Body language


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Body language

  1. 1. Body languageFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor other uses, see Body language (disambiguation).Body language is a form of mental and physical ability of human non-verbal communication, consistingof body posture,gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. Humans send and interpret such signalsalmost entirely subconsciously. (Body language, in this sense, should be distinguished from signlanguage.)James Borg states that human communication consists of 93 percent body languageand paralinguistic cues, while only 7% of communication consists of words themselves;[1]however, AlbertMehrabian, the researcher whose 1960s work is the source of these statistics, has stated that this is amisunderstanding of the findings[2](see Misinterpretation of Mehrabians rule).Body language may provide clues as to the attitude or state of mind of a person. For example, it mayindicate aggression,attentiveness, boredom, relaxed state, pleasure, amusement, and intoxication.Body language is significant to communication and relationships. It is relevant to management andleadership in business and also in places where it can be observed by many people. It can also be relevantto some outside of the workplace. It is commonly helpful in dating, mating, in family settings, and parenting.Although body language is non-verbal or non-spoken, it can reveal a lot about your feelings and meaning toothers and also how other others reveal their feelings toward you. Body language signals happen on aconscious and unconscious level.[3]Contents[hide]1 Understanding body languageo 1.1 Physical expression2 Prevalence of non-verbal communication in humans3 Proxemics4 Unintentional gestures5 Eyes
  2. 2. 6 Arms7 Legs and Feet8 See also9 References10 External linksUnderstanding body language [edit]The technique of "reading" people is used frequently. For example, the idea of mirroring body language toput people at ease is commonly used during interview situations. Body language can show feelings to otherpeople, which works in return for other people. People who show their body language to you can revealtheir feelings and meanings. Mirroring the body language of someone else indicates that they areunderstood.[citation needed]It is important to note that some markers of emotion (e.g. smiling/laughing whenhappy, frowning/crying when sad) are largely universal,[4][page needed]however in the 1990s PaulEkman expanded his list of basic emotions, including a range of positive and negative emotions, not all ofwhich are encoded in facial muscles.[citation needed]The newly included emotions are:A study in body language.1. Amusement2. Contempt3. Contentment4. Embarrassment5. Excitement6. Guilt7. Pride in achievement8. Relief9. Satisfaction10. Sensory pleasure11. Shame
  3. 3. Body language signals may have a goal other than communication. People would keep both these two inmind. Observers limit the weight they place on non-verbal cues. Signalers clarify their signals to indicatethe biological origin of their actions. Verbal communication also requires body language to show that theperson you are talking with that you are listening. These signals can consist of; eye contact and noddingyour head to show you understand. More examples would include yawning (sleepiness), showing lack ofinterest (sexual interest/survival interest), attempts to change the topic (fight or flight drivers). RudolfLaban and Warren Lambadd much to this about dancers. Mime artists such as Booff Show utilize thesetechniques to communicate entire shows without a single word.Physical expression [edit]Physical expressions like waving, pointing, touching and slouching are all forms of nonverbalcommunication. The study of body movement and expression is known as kinesics. Humans move theirbodies when communicating because, as research has shown[citation needed], it helps "ease the mental effortwhen communication is difficult." Physical expressions reveal many things about the person using them.For example, gestures can emphasize a point or relay a message, posture can reveal boredom or greatinterest, and touch can convey encouragement or caution.[5]One of the most basic and powerful body-language signals is when a person crosses his or her armsacross the chest.