Non - Verbal Communication

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Argyle, Alkema and Gilmour (1971)

Aim: Tone of voice has any effect when interpreting a verbal message.

Method:                                                                                                                                  - groups of participants listened to either friendly or hostile messages spoken in either friendly or hostile tones of voice.                                                                                                               - Some participants heard a hostile message spoken in a friendly tone of voice and others heard a friendly message spoken in a hostile tone of voice. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  - Participants were asked to interpret the messages.                                                                    -Tone of voice had about 5 times the effect of the verbal message itself. 

Conclusion: Tone of voice is extremely important in how people interpret verbal messages. 

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Davitz and Davitz (1961)

Aim: effect of paralinguistics on the assessment of emotion. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  - Asked to listen to tape recordings and assess the speakers emotions from the paralinguistics cues; tone of voice, emphasis and intonation. 

Results: High level of accuracy in recognising these emotions: affection, amusement, disgust and fear. 

Conclusion: Paralinguistics has a great importance when judging emotion. 

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Evaluation for studies Argyle, Alkema & Gilmour an

These studies may suggest that people may not be entirely truthful. 

Artificial Conditions - as they were asked to concerntrate on different aspects of communication and in real life people would not focus so much on these details and be more taken in by the actual words used. 

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Eye Contact - Kendon (1967)

Aim: Eye movements affect the flow of conversation. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -They were asked to get acquainted.                                                                                         - Conversations were secretely watched by observers through a one-way mirror system. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  - As one person was about to speak, they looked away from the other person, briefly avoiding eye contact.                                                                                                                                  -They would then give the other persons face a prolonged look when they were about to finish what they were saying.                                                                                                                     - When the speaker gave the prolonged look, it seemed to indicate to the other person that they could begin to speak.                                                                                                               - If there was no prolonged look, there was a pause in the conversation. 

Conclusion: Eye movements signal turn taking in conversations. 

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Argyle (1968)

Aim: Interrupting eye contact affects conversation. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Pairs of participants were observed having conversations.                                                            - Half of conversations, one participant wore dark glasses so that the other could not recieve eye contact. 

Results:When one participant wore dark glasses, there were more interruptions then when dark glasses were not worn. 

Conclusion: Eye contact is important to ensure the smooth flow of conversation. 

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Hess (1963)

Aim: Effect of pupil dilation on emotion. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Shown 2 nearly identical pictures of the same girl and asked which picture was more attractive.     -Only difference between the 2 pictures was that, in one of them, the girls pupils were dilated and in the other picture they were not. 

Results: Majority of participants said the picture of the girl with more dilated pupils was more attractive but could not say why. 

Conclusion: Pupil dilation has an unconscious but powerful effect on emotion. 

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Evaluation for studies Kendon, Argyle and Hess.

Artificial situation - participants may have behaved in a different way to normal.                             However, studies of eye contact can help us understand how we can make conversations run more smoothly. 

Studies of pupils dilation help us understand why the use of make up is popular - makes the eyes look darker and larger which seems to be an unconscious signal for attraction. 

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Evaluation for studies Kendon, Argyle and Hess.

Artificial situation - participants may have behaved in a different way to normal.                             However, studies of eye contact can help us understand how we can make conversations run more smoothly. 

Studies of pupils dilation help us understand why the use of make up is popular - makes the eyes look darker and larger which seems to be an unconscious signal for attraction. 

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Facial Expression - Sakeim (1978)

Aim: To look at the relationship between facial expressions and the hemispheres of the brain. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Pictures of peoples faces showing different emotions were cut down the middle.                            -New pictures were created with each half face and its mirror image.                                              -Each pair of new faces was shown to participants and asked which one they liked better. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  -Majority said they preffered the picture of the left half face and its reflection because they said it looked 'warmer'. 

Conclusion: Left side of the face seems to express emotion much more than the right side. 

Evaluation.                                                                                                                             Studies that involve still pictures are artifical - don't usually stare at still pictures to judge people's emotions. 

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Posture - McGinley (1975)

Aim: Postural echo when having a conversation. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Confederate of the experimenter approached individuals in a social setting and had conversations with them.                                                                                                                               - In half of the meetings, the confederate echoed the posture of the person they were talking to.     -In the other half of the meetings, the confederate did not echo the posture of the other person.      -Afterwards, experimenter approached the individuals and asked what they thought of the confederate. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  -Postural echo was used - people liked the confederate & thought they got on well together.          -Postural echo was not used - confederate was not liked as much & conversation felt awkward. 

Conclusion: Postural echo gives an unconscious message of friendliness. 

