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What is the study of body language and speech and what it means the person is feeling or thinking?

What is the study of body language and speech and what it means the person is feeling or thinking?


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To clarify i mean like how when someone doesn't use contractions it is a red flag for lying. Or when someone says something they are mad or annoyed. Basically what their speech and body language says about what they are thinking/feeling. Stuff that the main character in Lie To Me uses like body language, speech changes and micro expressions.


Study the Eyes

Eye behavior can be very telling. When communicating with someone, pay attention to whether he or she makes direct eye contact or looks away. Inability to make direct eye contact can indicate boredom, disinterest, or even deceit – especially when someone looks away and to the side. If a person looks down, on the other hand, it often indicates nervousness or submissiveness. Also, check for dilated pupils to determine if someone is responding favorably toward you. Pupils dilate when cognitive effort increases, so if someone is focused on someone or something they like, their pupils will automatically dilate. Pupil dilation can be difficult to detect, but under the right conditions you should be able to spot it. A person’s blinking rate can also speak volumes about what is going on internally. Blinking rate increases when people are thinking more or are stressed. In some cases, increased blinking rate indicates lying – especially when accompanied by touching the face (particularly the mouth and eyes). Glancing at something can suggest a desire for that thing. For example, if someone glances at the door this may indicate a desire to leave. Glancing at a person can indicate a desire to talk to him or her. When it comes to eye behavior, it is also suggested that looking upwards and to the right during conversation indicates a lie has been told, while looking upwards and to the left indicates the person is telling the truth. The reason for this is that people look up and to the right when when using their imagination to concoct a story, and look up and to the left when they are recalling an actual memory.


A Forensic Psychologist’s Guide to Body Language

Whether going out on a date, traveling through a foreign country or interrogating a suspect in a crime, forensic psychology offers a wealth of tools to help decode people’s nonverbal behavior. These cues include gestures, vocal tones, body positioning, micro-expressions of the face, and often subconscious indicators of people’s internal states.

This guide offers a summary of some of the findings from well-established psychologists and legal experts. From Paul Eckman’s groundbreaking facial expression research to former FBI expert Joe Navarro’s findings of body language, this discipline can elucidate the less literal aspects of human communication.


What are the Benefits of Reading Body Language?

Body language consists of the positions, gestures, and whole body movements we use to share how we are feeling or what we are doing. Despite what you may see on television or read on the Internet, there is no way to use body language to perfectly understand what another person is saying. Just think of how difficult and how much fun gesture-based games like Charades can be to play. If reading body language were that simple and easy these games would not be very challenging.

Our physical activity may reveal much about what we are doing. For example, if you could only see a person’s arms as they were steering a moving vehicle you would almost surely understand they were indeed driving. The motion associated with driving cars and trucks is very standardized due to their design and their control systems. You would also know someone was swimming through water if you could only see their body movement in silhouette. The motions associated with the various swimming styles are very specific.

But what if you saw a man flapping his arms like a bird? Would you be able to interpret what he was doing from that motion alone? Most likely not. He could be playing a game, illustrating how birds fly to someone else, trying to dry himself off, or in an altered state of mind where he believes he is a bird. These are only a few of many possible interpretations of such movement, and this explains why you cannot rely on body language alone to communicate with other people or to understand what they are doing.

Body language differs from sign language, which can be used for direct, meaningful communication in that body language is a natural set of movements whereas sign language is an artificial set of movements given a very specific set of meanings. Whereas body language may be ambiguous but interpretable to most people, sign language can only be understood by people who have studied its gestures and meanings. There are almost 7,000 different sign languages in use in the world today, but body language is virtually universal, even between species of animals.

Some Famous Myths about Body Language

One of the most widely cited and incorrect “facts” about body language is that our communication is 90% non-verbal. If it were indeed true that we can convey 90% of the information we want to share with others through non-verbal cues, we would not need millions of words for our spoken and written languages. We could easily get through every day just by using body language if the 90% idea were realistic.

