Psychology - non-verbal communication

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  • Created by: Poppy
  • Created on: 21-06-11 14:00

Non-verbal communication

• Outline examples of body language as a form of non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication is telling others what you are planning, thinking or feeling through the use of body movement.

Body language is communicating using the movements of our bodies e.g. postures and gestures are examples of body language.

Posture is how we position ourselves and gesture is how we move our bodies and what our body signals.

• Outline examples of facial expressions as a form of non-verbal communication

Facial expressions help communicate use the movement of muscles in our face. There are over 44 muscles in our face, 22 on each side. Every time we react, there is an expression on our face. These are the common facial expressions which can be identified:

-          Fear

-          Anger

-          Surprise

-          Happiness

-          Sadness

-          Disgust


Core Theory: Social Learning Theory (SLT)

• Explain the role of observation and imitation in learning non-verbal behaviour

Observation is when you examine and see how others behave and use their gestures and postures. Imitation is when you copy other person’s actions and actions are part of non-verbal communication.


• Describe the role of reinforcement and punishment in learning non-verbal behaviour

After a child imitates the behaviour and gets reinforced, this encourages them to carry on repeating that behaviour as it allows them to get rewarded. However, if that imitation has a bad meaning, and gets punished, then there is a less chance of it being imitated. The child doesn’t repeat that behaviour.


• Describe cultural variations in non-verbal communication

SLT believes that culture has a role on non-verbal communication. A child does the following:

Observes how their community communicates non-verbally,

Imitates what they see, and if they get

Reinforced, then they carry on imitating the behaviour, but if they get

Punished, then they would


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