CLICK HERE FOR Fall 2018 SYLLABUS - COMM-2630 (Nonverbal Comm)
























 page below  last updated  12/12/16


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 - COST 2630 -

Course Syllabus - FALL '16 {section AA}





office:  Fahy Hall - 51   {Communication & the Arts department office: Fahy  49>23}

phone:   973-275-2791  {dept phone: 973-761-9474}

e-mail:   evelyn.plummer@shu.edu / plummeev@shu.edu

mailbox:   in FH-45 {Dept. Mailroom}

{{ professor’s web  page:  http://pirate.shu.edu/~plummeev }}


Course Description: prerequisite: COST1600 or COST1500

     This course examines theories, principles and implications concerning the many important ways by which humans communicate personally and professionally without words (including such channels as space [proxemics], movement [kinesics], vocal tone [paralanguage], time [chronemics] etc.). Knowledge and skills will be enhanced through readings, lecture/discussion, projects, and various experiential learning techniques.



     Virtually all communication studies courses reference nonverbal communication channels. This course will provide deeper understanding as well as skill development in the various ways that humans use a wide variety of non-word based channels for accomplishing meaningful interaction. In fact, those nonverbal channels often influence interpretation of the communicative act to a greater degree than the words. As a communication studies elective, this course also satisfies program requirements for Communication and Business majors.


Required Text:

     Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction, 8th Edition , Mark L. Knapp & Judith A. Hall. & Terrence G. Horgan ,  Cengage. Boston, MA

online rental available via: { https://www.vitalsource.com/referral?term=9781285499840 }


Course Goals:

      1. To introduce the various “channels” by which communication occurs without using words

      2. To understand the means and techniques of nonverbal research

      3. To increase awareness of key factors affecting the nonverbal process, such as culture, environment, social roles, perception process, and language

      4. To develop greater proficiency in perceiving, adapting to, and applying the nonverbal dimension of communication



Course Learning Objectives/Outcomes:

     1. To be able to identify the presence of nonverbal cues in all contexts of human communication.

     2. To engage in various experiential activities in order to understand and appreciate methods used to investigate nonverbal communication. 

     3. To develop awareness of the current ways in which nonverbal dynamics are recognized and applied in the world around us -- both implicitly and explicitly.

     4. To increase personal competence in perceiving, analyzing, and using nonverbal cues in the enactment of human communication


Overview of  Graded Assignments:

to be done as an individual to be done with a group
*Assessments: 4 online quizzes / Midterm exam / Final exam
All assessments support objectives/outcomes #_1 & 2 & 3_
*MiniEthnography supports objective/outcomes #2 & 4_
*2-3 brief oral presentations - supports objective/outcome #_4_ *Group Research Workshop  Projectsupports objectives/outcomes #_2_
*“Insight, Diary" (Thin Slice Portfolio)
(4-6tbd entry minimum) – supports objectives/outcomes # 1 & 3


> Primary reading assignments listedbelow in calendar. Additional readings T.B.A.  All readings support objectives/outcomes #_1 & 3_





 Assessment & Grading:  [Remember, attendance affects grade! ]

> Group Research Workshop Projects [including the Oral Presentation]-[ group receives core grade, adjustable according to individual’s submissions]



> "Classwork" [including Homework / Attendance / Participation in additional class exercises / Individual Mini-Presentations]


> "Insight Diary" (Thin Slice Portfolio) [ 4-8tbd brief observation analysis papers]


> Written Exams (2 scheduled) & online quizzes (3-4 scheduled)


There will be few (IF ANY) opportunities for make-up work, and late submissions may not be read. 



Course Procedures & Expectations:

  Also refer to  these additional relevant documents linked to the professor's main webpage: (concerning  plagiarism (Academic Integrity),  grading criteria,  source citations style sheet, commonly used abbreviations; etc.)  

 1.    Understanding, Analysis, and Application of the material covered in the text, readings, and lecture notes. 

 2.   Regular attendance and participation in class  & class activities (no more than 3 class absences and 4 tardies)

 3.   Written Assessments (1-2 in-class Tests / 3-4 online quizzes)

 4. Completion of the “Insight Portfolio” (individual assignment) and ”Field Research Project & Presentation” (group assignment); 2-3 brief oral presentations  Overviews and  Information sheets will be available via online syllabus

 5. Of course, there is a no-electronic-distractions policy for this class. This includes no-cell-phone-usage/ no-audible-pagers-or-alarms / etc. Laptops will be used in class on only a limited basis.  **Laptops will not be required in class for each session and in-class usage will be restricted to class-relevant applications only [i.e. no IM, no email, no chat, restricted notetaking only, etc.]