Dr. Albert Mehrabian published two studies that were responsible for the often-cited 𔄟-38-55 rule” which says that three components of communication (verbal, tone of voice, and body language) impact the effectiveness of our personal communication by 7% (verbal), 38% (tone of voice), and 55% (body language). However, this may only be true in a minority of situations where great ambiguity is involved. For example, if you are holding a conversation over a radio or telephone channel where you cannot see the other person, their body language will have virtually no impact on the effectiveness of the communication.

Men who follow seduction and pickup artists often talk about using body language to “establish rapport” with the women they are interested in. This idea uses the idea of mirroring another person’s body language to create an artificial empathy between them. However, if the other person is aware of the mirroring activity they may be annoyed or distracted by the unnatural movement.

Another myth about body language is that if you associate gentle touching movements with certain words you will condition a person to respond positively to what you say. This is sometimes called neuro linguistic programming. If the person you are touching is aware of what you are trying to do, or is not interested in your contact then this technique will not work. Even in the best of conditions many people report failures.

Who Uses Body Language Every Day?

You might be surprised to learn that nearly everyone reads and communicates via body language on a daily basis. You may not have a well-developed skill or knowledge of body language but you still respond to and convey some signals without thinking about them. Here are a few examples:

  • Placing a hand up to tell someone to stop
  • Waving hello or good-bye
  • Smiling at people either warmly or in an unthreatening way
  • Extending your hand for a handshake
  • Holding out your hand to indicate someone else may go ahead of you
  • Shaking your head up and down (“yes”)
  • Shaking your head left and right (“no”)

Women are more likely than men to be aware of body language and to make an intentional effort to interpret what they see. Experts and psychologists offer various explanations for why this is so. Although there is no real consensus on why women are more likely to pay attention to body language two of the most common reasons offered are that this is a defensive practice women developed to help them avoid dangerous men and it’s a competitive practice to help them understand what their social rivals are doing.

However, mothers pay attention to the body language of their children and the people their children associate with in order to “keep an eye on things” and ensure their children are safe and well-behaved.

Police officers and medical professionals also study body language in a habitual and professional manner. They are looking for reactions that may signal something is wrong.

Therapists and trainers in all fields also pay close attention to body language.

Successful sales people and motivational speakers also study body language and learn to adjust their presentations according to the movements and changes in position of people they speak to.

How Does Reading Body Language Benefit Us?

There are many legitimate and natural benefits to watching and interpreting body language.

The most basic benefits are social: we interpret body language to understand who may be a threat, who may be in need of help, and who is acting in a productive and useful manner. For example, a police officer may notice that someone is “behaving suspiciously” in a manner characteristic with a person who has just committed a crime or whom the officer has interrupted while committing a crime.

In a similar manner we may naturally become suspicious of people who appear to be following or watching us intently for no apparent reason, or of people who loiter near a specific location that we may have an interest in. These are natural responses to potentially threatening situations although in most cases nothing bad is happening.

If you see someone laying on the ground waving their hands you’ll usually assume they are in need of help. People who wander around with a perplexed expression on their face may be lost and confused, such as when they cannot find where they left their car in a large parking lot. An elderly person in this predicament may attract attention from good Samaritans. Children who are hurt or lost and afraid may sit down and cry.

When you are at work and your supervisor passes through your space on some task, he or she may stop to see how you are doing if you look like you’re struggling with a task or the boss may break up the social circle in the kitchen or if everyone is looking busy your boss may sail on past you without interrupting anyone.

We learn to use body language in other ways, too. In relaxed, social situations people are more likely to express their feelings of happiness or joy, or their excitement. Fans often yell, jump, and pump their fists at sporting events. People who play friendly competitive games such as bowling, darts, billiards, etc. may celebrate their victories with smiles and energetic gestures. They may strut and playfully act dominant, signalling to others around them they are superior in some way.

Our unintentional signals are just as important. Someone who is angry may be “radiating” signals that mean stay away from me or stop what you are doing and pay attention to me. We rely on body language in social situations to convey how we are feeling, not to engage in deep discourse.

