Often defined as communication without words, nonverbal communication (NVC) refers to all aspects of a message which are not conveyed by the literal meaning of words. Both written and spoken communication can be nonverbal. The main types of NVC are chronemics, kinesics, paralinguistics, proxemics and semiotics. Culture, gender and social status influence nonverbal communication. NVC also includes object communication and haptics or touch.
Chronemics refers to how people use and interperet time. Kinesics refers to what people often call body language and includes facial expressions, gestures, posture and eye contact. Paralinguistics is the sound element of nonverbal communication. (See paralanguage.)
The most common form of object communication is clothing. The type of clothing that a person wears are often used to determine their personality traits, though this is considered a form of stereotyping. Social groups often use a common form of clothing to set themselves apart from other, presumably unaligned social groups. A good example of clothing as object communication is the uniform.
Object communication extends beyond clothing to other body adornments, such as wedding rings or bindis to indicate marital status, tattoos, piercings, and brands. Also included in object communication is anything used as a status symbol.
Last updated: 10-16-2005 03:15:01