Discuss the Role Non Verbal Communication Plays in the Facilitation of Social Interaction and the Consequences of Its Absence on Social Relationships

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The ability to communicate with one another is of paramount importance to the success of the human race (Hartley, 1999). Communication is a dynamic process with the interacting components of sending and receiving information. Nonverbal cues may provide clarity or contradiction for a message being sent (Dunn, 1998). This is not to say that nonverbal forms of communication merely provide a modem of clarity for verbal communication, they can, and do, stand alone (Krauss et al, 1995). Facial expressions, body movements, gaze and posture can all be used to provide further emphasis to language communication or can be employed silently and still convey important messages (Danziger, 1976). This paper will discuss the role nonverbal…show more content…
Palmer and Simmons (1995) argue that to conduct successful interpersonal relationships the ability to give and interpret nonverbal cues is of paramount importance because social constraints often hinder explicit verbal messages. If this statement is taken as fact, then what happens if an individual lacks such ability? This question can be tackled by looking at studies on individuals who have adequate verbal abilities but lack the ability to communicate nonverbally as the majority of society deems normal.

Hobson (1997) argued that every human is born with a biologically based capacity for the perception of, and empathic responsiveness to, the bodily expressed feelings and attitudes of others. An exception to this rule can be found when looking at mental disorders. Bormann-Kischkel et al (1995) studied autistic infants and found that they appear to lack the basic components of emotional reactivity, which appear in normally developing infants within the first few months of life. Sorce et al (1985) noted that such a lack could interfere with the child's ability to learn via observing the caregiver's nonverbal cues for danger and passivity.

The parents of autistic children frequently report a lack of nonverbal communication basics very early on in development. Skills such as eye contact and facial expressiveness appear to be omitted (Farran and Kasari, 1990). Dunn (1995) further described autistic individuals as lacking almost all prosocial
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