We all know that communication is 70% nonverbal, right?
Well, um, actually, nope. Not at all. The statistic has become mythical but is in fact urban folklore with little real support.
Thanks to Brandon for doing my homework for me regarding this post. In essence, a late 1960s study intimated that in certain situations a certain amount of communication was nonverbal, and due to masses of publicity people now waltz around hurling the “fact” that communication is 60-70% nonverbal. People have made careers out of this!
In a nutshell: Mehrabian’s study only addressed the very narrow situation in which a listener is analyzing a speaker’s general attitude towards that listener (positive, negative, or neutral). Also, in his experiments the parties had no prior acquaintance; they had no context for their discussion. As Mehrabian himself has said explicitly, these statistics are not relevant except in the very narrow confines of a similar situation.
Thanks Brandon. Read more about it here.
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