                                                      Statement on Disability Support Services

It is the policy and practice of Seton Hall University to promote inclusive learning environments. If you have a documented disability (physical, medical, learning or psychiatric—either temporary or permanent)  you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations in compliance with University policy, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and/or the New Jersey Law against Discrimination. Please note, students are not permitted to negotiate accommodations directly with professors. To request accommodations or assistance, please self-identify with the Office for Disability Support Services (DSS) at the beginning of the semester to provide appropriate documentation and collaborate with the development of an accommodation plan. For more information or to register for services, contact DSS at (973) 313-6003 or by e-mail at DSS@shu.edu or refer to website: http://www.shu.edu/offices/disability-support-services



Course Content

NB: topical sequence is organized conceptually, not according to the layout of any particular text/reading.

NB: Items highlighted with  will indicate items  added since the posting  of the original online calendar.


   Nonverbal-In-The-News misc articles / ongoing updates / to be referenced throughout the semester


    Insight "Diary" (Thin Slice Portfolio)


 MiniEthnography completed abstracts - page to be updated. currently linked = samples from S'15


  Group  Research Workshop Project>create a workshop




I wish life was (were) like the Oscars so I could just play soft music whenever I want someone to stop talking and go away.

  ( a tweet during the Academy Awards  Broadcast from   eric @dubstep4dads


Course Calendar

Week 1: [8/29 & 8/31]

Foundations and Definitions of  the Nonverbal – much more than “body language!”  (comparison / contrast/ coordination with verbal cues) (Performative channels and cues);

  Brain hemisphere test::http://frank.mtsu.edu/~studskl/hd/hemispheric_dominance.html
  > Chapter 1
Week 2: [___,  9/7]
Mon = Labor Day

 Operational Principles: culture-specific/sensitive; rules-driven; context-specific/sensitive; multi-channelled ; NV outweighs V [actions do speak louder!]; perception process (intentionality vs. out-of-awareness)

   for 9/7 -  be prepared to talk about your weekend observations & how they did/did not correspond to the 5  research approaches in Chapter 2
  > Chapter 2
Week 3: [9/12 & 9/14]

- Functions and Functioning:  metacommunication, effects on personal and professional relationships [immediacy, dominance] ;  gender and social roles;  communicating emotions; feelings and attitudes;  signs and semiotics; business world influences:  

  conduct MiniFieldStudy: Environments  ( incl. Chapter 4) 
  > Chapter 3
  http://www.thetimeparadox.com/surveys/ ( test your time perspective)
Week 4: [9/19 & 9/21]

Culture is Communication: high/low context; world view theories

   for 9/19  be prepared to report on the results of your :Mini Field Study Observations which were assigned on 9/14

   >  The Silent Language (E.T. Hall) on ereserve: "Time Talks" & Space Speaks"  ; skim Chapter 4
    go to http://www.shu.edu/academics/libraries/course-reserves.cfm for access instructions. Items also accessible through "LIBRARY RESOURCES" section in Blackboard
     ** Online Quiz #1 will be available in Blackboard approximately  9/20-9/23 
Week 5: [9/26 & 9/28]

Prime Channels – part 1 (space [proxemics]—including territoriality, zones of interaction, environment., location & power positions )  

  be prepared to discuss ques # 2 p.149 ______ ( 7th ed = p. 160) & ques #4  p.149 _____(7th ed = p.161)     to be done via online forum/discussion board


view these articles:  "Territorial Quandries" -- to be discussed in class. click for this supplemental page for examples

  > Chapters 4 & 5
Week 6: [10/3 & 10/5]

Prime Channels – part 2 (self presentation & artifacts [objectics]; vocal tone [ paralanguage]; appearanceincluding attractiveness norms for body & face & voice



 * 10/3, check out the news item: Ralph Lauren Plus size Model."Google" coverage from other news sources as well.

*on  10/5,  be prepared to select your choice for the KINESICS IN ACTION  class activity. 

 *  be prepared to submit your 2 choices for the  "(almost) 360 degrees of Kinesics" assignment.page to be updated & converted to extra credit opp.

