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Bipedics: Towards a new category of kinesics. - An empirical investigation of the expression of attitude, and emotion, through simple leg and foot gesture

By Peter O'Reilly

Abstract

Nonverbal communication skills are a crucial element to social interaction where an enhanced awareness can elevate individuals‟ emotional and social well being. Research by scientists in this field have historically focused on the role of facial expression and vocal quality as primary channels of the expression of attitude and emotion. However, this area of research has neglected an important part of the human body and subsequently the role that simple leg/foot gesture might play in the expression of attitude and emotion is largely unexplored. The present investigation draws on material from outside the scientific literature to propose a new category of kinesics; bipedic gestures. Two studies were conducted to empirically investigate the validity of bipedic gesture as a channel to express attitude, emotion and liking. The present investigation‟s first study analysed corpus material, and obtained a significant positive correlation between attitude and frequency of leg/foot movement consistent with previous literature. A second study consisted of an on-line experiment testing the relationship between perceived liking and disliking, and certain leg/foot gestures. Highly significant results were obtained from the second study. The results obtained within the present investigation suggest that attitudes and emotions such as liking can be expressed through simple leg and foot gesture and there is a subsequent call for further research into a new area of nonverbal communicative behaviour, a sixth category of kinesics; bipedic gestures. „γνῶθι σεαυτόν; nosce te ipsum; know thyself

Topics: Attitude, Bipedic Gesture, Bodily Communication, Consciousness, Emotion, Expression, Foot Pointing, Leg Crossing, Kinesics, Liking, Nonverbal Behaviour, Nonverbal Communication
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:gupea.ub.gu.se:2077/30570

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