nonverbal communication Assignment

# Assignment #3/2



1.) On page 341, the author describes five functions of gazing. List and describe each, and then provide an example of each as you have experienced it in your interpersonal relations. (10 pts)

Gazing mainly involves the use of eyes, in which case its functions are mostly connected to the use of eyes in a certain way.

First, gazing is used to scan or monitor the environment. This is, for example, in cases where I am meeting a new person, and I want to ascertain or determine his moods or even whether he is interested in what am saying.

Second, gazing is used to define and establish relationships especially in the initial phase of encounter. In cases where I do not want a direct or rather intimate relationship, I give a hard glance or even maintain little or no eye contact. This sends a signal that I am not interested in deep relationships.

Third, a gaze may be used to regulate and control interactions between individuals. In most cases, I would establish an intimate relationship through a mutual gaze. This, however, is not the case when I do not want one.

Fourth, gazing comes in handy as a Cognitive activity. This is especially in cases where an individual has passed complex ideas or difficult information. In my case, it happens when the teacher is lecturing on complicated subject, which I have a hard time internalizing.

Fifth, gazing functions as a way of expressing emotions. In cases where I have been given sad news or rather information that is difficult to internalize such as the passing on of a friend or relative, I find myself fixing my gaze on a certain spot to allow the news to sink.

2.) What are vocal cues? Describe the many ways in which vocal cues are employed. (10 pts).

Vocal cues refer to a category or group of nonverbal communication that incorporates all sounds and noises that are not only extra-speech sounds but also convey some meaning. These play a crucial role as they as an inflection of the voice or a sound that is used to send a certain message in nonverbal communication. In essence, they discredit or affirm a certain message. Vocal cues play the varied functions which include complementing the verbal messages, accenting verbal messages, substituting, contradicting, regulating and repeating verbal messages. There are varied ways in which vocal cues are employed in relationships.

They may be employed in terms of touch. In most cases, touch in the workplaces is limited to the nonintimate areas such as the shoulder, upper arm and hand. This is especially in cases where both parties have a well-established, nonintimate and positive relationship with each other.

Vocal cues may also be used in terms of gestures and movement. It goes without saying that, in cases where an individual is speaking to senior people or people with higher statuses than him, he is likely to incorporate adaptive behavior thanks to the anxiety of communicating to superiors.

Vocal cues may also be employed in terms of space, which may essentially determine the submissive and dominant parties in the organization. In most cases, senior persons are allowed to invade their subordinates’ space and privacy.

3.) Try to imagine a social world in which lies could be detected 99% of the time. Do you think you can detect lies? Why or why not? Did anything change about your opinion of your ability to detect lies after reading Chapter 12? (10 pts)

As much as lie detection may be a complex phenomenon, I believe I would have the capacity to tell when an individual is lying to me. This would mainly involve taking note of his or her body language or gestures, as well as the verbal cues. It goes without saying that, the body language of an individual would not be synchronized with what he or she is saying in cases when he is lying.

In cases where an individual is lying, his or her physical expression would be stiff and limited to few hand and arm movements, and is most likely to avoid eye contact. The duration and timing of emotions and emotional gestures would have an abnormal pace. In fact, the timing would be misplaced between gestures or expressions, emotions and words. In most cases, gestures and expressions would not be matching the verbal statements. For example, an individual would say “I love you” while frowning, which is fundamentally inappropriate. In such instances, the individuals’ expressions would most likely be limited to mouth movements rather than the whole face since the individual is faking emotions. The verbal content and context would also be a tell-tale for an individual who is lying. Liars may try to avoid detection by avoiding making direct statements. In essence, they would give implied answers rather than denying something directly. Many are times when liars give unnecessary details in an effort to appear convincing, and would be uncomfortable with pauses or silence between conversations. Reading chapter 12 convinced me on how easy it can be to tell when an individual is lying. However, I realized that I have quite a lot to learn as far as learning all the nonverbal cues is concerned.

4.) Discuss how the nonverbal behavior of a patient and physician can mutually influence one another. (10 pts)

Nonverbal behavior plays a critical role as far as shaping relationships and interactions between individuals is concerned. In the case of a physician and a patient, their nonverbal behavior influences the interaction between them, or even each other’s behavior. A physician who appears too formal in his dressing and mannerisms may create the impression that he or she is not concerned about the inner feelings of the patient, but rather on the completion of the job. In essence, the patient maybe unable to disclose some information as a rapport may be hard to establish.

On the other hand, the patient who appears casual, both in his dressing and his mannerisms, would appear approachable in which case even the physicians would not feel intimidated as far as interacting with him is concerned.

5.) Try to recall a time when you had a conversation with someone with a physical disability- someone on crutches or in a wheelchair, for example. Did your gazing patterns change when interacting with this person? How so? (10 pts)

At one instance, I was interacting with an individual who was on a wheelchair. It was evident that at he was in need of help not only as far as directions are concerned, but also in terms of pushing and probably some financial help. It is worth noting that there was no way my gaze at him would remain constant throughout the time of interaction. This variation occurred in terms of intensity, as well as the duration of my gaze and even whether we were gazing at each other or not. In the initial stages, we had a mutual gaze where both of us looked at the direction of each other’s face. This was the time when he was narrating his tribulations in which case I was trying to decipher the authenticity of the narrations from the individual’s body language, while he was trying to determine whether I was genuinely concerned about him. Later on, we had a one-sided gaze where he searched my face to see whether I understood his tribulation, whereas I looked further ahead trying to determine the best way of dealing with the situation. Of course, I offered to push him for a certain distance and gave him directions to the place where he wanted to go. Unfortunately, there was nothing much I could do as far as his financial tribulations were concerned in which case I had to (intentionally) engage in gaze aversion. In fact, I had no motivation to look at his direction as I did not have any financial muscle to end his financial tribulations as much as I would have wanted. In essence, I maintained little or no eye contact with the disabled man.

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