Nonverbal language studied by television industry

Oh That Body Language!
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Body language is an important part of everyday communications and relationships. It is important to people in business management, leadership and day to day interactions. Nonverbal communication is also important to relationships outside the workplace in such interactions as dating and parenting.

The television industry is well aware of need to study nonverbal communications. One drama teacher has a website you might be interested in. It’s Another is 102: Insiders Guide to Getting on Television

This communication skill includes listening because while nonverbal signals are exchanged. These are accompanied by spoken words as well.

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Body Language: Nonverbal Clues

A man winking with his right eye

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The study of body language is much more than just a study of how people move their bodies. Some of the aspects we need to understand nonverbal communication include the following:

  • How the body is positioned
  • How close two people are to each other and how that can change
  • Facial expressions
  • How the eyes move and focus
  • How people touch themselves and others
  • How bodies connect with things like glasses, pens, cigarettes and clothing
  • How a person breathes and perspires
  • Voice type and other sounds can be used here as part of understanding non-verbal clues.

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Nonverbal communication-the eyes

Tim Roth (Emil Blonsky in "The Incredible...

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The study of the eyes in body language is one of the most fascinating studies around these days. Perhaps shows like “Lie to Me” have sparked the public interest. This show follows a psychologist who can detect a lie by watching a person’s minute facial gestures and body movements. This show’s main character, Dr. Cal Lightman (played by Tim Roth), is based on an actual person, Dr. Paul Ekman, who serves as the show’s scientific advisor. One of Ekman’s books that you might want to read is” Emotions Revealed, Second Edition: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life by Paul Ekman” (Paperback – Mar. 20, 2007) at

A lot of what the show displays has to do with a person’s eyes. In the study of body language the eyes are a very significant part of the nonverbal signs a person sends another. We all read people’s eyes without knowing how or why.

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6 Body Language Clues

Swimmers Annette Kellerman and C.M.(Charles Me...

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Body language is everything a person does to communicate that is not in words. This includes posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. Most of this is done subconsciously, although there are some that are quite voluntary.

Nonverbal communication helps other people figure out the state of mind or attitude of another person. But it isn’t always simple to figure out. Using a particular rude hand gesture is voluntary, but many of the involuntary signs can point a person in the wrong direction. For this reason the information below is just the start to understanding another person, but it isn’t accurate in and of itself. Professional observers limit the weight they place on nonverbal cues, in spite of what we see in television shows like “Lie to Me.”

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Body Language – A Funny Commercial

Jealousy and Flirtation, Haynes King 1874

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There is a funny commercial going around these days about a man leaning on an orangutan’s cage waiting for his girl friend. Even gestures the man makes, the ape imitates, right to the kiss the man gives his girl friend when she arrives. The man and woman walk off and the orangutan goes off, lips still pursed, in the same direction.

This is a prime example of body language. It demonstrates the question some researchers have about the development nonverbal language. Did it exist before we could speak, did it occur as well as language? Is it a learned behavior from watching others? Here is a website that might offer some answers:

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