We, as humans, have the propensity to vary in how well we encode and decode messages that are both written and spoken. This is because people tend to range in a variety of highs and lows with regard to their verbal language abilities. This would a lot for differences in nonverbal communication as well. Nonverbal communication refers to the exchange of information between people and an explanation or establishment of the meaning of information by any means other than the use of spoken or written words. It includes message through a multitude of behaviors (expressive channels) such as facial expressions, bodily movements, vocal tone and pitch, and other channels that are comprised of a variety of cues related to the encoding and the decoding of messages. The communication and interpretation of nonverbal behavior draws on tacit, implicit knowledge that all human beings possess (Ambady and Rosenthal, 775).
There are a multitude of mechanisms that allows one to encode and decode messages: personality traits, self-monitoring, sex, and gender. Research has linked certain personality traits with the ability to encode and decode nonverbal behavior. Studies have found that “people who are extroverted are more skilled at portraying emotions through vocal and facial codes [whereas] introverts are less able to communicate emotions nonverbally, if for no other reason than they have not had as much practice due to their tendency to withdraw from people” (Infante, Rancer, and Avtgis, 219). According to sociological social psychologists such as Mead (1934), Goffman (1959), and Turner (1968), we continually play roles and manage the impressions of ourselves that we give off (Kraut, 380). “Although nonverbal communication can be controlled to ad...
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