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McGinley, Lefevre and McGinley (1975)

Aim: Effect of open and closed posture when having a conversation. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Confederate of the experimenter approached individuals in a social setting and had conversations with them.                                                                                                                                - Half of conversations, the confederate adopted an open posture.                                               -Other half of conversations, the confederate adopted a closed posture.                                        -Afterwards, the experiementer approached the participants and asked them what they thought of the confederate. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  -Open posture = friendly and attractive.                                                                                     -Closed posture = unfriendly and less attractive. 

Conclusion: Posture that someone adopts can make a different to how much they are liked. 

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Evaluation for studies, McGinley and McGinley, Lef

Strong views about using confederates in studies such as these as the individuals approached did not realise that they were being used as participants in research - deception and could be regarded as unethical. 

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Gestures - Lynn and Mynier (1993)

Aim: Gestures used by waiters and waitresses on the tipping behaviour of customers in a restaurant.                                                                                                                              

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Taking orders from seated customers, waiters and waitresses were instructed to either stand up straight or squat down near the customer (squatting down makes more eye contact possible) 

Results: Squatted down = larger tips than those who took orders standing upright. 

Conclusion: Gesture of squatting down near a seated customer to take an order will have a positive effect on tipping behaviour. 

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Fisher, Rytting and Heslin (1976)

Aim: Effect of touch on people's attitudes. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  - Female students in a library were handed books by the librarian (confederate).                            -Half of the students were briefly touched on the hand by the librarian when the books were handed to them. The other students were not touched by the librarian. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  -Students who were touched = positive attitude towards the library & librarian than those who were not touched.                                                                                                                            -Interesting thing was that the students were not aware that they had been touched. 

Conclusion: Touch can have an unconscious and positive effect on attitudes. 

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Evaluation for studies, Lynn and Mynier and Fisher

Lynn & Mynier - Other reasons why larger tips were given, eg: size of bills usually affects the size of the tip or whether the customer was served by someone of the same or the opposite sex might have been another factor. However, the study does show how knowledge of the effect of gestures can be used to peoples advantage. 

Fisher, Rytting and Heslin - Participants were all female so we do not know whether males would have affected in the same way. Also, the ethics of the study because the females did not know until later that they were being used as participants in the experiment. 

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Personal Space (sex differences) - Argyle and Dean

Aim: Sex differences affect personal space. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  - Participants were asked to sit and have a conversation with another another person who was actually a confederate.                                                                                                             -Sometimes, confederate was the same sex as the participant and at other times the confederate was of the opposite sex.                                                                                                           -Confederate sat at different distances from the participant and continually looked into the participants eyes. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  -Participants tended to break eye contact with the confederate of the opposite sex at a greater distance apart than when the confederate was of the same sex.                                                    -Argyle and Dean thought that this was the point at which personal space was being invaded. 

Conclusion: Prefer to have a greater amount of personal space between ourselves and members of the opposite sex during normal conversations. 

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Individual differences - Willis (1966)

Aim: Age has an effect on personal space. 

Method: Observed almost 800 individuals in different social situations. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  -Stand closer to people their own age and further away from people who were either very much older or younger than themselves. 

Conclusion: Age difference affects how close people will stand to one another. 

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Williams (1971)

Aim: Personality has an effect on personal space. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -College students were given personality tests to see if they were extrovert (outgoing and sociable) or introvert (quiet and reserved).                                                                                                -Sent to an office, one by one, to recieve there grades from a tutor.                                             -Researchers noted where they chose to sit in the office when recieving their grades. 

Results: Introverts sat further away from the tutor than extroverts. 

Conclusion: Whether someone is extrovert or introvert will affect their use of personal space. 

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Cultural Norms - Summer (1969)

Aim: Cultural differences in the use of personal space. 

Method: Summer observed groups of white english people and groups of Arab people in conversation. 

Results:                                                                                                                                   -Comfortable conversation distance for white english people was 1-1.5m.                                       -Comfortable conversation distance for Arab people was much less than that. 

Conclusion: Personal space in a normal conversation varies with culture. 

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Status - Zahn (1991)

Aim: Status has an effect on personal space. 

Method: Observed people of an equal status approaching each other to have a conversation and he observed people of unequal status approaching each other. 

Results: People with a lower status did not approach higher status people with the same degree of closeness as those of equal status. 

Conclusion: The use of personal space varies with differences in status when approaching other people. 

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Evaluation for all personal space studies.

Although these factors are useful in giving us a general view of how personal space is used, they can also be misleading. 

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