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Nonverbal communication is defined (in Wikipedia) as the process of sending and receiving messages from person to person, either through gestures, engagement, posture, or even clothing and hygiene. Nonverbal communication may convey a very different message than a verbal communication.
There are times when nonverbal behavior is the sole channel for communication of a message, and people learn to identify facial expressions, body movements, and body positioning as corresponding with specific feelings and intentions.
Accurate interpretation of messages is made easier when nonverbal and verbal communication complement each other. Nonverbal cues can elaborate on verbal messages by reinforcing the information being spoken when trying to achieve communicative goals; messages are thought to be recalled more easily when nonverbal signals affirm the verbal exchange.
(Note: to put it another way: “When the words and the music match.”)
Argyle’s 1988 studies concluded there are five primary functions of nonverbal, bodily behavior in human communication:
1) To express emotions
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