Body language also helps us use up energy. People who fidget or who wander back and forth may be expressing an unmet need but they are also “burning off energy”. The body feels a need to take action but for some reason we are unable to take the desired action so our bodies are going through the motions of fighting against unseen restraints.

How We Use Body Language in Sales and Seduction

Seduction is the art of altering another person’s state of mind so that they are more likely to do something for you. There is a fine line between motivational selling and seduction.

Motivational sales is the art of acquiring someone’s attention, identifying an unmet need, offering a solution for that need, and persuading the person to accept your solution. A door-to-door salesperson engages in motivational sales. So does the salesperson who walks all the way across the store or parking lot to begin a conversation with you about the latest product special.

A salesperson who merely asks if you need help is not engaged in motivational selling but that salesperson may use the unthreatening opening of “do you need help?” to create an opportunity to pitch you on a specific product. This kind of hard selling is not used as much as it once was but it is often lampooned in movies and television shows.

When you meet someone in whom you are romantically interested you may attempt to use body language to open a discussion with that person. Aggressive men may pose in some way to attract the attention of women. Aggressive women also pose in some way to attract the attention of men. “Posing” does not necessarily mean stand in an exaggerated position, although men are more likely to do just that. “Posing” when used in the broadest sense means you act out a role that somehow conveys your openness and availability for a cold introduction by a stranger.

Picture a man in a night club who is studying a group of women. The women are excited to be there and talking rapidly. They may glance around to see who is with whom or who they know. Some women may begin dancing to the music, indicating to everyone in the club they are ready to be asked. The bold man who walks up to one of the women and suggests they dance is more likely to find a partner for the next song than the man who just stands and stares at the girls.

When two people meet for the first time and share an activity together they may know very quickly if they are interested in each other romantically. For example, suppose a young man and woman join a tour group where they go hiking through the hills. They may indicate their interest in each other through furtive glances and smiles. One of them may gradually move closer to the other until one of them has an excuse to make some innocent comment. Or one of them may be wearing or doing something so distinctive that it is easy to walk up to that person and begin asking questions.

By watching each other’s body language we look for small signs of interest, such as when the other person turns to face us more completely, smiles, moves closer, or widens their eyes to get a better look at us. People may also become agitated or nervous in the presence of someone whom they find attractive and interesting. They “cannot contain themselves”.

On the other hand, someone who is not interested in you will turn away, look past you, give you short replies or ignore you, or just wander off at the first opportunity. People who interrupt your conversation to speak to others will show you how important your conversation is by either leaving you behind or returning to your conversation quickly, perhaps even drawing others into the conversation with you.

The level of energy the other person projects helps you gauge their interest and excitement in being with you. But sometimes people learn to mask their interest to protect themselves. You may have trouble recognizing their signs of interest because they are trying to control their bodies. In these situations practice helps you see the subtle cues. You can use warm and open body language to reassure people and help them open up to you.

Body Language Is Helpful But Not Always Transparent

It is possible to misinterpret other people’s body language. They may be expressing in someone or something behind you. This cliche is often used in movies but it happens in real life, too. That is where we got the cliche in the first place.

One should be careful about placing too much faith in reading body language. A skilled and practiced actor can convey almost any kind of body language desired. The best actors are very convincing and not all of them can be found in the entertainment industry.

It’s good to study body language so that you can understand people better and be more sensitive to what they are feeling. You should find it a rich and rewarding experience.


Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 Rule of Personal Communication

In communication, a speaker’s words are only a fraction of his efforts. The pitch and tone of his voice, the speed and rhythm of the spoken word, and the pauses between those words may express more than what is being communicated by words alone. Further, his gestures, posture, pose and expressions usually convey a variety of subtle signals. These non-verbal elements can present a listener with important clues to the speaker’s thoughts and feelings and thus substantiate or contradict the speaker’s words.

