The Definitive Book of Body Language. The Law of Cause and Effect Palm Power . Our Audience Experiment. An Analysis of Handshake Styles. Who Should. Body language is nonverbal communication that involves body movement. body language which is absolutely non-verbal means of communication. People in. For XXXXXXXXXXX by Cynthia Menzel. Designed especially for the San Diego and Imperial SCC Leadership Conference. The Power of. Body Language.
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Contents. Foreword. 9. The Body Language of Sex. The Body Language of Power. The Body Language of Aggression. Hippocrates and Aristotle, considered the aspects of body language probably Body language is also referred to as nonverbal communication—an important. That's why studying body language has such a long history. meanings of body language. An expansive pose signals power and a sense of achievement.
For a long period of time before his death in , Argyle was a leading British social psychologist, perhaps the leading British social psychologist, one of the pioneers of the experimental study of human nonverbal behaviour using a series of often ingenious experiments.
His goal was to lay bare the very basis of our everyday behaviour, as well as among other things attempting to assess what makes people happy using detailed psychological analyses. The basic methodology of these experiments is quite ingenious but it does require careful scrutiny. Here is an example of the types of message used in this experiment. Please don't hang around too long afterwards and talk about the experiment. Some people who come as subjects are really rather disagreeable.
When the nonverbal style was friendly it didn't really seem to matter what was actually said; the overall communication was perceived as friendly. Similarly, when the nonverbal style was hostile, again it didn't really seem to matter what was said.
The difference in perception of the friendly and hostile verbal messages delivered in the hostile nonverbal style was trivial, the scores being 1. Indeed the hostile verbal message delivered in the hostile style was perceived as slightly friendlier than the friendly message in the hostile style. It also means that we can ignore the connections between language and nonverbal communication because the judges in this experiment seem to do just that. Much is built on these two sets of studies.
But in my view 2. Let's consider what these might be. The Oxford studies involve judges having to watch a set of nine successive communications on videotape, all from the same person, tapes in which the language and nonverbal communication are systematically varied. Therefore the whole point of the experiment would be immediately obvious to anyone who took part. Participants could quickly work out what the experimenter was getting at and therefore might decide to play along with him or her.
Sometimes the opposite occurs: the participants work out what the experimenter wants and deliberately do not go along with it. This is always a problem for psychological research where the point of the experiment is as obvious as it was here. Second, in order to try to measure the relative importance of language and nonverbal communication, the strength of the two channels had to be both measured and equated at the outset. They had to be equal in strength when measured independently.
The studies do not tell us anything about the range of effects produced by language and nonverbal communication in the world at large. Perhaps in the real world people do not use such explicitly friendly or unfriendly messages. Don't forget that this is exactly what was found to happen in this experiment. What would happen if we made the verbal message slightly more real and then used the same basic pattern of delivery?
How would it then be perceived? Would the nonverbal component still make the verbal component seem completely unimportant? Let's do a quick mind experiment. This is delivered in the: 1. You have to imagine both. Perhaps you could try delivering both messages in front of a mirror, or better still try delivering them to a friend. I am afraid that in both cases I think that I would get the message and go.
She is asking me to leave a posh party. The second I imagine being delivered by a nightclub bouncer. It may be explicit but it is a real request, heard many times, I would imagine, at many dinner parties or is this just me? Again this is delivered in the: 2. My guess is that the nonverbal behaviour in message 3 will neither transform nor soften the basic message.
It is not a friendly statement and the fact that it is being delivered in this style could make it even less friendly because it is as if the speaker is still trying to be understanding yet despite being understanding she can still make the basic statement. In message 4 the person has started to lose control. The point to be made here is that psychologists have never really been able to quantify the relative importance of language and nonverbal communication in interpersonal communication.
I have made it seem easy with a few examples, but think of the generality of the conclusions that people are trying to draw from such an experiment. We would need a representative sample of an enormous variety of utterances, sampling all of the kinds of things that language can do and sampling different contexts as well. I have sketched in a few contexts above, but I am sure you can imagine some different contexts that might affect the basic interpretation of the utterances.
Utterances after all only make sense in context. Suddenly it's quite friendly. Everyone has to leave, it's just that time of night. The bouncer is, after all, asking in a very friendly manner. I asked a doorman I knew to ask people to leave using this style of nonverbal behaviour.
I then asked the poor innocent punter how he perceived the message. Are you doing some research into customer satisfaction? This second punter looked confused. He thought that it was a case of mistaken identity; bouncers don't just ask you to leave for no good reason.
