Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

3: Nonverbal Communication

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    Learning Objectives

    After reading this chapter you should be able to:

    • Define verbal communication and explain its main characteristics.
    • Understand the three qualities of symbols.
    • Describe the rules governing verbal communication.
    • Explain the differences between written and spoken communication.
    • Describe the functions of verbal communication.

    • 3.1: Nonverbal Communication Overview
      Like verbal communication, nonverbal communication is essential in our everyday interactions. Remember that verbal and nonverbal communication are the two primary channels we study in the field of Communication. While nonverbal and verbal communications have many similar functions, nonverbal communication has its own set of functions for helping us communicate with each other.
    • 3.2: Defining Nonverbal Communication
      Like verbal communication, we use nonverbal communication to share meaning with others. Just as there are many definitions for verbal communication, there are also many ways to define nonverbal communication, let’s look at a few.
    • 3.3: Differences Between Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
      There are four fundamental differences between verbal and nonverbal communication.
    • 3.4: Types of Nonverbal Communication
      There are many types of nonverbal communication including kinesics, haptics, appearance, objects, artifacts, proxemics, our environment, chronemics, paralanguage, and silence. These types of nonverbal communication help us share meanings in our interactions.
    • 3.5: Functions of Nonverbal Communication
      You learned that we use verbal communication to express ideas, emotions, experiences, thoughts, objects, and people. But what functions does nonverbal communication serve as we communicate (Blumer)? Even though it’s not through words, nonverbal communication serves many functions to help us communicate meanings with one another more effectively.
    • 3.6: Nonverbal Communication Summary
    • 3.7: Nonverbal Communication References


    3: Nonverbal Communication is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Scott T. Paynton & Laura K. Hahn with Humboldt State University Students.