Forms of non-verbal communication have been used throughout human evolution as a means to determine whether or not a new individual in one’s environment poses a threat. Because of this, threat-perception and the ability to read someone’s intentions is engrained in the human brain. The snap judgements that we make upon meeting someone for the first time occur in as little as 50 milliseconds (Rule, 2014). The results of these snap judgements determine the path that any given interaction will take. Whether its posture, eye contact, or facial expressions, the ability to read someone quickly gives an individual an advantage in assessing his surroundings. There are a few main channels through which individuals express their nonverbal cues, namely the body (movements of head), glance (pupil dilations, evasive glances, squinting), face (expressions, mouth, breathing), clothes (color, cleanliness), and proximity (four categories of distance: intimate area, personal area, social area, and public area) (Gabor, D., Baritz, M., & Repanovici, A., 2015). Recent studies have even shown that people are able to determine characteristics such as sexuality, introversion or extroversion, and even potential for future success by briefly looking at someone. Because of this, it is important to understand how and why people make snap judgements, and how these conclusions can affect one’s ability to build strong relationships.Order now
High schools have become a battleground for students trying to find friends, fit in, and not make enemies along the way. Because of this, there has been a recent emphasis on exploring how pre-high school children build friendships as well as why some students are not able to do so. In any given school, it is acceptable to assume the about 5 to 15 per cent of all students can be considered at risk from a social interaction standpoint (Mooij, 1999). This statistic is worrisome because at risk behavior is detrimental in both educational and societal viewpoints. The “recurrent violations of socially prescribed patterns of behavior” lead to alienation from society, which puts a strain on the students ability to learn and eventually get a job (Simcha-Fagan, O., Langner, T., Gersten, J., & Eisenberg, J, 1975). The causes that place students at risk from a social interaction standpoint are important to understand so they can be prevented.
Understanding the methods with which our minds piece together fragments of information information about other people not only informs us how other people judge us upon first glance, but also assists us in avoiding bad judgements when evaluating other people. A common misconception regarding speech is that the content of what is being said takes precedence over how it is said. In reality only a small fraction of information is transferred through words, leaving the remaining communication up to non-verbal interpretation (Lawrence, 2017). While verbal language is used to transmit information, the nonverbal language expresses the sender’s true meaning behind the message, meaning that nonverbal messages are largely instinctive or subconscious (Gabor, D., Baritz, M., & Repanovici, A., 2015). This coupled with the fact that relationships are built off of first impressions supports the argument that an investigation into the correlation between the building of relationships and interpretation of non-verbal cues would be justified. Therefore, it would be beneficial to research the association between the ability to interpret non-verbal cues and the strength of an individuals’ relationships in order to determine the extent to which personal relationships are influenced by an individual’s aptitude to interpret non-verbal communication.
In order to further understand relationship between non-verbal cues and relationships, it is helpful to explore the already existing research on this topic. While non-verbal cues have never been linked to relationships among high school students, there has been copious research into how non-verbal cues are interpreted and how these variations vary among different groups of individuals. Distinctions such as gender and age have been studied to determine whether one set of individuals has an advantage in nonverbal communication and interpretation. Additionally research exists on the effectiveness of nonverbal communication in different settings such as work, individual relationships and familial relationships. These studies show that while nonverbal communication is not always successful in persuading the reader about a topic, it can significantly contradict the verbal message based on how it is interpreted nonverbally (Gabor, D., Baritz, M., & Repanovici, A., 2015).