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CS202N nonverbal communication

Darryl Burgwin:

DAWB 2-127 Tues. 12:00 – 1: 00PM
Course website:
Username: CS202ZSpring2015 Password: CS202Zproxemics

July 7, 2015
• What is nonverbal communication? (paralanguage)
− Not using language to communicate with other people
− Types of nonverbal comm.
1. Body language
2. Facial expression
3. Hand gesture
4. Dressing in a particular situation (clothing types)
5. The space people expect to have from other people (informal
space/communication distance, interpersonal space)
6. Architecture (formal space)
− Can we be conscious with nonverbal comm.? Negative. (Especially
under pressure, or have strong emotions to react in a particular
circumstance, and people under those situation are hard to realize they
are using nonverbal comm.)
− Are we able to control it? (if people cannot realize they are using, they
are not able to control)

Movie: Glengarry Glen Ross (dir. James Foley), 1992

• “Third prize is your fired”
• Turned away from the man and avoid eye contact because he is offended
in his own interpersonal space which makes him very uncomfortable
• Showing his suit, his watch to show his powerful position
• The convincing man is using a low tune voice which is the voice that can
easily convincing people.
• Stuffs placed in the office is messy, to show it is a regular and busy office
• Height, the man is standing with a height while other people are sitting in
a low position.
• Punctuation gestures
• vigorously gestures, ex. Pointing to the ground vigorously showing his
authority in the field shows that he has the absolute right to judge those people
• Convincing man is younger, and other people who are convinced are
older, while younger man is successful, and others are not.
July 10, 2015
Defining nonverbal communication
• We can generally define nonverbal communication as:
• “Communication effected by means other than words.” (Knapp & Hall)
• But, ultimately, this definition is too interrelated
• Verbal communication gains a large part of its meaningfulness from
nonverbal cues.
• Although we may encode a sign nonverbally its decoding is often done
− It has a significant meaning.
• What this means is that many nonverbal cues (A-OK, hand wave) are signs that
carry representational meaning
• As such, they are also “verbal” or having a signifying element not unlike words.

NVC as meaningful representation

1. Encoding
i. Intrinsic ii. Iconic iii.

The sign is the thing. The sign resembles the The sign has no necessary
Not presenting thing. relation to the thing.
something else, they are Some relationship but now Ex. Stop sign and the middle
what they are. Ex. as direct resembles the finger.
Crying. thing it is referring to.
Ex. Trying to show how big
something is with your
hands a.k.a. nemedic
2. Decoding
a. Left brains: (intuitive)

• Rational

• Sequential

• Linguistic

• reflective

b. Right brain:

• Emotional

• Creative

• Visual

• Immediate

• The divide between left and right brain is not absolute

• Both verbal and nonverbal communication use both sides to varying


• NVC exist on a continuum between the rational and intuited

• Between implicit communication and explicit communication.

• A lot of the times it is going on in the background and we are not aware of
***It is impossible to completely separate the verbal from the nonverbal***
Intersubjective nonverbal behaviour

• Body in movement

• Body language

• Kinesics
General purposes of nonverbal behaviour

• Expressing emotion

• Conveying interpersonal attitudes including likes/dislikes, dominance/submission.

• Presenting one’s personality to others.

• Accompanying speech for the purpose of turn taking, feedback, attention, and
the like.

− Nodding the head is a way to keep a person talking rather than turning
your head
The judgements people make
1) Immediacy. We react to nonverbal cues by evaluating the sender positively or
negatively, as good or bad, and likable or dislikable.
2) Status. Indicates the relative strength or weakness, the superiority and
submissiveness, of the people involved.
3) Responsiveness. Refers to our perception of the level of attention one person is
giving to another.
How verbal and nonverbal behaviour interact
1. Repeating: nodding your head as you say yes
2. Conflicting: may conflict when being sarcastic
3. Complementing
4. Substituting
5. Accenting or moderating: how loud we say something
6. Regulating: steers the conversation such as nodding, waving your hand
And it can influence our reading of:

• Personality (individual)

• Group identity

• Social categories including: Gender, Age, Class, Status

The purpose of nonverbal behaviour

Our “conversation of gestures enable individuals to align their behaviour and to sanction
each other in ways that facilitate cooperation, or, if desired, to initiate more antagonistic
relations (John Turner).”
Types of nonverbal cues
1. Emblems

• Nonverbal cues that have a direct verbal translation

• Broad agreement amongst a member of a subculture as to their meaning

(peace sign, A-OK)

• Also facial emblems (i.e. wrinkling up your nose is disapproval)

• Classes of behaviour are common across culture though the signs

internal to that class vary

• Can be used when verbal channels are blocked

• We are aware of their use in a way similar to our awareness of words.

