Nonverbal Communication and Body Language

It has been concluded by scientists that between 60-70% (some even suggest 90%) of our communicaiton is NONVERBAL, and is derived from BODY LANGUAGE and PARALINGUISTIC cues.


BODY LANGUAGE= posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye movement, proxemics (personal space)

PARALINGUISTIC CUES= pitch, volume, intonation

Nonverbal Communication is a language of sorts, and because it gives clues as to the state of mind of the person (the communicator), study of body language leads right into our next unit on EMOTION AS A WAY OF KNOWING.

Here is a Wikipedia overview:

We know there are cultural differences and even gender differences in the use of body language, but did you know that Charles Darwin described “Universal” facial expressions in his The Expression of the Emotions of Man and Animals (1872)? ***which outsold Origin of the Species!

VIDEO: Gestures around the World

VIDEO: The Human Animal: Gestures, Meanings, and Cultures

Link: List of Gestures from Around the World (yes, some viewer discretion advised)

Here’s a great link to explore what he was talking about:

and a YouTube: 

Picking up on body language symbols, and being aware of the ones you put out, is an important and useful life skill. You will probably need it most when interviewing for a job or other position, meeting new people, and, of course, flirting and dating.

More on that here:

Here’s a great video about “tells” in flirting.

Our good friend Charlie at the BBC again explores the Science of Attraction. How does our NONVERBAL communication play a role in our first impressions of others. Watch carefully for the cues or “tells”.

More useful links:

Psych Today article: Body language links

VIDEO: Gestures and Body Language

VIDEO: Science in Action: Facial Expressions (are they learned or innate?)

VIDEO: Microexpressions

VIDEO: Lie to Me show clip

VIDEO: How to tell if a guy is attracted to you (mostly about nonverbal communication)

VIDEO: How to captivate people when you speak

Article: How to read Body language

Article: How waiters judge you!

Article: Exploring the various types of body language based on emotions

Article: Nonverbal Communication basics

Wiki: Nonverbal Communication (all about)

Article: Top 10 Nonverbal Communication Tips

VIDEO: Are facial expressions universal? What stories can a face tell.

This is an hour long and excellent!

TED talk! Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are


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