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Video:8 Types of Nonverbal Communication

with Jacob Taxis

There are a number of ways to convey information to someone other than simply speaking to them. This video from About.com will define eight of the most prominent types of nonverbal communication.See Transcript

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Transcript:8 Types of Nonverbal Communication

Hi, I'm Jacob Taxis for About.com. In this video, you will learn eight types of nonverbal communication. This is information from About.com's Psychology site.

Nonverbal Communication: Facial Expression

Facial expression is one type of nonverbal communication that is nearly universal in meaning. Though different cultures generally ascribe different meanings to various types of nonverbal communication, the meanings attributed to certain facial expressions, like the smile or the frown, remain quite similar throughout the world. For example, a downcast look in New York will be a downcast look in Moscow. A smile in Belize will signal happiness or joy just as it would in Barcelona.

Nonverbal Communication: Gestures

Hand gestures are a vitally important type of nonverbal communication that take on various meanings as you navigate the world's cultures. One might immediately think of waving, giving a peace sign or a thumb's up. One might see a raised index finger to signal that a person's team is "Number One." Politicians will use specially designed gestures to emphasize points. 

Nonverbal Communication: Paralinguistics

Paralinguistics simply means a type of vocal communication without the use of language. This includes voice inflection, pitch, rhythm, loudness, and tone. A slow rhythm and hushed tone might signify gentleness or concern, while heavy pitch and rising inflection might be attributed to anger or enthusiasm.

Nonverbal Communication: Body Language

Though body language and posture can be quite subtle, it can have an enormous impact on communication. Crossed-arms might signify a closed-off or defensive attitude. Slumped shoulders and excessive leaning might signify boredom. Again, these cues are subtle but powerful.

Nonverbal Communication: Proxemics

Proxemics refers to personal space. Different individuals prefer different distances when it comes to speaking with others. Obviously, standing too close to someone while she or he is talking might bring about feelings of discomfort or annoyance. When speaking to groups, individuals tend to need larger distances in order to feel heard.

Nonverbal Communication: Eye Gaze

Eye gazing is a fascinating type of nonverbal communication. For example, the rate of blinking might actually increase and the pupils dilate when friends or loved ones are encountered. This goes for interesting objects as well. The eyes react very differently to outside stimulus depending on personal interpretation.

Nonverbal Communication: Haptics

Haptics simply refers to communicating through touch. Touching is used to signify love, affection, and familiarity. It might also be employed in times of stress or sadness when comfort is needed. The force of a handshake might signify extra enthusiasm between close friends while a firm, standard grip might be more appropriate for a professional introduction.

Nonverbal Communication: Appearance

Appearance is a very important type of non-verbal communication. Physical appearance, including clothing style and neatness, is the first thing people see when encountering one another. Studies in the area of color psychology suggest that the colors of clothing can have big effects on mood and attitude. People make quick judgments of character according to dress and appearance. 

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