Responses to Consistent and Discrepant Social Communications



A naive assertion about human communication is that it consists of words. A more sophisticated statement recognizes that extralexical aspects of communication, including gestures, posture, facial expression, tone of voice, dress, and timing of speech, also convey meaning. In human social interaction information, typically, is conveyed redundantly so that a speaker’s facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, postures, and words are mutually consistent, augmenting and reinforcing each other. For purposes of analysis the various communication components may be grouped into “channels” which are defined as sets of communication components which convey information and which are emitted and responded to in a systematic manner (Wiener & Mehrabian, 1968). Although the delineation of any set of component behaviors as belonging to the same communication channel is somewhat arbitrary, it can be justified pragmatically and empirically (Wiener, Devoe, Rubinow, & Geller, 1972).


Facial Expression Nonverbal Communication Visual Channel Parental Communication Objective Meaning 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

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