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The Five Vital Signs of Conversation

Address, Self-Disclosure, Seating, Eye-Contact, and Touch

Series:

Norman Markel

How we address people, where we sit, what we disclose about ourselves, how we make eye contact, and where and when we touch are signs of attitudes and emotions. Because we may not be conscious of the social or psychological significance of these signs, they are the stealth aspect of conversation. One goal of this book is to demonstrate that address, self-disclosure, seating, eye-contact, and touch are the five vital signs of conversation. Another is to increase the reader’s awareness of the fact that whatever the topic of a conversation, interlocutors are also expressing their attitudes and emotions by means of these five vital signs. A final goal is to show the reader that the use of these signs varies with ethnicity, gender, and relationship. To accomplish these goals, this book provides relevant scientific information in a popular style that makes it accessible to a broad spectrum of readers concerned with interpersonal communication.