Nonverbal Communication Observation


Overview Nonverbal communication involves messages expressed through nonlinguistic means. In other words, the use of body language and other means of communication go beyond the spoken word. Your body gives off messages when you are, or are not, speaking. Nonverbal communication does not include what you say but does include how you say it. This is an area to which some communicators, including senders and receivers, pay little attention. When you do not pay attention to body language, you may be giving off messages you did not intend to give. Emotions are revealed in your body language and can even contradict what you say. Specifics For this assignment, you will need to sit and observe people in a natural setting. Then you are going to write a 1-2 page paper. You could observe people on campus, in a café, or anywhere people are interacting through verbal and nonverbal communication. Because of Covid many of you may not prefer or be able to be in a public place and observe others–and I definitely don’t want you to take an risks. You may choose to observe people in your home if there are others or you may choose to pick a TV series, movie or video and use one of those to analyze for this assignment. Just be sure you put in your first paragraph what you’re observing. If you do this in a public place, find a place and expect to sit and observe people for 30-60 minutes. Watch the people you choose carefully. They may be in a dyad, small group, or other communication situation. Observe at least three different conversations. Each conversation must involve a different setting and a different group of people. For example, if you were first observed people at a café on campus you would need to move to different locations for both the second and third observations. If you use a movie, video or TV show, use three examples from 3 different settings with some variation in characters–aka different people. Recall what you’ve learned in this module and incorporate, as much as appropriate into your paper, based on your observations. Below is a list of nonverbal forms of communication that we have studied. Kinesics (body movement, gestures, postures) Oculesics (facial expressions…are emotions seen here?) Haptics (touch…is someone touching another and how: hand on their arm, playful hitting, angry hitting, etc.) Proxemics (how far or close are they standing or sitting?) If you can hear them, is there anything in their vocalics (tone, pitch, volume) that says something? Is their physical attractiveness (message relayed the way they are dressed) a part of their posture or gestures? Chronemics (time)…were they speaking quickly to leave the situation? In anything you see, what is your interpretation? Observe the body language and interpret each person’s nonverbal communication. Detail what unspoken messages are being sent and received by those involved. Share the emotions being displayed through nonverbal communication. You should be able to discern if they are excited, angry, happy, or feel something else. You should be able to discern if the people you are observing live or on video are involved in a disagreement or are in a romantic relationship or displaying physical signs of affection. You should be able to detail the differences you observe between men and women in their body orientation and nonverbal communication.

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