  > Chapter 6 & 9 & 11   / tentative: Ereserve readings in Scheflen or Goffman {tbd}
   ** Online Quiz #2 will be available in Blackboard approximately  10/4-10/8 
Week 7: [____& 10/12]

 Prime Channels – part 3 (movement [kinesics]—including gaze/eye contact, facial expression, gestures, posture, stance)

Mon/Tues=Fall Break > Chapters 7 & 9 & 10
Week 8: [10/17 & _tba]

Link to Research Summary ( secondary source) We speak as we feel; we feel as we speak ( is this part of Paralanguage?);

  On 10/17 : NO FORMAL REVIEW, but you can  bring in any question you have about items on the Midterm study list.


  probably 10/17 or 10/24 / tbd: Midterm Exam   <click for Study information: including specifications for ADVANCE questions & for  an  entry +intro stmt from your  Insight "Diary" (Thin Slice Portfolio)

    start Mini_Ethnography activity - field research expanded!  details to be clarified in class.  A collection of completed personal abstracts will be linked above
  > Readings/ podcasts in Mehrabian  TBA
Week 9: [10/24 & 10/26]

Prime Channels – part 4 (smell [olfactics{Tom Brady & Strawberries!}]; time [chronemics]; touch [haptics] ); environment expanded -- including color, lighting, sound/music, temperature ); semiotics {signs & symbols}) revisited;  if  possible: Begin Ethnography debriefs

  > Chapter 8 & REVIEW  Chap 4
Week 10: [10/31 & 11/2]

 Personal Skill building  (perception checking for greater accuracy ) (field research)  (self-awareness); (everyday applications of environments / signs / symbols); 

 Initial planning for Group Research Project >create a workshop —Teamwork begins/preliminary investigation plans to be rescheduled to week 11/12


> Chapter 12 



  Check out this video on additional links between Body/Movement<>Our own Personality --


Week 11: [11/7 & 11/9]

 Observational Analysis exercises -  Interpersonal contexts: at work and at work; Discuss/Present Ethnography findings  on 11/9)


  > Chapter 12 review
  - Group Research Project (workshop) / Teamwork continues
Week 12: [11/15 & 11/16]

Observational Analysis exercises – Interpersonal contexts, cont.

 Observational Analysis exercises – Media contexts; " Making the Sale"

  > Chapter 13
  - Mehrabian: summary of research [  http://www.kaaj.com/psych/smorder.html]]
  - Mehrabian: link to radio interview on the BBC [ http://wordsthatmovemountains.com/files/page1_1.mp3]
Week 13: [11/21 & __]

 Contemporary applications & challenges ( Facebook/Twitter, email, Skype) ; After listening to Mehrabian's explanation of how he's been misunderstood,  be prepared to propose a more accurate way to MEASURE the role of nonverbal in human communication. 

  > Chapter 13 review
  ** Online Quiz #3 will be available in Blackboard approximately  11/22-11/26 
Week 14: [11/28 & 11/30]    Lightning Round application of Chaps 12 & 13: "Meet The Elliots"; if nec. Research Findings /  Group workshop presentations [Groups __(tba) & __ (tba)_]
Week 15: [12/5 & 12/7] Research Findings /  Group workshop presentations [Groups __(12/5) & __ (12/7)_]
Week 16: [12/12, ___]

Research Findings /  Group workshop presentations [Group ____ (12/12]

   due 12/12: submit Final version:  Insight Portfolio
Exam Session: [Tuesday 12/20/16 @ 10:10-12:10 Final Exam < click for Study information: including ADVANCE questions

if possible: Extra Credit opportunity/ personal field trip

-- options to be discussed  as semester progresses. If you think of something, ASK!

e.g. http://omart.org/collections/african_art (Are you going to Orlando  before October 30?)


e.g. http://www.sightunseen.com/2009/11/sissel-tolaas-scent-expert/ (Olfactics anyone?)






Additional Suggested Readings to be selected from:

Anderson, Rindy A. and Klofstad, Casey A.  Dec 12, 2012. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0051216

      Preference for Leaders with Masculine Voices Holds in the Case of Feminine Leadership Roles


Birdwhistell, R. (1970). Kinesics and Context. Philadelphia: University of

     Pennsylvania Press.[also New York: Ballantine]


Goffman, Erving. (1967). Interaction Rituals: Essays on Face-to-Face Interaction.

     Garden City, NY: Doubleday.


Hall, E.T. (1959). The silent language. Garden City, New York: Doubleday.


Hall. E.T. (1966). The hidden dimension. Garden City, New York: Doubleday.


Hall, E.T. (1977). Beyond culture. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.


Mehrabian, A. (1972). Nonverbal Communication. Chicago: Aldine Atherton.