2. Illustrators

• Nonverbal acts tied directly to speech

• Accent or emphasize a word, point to objects, depict a spatial

relationship, draw a picture of the referent, etc.

• They are within our awareness but not as explicitly as emblems

3. Affect displays

• Basic displays of emotions that are more felt than emblems are

• Facial configurations which display attitudes and emotional states

• Can support affective verbal communication

• Can occur with or without awareness

4. Regulators

• Maintain and regulate the back and forth of speaking and listening (turn

• Tell the other speaker to continue, repeat, elaborate a point, hurry up, etc.

• Most common: head nods and eye behaviour

5. Adaptors

• Most difficult to define; most implicit; most non-intentional.

• Develop in childhood as adaptive efforts to satisfy needs, perform actions,

manage emotion, etc.

• They are often situational and adaptors are not usually meant to
communicate (intentionally).
What is paralanguage?

• Paralanguage includes those sounds made by the human voice…

• …in the process of communicating.

• …that complement the words themselves.

• Ex. Singin in the Rain, dir. Stanley Donen, 1952

− The one character isn’t able to speak in front of the

audience because of her voice (nasally, not educated)

• Language is a finite system of arbitrary symbols

• These symbols can be combined according to rules of grammar…

• …in an almost infinite number of ways

• Language is, therefore, an open system of communication based on the

continuous selection and combination of arbitrary signs.

• Paralanguage is not just an addition to the spoken language.

• It can and often does change the meaning of the words used.

• It is almost impossible to separate language from its paralinguistic


• Ex. How many ways can we say the sentence: “You’re going to Cuba
during exam week?”
− The variations in how we say what we say is called
***It is sometimes possible to predict what a person is saying by just hearing the
paralinguistic introduction***
According to Albert Mehrabian:

• 7% of a person’s attitude/emotion is verbally conveyed

• 93% is nonverbally conveyed

• 55% is from facial expressions

• 38% of this is paralanguage

The elements of paralanguage

1. Voice Qualifiers

• How we say the words that we speak:

− Inflection: The rising, falling of flatness of the voice

− Pacing: the speed of the voice

− Intensity: the strength of expression (loud, soft or breathy)

− Tone: whether is the voice is nasally, whining, growling

− Pitch: the changes in the voice from high to low

2. Vocalizations
a) Vocal characterizers

• Laughing, crying, giggling, sobbing, mumbling, moaning, etc.

b) Vocal segregates

• Vocalized pauses such as “um”, “uh”, “oh-oh”; also includes silent pauses.


• A pause is a short silence that may be filled or unfilled.

• A pause may be grammatical or not

• A filled pause is when we use a vocal segregate to hold our place.

• A filled pause is often seen to indicate repetitiveness, and, either unclear,

or very complex thought.

• It also indicated anxiety

Paralanguage has a crucial role in our responses to and evaluations of:


• A preconceived and oversimplified idea of the characteristics which typify a

person, situation, etc. (they are easy and simplify the world for us)

• “A stereotype may be so consistently and authoritatively transmitted in each

generation from parent to child that it seems almost like a biological fact.” -- W.
LIPPMAN Public Opinion 1922:93

• We can recognize individuals by their voice

• The most attractive voices vary their pitch, tone and intensity but avoid extremes

• People with high pitched and soft voices are seen as warm and honest but less

• In our culture a deep voice is associated with authority sophistication and


• Extroverts VS Introverts

• Extroverts or Type A personalities exhibits more fluency

Fluency is characterized by

• Faster rate of speech

• Louder speech

• More dynamic contrasts

• Shorter pauses between turns

• And fewer hesitation


• We easily judge the sex of person based on their voice

• Women speak with a higher pitch than their physiology demands

• Women tend to end statements as if answering a question.

• Pitch changes depending on who is talking to whom.

Target affects

• The use of vocal cues are socially and culturally contextual.

• The way people talking to different people

a) Talking to a baby
b) Talking to a boss, you want him to know you are knowledgeable
c) Talking to parents when you want something from them
d) Talking to a friend you familiar with/unfamiliar with

• We adapt our vocal behaviour to the people we are speaking to.

