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Publisher's Summary

Vocal tone and pitch. Posture. Eye contact and blinking. Gestures. Gait. Body type and clothing choices. How much of our communication is nonverbal?

In Understanding Nonverbal Communication, you'll discover that nonverbal communication is less intentional and harder to control than the words you choose to speak. Because you are less aware of it than you are of your words, it provides better clues to what you are feeling and thinking. You can deliberately decide what to say, but from the deeper subcortical regions of your brain come your involuntary nonverbal expressions, including sweat, pupil dilation, facial movements, or blushing cheeks - any of which can speak more about your intentions or emotions than your actual words might. In 12 revealing lectures, you'll explore the history, evolution, and context of both the outright obvious and the sublimely subtle nuances of personal expression.

The science of nonverbal communication has revealed intriguing insights into everything from how aspects of your reactions are biologically hardwired to how you are subconsciously influenced to vote by political speakers. You'll come to realize that the "invisible" world of nonverbal communication was always visible to you. You will explore the role of nonverbal communication as it relates to understanding other people's worldviews and interaction styles. With careful observation, you can capitalize on this science to further appreciate human expression, smooth social interactions, and strengthen relationships - helping to make the world a better and more accepting place.

©2016 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2016 The Great Courses

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  • Dan Hatch
  • 2016-12-13

More of an ad for the personal courses

This course really seemed more like a teaser for the teacher's live business consulting courses which were plugged regularly. Very little new information that was not intuitive and frequent mentions of how useful and transformative the courses are that the teacher gives to businesses he consults with.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacobus
  • 2016-08-01

Debunking the urban myths about body language

In 12 thirty minutes lectures, Prof. Mark G. Frank a social psychologist from the State University of New York introduces the novice to nonverbal communication. The more the lectures advanced, the more I came under the impression that deciphering nonverbal ques are not as easy or exact as films and television programs wants to make us believe.

I came across some very interesting ideas during the six hours course. For quite some time I am aware of concepts such as a high context society and a low context society. I was not aware of mono-chronic time and poly-chronic time. I was impressed by the way in which Prof. Frank debunked some urban myths, such as the idea that 93% of what we communicate is non-verbal or that someone that looks you in the eyes can't lie.

In one regard the course fell a bit short of my expectations. When playing a board game like "The Sheriff of Nottingham," where identifying lying and cheating are part of the rules, I am still left in the cold. This course will not change you in a body language wizard! Some of the content is also quite well-known.

That said, I the course definitely made me look at certain aspects of non-verbal language in a new context. I would recommend it to someone who is an almost complete novice to deciphering nonverbal communication.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Ronald D. Slusky
  • 2016-06-28

Very little about Nonverbal communication

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Professor Frank's presentational style is excellent. However, the focus of most of this book is not about communication between/among people but how the external environment impacts our perceptions of other people. A lot of that material is boring.

27 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • Geedub
  • 2017-05-14

Fine for a freshman psych course

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not much more than you learn by being reasonably observant and having some life experience.

Was Understanding Nonverbal Communication worth the listening time?

For a high school senior yes. For me not so much.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • 2017-04-22

probably a little less practical than I had hoped

decent book. I had hoped for it to be a little bit more practical. there are a lot of broad generalities.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rich
  • 2016-08-16

bring a pillow

i enjoy the great courses, but this one is more than a bit tedious. It is not what i expected, as it tries to explain more of the why, than the recognition skills. A mistake.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Whitney
  • 2018-01-27

great listen

I learned so much. It's easy to follow and something I think everyone could take something away from

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2017-09-08

exposition of the obvious

What would have made Understanding Nonverbal Communication better?

if it dealt with matters that were not so obvious. I was looking to learn something that I didn't already know

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


Any additional comments?


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  • Christian Zagarskas
  • 2016-12-25

obvious common sense masquerading as study

the narration was done well but the content itself was pretty much common sense. unless you are a sociopath completely incapable of understanding human facial expressions or you're an alien completely unfamiliar with human culture then don't waste your time with this book I don't see how this made its way into the collection of Great Courses material because usually their audio books are fantastic this however was not the case for this item

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan Kendrick
  • 2016-11-15

Should be required listening.

A basic understanding of Non Verbal Communication has the ability to improve every aspect of your life. The lectures were easy to understand and to the point