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The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. For effective and meaningful communication about emotions, these three parts of the message need to support each other – they have to be “congruent”. In case of any incongruence, the receiver of the message might be irritated by two messages coming from two different channels, giving cues in two different directions. The following example should help illustrate incongruence in verbal and non-verbal communication.
Verbal: “I do not have a problem with you! Non-verbal: person avoids eye-contact, looks anxious, has a closed body language, etc. It is often claimed that in any communication, the meaning of a message is conveyed mainly by non-verbal cues, not by the meaning of words. This generalization from the initially very specific conditions in his experiments is the common mistake made in relation to Mehrabian’s rule. Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable. 1967 papers “Decoding of Inconsistent Communications” and “Inference of Attitudes from Nonverbal Communication in Two Channels”. Both dealt with the communication of positive or negative emotions via single spoken words, like “dear” or “terrible”.
There are several limitations of the study’s applicability to real life, which are largely ignored when the study is now cited outside a scientific context and contribute to the misinterpretation above. First, it is based on the judgment of the meaning of single tape of recorded words, i. Second, the figures are obtained by combining results from two different studies which are inappropriately combined. Since then, other studies have analyzed the relative contributions of verbal and nonverbal signals under more naturalistic situations. 3 times the effect of verbal cues. Review of Arousal Seeking Tendency Scale. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements.