Body Language, Body Mechanics, Kinesis, Non-Verbal Communications, whatever you want to call it, is a vast topic. There is a tremendous amount written about it in all sorts of books, but most of it is what I call the "pop psychology" variety. There are four accessible authors that I think provide the most important background information related to this topic:
1. From 1971 study by Albert Mehrabian of UCLA, "Silent Messages" Others "listen" to you and judge the "emotional content" of your message based on the following input:
Visual / Body Language 55%
Voice / Tone / Inflection 38%
Contents / Words 7%
Mehrabian also did some interesting contributions on sitting arrangements in his follow-up book "Nonverbal Communication" (1972).
2. From the work of Edward T. Hall, "The Hidden Dimension", Doubleday, 1966. Personal space or proxemics is described by Hall as having four zones. Remember, these zone dimensions are North American based.:
0 to 18 inches
Hall's original work is "The Silent Language (1959).
3. From the work of
Julius Fast, "Body Language", 1971
4. After more consideration, I have decided that the work of Desmond Morris is seminal. Best known for his ground breaking work "The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal" in 1967 to his latest book "Bodytalk: The Meaning of Human Gestures" in 1995, Morris is a prolific writer. The two relevant books that I believe are now out of print are "Manwatching" (1977) and "Gestures" (1979), but the background to this content can be found in his subsequent publications.
Finally, there is
the area of Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP.
Body Language -The 4 Keys to Success
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