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Social Perception

Social Perception - Chapter 3 Social Perception...

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Chapter 3 – Social Perception: Understanding Others Nonverbal Communication We all know that how we behave is influenced by the mood of the moment. Because we know that behavior is affected by mood, we often try to figure out what mood another person is in. One of the ways in which we do this is to observe another person’s nonverbal communication - behavior such as facial expression, body posture, and eye gaze. Nonverbal cues are irrepressible – they are very hard to control. Albert Mehrabian found in his research that only about 7 percent of the emotional meaning of a message is communicated through explicit verbal channels. About 38 percent is communicated by paralanguage - the use of the voice. About 55 percent comes through nonverbal. Argyle (1969) has estimated that when two people meet and chat, only 30% of the communication process occurs through what we say, the other 70% is a result of indirect or nonverbal communication. Problems of studying nonverbal communication Problems with Studying Nonverbal Communication - nonverbal cues can be ambiguous - culture, context, degree of intention, not appropriate - Nonverbal cues are continuous - Hard to tell when they stop, can't analyze - Nonverbal cues are multichannel - Many different body parts – can miss something - Subconscious interpretation – right vs left brain - Nonverbal cues are culture- bound 1. Nonverbal cues can be ambiguous No dictionary can accurately classify them. Their meaning varies not only by culture and context, but by degree of intention, i.e., you may not be intending to communicate. 2. Nonverbal cues are continuous It is possible to stop talking, but it is generally not possible to stop nonverbal cues.
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3. Nonverbal cues are multichannel While watching someone's eyes, you may miss something significant in a hand gesture. Everything is happening at once, and therefore it may be confusing to try to keep up with everything. 4. Nonverbal cues are culture-bound Gestures seen as positive in one culture (like the thumbs-up gesture in the USA) may be seen as obscene in another culture. Nonverbal Communication: The Basic Channels - Nonverbal communication Facial Expressions Evolution – Jurassic Period Basic Expressions -Anger -Fear -Sadness -Surprise -Disgust 1. Facial Expressions - The act of communicating a mood, attitude, opinion, feeling, or other message by contracting the muscles of the face . It seems that there are six basic emotions that are represented very clearly by the human face – anger, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, and disgust – though some researchers suggest that contempt is also a very basic facial expression. Different parts of the face are active in order to show different emotions: A. Nose : nostril flare (arousal). B . Lips : grin (happiness, affiliation, contentment); grimace (fear); lip-compression (anger, emotion, frustration); canine snarl (disgust); lip-pout (sadness, submission, uncertainty); lip-purse (disagree); sneer (contempt; see below, Sneer ).
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