Actually, he perceived it as very threatening. The picture is, as you can see, becoming a little more complicated.
In this study, we did not encode the articles. Results: The results of this revealed that there was a strong relationship among the quality, amount and the method of using non-verbal communication by teachers while teaching. Under non-verbal communication, some other patterns were used. It seems necessary for the teachers to practice and learn effective communication skills, especially for those who always interact with a large group of students.
One of the factors contributing to the success or failure of students is the quality of the relationship and how the teacher builds this relationship with students. Especially, it is more effective for students who are more responsive to human relations and communication skills. Finally, it is recommended that the teachers should improve their communication skills to have better communication with their audience.
God not only created speaking potential with diverse dialects in the human body, but also taught him how to use it through inspiration, his inner instinct, or external guidance. Among different forms of communication in human communities, education, or teaching, requires effective communication with the learner if it is to be successful.
The person with a holy job as teaching should be competent in a variety of skills, one of the important of which is body language or non-verbal communication.
Subsidiary questions: To deeply survey different aspects of the subject under the study, the following questions were posed: 1 What is non-verbal communication? Methods In this study, we reviewed the available and related articles to the research subject and objectives.
Results The findings of this study can be summarized as follows: 1. The students undergoing inappropriate behaviors in class and school have learned such features as obedience, adaptation, lack of assertiveness, and avoidance from objections, all of which have deteriorated their tendency toward curiosity, creativity, self-esteem, and independence 3.
Such students usually lack sufficient self-esteem and independence and have no favorable attitude toward their own personality.
Such features are not consistent with educational aims and hinder proper education. In a study on the factors affecting improvement in educational communication, Mortazavi 5 stated various effective communications in the educational fields including pictorial communication, the Internet and computer relations, relationship with the learning environment attention, etc. Synthesis of findings : The synthesis of the results of the studies reviewed can be summarized as follows: 1. The concept of communication Man needs to communicate with others in his daily life.
Daily activities show that many activities cannot be performed without communicating with others. Many researchers and experts have defined communication. For example, Aristotle defined communication as the use of available resources to find a way to encourage others express their ideas and opinions.
The aim of communication is to develop motivation in the addressee. Communication means social development and the source of culture and spiritual development so that lack of communication leads to a relative static state in human life, which prevents any kind of social development 6.
One of the characteristics of professional teachers is their ability to engage in effective, meaningful and purposeful relationship with educators. Various methods of communication suggest these skills as those of the relationship between voluntary and involuntary, formal and informal, one-sided and two-way, and verbal and non-verbal communication.
The stronger this relationship and the communication skills are, the deeper the outcome of this interaction will be, i. Only in this way the teacher can develop and emerge the students' potentials.
Importance of non-verbal communication Non-verbal communication is often more subtle and more effective than verbal communication and can convey meaning better than words. For example, perhaps a smile conveys our feeling much easier than words.
According to the studies conducted, at each conversation only seven percent of the concepts are expressed in the form of spoken words. Most of the information is transferred through the complex combination of appearance, posture, limb movement, sight, and facial expressions.
So, the people who have the ability to use these skills have the potential to guide others in a particular direction to achieve their goals, and precisely for this reason most of the human interactions involve non-verbal communication. Body language has the power to transfer the attitudes and feelings of people to others and in many cases can be even more effective than verbal messages 8. In this regard, numerous studies have been conducted by Oskouhi et al.
If this relationship is well established, educational goals will be more easily realized with a high quality. In the process of communicating, three main factors play a role, including signaling teacher , messages instructional , receiver student 9. An important point in communication process is that the teacher-students relationship in the classroom is one of the complex human relationships, and certainly different ways are involved in how to establish this communication, e.
Verbal communication in teaching Such communication can be defined as total relationships that can be achieved through speaking and conversation. Teachers should use the words carefully to be successful in teaching.
Each word provokes a feeling in people, specific emotions, and distinct function. If the words are applied in their proper place, it would affect the soul and body of the audience immediately. Therefore, it is appropriate that the teacher avoids using negative words in dealing with the students, i. A successful educator in the field of teaching should be aware of the power of words and its impact on the audience and avoid using words habitually without thinking.
Also, ordering is one of the conflicts which leads to failure in human interaction. The teacher should express his opinion with proper words and within the defined framework for his comments to be effective and penetrating.
Therefore, the teacher, as the sender of the message, should first determine the framework of his message and then express his expectations of the students frankly with appropriate tone and words 3. But using biased phrases often raises a sense of stubbornness and humiliation in the trainee, puts him out of the cycle of learning and deep understanding of scientific content completely, and leaves irreparable psychological effects on the student.