[6]This could indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier betweenthemselves and others. However, it can also indicate that the persons arms are cold, which would beclarified by rubbing the arms or huddling. When the overall situation is amicable, it can mean that aperson is thinking deeply about what is being discussed, but in a serious or confrontational situation, itcan mean that a person is expressing opposition. This is especially so if the person is leaning awayfrom the speaker. A harsh or blank facial expression often indicates outright hostility.Consistent eye contact can indicate that a person is thinking positively of what the speaker is saying. Itcan also mean that the other person doesnt trust the speaker enough to "take their eyes off" thespeaker. Lack of eye contact can indicate negativity. On the other hand, individuals with anxietydisorders are often unable to make eye contact without discomfort. Eye contact can also be asecondary and misleading gesture because cultural norms about it vary widely. If a person is looking atyou, but is making the arms-across-chest signal, the eye contact could be indicative that something isbothering the person, and that he wants to talk about it. Or if while making direct eye contact, a personis fiddling with something, even while directly looking at you, it could indicate that the attention iselsewhere. Also, there are three standard areas that a person will look which represent different statesof being. If the person looks from one eye to the other, then to the forehead, it is a sign that they aretaking an authoritative position. If they move from one eye to the other, then to the nose, that signalsthat they are engaging in what they consider to be a "level conversation" with neither party holdingsuperiority. The last case is from one eye to the other and then down to the lips. This is a strongindication of romantic feelings.[citation needed]
  4. 4. Disbelief is often indicated by averted gaze, or by touching the ear or scratching the chin. When aperson is not being convinced by what someone is saying, the attention invariably wanders, and theeyes will stare away for an extended period.[citation needed]Boredom is indicated by the head tilting to one side, or by the eyes looking straight at the speaker butbecoming slightly unfocused. A head tilt may also indicate a sore neck, trust or a feeling of safety (partof the neck becomes uncovered, hence vulnerable; Its virtually impossible to tilt our head in front ofsomeone we dont trust or are scared of) or Amblyopia, and unfocused eyes may indicate ocularproblems in the listener.[citation needed]Interest can be indicated through posture or extended eye contact, such as standing and listeningproperly.[citation needed]Deceit or the act of withholding information can sometimes be indicated by touching the face duringconversation. Excessive blinking is a well-known indicator of someone who is lying. Recently[when?],evidence has surfaced that the absence of blinking can also represent lying as a more reliable factorthan excessive blinking.[7]Some people use and understand body language differently, or not at all.[citation needed]Interpreting theirgestures and facial expressions (or lack thereof) in the context of normal body language usually leads tomisunderstandings and misinterpretations (especially if body language is given priority over spokenlanguage). It should also be stated that people from different cultures can interpret body language indifferent ways.Prevalence of non-verbal communication in humans [edit]Some researchers[who?]put the level of nonverbal communication as high as 80 percent of allcommunication when others[who?]state the figures could be at or around 50-65 percent. Different studieshave found differing amounts, with some studies showing that facial communication is believed 4.3 timesmore often than verbal meaning, and another finding that verbal communication in a flat tone is 4 timesmore likely to be understood than a pure facial expression.[citation needed]Albert Mehrabian found "that theverbal component of a face-to-face conversation is less than 35% and that over 65% of communication isdone non-verbally"[8].
  5. 5. Diagram of Edward T. Halls personal reaction bubbles (1966), showing radius in feetThe interpertation of body language should not be based on a single gesture. Pease (2004) suggestsevaluation should be on three distinct rules: 1) Read gestures in clusters; 2) look for congruence; and 3)read gestures in context.Proxemics [edit]Main article: Personal spaceIntroduced by Edward T. Hall in 1966, proxemics is the study of measurable distances between people asthey interact with one another.[9]The distance between people in a social situation often disclosesinformation about the type of relationship between the people involved. Proximity may also reveal the typeof social setting taking place.1. Intimate distance ranges from touching to about 18 inches (46 cm) apart, and is reserved forlovers, children, as well as close family members and friends, and also pet animals.2. Personal distance begins about an arms length away; starting around 18 inches (46 cm) from theperson and ending about 4 feet (122 cm) away. This space is used in conversations with friends,to chat with associates, and in group discussions.3. Social distance ranges from 4 to 8 feet (1.2 m - 2.4 m) away from the person and is reserved forstrangers, newly formed groups, and new acquaintances.4. Public distance includes anything more than 8 feet (2.4 m) away, and is used for speeches,lectures, and theater. Public distance is essentially that range reserved for larger audiences.[10]Proximity range varies with culture.
