• Jan Gleisner

What is nonverbal communication?

The definitions of nonverbal communication differs a bit between scientists, but basically covers the same area. With that in mind I've almost randomly picked a definition from DeVito's et al (1999), as it provides an quite complete but yet easy-to-comprehend setup:

  • Kinesics: Signals sent with the body

  • Physical appearance: Signals sent with clothes, haircut, accessories, body constitution etc.

  • Olfactics: Signals from scents/smells

  • Vocalics: How the voice signals through tempo, volume and pauses

  • Proxemics: Signals through distance between people

  • Haptics: Signals through physical contact like hugging, bumping, patting etc.

  • Chronemics: Signals through time management: Being late, doing something else, spending a lot of time with someone/something

  • Environmental features: Light, temperature, furnishing, architecture etc.

The "communication" in the "nonverbal communication" implies that there is a need for more than one person for the notion to be applicable. DeVito et al (1991) means that either a person intends to send signals or a receiver interprets the the first persons behavior as signals, or both.

Body language as part of Nonverbal Communication

Now, "body language" is a lot more popular notion than nonverbal communication, when searching over the internet, and by many (and at times even by me) used synonymously with nonverbal communication. But when looking at the definition of nonverbal communication, you see that body language is mainly be covered by kinesics. But then again, there are plenty of examples out there of how people include some physical appearence, haptics and proxemics. Thou more seldom olfactics and vocalics. And almost never chronemics or environmental features.

So, body language is not the same as nonverbal communication, but is covered by a minor part of nonverbal communication. And nonverbal communication - that is covered by silentcommunication.org!

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#defintion #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage #kinesics #physicalappearance #olfactics #vocalics #proxemics #haptics #chronemics #environmentalfeatures

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