Group perception
Dialects & accents are judged for their:

• Aesthetic quality:

• Pleasing or displeasing, beautiful or ugly, (immediacy)

• Socio-intellectual status:

• High or low, blue or white collar, rich or poor, literate or illiterate

• Dynamism:

• Aggressive or not aggressive, active or passive, strong or weak.


• We are all, more or less capable of reading emotions from vocal cues

• Different people have different levels of confidence

• Some can judge emotions better than other people can

• …and there were wide divergences in the ability of individual judges to accurately
identify an emotion.
Easily read:

• Anger 65%

• Anxiety 54%

• Sadness 49%

• Happiness (43)

More difficult:

• Love 25%

• Fear 25%

• Jealousy 25%

• Uses of variety inflection, volume % pitch combined.

• With clear articulation.

• Adapts the volume and rate to the audience’s responses.

• Avoid excessive “in-fluences.”


• Fluent non-hesitant speech

• Shorter pauses when changing subjects

• More pitch variation

• Louder voice

• Faster speech

July 14, 2015

“Face to Face”

• Part 1 of the Human Face makes an evolutionary argument about the social
function of facial expression and other nonverbal communication.

• What is that argument and is it consistent with all of the information provided?

• Film: Face To Face

The Possible Origins of Nonverbal Behaviour

• Nature or Nurture?

Phylogeny & Ontogeny

Phylogeny: human nature you born with

• The roots of nonverbal behaviour in human evolutionary history

• innate, instinctive, genetic

Ontogeny: developed after born

• The roots of nonverbal behaviour in our lifetime

• acquired, learned, culturally taught, and environmentally determined

3 Primary Sources of Nonverbal Behaviour (according to Ekman and Friesen, 1969)

1. inherited neurological programs (innate tendencies)
2. experience common to all members of the species
3. experience that varies with culture
Studies about nature or nature
1. human infants

 Do newly born infants display the same facial expressions with the same
meaning as adults?

 The expressions of infants may be undifferentiated responses to stimuli.

 They express joy, surprise and interest but there is no way to be sure that
they are actually feeling those emotions

 Negative emotions as expressed by adults – such as fear, anger, disgust

and sadness – do not exist.

 Pain is an exception
Pain in infants is easily communicated, and similar to pain as displayed y
1) Lowered brow
2) Eyes squeezed tightly shut
3) Vertical wrinkles at the side of the nose
4) Open lips and mouth
5) Taught tongue
Human infants (Cont…)
• However, infants, quickly begin to imitate adults ( to 71 hours old)
• This indicates that infants are born with the ability to make a
connection between what they see and the act they then perform.

• So, while infants may or may not be born with the same nonverbal
behaviour as adults,

• They are born with the ability to learn that behaviour

2. sensory deprivation (can’t see, can’t hear)

 Spontaneous expressions of sadness, crying, laughing, smiling, pouting,

anger, surprise and fear are similar.

 They are not, however, identical.

 Deaf & blind children do not display subtle changes between expressions.

 Their expression are either “on” or “off”.

 This indicates that the blending of one expression with another is a

learned behaviour.
3. nonhuman primates

 What, if any, nonverbal behaviour do we share with our closest animal


 Common biological & social concerns:

• Fight or flight response

• Mating

• Developing leadership hierarchies

• Cooperating in groups

 Many nonverbal behaviours arose from relational strategies such


• Dominance (and the fear of it)

• Bonding (and the fear of it)

 Common greeting behaviour

• Pircairn and Eibl-Eibesfelt determined the following common

• Common eye behaviour in greeting

• Looking at the anticipated partner from a distance

• Looking at the at a closer distance as a greeting

 Two theories of smiling

1. The human smile developed from the “silent bared-teeth display” or
“grimace” of primates
2. It originally signified fear and submission.
3. Laughter developed from the “relaxed open mouth display”…
4. …which is a play face that is regularly reciprocated

 The study of Macaques indicates that as primate social interaction

becomes more complicated…

 There is a reduction in the internal hierarchy of the band

 An increased overlapping of interest

 Once aggressive/submissive displays may be adapted to

cooperative social ends.

