Nonverbal Communication and Factors Influencing an Individual's Behavior

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 737 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Aug 23, 2018

Words: 737|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Aug 23, 2018

The extent to which certain nonverbal behaviors influence an individual and their behavior depends on many factors. Factors such as cultural norms, history of physical contact, and the relationship between those that are touching and being touchedall play an important role in the way we go about our day. For example, if an individual has a personal space around them they do not wish anyone to come near, certain nonverbal behaviors they can perform will allow others to see that they aren’t necessarily welcoming arms of embrace or the shake of a hand. Understanding these impressions may impact the way one makes decisions, relationships with one another, and for some extreme cases, just to make it through the day. First impressions often begin with nonverbal communication, whether it’s a father meeting a daughter’s significant other for the first time, or and investigator reading the signs of rape or abuse at the raise of a man’s arm. Research has shown that those whose verbal behavior is consistent with their nonverbal behavior appear to be more trustworthy and easy to understand (Weisbuch, Ambady, Clarke, Achor, &Weele, 2010.) Those whose verbal behavior is inconsistent with their nonverbal behavior appear to be deceiving and difficult to understand. This inconsistency entering our perceptual system confuses us and disrupts our judgment of others (Weisbuch et al., 2010.)This research is intended to gain a better understanding on how the sense of touch can alter behavior and influence our day-to-day lives.

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As one may assume, development of our sense of touch and it’s fruition is vital to our daily lives, especially in understanding our surroundings. The sense of touch develops in the embryo, before all other senses we possess (Leonard, 2009.)Despite all of the other components necessary for having a healthy life, infants will fail to thrive without this sensitive touch. A pivotal research study conducted by Harry Harlow in 1958 demonstrated a child’s need for a mother’s affection was desired above their need for food. He portrayed this by separating monkeys from their mothers at birth and kept them in separate cages with two “surrogate” mothers in each cage. One of them was made of wire with milk in it, and the other made of wood covered with terrycloth and without milk. Ignoring the milk and the desire to eat, the monkeys clung to the surrogate with the soft cloth (Hatfield, 2009.)This implies that the desire for touch is much stronger than for other desires, and reveals that the bonding between an infant and a mother is more dependent on affectionate touch than a dependency on the mother to provide food. The monkeys that were touch-deprived became withdrawn, uninterested in their environment, and had issues socializing with other mates. The behavior of these monkeys gave us strong evidence that touch deprivation can lead to depression, violence, and illness—all displayed by the touch-deprived monkeys (Leonard, 2009.)Having this knowledge, parents can adequately share affection with their children to strengthen this emotional bond. This may prevent a child from growing up with aggression problems, or prevent bond-attachment complications with friends or significant others.

The skin is the sensory organ for touch, and is the largest sensory organ of all the senses. Sensory nerve endings are densely accumulated on every square inch of our skin. Every sensory neuron has a specialized capsule on its peripheral end, which physically connects the surrounding skin tissue to the nerve ending. These nerve endings, called mechanoreceptors, detect changes in the shape of the capsule surrounding the nerve ending. This produces an action potential that transmits throughout the nervous system. These signals are propagated to the thalamus and other parts of the cerebral cortex, and at a specific location the impulses synapse determines how the touch signal is perceived (Gardner, 2009.)All brains have broad and similar structure of sensory neurons, but the architecture of the brain and response to touch is heavily based on experience with touch an individual’s life (Gardner, 2009.) The more often an individual experiences a kind of touch, the more those specific sensory neurons will be activated. This allows for someone to be better able to interpret that incoming information, whereas if those neurons are rarely activated, then the synapses within that neural pathway will be weak (Leonard, 2009.) Thus, having knowledge of the neurology of touch may help to understand physiological causes of unease or unexpected response when touching inactivated neurons in areas of the body.

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Nonverbal Communication and Factors Influencing an Individual’s Behavior. (2018, Jun 28). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Nonverbal Communication and Factors Influencing an Individual’s Behavior.” GradesFixer, 28 Jun. 2018,
Nonverbal Communication and Factors Influencing an Individual’s Behavior. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Nonverbal Communication and Factors Influencing an Individual’s Behavior [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Jun 28 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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