In the selection of words, the intended concept must be exactly in the words of the educator. It is appropriate to use clear, concise, accurate, polite, correct and rich expression in oral communication with the audience to transmit the speaker's intentions to the audience properly 4. Verbal skills are generally divided into four parts: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Among these skills, speaking has the higher degree of importance and usefulness and has more decisive impact on oral communication with the audience She started by introducing the programme and I reached for the button on my video-recorder. This is what she said. Note that I have split the complex behaviour into separate movements so that you can see how the movement closely integrates with the speech itself. The boundaries of each movement are marked by the [ ] brackets.
You might like to try the movements yourself and consider why they might be relevant to what Carol Vorderman is saying. This week we're in Leicester to give [a huge helping hand] [to some newly weds] [and a new mum]. Movement 2.
Movement 3. She then met the builder that she was to be working with, and even in this short command the hands moved: Right arm is lifted to about head height and the palm of the right hand faces up, as if throwing something over the right shoulder. Next she met the designer and again the hands were spontaneously called into action: The right hand moves up and down, the left hand rests on her hip. There is a sharp, sweeping movement of the hand from left to right. I had had enough.
I put on a nature programme, but there in front of me stood David Attenborough talking straight to the camera.
Visible Thought - The New Psychology of Body Language
I had to video-record it. Just note how little of the speech was not accompanied by hand movement: That is, only Movement 1. The right hand is raised to just below shoulder level. The left hand is raised to mirror the right hand. The hands are moved closer together until the acorns are almost touching. Movement 4. Movement 5. The right hand then moves up and down. Movement 6. Movement 7. Both hands are moved together just below shoulder height. Movement 8. The hands move up and down simultaneously.
Movement 9. The left hand is lowered out of shot and the right hand makes sharp up and down movements. Next he was sitting in a boat.
The left arm extends out at just above waist height over the water. These movements of the hands and arms are gestures and you can see that these individual movements are closely integrated with the content of the speech itself. They are nearly always unconscious movements, even for experienced television presenters like David Attenborough.
Those psychologists and body language popularizers who tell us that such movements are separate from language and perform essentially social functions are really missing the point. The vast majority do no such thing and if you read almost any book with body language in the title you would be at a complete loss as to what they actually do. This book will hopefully explain exactly what they do and why they are uniquely important in reading another person.
For Demosthenes, the Athenian statesman, military leader and orator, the delivery of a speech was at the very heart of oratory. Such delivery involved the whole body, but in particular it involved the hands working alongside the speech. In fact, the Latin word actio was Cicero's term for delivery. The Greeks and Romans attempted to master this eloquence by studying and then prescribing the actions or movements to be made during the delivery of a speech.
These prescribed actions or movements were quite exaggerated and would probably look quite alien to us today. This focus on gesture and exaggeration of the form in terms 4. For example, Wundt writes: The ancients were more familiar with the pleasure of gestures in casual communication than we are today. So the ancients had a more lively feel for the meaning of gestures, not because theirs was a more primitive culture, but simply because it differed from ours, and especially because the ability to discern outer signs of inner feeling was more developed.
Condillac also points out that it was only in scenes of dialogue that a comic actor would continue to do both gesture and narration, otherwise the narration and gesture would be split between two actors. In other words in antiquity the natural association between speech and gesture was split. The practice of dividing communication in this way led to the discovery of the art of mime and to the continued exaggeration and prescription of the movements to be used in communication with gesture.
One section of his work involved specifying the kinds of gestures to be used by orators as they gave their speeches; detailed instructions were provided as to how the gestures should be used by orators to achieve the maximum effect see Kendon, , p. Quintilian stresses the similarities, including similarities in function, between gestures and speech when he states: Do we not use them to demand, promise, summon, dismiss, threaten, supplicate, express aversion or fear, question or deny?
The kinds of gestures being discussed here, while still being hand movements used to accompany talk, are really quite different from those we shall consider in this book in that they are, like language itself, to be carefully, intentionally and consciously produced.
We are concerned with the spontaneous gestures produced without careful consideration and therefore much more revealing of a speaker's thoughts. Bulwer not only describes each gesture in considerable detail but also the affective, cognitive or physiological state associated with that gesture.
He outlines one or two variants of the gesture and then offers an interpretation of each one. The second part of the book is a prescriptive guide that outlines the proper usage of an additional 81 gestures during well-delivered discourse. This book includes a detailed consideration of gestures and their effects on an audience, with examples to practice appropriate delivery.
Bacon argues that gestures provide an indication of the state of the mind of the speaker and of the will: In fact Bulwer explicitly acknowledges that is is Bacon's exact words here that inspired him to produce his own great work on gesture.
His classic text argues against the 17th-century Cartesian view that human reason and knowledge are innate, given by God himself. As Aarslef states: Right reason and knowledge are private achievements, for in the Augustinian sense we do not truly learn anything from anybody.
God alone is the teacher. Communication is risky' Human language, after the deluge, came about as an exchange of natural gestures to which vocalizations later became associated and Condillac attempted to describe how this process might have proceeded.
Diderot believed that the original nature of language might be understood through the study of the expressions of deaf-mutes. This philosophical position meant that the sign language of the deaf would be of considerable interest. He taught them French by focusing on the use of manual signs, rather than by attempting to force them to produce any vocal output.
For example, in England at this time people who could not speak were not that sympathetically treated, and were seen as not fully functioning in God's image. In this monograph he anticipates many of the core theoretical questions that we will consider in this book.
He is explicitly concerned with the relationship between gestures and thinking: Like the former, it depicts concepts by means of visible signs, although signs pass quickly, as speech sounds do.
Thus gestures appear as pictorial script, or letters, with which its symbols are sketched in the air by means of transitory signs, rather than on a solid material which could preserve them. Wundt is fascinating on gesture and, as I have already stated, he anticipates many of the issues raised by more contemporary writers, but what he ignores except in the most general terms are the rich, spontaneous gestures that people generate in their everyday lives, as they create meaning with their hands.
His conclusions certainly do have a contemporary ring about them: In this book, we will consider some of the psychic achievements of mankind in their spontaneous use of speech and gesture simultaneously. Other scholars have commented on the fact that the movement of the hands, whether in the form of gesture or not, can be highly revealing in everyday life. Such scholars 4. Freud famously suggests: The study of gesture is by no means new, but the majority of systematic work on the subject has been either from the perspective of oratory, in which gesture is to be regarded as a resource to be used deliberately and intentionally in the delivery of a speech, or from the perspective of the language of the deaf where gesture is to be regarded as the only resource that can be used in communication.
The early observations of Cicero and Quintilian to some extent led to the gestural system becoming disembodied from its natural speech context and only extraordinarily being reintegrated in time by different speakers in a performance. Writing in Adam Kendon presents an interesting argument for the relative neglect of the study of gesture generally, and spontaneous gesture in particular, despite the enormous interest in nonverbal communication.
As Kendon says: Once human action was conceived of as if it were a code in an information transmission system, the question of the nature of the coding system came under scrutiny. Much was made of the distinction between analogical codes and digital codes. Aspects of behavior such as facial expression and bodily movement, which appeared to vary in a continuous fashion, was said to encode information analogically.
Such communication was seen as employing devices quite different from those of spoken language and it was regarded as having sharply different functions. Kendon But what about gesture? According to Kendon: It remained quite neglected until a number of things happened. Chomsky put great emphasis on the creativity of language and argued that such creativity can only be explained if we credit speakers not with a repertoire of learned responses, which was how behavioural psychologists up to that point were attempting to explain it, but with a repertoire of linguistic rules used to generate or interpret sentences.
The following four sentences are all rather different in form, yet speakers accept them as closely related: Sentences 1 to 4 concerning the Big Brother psychologist and the book have different surface structures but the same deep structure. According to Chomsky, that is why these sentences are felt to be closely related.
In contrast, sentences 5 and 6 about my son's attitude to washing have the same surface structure but different deep structures and are therefore felt to be distantly related like the two sentences about pleasing William. Miners who are on strike can be dangerous. It can be dangerous to strike miners. Miners who are striking in appearance can be dangerous. For Chomsky, ambiguous sentences are ambiguous because they permit two or more different deep structures from the same surface structure, one deep structure related to each interpretation.
This deep structure clearly affects its meaning for further discussion see Ellis and Beattie Chomsky also claims that we can move between related sentences to form different types of sentence. Chomsky argues that all human languages use such structure-dependent operations. Although children make certain kinds of error in the course of language learning, they do not make the mistake of applying rules other than the structure-dependent one. Such rules, he argues, do not derive from experience.
This theory, of course, is a form of neo-Cartesianism and contrasts markedly with the views of anti-Cartesians like Condillac, whom we met earlier, and the views of the empiricists of today. According to Chomsky, we may all speak with different tongues but we have one uniquely human mind, and that mind is to be understood through the analysis and description of these linguistic rules if we are to understand what knowledge is innate.