 Expressive signalling behaviour is related to the complexity of

primate social organization
 On evolution: nonverbal communication is more important than
language itself, and nonverbal communication itself is very important and
evolving side by side.
4. multicultural studies

 Are there similarities in nonverbal behaviour across cultures?

 Some near universal nonverbal behaviours:

1. Nose wrinkling (the disgust response)
2. The eye brow flash (acknowledgement)
The rapid raising of the eyebrows emphasizes someone is being
looked at and focused upon:

• Friendly greeting

• General approval

• Agreement

• Flirting

• Seeking confirmation

• Thanking

• Beginning a statement

***The answer is: both nature and nurture***

• It is a “both/and” rather than an “either/or”. One influence may eclipse the

other depending upon the nonverbal behaviour being studied.

July 17, 2015

Facial Expression

• Paintings in 20th sentries are more abstract and distortions to express the
characters’ facial expression.

• The wax and wane of the moon could also represent facial expression, it
is called ‘man in the moon’.
1. Facial Primacy

 Human beings place more importance of the face than to any

other communication channel.

 The face has come to represent the essence of being human both
personally and socially
 Facial recognition is a key factor in our sense of belonging (and
not belonging)
The face:

• The face is the primary resource of communication next to speech

• We recognize people by their face

• We judge personality by the face

• The face communicates emotional states

• Reflects interpersonal attitude

• What people feel about us we are monitoring from their facial


• Face provides nonverbal feedback on the comments and reactions

of others

• We experience and express emotions in complex ways and always

in social context.
2. The Social Face

 Communication rather than biological response

 The face is a tool of self-presentation & social influence

 We try and create a desirable image of ourselves for others.

 And we are aware that we can produce desirable behaviours in


 We benefit from monitoring and controlling our facial expressions.

In human interaction facial expressions are used to:
1. Complement or qualify verbal and nonverbal responses (illustrators).
2. Regulate – open and close – channels of communication (regulators).
3. Replace or substitute for speech (emblems).
Facial Emblems

• Replace speech.

• Are signs of emotions, not the emotions themselves

• Emblems are held for shorter or longer periods of time than the corresponding
felt expression
Felt & Unfelt Smiles
• The felt smile combines 1) the zygomatic muscles around the mouth…

• …and 2) the orbicularis oculi muscles around the eyes.

• The unfelt smile only uses the zygomatic major muscle.

• The felt smile is also called a Duchenne smile.

Affect Displays

• Facial expressions that convey emotional mood & reaction.

• Less under our conscious control than emblems

• May reinforce, augment or contradict verbal messages.

• Affect displays vary from culture to culture and are governed by display rules that
are a product of socialization.
Display Rules

• Rules that govern when and how we display facial expressions.

• Display rules are culturally influenced, learned behaviour.

• We learn that some effect displays are more appropriate than others.

• Social context is an important determinant of what displays rules are used.

• De-intensified affect

• Strong surprise becomes weak surprise.

• Neutralize an affect.

• Do not express what you are feeling.

• Over-intensification of an affect.

• Make mild emotions stronger.

• Make an affect

• Replace set of emotions with a behaviour that covers it up.

Styles of Facial Expression

• Styles refer to personal tendencies in displaying facial expressions.

• They can be considered personal display rules.

1. The withholder

 The face inhibits expressions of actual feeling states.

 There is little facial movement.

 Shows less emotion than any other person would.

2. The revealer

 The opposite of the Withholder.

 The face leaves little doubt how the person feels.

3. The Unwitting Expressor

 This pattern usually pertains to a limited number of expressions that a

person may feel have been masked
4. The Blanked Expressor

 A person is convinced and emotion is being portrayed, but the other

only sees a blank face.
5. The Substitute Expressor

 The facial expression shows an emotion other than the one the
person think is being displayed.
6. The Frozen Aspect Expressor

 An expression is displayed at all times, even when the person is

relaxed or not feeling anything in particular
Facial Blends

• Humans often combine two or more emotions into one facial expression.

• Blending makes it harder to judge the emotion expressed.

Facial Emotion Controversy

1. There is a direct link between currently felt emotions and their expressions.

 A given emotion always produces a certain expressions.

2. People often produce expressions that do not directly relate to their emotions.

 Facial expressions are meant to communicate with others and not to

simply reveal emotions.

 The “expression as communication” perspective is supported by studies

that show we mimic the expressions of other.

 We tend to me more expressive when around other people.

