Communication without the use of spoken language. Nonverbal communication includes gestures, facial expressions, and body positions (known collectively as “body language”), as well as unspoken understandings and presuppositions, and cultural and environmental conditions that may affect any encounter between people.
Eye contact and gaze
Body language and posture
Eye Contact and Gaze
In USA, eye contact indicates: degree of attention or interest, influences attitude change or persuasion, regulates interaction, communicates emotion, defines power and status, and has a central role in managing impressions of others.
Western cultures — see direct eye to eye contact as positive (advise children to look a person in the eyes). But within USA, African-Americans use more eye contact when talking and less when listening with reverse true for Anglo Americans. This is a possible cause for some sense of unease between races in US.
Arabic cultures make prolonged eye-contact. — believe it shows interest and helps them understand truthfulness of the other person.
Japan, Africa, Latin American, Caribbean — avoid eye contact to show respect.
Body language and Posture
Posture and movement can also convey a great deal on information. Research on body language has grown significantly since the 1970's, but popular media have focused on the over-interpretation of defensive postures, arm-crossing, and leg-crossing, especially after the publication of Julius Fast's book Body Language. While these nonverbal behaviors can indicate feelings and attitudes, research suggests that body language is far more subtle and less definitive that previously believed.
While some say that facial expressions are identical, meaning attached to them differs. Majority opinion is that these do have similar meanings...