  6. 6. Unintentional gestures [edit]See also: Proteans (body language)Beginning in the 1960s, there has been huge interest in studying human behavioral clues that could beuseful for developing an interactive and adaptive human-machine system.[11]Unintentional human gesturessuch as making an eye rub, a chin rest, a lip touch, a nose itch, a head scratch, an ear scratch, crossingarms, and a finger lock have been found conveying some useful information in specific contexts[which?].Some researchers[who?]have tried to extract such gestures in a specific context for educationalapplications.[citation needed]In poker games, such gestures are referred to as "tells" and are useful to playersfor detecting deception clues or behavioral patterns in opponents.There is also a huge interest in learning to avoid any unintentional gesture that might leave a negativeimpression on the onlookers. A large number of people are starting to attend special sessions on controlledbody behaviour and take advice from expert sociologists. Learning good body language, such as livingstyles of foreign people, is important during interaction in any sort of global community.[citation needed]Eyes [edit]Eyes, although not first thought of when talking about body language, can revel a lot about how someonefeels or how they are thinking about a certain topic. Our eyes are highly aware of what we ‘see’ in otherpeople’s eyes. For example you can recognize that you have made eye contact with someone that is 100or 130 feet away with out actually being able to see the detail of a person’s eye. We usually understand aglazed over look or a blank stare, moistened eye that indicated tears would come or a secret glance.Here are some of the signals the eye gives away:Looking right (generally): Usually indicates the person is creating, fabricating, lying or story telling. Insome cases this may mean that the person is making up something, but other cases (like telling a story to achild) it can be perfectly normal to be creating something. Looking down and right indicates feelings thatcan be genuine or not depending on the context of what the person is doing.Looking left (generally): Usually indicates the person is recalling facts, remembering. This includesrecalling and stating facts from memory, usually the truth. But ‘facts’ can be incorrect, which is anothermatter all together.Direct eye contact: When speaking to someone this can be an indication of honesty by that person,although trained liars have practiced this skill and can copy it well. When you are listening to someone andhave eye contact that generally means you have interest, attentiveness and some kind of attraction to theperson.Widening eyes: This indicates appeal, interest and invitation. Usually interest in someone or somethingyou are looking at, and a positive response. The exception is when widening eyes are paired with raisedeyebrows, which can be a shock response. Women tend to widen their eyes to try and increase theirattractiveness.
  7. 7. Rubbing eyes: Can be associated with disbelief about something (as in checking your vision) orsomething that is related to crying or tiredness. Usually if paired with long blinks then it means the person istired or bored.Eye shrug/roll: When an eye has an upward roll, it usually means it is a sign of frustration or annoyance.Pupils dilated: The black center of a person’s eye gets larger to let in light and smaller to let in less light.When it is dark that is one of the reasons pupils are dilated. Another reason pupils dilate is when someonesees something that is appealing to them or attractive.Blinking: When blinking is frequent it is a sign of excitement or pressure, but it is not a reliable way to tell ifsomeone is lying. When the blink rate is infrequent it usually means boredom if the eyes are not focused orit can mean concentration if they eyes are focused.[12]Arms [edit]Arms can indicate many things to a person, when they are across you body it can be a defensive barrierand when they are by your side it can mean you feel open and secure. Arms signals are reliable indicatorsof your mood, more so when combined with other body language symbols.Here are some signals:Crossed arms: Crossed arms usually are associated with protective barrier. This could be due to anumber of things like concern, boredom or feeling threatened. If the person is cold they will also cross theirarms sometimes, which can give off mixed signals.Gripping own upper arms: This can be seen as insecurity in some males and females. It is a way of selfhugging, and attempt to reassure one self. Another from of self hugging is when you take your one armacross body clasping other arm by side, which is typical in females only.Arms held behind body with hands clasped: This is a signal of authority or confidence. It is seen inauthoritative figures like police men, and armed forces officers.Many of the arm signals have to do with nervousness and are done to create