The theoretical work of Noam Chomsky transformed psychology. It led to the rejection of behaviourism as a serious framework for the study of complex mental functions like language and heralded a new era in the search for the rules and principles that underpin all human cognitive activity.
It led to the birth of cognitive psychology, to use one metaphor, or the cognitive revolution, to use another. Somewhat paradoxically, it also led other researchers to attempt to determine if other species could develop language with the same unique properties as human language.
Were we human beings really quite alone, as Chomsky thought? Could, for example, chimpanzees learn some form of human language and display creativity in the use of that language, just like human beings? We already knew that chimpanzees in the wild are capable of displaying a wide range of communicative signals, including a range of calls and facial expressions Marler and Tenaza ; van Lawick-Goodall , with each signal communicating something of the internal state of the animal.
A soft barking noise indicates annoyance or mild aggressiveness towards 4. But these were limited forms of communication. Given the right circumstances, could chimpanzees use language creatively? Could they learn rules to combine words into new sentences just like human beings? The answer was yes and no see Gardner and Gardner They did display some degree of creativity, but not quite like human beings, and the theoretical import of the work has been hotly contested see Chomsky In Washoe's case the acquisition of the basic language took about four years.
The Gardners also noted that Washoe learned signs that involved touching parts of her own body quicker than signs which were merely traced in the air, possibly because of the tactile reinforcement from the skin touched. Washoe's achievements were considerable. Kortlandt writing in comments: I was deeply impressed by what I saw.
Now, the categorical question, can a nonhuman being use a human language must be replaced with quantitative questions; how much language, how soon, or how far can they go. Gardner and Gardner Seidenberg and Petito ; Terrace As Andrew Ellis and I have written in the past, no one seriously doubts that chimps can associate together meanings and arbitrary signs both in comprehension and in production, but most people would want to say that there is more to language than naming.
Sentence structure indicates how named concepts relate one to another. There is no strong evidence for consistent, productive use of word 4. Terrace's chimp Nim Chimpsky a name rather like Noam Chomsky don't you think? A feature of animal displays in the wild is their extreme repetitiveness.
Wilson writes: Animal displays as they really occur in nature tend to be very repetitious, in extreme cases approaching the point of what seems like inanity to the human observer. Wilson Ape signing is also highly imitative. Close analysis of Nim's signing at the age of two years revealed that 38 per cent of his signs were imitations of signs recently used by his caretakers.
Unlike the imitations of children, which are far fewer than this and decline with age, Nim's imitative signs reached 54 per cent in words by the age of four years. Further, only 12 per cent of Nim's utterances initiated interactions; the remainder were produced in response to prodding by his teachers.
Perhaps the most intriguing criticism is the paradox by Chomsky himself when he writes: Chomsky The only viable counter to this argument is to propose that the natural lifestyle of chimps is one that does not require language.
The Definitive Book of Body Language: Summary & PDF
But this is just one view as to how verbal language developed in man. So we can see that this work with chimpanzees had one other direct effect. These papers were very much prompted by Darwin's convincing case made in The Origin of Species for the evolution of man from more primitive species. He suggests that 4.
Existing chimpanzees could acquire a creative gestural language with considerable effort it should be said ; therefore early man probably had the capacity for a gestural language. Speech, on the other hand, would have required a good deal of brain reorganization before it could become dominant.
Unambiguous decoding of gestural messages requires a fairly neutral background, good illumination, absence of intervening objects including foliage , relatively short distance between transmitter and receiver, and frontal orientation. Making manual gestures is slower than speaking, requires more energy, and prevents the use of the hands for any other activity while the message is being transmitted; decoding sign-language message is also slower, even among trained deaf persons.
Hewes Gesture did not wither away, but persisted as a common accompaniment of speech, either as a kinesic paralanguage for conveying nuances, emphasis or even contradiction of the spoken message Birdwhistell, , La Barre, , Hall, or in situations where spoken language fails because of inaudibility in noisy places or, more often, where there is no common tongue.
This new research into hand gestures revealed a great deal more than could have been imagined at that time. It was not just about nuance or about communication in noisy places, but an essential and integral part of all communication; indeed some might say as much a biological miracle as language itself. These are gestures whose particular form displays a close relationship to the meaning of the accompanying speech.
For example, when describing a scene from a comic book story in which a character bends a tree back to the ground, the speaker appears to grip something and pull it back.
