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Nonverbal Behavior

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Edited by: Published: 2008
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Nonverbal behavior is physical action that complements, supplements, or takes the place of spoken words or sounds. Examples include, but are not limited to, facial expressions, body postures, and gestures.

Data collection in survey research may include the cataloging (observing and coding) of nonverbal behavior in order to help put verbal data—written or spoken words or other utterances—into context for more in-depth analysis and interpretation. For example, a study based on personal interviews of people who are reluctant to speak with the interviewer may gauge the level of rapport that the interviewer was able to establish by examining the nonverbal behavior of respondents. If these respondents are frowning, turning their backs to the interviewer, or otherwise demonstrating discomfort, this information could be used to gauge ...

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