 **expressions are socially motivated**

Facial Feedback Hypothesis
• Facial expressions intensify how we feel the emotion we are expressing.

• This implies that facial expressions not only reveal emotion but also create them.

• Another’s emotion’s can positively or negatively affect an observer – emotional

Account for the various nonverbal channels:
1. Paralanguage (Vocal cues).
2. Facial expressions.
3. Speech independent/speech dependent gestures.
4. Eye behaviour & gazing.
5. Personal space and touch.

July 21, 2015

Kinds of gesture
1. Mimetic gestures (iconic signs)

• With mimetic gestures, motions form an object's main shape or

representative feature.

• Ex. rock, scissor, paper

• For instance, a chin sweeping gesture can be used to represent a

goat by alluding to its beard
2. Deictic gestures (intrinsic signs)

• Deictic gestures are used to point.

• Each gesture's "meaning" is obvious within its given context

3. arbitrary gestures

• Arbitrary gestures are those gestures whose meaning must be learned

• Once learned they can be used and understood without any

complementary verbal information

• Arbitrary gestures include common speech independent gestures such as

waving, the "A-OK" ring sign and many others.

• Ex. the middle finger

Two main categories of gestures

 Speech independent gestures are more often than not emblems

 They are also known as autonomous gestures

 There is a high degree of agreement among members of a culture or a

subculture about the verbal translation

 These gestures are the least dependent on speech for their meaning
1. speech independent gestures

• In certain situation entire systems of speech independent gestures

are developed

• This is the case with underwater divers, workers on noisy job

sites, and those who are hearing impaired.

• These systems of gestures are known as sign language

AMERICAN Sign Language (ASL)

• American Sign Language is a complex visual-spatial language

• ASL has its own grammar that is different than English

• In America ASL is the third most popular language next to English and

• There is a British, Australian and a French sign language, and each has a
different grammar.
Signed English

• Signing in the order of a spoken English sentence.

• When an English speaker is signing as they speak they are using signed English

• Reproduces the grammar of spoken English not …

Common function of SIGs across cultures

Interpersonal control:

• Greeting and departing

• Replying (OK, yes)

• Directing movement


• Compliments

• Insults

Refer to one’s current state or condition

• I’m hot, I have a headache, I am full of food

Video: Giving someone the toe

2. Speech Related Gestures

• Speech related gestures are also called illustrators

• They are directly tied to or accompany speech

i. Referent related gestures

 Refer to the thing being talked about

 These may be either concrete things or could refer to more

abstract concepts

 Drawing the shape of something, referring to the size (Mimetic)

 Expansion and contraction gestures referring the breadth of s

ii. The speaker’s relation to the referent gestures

 Positioning of the speakers palms show different orientations to

one’s own message.

 Palms down for more certainty

 Palms out and facing the listener for assertions

 Palms facing the speaker when embracing a concept

iii. Punctuation gestures

 Accent, emphasize, and organize talk. They have a syntactic role.

 Hands are not the only part of the boy used in punctuating or

 The eye flash works to emphasize as well.

iv. Interactive gestures
 Used in the delivery of information

 Cite a previous contribution by the partner

 Encourage a specific response

 Refer to turn-taking
Frequency of Speech Related Gestures

• We expect to find more speech related gestures in face-to-face communication

• They are also likely to increase when a speaker is enthusiastic or involved in the

• Speakers concerned with the comprehension will use more speech related

• Speakers who are trying to dominate a conversation

• The speech content influences the numbers of gestures used.

Gesture and Comprehension

• The combining of gesture with speech has been found to increase


• Gestures trigger images and linguistics cues in people’s minds and memories

• This holds for both the speaker and the listener

Film: Children of a Lesser God

• The film is rich in examples of nonverbal behaviour. While watching the film
please briefly note on a piece of paper the kinds of nonverbal behaviour used to
communicate meaning, express emotions, and regulate human interaction.

• NB: please bring your note to the next class.

• How does being deaf or mute influence a person’s nonverbal behaviour?

• Also, how does the relative importance of different nonverbal channels change
when you are hearing impaired? 当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当当
1. Definition: meaning of the words, examples and related concepts 4/6
2. 2 short answers, write a page
3. Long essay, 1 out of 2, 3-4 pages
After Midterm
July 28, 2015
Media Analysis Essay


− Enroll ID: 10187991

− Password: 202proxemics

• No title page, but a title is needed

• MLA (textbook, course lecture note, film reference from itself)

• When describing scene, give some concrete details about the scene

• If it’s specific scene, describe it in detail.