I should point out before showing this example that following the conventions introduced by McNeill throughout this book the speech actually said is underlined in the text.
This example illustrates the close connection that exists between speech and gesture, the close connection between language and this form of nonverbal communication, which are clearly not separate, as many psychologists have assumed.
These iconic gestures only occur during the act of speaking itself, although they are sometimes initiated during the brief silent or planning pauses in the speech; they are not made by listeners except very occasionally.
The example shows how what is depicted in the gesture should be incorporated into a complete picture of a person's thought process. The gesture clearly adds meaning here because it shows how the bending back is accomplished and it shows it from the point of view of the agent, the person doing the bending back.
The gesture shows that the tree is fastened at one end, which is not made explicit in the accompanying speech. As David McNeill himself says: Jointly, speech and gesture give a more complete insight.
It is not that the speaker says the words and then decides to illustrate it with a gesture; the two forms of communication are generated simultaneously by the human brain. Also notice that there is no problem in generating the speech; it is not the case that the speaker is trying to compensate for some defect in the linguistic communication.
What is interesting about this iconic gesture is that not only does it reveal the speaker's mental image about the event in question, but it also reveals the particular point of view that he has taken towards it. The speaker had the choice of depicting the event from the viewpoint of the agent or of the tree itself. If the speaker had been taking the viewpoint of the tree, the hand would have simply depicted the bend backwards without the grip.
Consider another example of an iconic gesture, also from McNeill And she [chases him out again] Iconic: Again the speech and gesture refer to the same event and are partially overlapping but again the pictures they present are different.
The iconic gesture conveys that some form of weapon is being used here because the iconic gesture depicts something being swung through the air. The iconic gesture does not tell us exactly what the object is at this point but we can see quite clearly what kind of object it is.
The gesture shows that it is a long object, which can be gripped by a hand, and it is something that can be swung through the air. It is in fact an umbrella. It is only through a consideration of both forms of communication that we see all of the elements depicted: Below is an example from my own corpus of speech and gestures, where I used a similar task to that of McNeill, asking participants to narrate cartoon stories to a listener, without mentioning that the focus of the research was gestures.
Cartoon stories have the additional advantage that depicted in them are a lot of interesting characters doing a wide variety of complex actions. Hand moves from waist level towards mouth. The speech here tells us that the agent is female. There are after all many different ways of eating food.
She could be just chewing the food, which is already in her mouth, or using a knife and fork to eat the food from a plate, but she is not. In this cartoon story she was drawing the food with her left hand up towards her mouth.
That is how the action was depicted in the original cartoon and that is how the narrator depicts it in his gesture. Again, the image depicted was from the point of view of the agent; the hand of the speaker is acting as the hand of the character in the cartoon. Many psychologists argue that this is the main point of nonverbal communication, and quite inferior to the more obvious forms of nonverbal communication such as bodily posture, facial expression or eye gaze, which are clearly more important in this regard.
They are closely integrated with speech and may provide a unique insight into how speakers are actually thinking.
Let us consider the issue of the integration of speech and gesture in a little more detail. A prototypical iconic gesture involves three phases: Some gestures, however, have just two phases and some possess just a stroke phase. The example below, from McNeill Gestures in their preparation phase anticipate that part of the speech which refers to the same event.
Indeed, this observation led another pioneer in the gesture area, Brian Butterworth, now Professor of Neurospychology at the University of London, to suggest that we can actually distinguish iconic gestures that are used alongside speech for intentional effect rather than being used spontaneously by the fact that the preparation phase of intentional gestures does not anticipate the speech in this natural manner.
An example he was fond of using was archive footage of Harold Macmillan, former UK Prime Minister, who sometimes made iconic gestures when he spoke in his early 5. In some research I carried out with Brian Butterworth as a student at Cambridge, we found that the average amount of time that spontaneous gestures precede the noun or verb with which they are most closely associated is in the order of milliseconds see Beattie Harold Macmillan's gestures did not show this degree of anticipation, or indeed any degree of anticipation.
Consequently, they looked false and almost certainly were false, owing more to Quintilian and work on classic rhetoric than the human mind in spontaneous action. The anticipation of the verbal content by a spontaneous iconic gesture can be seen in the example below see Beattie and Aboudan for related examples.
But the head then falls into the water and has to swim along back to the body. This particular gesture has a preparation phase, a stroke phase and a retraction phase as follows: The preparation phase of this iconic gesture in which the hand takes on the shape to represent a head swimming was milliseconds in duration.