The most commonly and casually cited study on the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages in personal communication is one by Prof. Albert Mehrabian of the University of California in Los Angeles. In the 1970s, his studies suggested that we overwhelmingly deduce our feelings, attitudes, and beliefs about what someone says not by the actual words spoken, but by the speaker’s body language and tone of voice.

In fact, Prof. Mehrabian quantified this tendency: words, tone of voice, and body language respectively account for 7%, 38%, and 55% of personal communication.

The non-verbal elements are particularly important for communicating feelings and attitude, especially when they are incongruent: if words and body language disagree, one tends to believe the body language.

If a speaker’s words and body language differ, listeners are more likely to believe the nonverbal communication of the speaker, not his words. For example, suppose a person states, “I don’t have a problem with you!” while avoiding eye-contact, looking anxious, and maintaining a closed body language. Irrespective of the person’s internal monologue, the listener will probably trust the predominant form of communication, which according to Prof. Mehrabian’s findings is non-verbal (38% + 55%), rather than the literal meaning of the words (7%.)

I have two arguments against the oversimplified interpretation of the 𔄟-38-55 Rule.” In the first place, it is very difficult to quantify the impact of tone of voice and body language on the effectiveness of communication. Secondly, such quantifications are very subjective and cannot be applied as a rule to all contexts. Prof. Mehrabian himself has cautioned,

“Total Liking = 7% Verbal Liking + 38% Vocal Liking + 55% Facial Liking. Please note that this and other equations regarding relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages were derived from experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes (i.e., like—dislike). Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable.”

This study is a convenient—if not accurate—reminder that nonverbal cues can be more valuable and telling than verbal ones. Therefore, to be effective and persuasive in our verbal communication—in presentations, public speaking, or personal communication—it is essential to complement our words with the right tone and voice and the appropriate body language.


How to Tell If Someone’s Interested in You, and Other Powers of Body Language

I’ve gotten a chance to talk to middle schoolers a lot lately, and inevitably this subject comes up: someone wants to ask someone out, but isn’t sure if that person likes them.

“Because I’ll be in school with this person for years,” I’m told. Or: “Because it’s a good friend of mine and I don’t want to make it weird if they don’t like me.” These are really good points, I’ve had to admit. Who wants to make things awkward with someone they know they’ll be seeing on a daily basis for the next five years? It’s the same problem an adult faces with a co-worker, for instance. What you really want in a situation like this is the ability to read minds.

Fortunately, that’s entirely possible.

How to read minds
Most people seem to realize that you can sometimes tell things about people by their body language–that someone with arms crossed over their stomach is feeling defensive, or that someone who turns away while talking to you isn’t interested. What’s amazing is how much more you can learn about people around you, how many signals you can pick up, if you begin to learn body language in detail.

Body language isn’t made up of absolute, definite signals. For instance, when someone says something and then touches their nose, that usually means what they’ve said is not true, or that they have reservations or misgivings–but not always. Sometimes it might just be that the a stray piece of dust made their nose itch. We can’t take any single gesture or expression as an absolute indication of anything–which is why Allen and Barbara Pease in The Definitive Book of Body Language talk about looking at sets and series of gestures instead of just trying to interpret one gesture alone.

With that said, some gestures are surprisingly reliable. If you learn to read body language clearly enough, when you walk down the street it’s as though little information bubbles are popping up over everyone you meet: she’s really interested in him, and he knows it but doesn’t feel the same waythat guy doesn’t want to talk to anyone … those two people are having a really honest conversation, but neither of them is worried.

Better than asking?
In fact, sometimes body language reveal more than direct answers to direct questions. That’s the premise of the TV series Lie to Me, which doesn’t exaggerate the effect too badly and uses very good information to inform the body language they use in the episodes.

