Understanding Nonverbal Communication

Understanding Nonverbal Communication
Course Trailer
The Science of Nonverbal Communication
1: The Science of Nonverbal Communication

Learn about the popular, and often incorrectly referenced, study from the 1960s that opened the door to the modern study of nonverbal communication. Understand why nonverbal communication matters so much, and learn how it interacts with verbal communication to reemphasize or deemphasize the message....

32 min
The Meaning of Personal Space
2: The Meaning of Personal Space

Examine the biological drives, such as territorialism, that influence our nonverbal reactions. Define the three "levels" of territories and see how they affect our reaction. Understanding this is an inherent reaction in everyone can help reduce social conflicts....

30 min
Space, Color, and Mood
3: Space, Color, and Mood

See how you send signals by just by the colors you choose to wear, or the makeup and scent you apply. Trace the evolution of why certain colors or smells still send subtle and often unconscious messages. Study how the use of space, architecture, lighting, and other, seemingly ambiguous external factors can all have an impact on how we feel, react, and behave....

29 min
What Body Type Doesn't Tell You
4: What Body Type Doesn't Tell You

Can we predict behavior and personality based on the body or the face? Are taller people more likely to earn more money than shorter people? What makes someone's face attractive? Dr. Frank looks at the myths and facts about how age-old cultural references in seeking mates and partners have evolved into snap judgments about personality types, which can have an effect on our potential success....

29 min
Evolution's Role in Nonverbal Communication
5: Evolution's Role in Nonverbal Communication

Unravel the long history of how nonverbal communication has evolved, how and why we originally interacted with others, and how the biological history of our bodies suggests that our ability to communicate verbally was so limited, the only way we could send messages to friends and foes was through facial expressions and body language. You'll also explore the seven emotions communicated most strongl...

30 min
Secrets in Facial Expressions
6: Secrets in Facial Expressions

Take a closer look at facial expressions, learning that some reactions may be superficially easy to read, while other expressions demonstrate a conflict of feelings or nuances that often get lost in the interpretation. Learn how Darwin, as well as contemporary psychologists Paul Ekman and Carroll Izard, studied facial and body expressions to determine that certain expressions of emotion may be uni...

32 min
Hidden Clues in Vocal Tones
7: Hidden Clues in Vocal Tones

Probe into the nonverbal elements of the voice: the configurations of pausing, the irregularities of speech, and vocal tone. Tone includes the amplitude (volume), timbre, resonance, and pitch of the voice. How fast you talk, how much you say, and how long you wait to respond all send messages about the message you are about to convey. Discover how much you can-and can't-tell about a person just fr...

31 min
Cues from Gestures and Gait
8: Cues from Gestures and Gait

Body language communicates many things, and often contradicts messages that our words convey. Divide the body into the areas that send the clearest signals about your intent to better understand how to use your posture and gestures to communicate. Explore how the position of your hands and head, your gait as you walk, and how much space you take up all send indications about who you are and how yo...

29 min
Interpreting Nonverbal Communication
9: Interpreting Nonverbal Communication

How good are we at reading people? Can we train ourselves to be better at this skill, or is it an inherent ability? This lecture explores a number of studies that measure the ability to read facial expressions, voice and tone, and body language. Get some tips for improving your own ability to read nonverbal communication....

32 min
Cultural Differences in Nonverbal Communication
10: Cultural Differences in Nonverbal Communication

While the previous lectures explored the biological evolution of nonverbal communication, which are hard-wired into most living creatures, this lecture delves into the fascinating impact culture has had on nonverbal communication. Examine the nonverbal communication differences that are driven by the integration of biology and culture, including the unwritten display rules that every culture adopt...

31 min
Spotting Nonverbal Deception
11: Spotting Nonverbal Deception

The ability to detect a lie by clues in the voice, body language, or facial expression is a much-desired skill. When under scrutiny, most people react with aroused emotions-anxiety, for example-even when they are telling the truth. Start this lecture learning the difference between a deception and a lie; for example, not disclosing all the facts versus outright fabricating a story. Then explore th...

32 min
Communicating Attraction
12: Communicating Attraction

Conclude the course by revealing how the ability to better read nonverbal communication can affect our daily relationships and help us have a better chance of success in all areas of life. From job interviews to doctor's visits, Dr. Frank will show you the impact nonverbal communication has in everyday situations. You'll also discover that although many cultural differences affect nonverbal commun...

32 min
Mark G. Frank

Nonverbal communication has similar but not identical features to verbal communication. It is in those differences where we glean maximum insights.


University at Buffalo, The State University of New York


Cornell University

About Mark G. Frank

Dr. Mark G. Frank is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication, as well as the Director of the Communication Science Center at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Dr. Frank received his B.A. in Psychology from the University at Buffalo and received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Cornell University. Dr. Frank's work has examined the behaviors associated with real versus falsified emotions, behaviors that occur when people lie, and the factors that make people better or worse judges of emotion and deception. His work has been funded by The National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the intelligence community. He has used these findings to lecture, consult with, and train U.S. federal law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, local and state agencies, and selected foreign agencies. He has presented briefings on deception and counterterrorism to the U.S. Congress and the National Academies of Sciences. In 2005, Dr. Frank won The Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award for his uncompensated work with law enforcement and other professionals. He has also won a Visionary Innovator Award from the University at Buffalo for being a co-inventor of patented software that reads facial expressions in real time. Dr. Frank has also received a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Frank has published numerous research papers. He has also coedited two books. He has appeared more than 100 times in print, radio, and television outlets.

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