Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Facial expressions say more than a thousand words

17.10.2008
People talk to exchange information. Yet understanding another person involves far more than just the content of the message. Only with the correct intonation and facial expression does the message acquire meaning. People can improve their communication skills by deliberately managing these non-verbal messages.

The extra layer of information that you add to a message when speaking is called prosody. The most important conclusion is that prosody lies not only in the voice but also in the facial expression. Further it appears that auditory and visual information together are more effective than the same information separately.

That a text is more than a series of words becomes clear as soon as you read a story aloud, for example, Little Red Riding Hood. At the end of a sentence you drop your voice. The pitch of your voice also changes when the Wolf speaks. Certain words receive extra emphasis. For example, ‘Grandmother, what a great mouth you have!’ ‘That is to eat you up!’. Not only do you use your voice to make the story frightening but your face adopts a frightening expression as well. When reading aloud you do that deliberately. Unconsciously, you do the same when talking to somebody.

Czech study subjects
Barkhuysen used different methods to distinguish the effect of the content and the other information. Czech study subjects were shown video clips with Dutch sentences such as ‘God, I feel great’, or ‘I want to sleep and never wake up again.’ Some were shown both the images and the sound and others just the sound or the images. The Czechs could indicate in all cases whether the sentence had a positive or negative meaning. Research with Dutch study subjects revealed, for example, that people can both see and hear when somebody has finished speaking.
Margaret Thatcher
Research into prosody provides information about the interactions between speakers and listeners. That is relevant for the development of speech computers, such as the NS-reisplanner (Travel planner for the Dutch National Railways). It also explains certain communication problems. For example, some people are interrupted a lot. That is not due to a lack of domination. The former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also regularly interrupted. The Iron Lady took no notice of this and carried on talking. Yet unconsciously she gave signals that she had finished speaking. One possible solution is to adjust the intonation and only to return eye contact when you have finished speaking.

Kim van den Wijngaard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOA_7JUH7L_Eng

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>