• You should recite every definition you use in essay

• Remember the exclusive examples

• Restrict to 6 pages
The Human Face
Part 3: “Beauty.”
On beauty

• Please watch the video with a critical eye.

• What is its position on the question of whether beauty is or is not universal?

− Beauty really does matter, but it is more than that.

• Do you agree with this position?

• Why or why not?

− Babies move towards beautiful faces

− Beautiful people have the top jobs and make the most money

− Everybody had a different idea/opinion of what beauty was

− Study showed that everyone ranked it the same no matter what age or

− Big eyes, rounded lips, full cheeks

The Human Face: Issues

• Older men do most of the talking

• People in the “beauty industries” do most of the talking

• The women who do speak generally disagree with the men

• Evolutionary arguments reduce human interaction to heterosexual mating for the

purpose of procreation

• The video tend to reflect the value and nature of beauty in a consumer society
obsessed by youth.

• The result is that female beauty is objectified (turned into a thing rather than the
quality of a real person).

• It carries the bias of our current consumer-oriented culture: youthful beauty is the

• Underplays the historical and cultural variability of ideals of beauty.

July 31, 2015

Physical Characteristics

• Those aspects of our face and body that are relatively consistent throughout a
communicative exchange

• Humans are concerned with their appearance and the appearance of others

• Physical characteristics are taken as indicators of character, personality, and

likely future behaviour.

• Physical attractiveness, plays an influential role in determining responses in

interpersonal encounters

• We **initially** respond more favourably to those we perceive as more physically


• We judge people we perceive as attractive, as more successful, having a better

personally, as more sociable, more desirable, more persuasive, and happier.

• Our behaviour towards people we perceive as unattractive is often negative.

Attractiveness & Childhood

• Small children look longer at pictures of attractive women

• The cultural guidelines of what is, and is not, attractive are established by the
age of 6
• Peer popularity is highly correlated to physical attractiveness

• Teachers tend to see attractive students as more intelligent, more socially adept,
and higher in educational potential.
Pitfalls of attractiveness

• Can be read negatively

• People think that the achievements of attractive people are product of their

• Can be perceived to be vain, egotistic, snobbish, unsympathetic to those less

fortunate than themselves

• Still, an overwhelming amount of research suggests that it is a social benefit to

be attractive
The Human Body & Physical Attraction

• There are 3 main body types or body shapes

• They are associated with cultural stereotypes:

a. The endomorph: soft and round: jolly, happy, friendly, lazy

b. The mesomorph: large boned and muscular: meat head, dumb jock, more
attractive body
c. The ectomorph: tall and lanky: awkward, introverted, nerdy
1. Cultural standards change

• Ectomorph is more desirable now

• Used to be good to be fat because it showed you could afford to eat,

skinny people were seen as poor
2. Height
We associate height with:

• Power and prestige: CEO’s over 6ft and comedians are tall

• General attractiveness

• Competence (capable)

3. Body odour

• In our western consumer culture people wash often and wear deodorants,
colognes and perfumes

 Want to eradicate odor

• Strong natural smells of the body are associated with social
incompetence if not social deviance

• There is also, more recently, a reaction against the overuse of perfumes

and colognes, however
4. Body Hair

• Facial hair is generally considered a masculine characteristics.

• Women pluck eyebrows and use bleach to hide their own facial hair

• In Canada & the US, the absence of underarm and leg hair is widely
considered feminine and clean

• Culturally dependant

Attraction plays an important role in:

1. Dating and marriage

• In short term relationships people are often content with only physical

• In long term relationships both men and women indicate that they look for
other qualities.

• These include honesty, fidelity, sensitivity, warmth, personality, kindness,

character, tenderness, patience and gentleness.
The matching hypothesis

 We try to maximize the attractiveness of our partner

 While minimizing our change of rejection

 People with high self-esteem often ignore this rule

2. Work

• People considered attractive are more likely to be selected for a job, other
things being equal

• Sometimes attractiveness will provide an advantage even if the less

attractiveness person is more qualified

• Attractiveness, can be a drawback in certain job situation, however.