a barrier between oneself andthe outside world here are some typical barrier signals: handbag held in front of body, papers in front ofyour chest, adjusting cuff, watchstrap, tie, etc., using an arm across the body, arms/hands covering genitalregion, holding a drink in front of body with both hands seated, holding drink on one side with hand fromother side, touching or scratching shoulder using arm across body[13]Legs and Feet [edit]Legs and feet body language is known for being more authentic than the other signals due to the fact it isharder to fake or do consciously. This makes it a good indicator of people’s feelings. When looking at legand feet signals we must remember that women and men sit differently, men tend have a more open legposition while women do not, so therefore when a women sits with open legs it has a different meaning
  8. 8. then when a men does. Leg signals are supported by the corresponding arm signals they go along withthem.[14]Here are some signals:Leg Direction, sitting-general: When a person is seated they usually have their leg direction pointed inthe direction of their point of interest. When they are uninterested in a conversation or a person their legswill point away from them. When legs are crossed the upper knee dictates what the they are interested inor disinterested in.Uncrossed legs, sitting-general: When legs are uncrossed that generally means they have an openattitude no matter if it is male or female.Crossed legs, sitting-general: This usually means they are cautious or disinterested in what is going on,there is a degree of uncertainty. They may feel threaten or insecure.Parallel legs: Legs together generally mean properness when it is concerning a female, this is a veryunusual stance in males. This can be due to the female’s upbringing.Open legs, sitting: This is mainly a male posture; this can be associated with arrogance, sexual posturingor combative feelings. This is not usually seen in women, especially when in skirts. This is considered to becombative because it makes the person look bigger than they really are. Confidence signals are increasedwhen arms are open and wide.Ankle lock: This is considered to be a negative signal and may mean defensiveness in both men andwomen.Standing ‘at attention’: this means someone is standing upright with their shoulders back and arms byside. This is a military position and considered to be a signal of respect and subservience when in thepresence of someone in authority.Legs intertwined, sitting: This is usually a female stance. Depending on what is going on this can meaninsecurity or sexual posing. This would be considered sexual posing because the tight crossed leg wouldtend to emphasize the muscle and tone of the leg. This should be assessed while also interpreting otherbody signals.Legs crossed, standing: This is different than when legs are crossed when sitting. This may meaninsecurity or/submission or engagement. When legs and arms are crossed it usually means less confidentand insecure when just the legs are crossed but arms are open it can mean a committed agreement tostand and engage with the other person.Shoe-play: Usually seen in females, this can mean relaxation, flirting and sexual feelings. In more casethen one playing with a shoe and slipping it on and off can have sexual overtones.[15]See also [edit]
  9. 9. CalypsisGestureGesture recognitionList of gesturesOrigin of languageOrigin of speechPosture (psychology)Paul EkmanReferences [edit]1. ^ Borg, James. Body Language: 7 Easy Lessons to Master the Silent Language. FT Press, 2010, ISBN978-0-13-700260-32. ^ "More or Less". 2009-08-14. BBC Radio 4.3. ^ McCarthy, Sandra. "Body Language". Retrieved 10 April 2013.4. ^ Markku Haakana 2001. Laughing Matters: A Conversation Analytical Study of Laughter in Doctor -Patient Interaction. Department of Finnish Language, University of Helsinki5. ^ Engleberg,Isa N. Working in Groups: Communication Principles and Strategies. My CommunicationKit Series, 2006. page 1376. ^ "Closed body language". Retrieved 2011-10-31.7. ^ Post. "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". Retrieved 2011-10-31.8. ^ Pease, A., & Pease, B. (2004). The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others thoughtsby their gestures. Buderim, Australia: Pease International.9. ^ ^ Hall, Edward T. (1966). The Hidden Dimension. Anchor Books. ISBN 0-385-08476-510. ^ Engleberg,Isa N. Working in Groups: Communication Principles and Strategies. My CommunicationKit Series, 2006. page 140-14111. ^ Pease, Allan (October 21, 2004). The Definitive guide to Body Language. Chapter 1: OrionMedia. ISBN 0752861182.12. ^ Ekman, P; E R Sorenson and W V Friesen. "Pan-Cultural Elements in Facial Displays ofEmotion". Science 164 (4 Apr 1969).13. ^ Boyes, C (2005). Need to Know Body Language. Haper Collins.14. ^ Hartland, D; C Tosh (2001). Guide to Body Language. Caxton.15. ^ James, Judi (2008). The Body Language Bible. Random House.