Cueing letters: On textual paralanguage

Surely we are all well familiar with nonphysical channels of communication, mainly the textual mediums. It is a student corresponding with his advisor, colleagues emailing, online courses forums, the dating applications scene, texting with a friend and so on. These channels are written manifestations of nonverbal cues, and it is surprising how vast and rich these nonverbal and nonphysical cues are. It is well noticed that on a face to face encounters people are signaling their social competence with varied physical cues. Fidgeting and gesturing, their speech volume and

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The charm of voice

Let’s talk about vocal appeal. We all feel our voice is a medium with which we play our way in different interactions. The parameters composing our voices can predict the judgments of others toward us. These traits are related to acoustic features such as the intensity, pitch, frequency, harmony, and range of our voice. People tend to ascribe voice quality to a person’s characteristics and social value. Voices with closely ranged harmony and high intensity are judged to be more attractive and benign. A

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Dress to impress

Does clothing indicate only socioeconomic status and physical attraction? Can one signal dominance and effectiveness with clothing? Well, of course it does.  Clothing is dependent on one’s conscious choices to project his desired personal image. It outlines the blueprint of a person. It is not transient as a gesture, sarcastic comment, and facial expression. Of course, it is demonstrated alongside these brief cues. In social situations, a clothing outfit comes with the body that wears it, with the person’s gesture

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We are canvases for social signals

Let’s talk about cosmetics and body modifications as social signals. We all feel that body decoration is an everyday pursuit. Naturally, from a very young age, we are bound to the biased assumption of “what is beautiful is good”. We tend to associate positive features in one’s character with an attractive appearance. But actually, adornment is an auxiliary for signaling status. This bias is a great indicator of one’s social competence, even in a more efficient way than to the perception

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On social status and implied meaning

Imagine you’re a fly on the wall in a meeting room where a big deal is going to be sealed. You’re watching both sides, the seller and the prospect, negotiating the terms and conditions of the deal, and you’re trying to predict the outcome. You sense that both the seller and the prospect use certain verbal strategies to influence the perceptions of the other delegate with regards to their own social status and position. It appears that they are doing

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Physical Attractiveness at Work: The ROI of beauty

The ROI of Beauty | SubStrata Blog

Physical appearance plays a big role in how we are perceived. On the one hand, there’s the appearance of our body which includes things that are hard to change like our height or facial features and others such as our haircut or the way we are groomed which can be easily controlled and adjusted to make an impression. In addition, there are the adornments which add an additional layer of nonverbal communication. Think of how clothes, jewellery, accessories, and even

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The Body as a Code: Appearance & Adornment

The Body as a Code: Aesthetics & Adornment

Let’s talk about adornment. Since the dawn of civilization, people have been adorning themselves in a multitude of ways to promote a more competent image of themselves (in the eyes of their peers). This behavior is so basic and inherent that even people who typically shy away from cosmetics and accessories are likely to find themselves engaging in primping behaviors (tie straightening, swift hair brushing, etc) right before an important meeting or a high stake situation with social implications. Compared

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Speech Acts, Intentions and Conversational Implicature

Paul Grice

Credits: Speech Acts Theory was Developed by John Austin (1962) & elaborated by John Searle (1969) | Conversational Implicature was developed by Paul Grice (1989), Professor Thomas M. Holtgraves, Ball State University This post will delve into two of the most prominent socio-linguistic theories: Speech Acts. Developed by John Austin (published posthumously in 1961/’62) and expanded upon by John Searle (1981), this theory explicitly conceptualizes linguistic meaning as “use.” Put simply, the intended meaning of an utterance is the “use”

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The Social Bases of Language and the Linguistic Underpinnings of Social Behavior

John Searle pragmatics

Credit: Thomas M. Holtgraves, Professor of Social Psychology, Ball State University Welcome. My name is Ori M. Zuckerman and I’m the CEO and co-founder of SubStrata, a new startup that develops socio–affective technology for business—primarily for B2B Sales & HR. In this blog my team members and I, together with a small group of carefully selected guest writers, will shed light on various fascinating facets of pragmatics and social dynamics and explore how they intersect with technology. This post focuses

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