To get back to my middle school friends, the suggestion I gave was this: walk up to the person you like as though you’re going to ask an important question, then say hi. If you’ve done a good job of looking like you’re going to ask something important, the other person will probably have a reaction: crossed arms over the chest usually means feeling threatened, possibly from not wanting to be asked an awkward question turning away usually means that the person isn’t interested, or wants to get away a smile that you can see even around the eyes means real happiness leaning forward or turning toward you tends to mean they’re interested in what you’re going to say a lopsided expression usually means sarcasm and so on. The great thing about this approach is that you don’t have to actually ask the question. If you just give the impression that you have an important question for them (which you do!), they’ll usually give you some sense of how they feel about that possibility.

Quick pointers versus careful study
Of course, you can tell a lot more about what people are thinking if you study body language rather than just going with a few pointers, but either way, far more of our thoughts and opinions are out there for anyone to read than most of us realize.

If you’re interested in learning about gestures, expressions, and body language, I highly recommend the Peases’ book. I also have to say that I think a lot of Lie to Me from the four or five episodes I’ve seen so far, even though in the show experts often explain things that they already know to each other to clue us audience members in I hate to see writers do that, although I can understand why they resort to it here. It’s like saying “As you know, professor …”

And if you’re wondering what all this has to do with self-motivation, there’s this question: how often do we hold back from doing something just because we don’t know what someone else thinks about it?

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Written by Bestie Contributor

People don’t realize but body language tells you a lot about a person. It essentially can reveal various secrets about someone that they might not even realize about themselves. There’s a whole science to body language that many of us haven’t taken the time to learn about. For example, a pat on the top of the back is friendly and encouraging something a friend might do, according to study-body-language.com. On the other hand, if someone touches your lower back it means they’re really interested in you romantically, and might even be lusting after you, according to Cosmopolitan.

But it goes beyond the individual. Being able to read body language can also reveal a lot about the relationship that you are in with someone. For example, in your mind, it could be going really great with the person you are with, but for them…things might be a little off. Body language can reveal all that!

Now, here are a few signs that’ll help you understand what exactly is going on in your current relationship with the help of body language.

1. Emphatic Eye Contact

According to luvze.com, you know if someone is really into you if there is an over-exaggeration of eye contact. I mean, every time you look up, that person is locking eyes with you. Girls try to play it more subtly, but guys? That’s typically the clear sign they are feeling you. It’s that shy, “I’m trying to not let them notice I’m staring at them” look.

2. The Way Their Feet Are Pointed

et-a-wingman.com notes that the foot plays a very important role in reading whether or not someone is super into you. Sounds ridiculous, but it’s fairly true. The site notes that if, during a conversation, the person is super into you and into what you are saying, notice their foot. The person will always sit or stand in a way that their feet are pointed towards you.

3. How Close They Are To You

Do you ever notice when you are having a conversation with your partner, how close they are to you? You might not realize, but the distance between bodies is a pretty strong indication of attraction. Get-a-wingman says that even if you’ve been with the person for quite some time, you can use this body language to tell if they are interested in anything you are saying.

4. The Head Tilt

Science of People notes that another way to tell if your partner is into you is watching the classic head tilt. The site says that by tilting your head, it shows that you are not only interested but engaged in the conversation as well. That means, during conversation tilt your head while looking at them.

5. Public Displays Of Affection

Whether you are that couple that enjoys holding hands during dinner or not, it is a huge indication if someone is into you or not. Of course, some prefer not holding hands across the table but if it does happen, it’s a pretty good sign. People have their opinions on the matter. For example, an article written for Glamour noted that holding on for the entire meal just looks awkward.

6. They Try To Make You Laugh

Psychology Today notes humor is a huge plus side to any relationship. If you can make someone you like or love laugh? Then you are good in their books. A way to tell if someone is into you is when they make a joke in a group of people, but they only look to you to make sure that you are laughing. No one else. This is a clear and strong sign.


