease the influence an avatar has over users.Amy L. Other people play with dry-erase markers, their note cards, the change in their pockets, or the lectern while speaking.
What civil rights organizations critique as racial profiling, consumer rights activists and some security experts say allows more efficient use of resources and less inconvenience for the majority of passengers.Andrew R.
Use of object adaptors can also signal boredom as people play with the straw in their drink or peel the label off a bottle of beer.
Smartphones have become common object adaptors, as people can fiddle with their phones to help ease anxiety. Although the TSA has made some changes to security screening procedures and have announced more to come, some passengers have started a backlash of their own. Finally, as noted, other adaptors are more common in social situations than in public speaking situations given the speakera€™s distance from audience members. There have been multiple cases of passengers stripping down to their underwear or getting completely naked to protest the pat-downs, while several other passengers have been charged with assault for a€?gropinga€? TSA agents in retaliation. Other adaptors involve adjusting or grooming others, similar to how primates like chimpanzees pick things off each other. Footage of pat-downs of toddlers and grandmothers in wheelchairs and self-uploaded videos of people recounting their pat-down experiences have gone viral on YouTube. It would definitely be strange for a speaker to approach an audience member and pick lint off his or her sweater, fix a crooked tie, tuck a tag in, or pat down a flyaway hair in the middle of a speech.



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