The retraction phase during which the hand returns to the original start position was the longest phase at milliseconds. In all, there was just over a second's worth of complex hand movement during which the mind unconsciously portrayed how the head of a ghost propelled itself in a river before returning the hand to exactly the same resting position that it had started from just over a second earlier.
The analysis of the phases of gesture and how they relate to speech demonstrate the close integration of these two channels of communication. They are not separate and they are also not separate in terms of their sequence of development in childhood or in terms of how they break down together with the brain damage that produce a type of speech disorder called aphasia.
Iconic gestures develop alongside language when children are learning to talk, with iconic gestures developing at the same time as the early phrases in speech are used. As Susan Goldin-Meadow notes: At a time in their development when children are limited in what they can say, there is another avenue of expression open to them, one that can extend the range of ideas they are able to express. In addition to speaking, the child can also gesture Bates ; Bates et al.
Goldin-Meadow At the same time, rather than dropping out of children's communicative repertoires, gesture itself continues to develop and play an important role in communication. Older children frequently use hand gestures as they speak Jancovic, Devoe and Wiener , gesturing, for example, when asked to narrate a story McNeill or when asked to explain their reasoning on a series of problems Church and Goldin-Meadow When communication starts to break down with the brain damage that produces different types of aphasia, the two channels break down in strikingly similar ways.
Iconic gestures are not separate from thinking and speech but part of it. Potentially they allow us an enormous insight into the way people think because they offer an insight into thinking through a completely different medium from that of language; a medium that is imagistic rather than verbal.
Such gestures may indeed offer a window into the human mind and how it represents our thinking about events in the world. It may also tell us, through an analysis of the degree of temporal asynchrony of the gesture and accompanying speech, which utterances are really spontaneous and which are being deliberately sent for effect. Politicians who want to be well prepared in terms of the delivery of their message and in total control at all times, and yet at the same time want to look informal and spontaneous, might like to take note at this point.
These are similar to iconic gestures in that they are essentially pictorial, but the content depicted here is an abstract idea rather than a concrete object or event. In the words of David McNeill: It [was a Sylves]ter and Tweety cartoon Metaphoric: According to McNeill here the speaker makes the genre of the cartoon, which is an abstract concept, concrete in the form of a gestural image of a bounded object supported in the hands and presented to the listener.
Borrowing the terminology of the late I. Richards on the nature of metaphor, McNeill argues that the topic of the metaphor, the abstract concept that the metaphor is presenting, is the genre of the story a cartoon and the vehicle of the metaphor, the gestural image, is a bounded, supportable, spatially localizable physical object.
Here are a couple of examples of metaphoric gestures from my own corpus. They were discussing with Lorraine Kelly when the band would be touring again. Lee is one of the members of the band. For us it's like [we was there] last year Metaphoric: Hand moves upwards in front of left-hand side of chest and thumb points towards the top of the left shoulder.
This is a metaphoric gesture, the topic being the abstract concept, which is time, the vehicle being the gestural image, which critically involves the use of the gestural space around the body, and the ground is that the future can be thought of as the area in front of the body and the past as the area behind the body. Here is another example from my corpus. The Appleton sisters are celebrities in Britain and were at one time part of the group All Saints.
They are being interviewed on television in a public location. Working, moving house and lots of stress. It works. It's the [new diet]. Hand rotates slightly to its left and then to its right three times. Some diets involve cutting down on food or eating only certain types of food; others involve graded exercise in conjunction with restrictions on eating. Few diets involve just the stresses associated with work and moving house. The beat The third main type of gesture is the beat.
These are movements that look as if they are beating out musical time. Thus, even beats with their regular and simple form may provide a clue as to the inner workings of the mind of the speaker.
Language acts by segmenting meaning so that an instantaneous thought is divided up into its component parts and strung out through time. Consider the following example from my own corpus, which again derives from someone telling a cartoon story: The single event here is being described both by language and by the accompanying iconic gesture.
The linguist de Saussure argued that this linear-segmented character of language arises because language is essentially one-dimensional whereas meaning is essentially multi-dimensional.
Language can only vary along the single dimension of time with regard to the units out of which it is comprised.
As the psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow and her colleagues note in The gesture above depicts the table and its size , and the movement and its speed , and the direction of the movement, all simultaneously. According to David McNeill gestures are also different from speech in terms of how they convey meaning. McNeill provides the following example: The gesture is thus a symbol, but the symbol is of a fundamentally different type from the symbols of speech.
