Illustrator Gesture | Types Of Hand Gestures In Nonverbal Communication

Communication Coach Alex Lyon

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Types Of Hand Gestures In Nonverbal Communication


– We are going to talk about the five types of gestures in nonverbal communication and then let you decide whether or not you think this is practical information or something that should just happen naturally. And I have a quiz at the end of the video to see if you can keep track of which of these five are which. So let’s get into the details. (upbeat music) Hey there, Alex Lyon here. And as you may know, I teach college and I’m all set up to do some college videos in this time of the virus. So I thought I would use this set up to talk about the five kinds of gestures. And I’m working out of little John Foss’ “Old Souls” book on theories of human communication. They’re basing their part of the chapter on some original research by Ekman and Freisen from decades ago on the five types of gestures. And there is a quiz at the end to see if you were making sense, but don’t worry, it’s an ungraded quiz. So let’s talk about these five. The first one is emblems and emblem can be translated into a specific verbal message. So this is a kind of gesture like the victory gesture or possibly the thumbs up gesture. It is meant to mean something specific. And the way I remember this is that sometimes you have an emblem or a logo on your clothing and the company, the brand, wants other people to see that and recognize that. There’s a specific meaning to an emblem or a logo. And the gestures that are considered emblems are supposed to have a specific meaning. Number two is illustrators, and these are used to depict or enhance the words that are being said. So if I am moving my hand, while I say, let’s move the chairs over there, that is meant to enhance what I’m saying. But it doesn’t have any specific kind of meaning on its own. These are just general gestures. In fact they’re the kinds of gestures that I’m doing right now. They are very common, I would say the most common type of gesture. The third is adapters. And these are gestures used to release or display bodily tension. So if you’re wringing your hands or you’re rubbing your face, or you’re stretching in some way, those are releasing tension in the body. And I remember this by thinking of the word adapting like adjusting. I’m adapting, or adjusting my body to release the tension that I am feeling. Number four is regulators. And this is like a traffic cop. We’re using these gestures to coordinate the flow of communication. Just like a traffic cop is directing traffic with gestures. So I might in a meeting make eye contact to get someone invited into a conversation. In a big meeting, or certainly in classroom situations, people might raise their hand to signal that they want to get into the conversation. And then the leader or the teacher might call on them with a gesture to bring them into the discussion as well. These are regulators. We’re regulating the flow of communication. Just like a traffic police officer is regulating the flow of traffic. And five is affect displays. These are displays of emotion using your gestures, but they also frequently include facial expressions. So affect is a word we use to describe an emotional display, typically on the face. But gestures can do this alongside facial expressions to bring it to life. So you might have your hands up while you look surprised. And in combination, those things communicate surprise or any other kind of emotion. So those are the five types. Now we’re going to take an ungraded quiz to see how you do. So I’m going to show you some collections of photographs and you tell me which gestures you think these are. And they’re all around one type. So you’re gonna pick from the five multiple choice options here. So here we have someone raising their hand, a teacher calling on someone, friends inviting you over with a wave. What kinds of gestures are these? Three, two, one. They are regulators. They’re regulating the flow of communication. Like I want to talk or yeah, come on in and talk. Just like a traffic cop regulating the flow of traffic, regulators get people in and out of the discussion. Okay, let’s go onto the next collection. Here we just have some general gestures, including Boromir’s circle gesture that he made famous when he says, “One does not simply walk into Mordor”. But even the circle gesture does not mean anything specific. We’re just using these kinds of gestures to emphasize a point. So what are they? Three, two, one, they are illustrators. Whatever you’re saying, these are the kinds of gestures that enhance it and emphasize what you’re saying with your words. Let’s go onto the next group of photos. So here we have a heart, thumbs up, a hang loose sign, another thumbs up, and a victory sign. And these are, three, two, one, emblems. So just like a logo on an item of clothing these are meant to communicate something specific. And you might say, well the thumbs up gesture means different things in different places as does the V, the victory, could mean peace, it could mean the number two, it could mean a victory, but the intention behind this gesture is meant to be specific. So they’re trying to communicate something specific to the other people. The next group here rubbing the temples, stretching and wringing the hands, stretching out the body. These are three, two, one, adapters. These people are adapting or adjusting their body to release the tension in them. And there’s only one left, but what are these groups? They’re all doing something different, but they are all communicating something similar overall. They are three, two, one, affect displays. So they’re showing emotion. Combining their facial expression, plus their hands. There’s frustration. There’s surprise, happiness, shock. And someone might say, well, you know, all of these gestures really display some type of emotion, and that’s true to some extent. But affect displays are specifically designed to display emotion. That’s how we can tell the emotional experience of the person. And they almost always are combining the hand gestures with facial expression. So here are the five one more time. Emblems, they mean something specific. Illustrators, just a general gesture. Adapters, where we adjust our body to release that tension. Regulators are regulating the flow in and out of communication in a conversation. And affect displays. So question of the day, do you think that knowing this information is practical and that you can now use this in public speaking or a conversation, or do you think that you should just let this happen naturally and you shouldn’t think much about your gestures as you communicate? I would love to hear your point of view in that section below the video. And I look forward to reading those comments. So until next time, thanks and I will see you soon.