Watching the Sands Shift: Conceptualizing Development of Nonverbal Mastery



How does mastery over nonverbal signal use develop with age? The answer likely differs with the conditions of a signal’s initial production, maintenance, and usefulness. Studies of nonverbal communication in humans have tended to ignore differences in these conditions, treating all signals studied as instances of one signal type assumed by the researcher. The present chapter recruits these differences in a taxonomy of signals and shows how two facial patterns, traced from preschool through adulthood, initially appeared to be of the most biologically basic type in the taxonomy but were eventually seen to be—or to have developed into—another type. Tracking these type differences made comprehensible conflicting findings across different ages.


Emotional Expression Social Signal Signal Behavior Display Rule Minus Face 
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