Body language

Type of nonverbal communication / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Body language is a type of communication in which physical behaviors, as opposed to words, are used to express or convey information. Such behavior includes facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of space. The term body language is usually applied in regard to people but may also be applied to animals.[1] The study of body language is also known as kinesics.[2] Although body language is an important part of communication, most of it happens without conscious awareness.

Two women talking to each other. Notice the woman in blue has an arm next to her body, the other uses hers to gesticulate; both are signs of body language

Body language differs from sign language, which are languages with complex grammar systems and exhibiting the fundamental properties considered to exist in all true languages.[3][4] Body language, on the other hand, does not have a grammar system and must be interpreted broadly, instead of having an absolute meaning corresponding with a certain movement. It is, technically, not a language.[5]

Within a society, consensus exists regarding the accepted understandings and interpretations of specific behaviors. There also is controversy on whether body language is universal. Body language, a subset of nonverbal communication, complements verbal communication in social interaction. In fact, some researchers conclude that nonverbal communication accounts for the majority of information transmitted during interpersonal interactions.[6] It helps to establish the relationship between two people and regulates interaction, yet it can be ambiguous.