Kinetics is One of the Methods of Non-verbal Communication

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Updated: Aug 18, 2023
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The five of the nine types of nonverbal communication that I decided to explore are kinesics, haptics, proxemics, chronemics, and paralanguage.

Kinesics is the study of how people communicate through body movements. The face and eyes are the most noticeable parts of the body, and the study of how they communicate is known as oculesics. Posture reveals how people feel about themselves and others. Gestures, like manipulators, can involve fidgeting or one part of the body manipulating another. An example of this from my own behavior is placing two hands behind my head to show a superior attitude or the ‘know-it-all’ disposition.

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Sitting with crossed legs is a sign of confidence or superiority. One thing I also do when I think is cover my mouth with my index finger while supporting my head with my thumb.

Haptics is the term used to describe the study of touching. Touch plays a significant role in our responses to others. This concept can be seen in friendships where physical contact can express care, value, and interest for the other person. This nonverbal cue can be difficult to interpret, both for the receiver of the touch and for outsiders. Examples include high fives or hugs.

Proxemics is the study of how communication is affected by the use, organization, and perception of space and distance. There are four categories: Intimate, personal, social, and public. Intimate distance is used for very confidential communications oftentimes between two individuals who might be hugging, holding hands, or standing side by side. Personal distance is reserved for interactions with family and close friends. For instance, I would likely feel uncomfortable if a stranger approached me in my personal zone. Social distance is typically used in business transactions and interactions with new acquaintances or groups of people. In this case, as a student at TCC or with coworkers, physical contact is usually not engaged.

Chronemics is the study of how humans use and structure time. Our use of time can express both intentional and unintentional messages. Chronemics can vary by situation and relationship. The ways that we use time can reveal information about ourselves and our feelings. For example, in America, it is acceptable to arrive late to a party but not to a work meeting. A relationship-based example would be the acceptability of a doctor keeping a patient waiting, but not the other way around.

Paralanguage describes the way a message is spoken. Vocal rate, pronunciation, pitch, tone, volume, and emphasis can give the same word or words many meanings. We listen for it in music to determine if a song is meant to be sad or upbeat. Paralanguage can also express a lack of knowledge or confidence, as seen when someone uses a vocalized pause such as “Umm…” or “Huh”.

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Kinetics Is One of the Methods of Non-verbal Communication. (2022, Aug 24). Retrieved from