Rather, the parts gain meaning because of the meaning of the whole. McNeill But this is not the case. Another important difference between speech and gesture is that different gestures do not combine together to form more complex gestures: With gestures, each symbol is a complete expression of meaning unto itself.
Most of the time gestures are one to a clause but occasionally more than one gesture occurs within a single clause. Even then the several gestures don't combine into a more complex gesture. Each gesture depicts the content from a different angle, bringing out a different aspect or temporal phase, and each is a complete expression of meaning by itself.
All linguistic systems have standards of well-formedness to which all utterances that fall within it must conform, or be dismissed as not proper or not grammatical. Gestures have no such standards of form. Thus, different speakers display the same meaning in idiosyncratic but nevertheless recognizable ways. As McNeill In the example below from my corpus, which has been chosen because of its obvious simplicity, each of the three speakers creates the spinning movement of the table, but they do this differently.
The point of this particular picture in the cartoon story is to show the chaos caused when Billy gets on a chair that now spins causing a table to spin. Actual speech and gestures produced by three different narrators Event referred to [It like spins round] Iconic: The table went [spinning] Iconic: Wrecks everything [spinning round and round and round and round and round] Iconic: The gestural languages of the deaf have the same fundamental properties as verbal language and are quite different from the spontaneous iconic gestures that people create while they are talking.
Sign languages have to be able to split complex meanings into their component parts and then to reconstitute the meaning through combinations of signs. This necessitates a lexicon and therefore standards of well-formedness and a syntax, or a set of rules for combining signs that includes word order, to form meaningful sentences.
The gestures that accompany speech have no such lexicon and no such syntax. The iconic gestures that accompany speech also depend upon their iconicity to convey meaning. The gesture as a whole spontaneously created by the individual in conversation must be a good representation of the thing to which it is referring.
If something that is being depicted is moving very slowly, the spontaneous iconic gesture that is depicting it must also be very slow.
This speeding up of the sign is quite arbitrary, and quite unlike what happens with spontaneous iconic gestures, which are not arbitrary in this way. This dimension of arbitrariness discussed by Hockett and others found in sign languages is what, of course, characterizes ordinary verbal language.
As Shakespeare wrote: What's in a name? The name is arbitrary. But this is not the case for the spontaneous iconic 6. Therefore, iconic gestures and speech convey meaning in radically different ways, with speech relying on a lexicon for breaking meaning down into its component parts and a syntax for combining these various elements into meaningful sentences, whereas iconic gestures represent multidimensional meanings simultaneously in one complex image.
Each gesture is complete in itself, and the overall meaning of what is being portrayed gives the meaning to the individual components. It is also important to emphasize that the meaning in the gesture may, on occasion, never be represented in the speech itself and thus may carry powerful new information about what the speaker is thinking. While their speech moves in different directions to meet linguistic standards, their gestures remain close together'. This is an extraordinary suggestion because when we think of the gestures of people who speak different languages we think of difference and diversity; we think of the extravagant gesticulations of the Italian compared to the rather more inhibited gesticulation of the English.
Indeed, it has been recognised since the 17th century that those from southern Italy make more use of the hands when talking than those from northern Europe, but that both the frequency and form of the gestures change with cultural assimilation.
He found that both the number and type of gestures used by assimilated eastern Jews and assimilated southern Italians differed greatly from their traditional cultures and had started resembling each other. Others have focused on cultural differences in gesture and this process of cultural assimilation in different languages and cultures. In describing Arabic gesture, Robert Barakat writes: So intimately related are speech, gesture and culture, that to tie an Arab's hands while he is speaking is tantamount to tying his tongue.
Barakat Gestures, for example, that involve bodily contact between males, which would be perfectly acceptable in Arabic culture but taboo in western cultures, tend to be inhibited. Although interestingly I do have a photograph of Mrs 6. According to the theory that is being discussed here, differences in gesture use excluding emblems, of course in different languages and in different cultures are relatively trivial compared to the underlying similarities in their use.
One story concerned a ghostly, disembodied hand starting an oldfashioned car with a starting handle while the owner, an upper-class elderly man in tweeds and a bow tie, was trying to push it to get it started. In other words, the ghostly hand was helping the elderly man out. This also applies to all the examples in the rest Another said the following with the accompanying gesture: The idiomatic English translation of this Arabic sentence is:In describing Arabic gesture, Robert Barakat writes: The authors say you can also make yourself to avoid intimidating others or to avoid coming across confrontational.
The Twisted Smile The Twisted smile shows opposite emotions on each side of the face. There is another very important point to make. Below is an example of one female participant in a TOT state.
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