Three Theories of Nonverbal Communication

“Systematic research on the role of nonverbal behavior in social interaction has been common only in the past 20 to 25 years.”(Edinger and Patterson, 1983, p. 30).because that statement was published in 1983, it is apparent that the study of nonverbal behavior has been around for roughly 50 to 55 years. However, that is still a relatively recent amount of time compared to research in other science fields such as chemistry or biology. Despite the fact that this field is relatively recent there are many theories about our interaction with others. This paper will discuss the nonverbal expectancy theory along with two other theories, and describe how these theories can work together.
Before it is possible to compare and contrast the three models, one must first be familiar with them. So what is the nonverbal expectancy theory, and how can it be of a benefit? This theory is based upon social norms within a conversation when dealing with strangers (Burgoon and Hale, 1988, p. 60). A receiver bases the norms in the conversation based on the communicator’s: age, gender, cultural backgrou…



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