Care must therefore be exercised when stating specific figures relating to percentages of meaning conveyed, or in making any firm claims in relation to body language and non-verbal communications.It is safe to say that body language represents a very significant proportion of meaning that is conveyed and interpreted between people.
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Understanding body language involves the interpretation of several consistent signals to support or indicate a particular conclusion.
Body language is a powerful concept which successful people tend to understand well. The study and theory of body language has become popular in recent years because psychologists have been able to understand what we 'say' through our bodily gestures and facial expressions, so as to translate our body language, revealing its underlying feelings and attitudes.
On many occasions we form a strong view about a new person before they speak a single word.
Consequently body language is very influential in forming impressions on first meeting someone.
For the purposes of this article, the terms 'body language' and 'non-verbal communications' are broadly interchangeable.
This guide also takes the view that body language/non-verbal communications is the study of how people communicate face-to-face aside from the spoken words themselves, and in this respect the treatment of the subject here is broader than typical body language guides limited merely to body positions and gestures.Nevertheless confusion easily arises if definitions and context are not properly established, for example: It is commonly and carelessly quoted that 'non-verbal communications' and/or 'body language' account for up to 93% of the meaning that people take from any human communication.This statistic is actually a distortion based on Albert Mehrabian's research theory, which while itself is something of a cornerstone of body language research, certainly did not make such a sweeping claim.Mehrabian's research findings in fact focused on communications with a strong emotional or 'feelings' element.Moreover the 93% non-verbal proportion included vocal intonation (paralinguistics), which are regarded by many as falling outside of the body language definition.Many body language experts and sources seem to agree that that between 50-80% of all human communications are non-verbal.