Research on Body Language

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Psychology, Henry Webster Phd
Research Topic choice number 16: Body language and attitude


What is body language? It is the number of gestures defining an idea non-verbally, it is the primary and first form of language mankind ever had. Words, languages, forms of communication would not have been invented, we would all communicate with gestures and facial expressions, and we would still be able to transmit ideas and understand each other! In this text I will explain how body language is used as a form of communication, how lying is extremely difficult with your facial expressions and gestures, where you can see body language in action and the degree of difficulty to understand it. I will explain in a second part the subtleties of how our body language was formed and how it is the primary source of understanding in human communication. I will demonstrate as well how attitudes, emotions and their representation are linked with non-verbal communication.

First of all, non-verbal communication goes back to the birth of mankind. We can watch body language in apes, monkeys and various animal species for it is the fundamental level of communication. Doctor Paul Ekman was the major researcher about body language and non-verbal cues. He determined that across every culture there were specific non-verbal actions that were universal representing the six major emotions: anger, happiness, sadness, disgust, fear and surprise. He also discovered the presence of micro-expression which are expressions representing emotions flashing in a quarter of a second across a person’s face. With enough exercise one can be able to recognize them and spot contradictory micro-expressions with the real emotion of an individual. Moreover Dr Ekman says “One origin of nonverbal behavior is a relationship between stimulus event and nonverbal activity which is built into the nervous system of every intact member of a species” --- The repertoire of nonverbal...
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