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Nonverbal Cues and Communication

Definition

Nonverbal cues are all potentially informative behaviors that are not purely linguistic in content. Visible nonverbal cues include facial expressions, head movements, posture, body and hand movements, selfand other-touching, leg positions and movements, interpersonal gaze, directness of interpersonal orientation, interpersonal distance, and synchrony or mimicry between people. Auditory nonverbal cues include discrete nonlinguistic vocal sounds (e.g., sighs) as well as qualities of the voice such as pitch and pitch variation, loudness, speed and speed variation, and tonal qualities (e.g., nasality, breathiness). Several additional behaviors are often included among nonverbal cues even though they are closely related to speech: interruptions, pauses and hesitations, listener responses (such as “uh-huh” uttered while another is speaking), and dysfluencies in speech. Clothing, hairstyle, and adornments, as well as physiognomy (such ...

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