Three Theories of Nonverbal Communication Essay

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“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
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(Burgoon and Hale, 1988, p. 58)
Another similar theory proposed by Patterson in 1982 deals with providing information, regulating interaction, and expressing intimacy. “However, Patterson (1982) also proposed two other functional categories, social control and service-task functions, neither of which is identified in the earlier classification systems” (Edinger and Patterson, 1983, p. 31). The main function, and more readily accepted is social control. Social control, or attempting to change the behavior of another, is unique because it describes a motivational contrast with the function of intimacy (Edinger and Patterson, 1983, p. 31). Intimacy, or the underlying affectionate reaction towards another, also deals with negative and positive reactions. The positive affect could result in concern for, liking, love, or interest in another; however, the negative ends results in dislike or hate (Edinger and Patterson, 1983, p 31). “…The social control function is characterized by independence of affect and nonverbal behavior…in some cases the real affect is opposite to the affect represented behaviorally; for example, when smiling at, gazing at, and standing close to a disliked superior to win favor with that person”(edinger and Patterson, 1983, p. 31). In this case, by standing close, smiling at and gazing at a disliked superior the person is using intimacy to gain…