10 Powerful Body Language Tips

The effective use of body language plays a key role in communication. Many of our communication trainings have an aspect of body language to them. Here are ten tips for powerful body language I&rsquove learned during the past two decades of coaching teams around the world:

1. To boost your confidence, assume a power pose

Research at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools shows that simply holding your body in expansive, &ldquohigh-power&rdquo poses (leaning back with hands behind the head and feet up on a desk, or standing with legs and arms stretched wide open) for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone&mdashthe hormone linked to power and dominance&mdashand lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Try this when you&rsquore feeling tentative but want to appear confident. In addition to causing hormonal shifts in both males and females, these poses lead to increased feelings of power and a higher tolerance for risk. The study also found that people are more often influenced by how they feel about you than by what you're saying. For more tips gaining confidence, read the &ldquo5 Ways to Project Confidence&rdquo

2. To increase participation, look like you&rsquore listening

If you want people to speak up, don&rsquot multitask while they do. Avoid the temptation to check your text messages, check your watch, or check out how the other participants are reacting. Instead, focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you&rsquore engaged and paying attention. It&rsquos important to hear people. It&rsquos just as important to make sure they know you are listening.

3. To encourage collaboration, remove barriers

Physical obstructions are especially detrimental to collaborative efforts. Take away anything that blocks your view or forms a barrier between you and the rest of the team. Even during a coffee break, be aware that you may create a barrier by holding your cup and saucer in a way that seems deliberately to block your body or distance you from others. A senior executive told me he could evaluate his team&rsquos comfort by how high they held their coffee cups. It was his observation that the more insecure individuals felt, the higher they held their coffee. People with their hands held at waist level were more comfortable than those with hands chest high.

4. To connect instantly with someone, shake hands

Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. Touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40 of a second creates a human bond. In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression. A study on handshakes by the Income Center for Trade Shows showed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. The trade show researchers also found that people react to those with whom they shake hands by being more open and friendly.

5. To stimulate good feelings, smile

A genuine smile not only stimulates your own sense of well-being, it also tells those around you that you are approachable, cooperative, and trustworthy. A genuine smile comes on slowly, crinkles the eyes, lights up the face, and fades away slowly. Most importantly, smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person&rsquos emotional state in a positive way.

6. To show agreement, mirror expressions and postures

When clients or business colleagues unconsciously imitate your body language, it&rsquos their way of nonverbally saying that they like or agree with you. When you mirror other people with intent, it can be an important part of building rapport and nurturing feelings of mutuality. Mirroring starts by observing a person&rsquos facial and body gestures and then subtly letting your body take on similar expressions and postures. Doing so will make the other person feel understood and accepted.

7. To improve your speech, use your hands

Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca&rsquos area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we&rsquore talking, but when we wave our hands. Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as we talk can actually power up our thinking.

Whenever I encourage executives and others to incorporate gestures into their deliveries, I consistently find that their verbal content improves. Experiment with this and you&rsquoll find that the physical act of gesturing helps you form clearer thoughts and speak in tighter sentences with more declarative language.

8. To learn the truth, watch people&rsquos feet

When people try to control their body language, they focus primarily on facial expressions, body postures, and hand/arm gestures. Since the legs and feet are left unrehearsed, they are also where the truth can most often be found. Under stress, people will often display nervousness and anxiety through increased foot movements. Feet will fidget, shuffle, and wind around each other or around the furniture. Feet will stretch and curl to relieve tension, or even kick out in a miniaturized attempt to run away. Studies show that observers have greater success judging a person&rsquos real emotional state when they can see the entire body. You may not know it, but instinctively you&rsquove been reacting to foot gestures all your life.

9. To sound authoritative, keep your voice down

Before a speech or important telephone call, allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch (a technique I learned from a speech therapist) by keeping your lips together and making the sounds &ldquoum hum, um hum, um hum.&rdquo And if you are a female, watch that your voice doesn&rsquot rise at the ends of sentences as if you are asking a question or seeking approval. Instead, when stating your opinion, use the authoritative arc, in which your voice starts on one note, rises in pitch through the sentence and drops back down at the end.

Expand your communication to not just body language and learn how to influence even the toughest executives, customers, subordinates and stake holders by taking our Advance Leadership Communication Strategies course.

