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BODY LANGUAGE Elodie Laye Mielczareck


What is body language ? 

Body language is the set of behaviors that participate in communication between humans. There are several dimensions:

  • paralinguistics: halfway between verbal and non-verbal communication: analysis of the voice, intonations, speech rate, etc.

  • proxemics : analysis of the distance between bodies/individuals;

  • kinesics: analysis of postures, gestures and facial expressions;

  • infralinguistics : analysis of physiological changes (dilation of pupils, blushing, sweating, etc.)

  • artifacts : analysis of what adorns the body (clothing, badges, tattoos, etc.) ​

What is the typology of gestures? Certain actions are carried out consciously and voluntarily (calling a taxi, for example). They are strongly dependent on the cultural context in which the gesture is made. Others are carried out in a non-conscious and involuntary manner (itching, orientation reflexes of the shoulders, chest, facial expressions, etc.). In this last category you find the majority of our gestures. Without realizing it, most of the time we communicate silently and our actions betray us. some of our gestures are more iconic (descriptive) while others are more rhythmic (punctuating), or still others metaphorical (pictorial). 

What is the list of emotions? Since the work of the American psychologist Paul Ekman, it is considered that there are 7 basic universal emotions. Primary emotions, recognized by infants, such as fear, anger, sadness, joy and disgust. Paul Ekman would later add contempt. Note that this emotion, just like shame, guilt, or even pride, seems to develop later, around the age of 6/7, because it is linked to the socialization process of children, particularly at school.

Can we control all our body language ? You understand, the answer is no! It is NOT the same area of ​​the brain that manages intentional gestures and involuntary gestures. Public speaking coaching (or media training) therefore has its limits...

What dangers of the Metaverse ? This is one of the most exciting current fields: understanding changes in human behavior when they are digitalized... Current research on identification issues through Avatars provides us with valuable information. They seem unanimous: if the Avatar is a different representation of the Self, it promotes porosity between the Real and the Virtual. In other words, we are indeed our Avatar. And the behaviors found in “real life” are relatively similar to those in the Metaverse.

How to become a profiler? Be careful with the words, the term "profiler" is often used as a synonym for "behaviorist" even though the training is not the same. Behavioral analysis based on non-verbal communication lies at the crossroads of neuroscience, psychology and linguistics. We can also talk about behavioral semiology / semiotics. ​

What is the secret language of Love ? How do you know if you are seduced? Or for example, are there signs of a man being troubled by a woman? I think this is the question that comes up the most! I am devoting a whole chapter to it in last next book (Laye, E. March 2023). Scientific research is not stingy on this point. Surprisingly, gestures of unease often recur in male seduction refrains... Conversely, women have body language more specific to seduction. ​


What is the language of lying ? This is another question that comes up regularly. There is numerous scientific research on the subject. You should know that at present, analysis tools focus more on words than on non-verbals, at least within the police force. The lie detector is a controversial tool; although it is authorized in Belgium, it remains banned in France. The bad news is that lie detection remains complex to detect. The good news is that behavioral items or traits or clues can still put you on the trail...

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