Nonverbal Communication Analysis

This is a multiple step assignment designed to help you:
• Pay attention to the nonverbal communication around you.
• Interpret nonverbal communication more effectively.
• Connect the material in Chapter 6 to real world situations.

In order to accomplish these objectives, you are being asked to complete 3 steps.

Step 1: Pay attention to the same person’s verbal and nonverbal communication for at least thirty minutes. This would work with many activities you do every day like having dinner with someone, playing cards or tennis with someone, or attending a class lecture. This may also be done in conjunction with another class assignment, like conducting an interview for an English course or Student Success Course. You only need to be looking at the other person and interacting so that you can observe both their verbal and nonverbal communication for at least thirty minutes.

Step 2: Either during or immediately after the interaction, take notes that include the following information:

o What kind of facial displays did you notice that had message value?
o What kind of gestures or body movement that had message value?
o What kind of eye movement, like eye contact or lack thereof that communicated a message to you?
o What kind of vocal behavior, like pitch, rate, volume, pronunciation or accent that had message value?
o What kind of things did you notice about their physical appearance that communicated something about them to you?
o What about their artifacts and the message value in them?
o Did you notice any emblems, illustrators, affect displays or adaptors? What were they?
o How did the other person use space to communicate?
o How did they use touch to communicate?

Step 3: Write up a nonverbal analysis of the interaction. This should be a 2-4 page account of at least ten different behaviors that you noticed. In the discussion of each behavior, be sure to address:
What the behavior was and what it communicated to you?
Whether or not you think the behavior was intentional?
What you did or thought in response to the behavior?
Somewhere in your discussion, be sure to define and cite the key terms you use (such as proxemics or affect display)


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