• Social attractiveness is considered inappropriate or distracting compared

to task attractiveness

 Context is important
3. Persuasion

• Attractiveness makes it easier to persuade others

• However, this is mainly the case when the stakes are low and there are
few possible negative consequences
4. Self-Esteem

• Attractiveness increases self-esteem

• Particularly for women, although it is becoming more and more an issue

for men as well

• The use of cosmetics has also been shown to similarly enhance self-
Qualifications to research:
1. Problems of method

• Most studies use still photographs

• Most research does not concern itself with subtle differences in


• i.e., Between the extremes of beautiful and ugly

• which produce less straightforward responses in judges and are more

difficult to measure
2. Interaction

• research can ignore the power of direct interaction

• posture, gesture body movement, in general, are often ignored as criteria

of attractiveness

• those with similar attitudes tend to be attracted to one another

• those who are socially skilled also have an edge over those who are not

• eloquence, sound of voice, and humour all have a role

• people can grow to be more attracted to someone through continued

interaction with that person
3. Attraction as context dependent

• judgments of attractiveness are relative to who you are with and who they
are with

• men tend to publicly underrate the attractiveness of middle aged women

when around other men
• less attractive women in the company of attractive women are perceived
as more attractive than when on their own

• heterosexual people of the opposite sex tend to rate each other more
highly than do those of the same sex
4. Attraction is not just physical
5. Attractiveness varies historically

• Despite many claims to the universality of beauty

• There is ample evidence as to the cultural and historical variability of

criteria of beauty

• Ideas of attractiveness change over time

• Ideals and values and the meaning attached change

• Our image-based consumer culture propagates an unreachable ideal

6. Beauty is unreachable ideal

• Caught up in the idea of perfection

• Platonic ideal – every ideal existed somewhere

• These standards of beauty are stereotypes

• They are disseminated widely though culture by the media

• Mediated images present an omnipresent unreachable standard

Qualifications to research:

• Problems of method

• Interaction is not taken into account

• Attraction as context dependant

• Physicality is only one part of attraction

• Ideals of attractiveness vary historically

• Our image based consumer culture propagates an unreachable ideal

August 4, 2015
Clothing as convention

• People “read” clothing based on pre-existing cultural knowledge

• It a particular combination of clothing is unfamiliar we will talk about the individual

parts (paradigm)

• But we will not be able to combine it into a coherent meaning (syntagm)

Clothing is a closed code

• So, clothing is a more conservative code than language

• Clothing provides society with a set of fixed message. It is, therefore a “closed

• McCracken: “it allows for the representation of cultural categories, principles, and
processes without at the same time encouraging their innovative manipulation

• Clothing acts as a subtle way of maintaining a given group’s identity

Conservation & “difference”

• Clothing is particularly suited to expressing either social commonality or social


• Material cultural, of which clothing is a part, is more conservation than language

• It maintains a sense of familiarity and easily signals strangeness or difference

• In any given society there are a diversity of clothing codes that are not always
easily readable by other groups
Conformity & individualism

• Rosenfeld and Plax (1977)

• Those who are clothing conscious in relation to the group norm…

• …tend to be more conformist and more compliant in the face of authority

• People who are less concerned about what other people think (exhibitionists, or,
those who prefer practical clothing)

• …tend to be more confident and more individualistic

1. Social status

• Suits, etc.
2. Gender

• Dresses and skirts as women

• Pants and shirt as men

3. Occupation

• Can be implicated in status

• Functionality involved as well as functionality

• Ex. Chef == apron to keep clean, height of hat; taller the higher up you
4. Ethnic, political and religious affiliation

• Kilt is a sign of nationality

• Dress in a certain way in protests

5. Cultural dissent

• Clothing of subcultural groups

Space and nonverbal communication


• Distance we expect to maintain when we are interacting with someone

• Personal space

• Is it always the same distance?

• No definitely not

• The Study of Informal Space

• Informal space is the space we carry with us as a moving invisible zone

• This zone is constructed, in terms of our expectations, by our culture

• Something we learn as we grow up

• The has also been called personal space, conversational space or

interpersonal space

• “don’t invade my space” referring to the informal zone

Interpersonal distance
1. Intimate distance

• In northern European societies this is general 15-45 centimeters

• Distance for embracing or whispering

• How to know someone very well

2. Personal distance

• 45 centimeters – 1 meter

• For conversations among good friends, married couples in public, etc.