10. To improve your memory, uncross your arms and legs

Body language researchers Allan and Barbara Pease report a fascinating finding from one of their studies: When a group of volunteers attended a lecture and sat with unfolded arms and legs, they remembered 38% more than a group that attended the same lecture and sat with folded arms and legs. To improve your retention, uncross your arms and legs. If you see your audience exhibiting defensive body language, change tactics, take a break, or get them to move&mdashand don&rsquot try to persuade them until their bodies open up.

If you follow these 10 simple and powerful body language tips, I guarantee you&rsquoll increase your nonverbal impact in the workplace. To improve your communication skills overall, consider taking one of our courses in communication.


Are you a manager and want to learn more about body language? Watch our webinar on how to read your employees' nonverbal signals.


Body Language Reading

How much do the signals our bodies emit tell us about what people are thinking and feeling? Body Tells: The Complete Guide to Body Language is an exclusive online course that will show you how to read people's emotions and opinions before they even say a word, and to build your emotional intelligence. You'll also learn how to judge your own body language: discover what your appearance and posture - even the way you walk - tell people about you, and learn to improve your body language to project a confident, interesting you.

What Research is the Course Based On?

For many decades, body language has been the subject of many books and much scientific research. Body Tells brings together this research to offer you a single course that will enable you to employ its findings to your everyday behavior and improve your social standing in many situations.

Browse the Body Language Course

To take the Body Language Course, click each link below to browse the relevant section:

Introduction: Reading Body Language
Part I: How You Talk Without Speaking
Part II: Learning to Be a Better Communicator
Part III: Controlling What Your Body Says
Part IV: Reading The Hidden Messages

How much do the signals our bodies emit tell us about what people are thinking and feeling? Body Tells: The Complete Guide to Body Language is an exclusive online course that will show you how to read people's emotions and opinions before they even say a word, and to build your emotional intelligence. You'll also learn how to judge your own body language: discover what your appearance and posture - even the way you walk - tell people about you, and learn to improve your body language to project a confident, interesting you.

What Research is the Course Based On?

For many decades, body language has been the subject of many books and much scientific research. Body Tells brings together this research to offer you a single course that will enable you to employ its findings to your everyday behavior and improve your social standing in many situations.

Browse the Body Language Course

To take the Body Language Course, click each link below to browse the relevant section:


Context and Application

Notwithstanding all this background and qualification, Mehrabian's model has become one of the most widely referenced statistics in communications.

You will continue to see it referenced, and you will probably use it yourself, not always in its purest form, and not always with reference to its originator.

The essence of the model - even when used in overly simplistic form - is powerful and generally helpful, and certainly better than placing undue reliance on words alone for conveying (receiving and sending) communications, especially those which carry potentially emotional implications.

So, subject to suitable qualification and explanation , Mehrabian's findings and the theory resulting from them, are particularly useful in explaining the importance of understanding meaning in communications as distinct from words alone.

Here are a couple of simple ways to begin to qualify the interpretation and application of the formula:

You must first clarify that the Mehrabian formula often quoted out of context and too generally.

For example, the spoken instruction, "Everyone evacuate the building because there is a fire," carries 100% of the meaning in the words: i.e., 1) there is a fire, and 2) get the hell out of here. The tone of voice and body language might additionally indicate how far ahead of you the person issuing the instruction is likely to be, but aside from that, you'd get the message fully through the words without having to be an expert in body language to unravel the meaning.

Mehrabian's theory and its implications are also not especially applicable in strongly autocratic environments, such as the armed forces. If the Regimental Sergeant Major tells a soldier to jump, the soldier is best advised to consider how high, rather than whether the RSM is instead maybe inviting a debate about the merit of the instruction, or the feelings of the soldier in response to it.

The value of Mehrabian's theory relates to communications where emotional content is significant, and the need to understand it properly is great.

This is often applicable in management and business, where motivation and attitude have a crucial effect on outcomes.


Watch the video: Former FBI Agent Explains How to Read Body Language. Tradecraft. WIRED (June 2022).


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