Scheflen , A.E. (1973). How behavior means. New York, Gordon and Breach (also,

     1974. Garden City, N.Y., Anchor Press.






Course Bibliography –  

  Many articles and books from a variety of disciplines have addressed the various nonverbal channels and their functional implications. When searching in this area, try using the keyword terms in the section above and you are more likely to be successful if using social sciences databases ( e.g. anthropology, sociology, psychology).  Below are listed some of the key, seminal items written on the subject as well as a few useful websites.


Bavelas, J. B., & Chovil, N. (2006). Nonverbal and verbal communication: Hand   

     gestures and facial displays as part of language use in face-to-face dialogue. In

     V. Manusov & M. L. Patterson ( Eds.), The Sage handbook of nonverbal

     communication. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.


Beattie, G. (2004). Visible thought: The new psychology of body language. New

     York: Routledge.


Birdwhistell, R. (1970). Kinesics and Context. Philadelphia: University of

     Pennsylvania Press.[also New York: Ballantine].


Communication Currents [www.CommunicationCurrents.com] (search through archives),

     site sponsored by the National Communication Association.[www.natcom.org].


DePaulo, P. J. (1992). Applications of nonverbal behavior research in marketing and

    management. In R. S. Feldman (Ed.), Applications of nonverbal behavioral   

    theories and research. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Ekman, P. & Friesen, W.V.   (1969).The repertoire of nonverbal behavior

    categories: origins, usage, and coding.  Semiotica, 1, 49-98.


Ekman, P. & Friesen, W.V.   (1971). Constants across cultures in the face and

    emotion.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 17: 124-9.



Exploring Nonverbal Communication [http://nonverbal.ucsc.edu/index.html ] site

    sponsored by  Dane Archer,  Professor at the University of California at Santa



Fast, Julius.(1970). Body Language. New York: Simon & Schuster.


Goethals, G. R. (2005). Nonverbal behavior and political leadership. In R. E. Riggio

     and R. S. Feldman (Eds.), Applications of nonverbal behavior (pp. 97–115),

     Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.


Goffman, Erving. (1967). Interaction rituals: Essays on face-to-face interaction. Garden City,

      NY: Doubleday.

Goffman, Erving. (1974). Frame analysis. New York:Harper & Row.


Hall, E.T. (1959). The silent language. Garden City, New York: Doubleday.


Hall. E.T. (1966). The hidden dimension. Garden City, New York: Doubleday.


Hall, E.T. (1977). Beyond culture. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.


Hall, E.T.(1983) The dance of life. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday

Hymes, D. (1972). Models of the interaction of language and social life. In John J. Gumperz

       and D. Hymes (Eds.),  Directions in sociolinguistics: The ethnography of communication

       (pp. 35-71), New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Hymes, D, (1974). Foundations in sociolinguistics: An ethnographic approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.


Kendon, A. (1967). Some functions of Gaze-Direction in Social Interaction, Acta

     Psychologica, (26)


Kendon, A., Harris, R. M., & Key, M. R. (Eds.). (1975). Organization of behavior in

     face-to-face interaction. The Hague: Mouton.


Jones, S., & LeBaron, C. D. (Eds.). (2002). Special issue: Research on the

     relationship between verbal and nonverbal communication. Journal of

     Communication, 52.


COURSE TEXT - Knapp, M. L. & Hall, J.A. &  Horgan , Terrence G.. Nonverbal Communication in Human

       Interaction. Boston, MA, Wadsworth/Cengage.


Leathers, D.G. (1998). Successful nonverbal communications and applications.

      Boston: Allyn & Bacon.


Mehrabian, A. (1972). Nonverbal Communication. Chicago: Aldine Atherton.


Mehrabian, A. (1981). Silent messages (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


Montague, A. (1978). Touching: the human significance of the skin. New York:

     Harper & Row.


Nonverbal Communication

     www.mhhe.com/socscience/speech/commcentral/mgnonverbal.html site

     sponsored by McGraw Hill Publishers, NY.



 Saville-Troike, M. (1982). The Ethnography of Communication. New York, New York: Basil Blackwell.


Scheflen , A.E. (1972). Body language and social order: Communication as

     behavioral control.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Scheflen , A.E. (1973). How behavior means. New York, Gordon and Breach (also,

     1974. Garden City, N.Y., Anchor Press.


Schwarz, N., & Kurz, E. (1989). What’s in a picture? The impact of faceism on trait

     attribution. European Journal of Social Psychology, 19, 311– 316.

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