3. Social distance

• 1 – 4 meters

• For conversations among acquaintances and the carrying out of

impersonal business
4. Public distance

• 4 meters or more

• Used for speaking in public to large crowds

Interpersonal distance

• Individuals perceive a distance that is appropriate for different kinds of


• What can the violation of these distances signal?

• A desire for intimacy or an attempt to dominate the situation.

Film: Elevator World Video

• Quiet haven

• Spatial harmony

• Aesthetic balance

• When one leaves or comes, balance changes and adapts for spatial harmony

• Respect other people’s distance and your own even if it is crammed

• Do not stare at each other

• Readjust gazing behaviour and body

• Civil inattention going on

3 variables in interpersonal space are

1. Gender

• Females interact more closely with individuals of either sex than do males

• Where the interactant is more alienating than friendly, women maintain a

greater distance than do men.

• Other people of all sexes in all studies approach women more closely
than they approach men.

• Female-female pairing interact most closely

• Male-male most distantly

• Opposite sex pairs are between.

2. Age

• Distances expand from the age of 6 to early adolescence when adult

norms are taken on

• Adults are more forgiving of young children bumping into them then they
are of adolescents or other adults

• Both the very young and the very old are interacted with more closely
than those in-between
3. Contact & non-contact cultures

• Generally, there are large differences in touching behaviour and

interpersonal space from country to country

• Contacts per hour between couples in cafes in different cities

• San Juan, Puerto Rico, 180

• Paris 110

• Gainesville, Florida, 2

• London, England, 0

Contact Regions:

 Central and South America

 Southern Europe (France)

 Middle East (Saudi Arabia)

Non-contact regions:

 Asia (Japan)

 Northern Europe (England, Germany)

• These difference can lead to confusion in cross cultural


• In Saudi Arabia, the social space of business interactions can be

equivalent to a North Americans intimate space

• In the Netherlands, personal space equates to our social space

• Need more distance

Small Group Ecology

• Seating behaviour and spatial arrangements in small groups

1) Leadership

 In the North America leaders are usually found at the head of the table

 Including the head of the house hold, elected group leaders, seminar
2  People in positions 1,3 and 5 talked the most
 1 & 5 task oriented leader
 3 was the socio-emotional leader

 Studies find that leaders self-selected or chose these spots and

less talkative people intentionally took position 2 and 4
Task Orientation
 Conversation: talking briefly together

 Co-operation: studying together

 Co-action: studying for different exams

 Competition: seeing who will finish a series of puzzles first

Proxemics in our everyday world

 What light does Proxemics shed on the typical North American family

 Separate bathrooms for children and parents because we like things

tidy, privacy, areas that are controllable

 Territory can be defined by the possession of objects or fixed-

featured space

 Territoriality regulates social interaction

 It can, however, lead to social conflict when territorial violation or

invasion takes place

 The more powerful humans have control of the most territory

 The three kinds of territory

1. Primary territories

• The exclusive domain of the owner

• Are guarded against intrusion

• Includes homes, bedrooms, yards

• Primary territories also include possessions including

objects like jackets and purses

• As well as dependent children

2. Secondary territories

• Not as central to the owner’s daily life

• Magazines, the television remote control

• Conflicts can erupt over these territories since ownership

is unclear
3. Public territories

• Neutral space available

Chicago’s Public Housing Projects

• in the 1950s, Chicago used public housing to segregate the city’s rapidly growing
black population

• the worst offender was a four-mile stretch of public housing on the city’s south
side known as the Robert Taylor homes

• supposedly ideal living spaces became unlivable

New Jersey’s Yorkship Village

• the village, began in 1918, was designed by Electus Darwin Litchfield

• he was influenced by the “garden city” developments popular in England at the


• the design included narrow, winding residential streets, a central village square,
broad green boulevards

• Fairview has been successful in resisting the decline of surrounding Camden, NJ

• some have been …

Canadian Sports Arenas

• corporate centrality in sports

• the feudalization of public space

Women, intimacy & submission

• positive facial expressions such as smiling, eyebrow flash

• the mutual gaze

• more touching (self & other)

• “Coy”

• An openness of arms and body

• A general postural relaxation

• Revealing the body: neck, palms, feet, stomach

• Direct body orientation

• More forward lean

• Intimate and personal distance

• Physical attractiveness

• Clothing that emphasizes feminine characteristics such as softness

• Clothing that emphasizes certain body parts

• Bodies treated as territory & possession

Intimacy as submission
Strong women