Communication Psychology Unit1


Communication – Psychology – Unit 1


How do we communicate?


§  There are many ways that people communicate. A few of them include things like email, texting, verbal and many others.

§  Communication that requires the use of words or vocal sounds is called verbal communication. This also includes paralinguistics. These are vocal features that accompany speech, such as tone of voice, emphasis or intonation.

§  Communication that does not require the use of words or vocal sounds is called non-verbal communication. This includes eye contact, facial expressions and body language.


Key terms:


§  Communication: Passing information from one person to another.

§  Verbal communication: conveying messages using words or vocal sounds.

§  Paralinguistics: Vocal features that accompany speech.

§  Tone of voice: The way words are spoken to convey emotion.

§  Emphasis: Giving prominence to some words more than others.

§  Intonation: inflection in the voice when speaking.

§  Non-verbal communication: Conveying messages that do not require the use of words or vocal sounds.


Argyle, Alkema and Gilmour


§  Aim: To see if tone of voice has any effect when interpreting a verbal message.

§  Method: Different groups of participants listened to either friendly or hostile messages spoken in either friendly or hostile tones of voice. Therefore, 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: When participants were asked to interpret the messages, it was found that tone of voice had about five times the effect of the verbal message itself.

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

§  Evaluation: Negative this was carried out in artificial conditions and in real life people would not focus on the details much  Positive helps us know if someone is telling the truth or not.









Davitz and Davitz (1961)


§  Aim: To see the effect of paralinguistics on the assessment of emotion.

§  Method: Participants were asked to listen to tape recordings and to assess the speakers' emotions from the paralinguistic cues: tone of voice, emphasis and intonation.

§  Results: there was a very high level of accuracy in recognising these emotions: affection, amusement, disgust and fear.

§  Conclusion: Paralinguistics has a great importance when judging emotion.


Eye contact and Facial expression


§  Eye movements in conversation usually happen automatically. We are almost unaware that they are happening and yet eye movements have important functions. According to Argyle (1957), they help to make the conversation flow smoothly: they give feedback about how you are being received by the other person and they can help to express emotions.


Key term:


§  Eye contact: When two people in a


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