12/29/2011

// THEORIES OF NON VERBAL COMM

I'll be deleting this once it has been graded. (:

This blog of mine is a one fine example of a non-verbal communication for it is executed in writing rather than being spoken.

Non-verbal communication is a process of transmission of messages with minimal or without the execution of spoken words or languages. When interacting with others, it relies more on body languages like postures, gestures, facial expressions and the like. Non-verbal communication has a wide range of understanding for you have to trust your instincts because it often delivers different messages with which that is also can be sent at once.

There are six characteristics of Non-verbal code systems according to Judee K. Burgoon, who is a professor of Communication and Family Studies & Human Development in the University of Arizona, which are the following:
  1. Non-verbal codes tend to be analogic rather than digital. Let's take this as an example: The transmission of text messages. You receive messages digitally, but the transmission process was done in an analog signal.
  2. Non-verbal codes are iconic or resemblance. Iconic codes resemble the things being symbolized like depicting something with your hands towards the other person or giving off some sign that means something over the other.
  3. Non-verbal codes seem to elicit universal meaning or generalized meanings.
  4. Non-verbal codes enables that simultaneous transmission of several messages. Just like what I have mentioned a while ago, it often delivers different messages that can be sent at once. Example:
  5. Non-verbal signals often evoke automatic response without thinking. Example: turning off the stove when the kettle starts to whistle sound which signals you that the water is already boiling.
  6. Non-verbal signals are often emitted quite simultaneously. Transmission of messages has no delay; you send messages in an instant.
Burgoon also stated that there are these classification of non-verbal code system according to the type of activity you are engaging yourself into, which are the following: Kinesics or bodily movement; Proxemics or the use of space; physical appearance; Haptics or use of touch; Vocalics for the use of voice; Chronemics for the use of time; and Artifacts for the use of objects. Examples are as follows:

For an instance, you see your friend walking on the other side of the corridor and you met each other in the eye, you waved you hand and he waved back and smiled on you. On that very moment, you were able to send a greeting with the use of body movement and you were also satisfied by the feedback of your receiver.

Another is that the use of space or Proxemics; you notice that a friend of yours is feeling less friendly today because he passed the hallway very quickly, therefore leaving a very much larger space where he could walk without merely being noticed. With this, Ray Birdwhistells's assumptions on where his theory on kinesics which proved that people are influenced by the bodily activities of others.

In terms of the use of touch or Haptics, you must engage yourself into the situation in order for the message to be delivered without any flaws. Example of this is when someone grabbed your hands so tight means that he/she is evoking an emotion of anger or berserk. This movement also conveys Birdwhistell's assumptions that all bodily movements have potential meaning and also being regarded as an alter-adaptor for the release of bodily tension is directed towards the other.

For the use of object or Artifacts, see this photo, you may assume that the girl is somewhat showing an ambiance of plotting for revenge or vengeance. The photo used is the object and the reader's assumption is the product of communication itself. The use of the photo as an artifact, falls on Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen's types of non-verbal behavior depending on the origin, coding and usage which is the Illustrators that is said to depict what is being said verbally.


Edward Hall, an American anthropologist and cross cultural reader, develops his own theory and perspective about Proxemics or the use of space in communication. According to Hall, there are four discernible distances used in the Anglo-American culture which are: Intimate (0 to 18 inches); Personal (1 1/2 to 4 feet); Social (4 to 12 feet); and the public distance (over 12 feet).

(Source: Wikipedia)

If you are interacting within the intimate distance, this involves touching, whispering, embracing and other intimate acts. People are only to do this with their love ones, e.g: couples, partner, husband, wife, etc. Personal space is any interaction with your close friends and families. We use the social distance whenever we are interacting with colleagues and acquaintances. Lastly, public space is intended for mass communication, public speaking and announcements.


Shannen Goco
AB Mass Comm
Comm 110 M/W 8:30am-10:00am

No comments:

Post a Comment