Psychology: Nonverbal Communication Essay

Submitted By mlcox88
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Pages: 5

Unit 6 Project 1. What is the name of the show? Who are the main characters, and what are their relationships to each other?
The television show Melissa and Joey is a comedy whose main characters are Mel, an adult who is a former wild child of a political family, who is now a local politician herself. Her sister ends up in prison, her brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, and Mel becomes responsible for her teenaged niece, Lennox, and nephew, Ryder. With Mel trying to manage by herself, help comes in the witty and unlikely form of Joe, who moves in and becomes the family’s manny.
2. What are five nonverbal types that you observed in the program? Explain with details from the program.
“Chronemics refers to how we perceive and use time to define identities and interactions” (Woods, 2010). Since Mel is used to being on her own with no responsibilities except those as a Politician she is constantly out doing her own thing whether it is work or on a date. She shows little interaction with her niece and nephew and is more so in and out of the entire episode. Joey is constantly fixing this or cleaning that while trying to take care of the teenagers and get his household work done, he spends more time with the teenagers and little time with Mel.
“Environmental factors are elements of settings that affect how we feel and act” (Woods, 2010). Mel is a comedic Politician who has never had to be responsible for anyone or anything besides herself. During this episode Lennox is talking to Mel in the kitchen while Mel is about leave for work. By Mel's actions, and the television being muted, shows her straighten her back and continuously point her finger at Lennox and raise her hands in the air while smiling. It also shows her doing this same thing later on in the episode to a group of people at a speech she is giving to the city. Mel is used to dealing with solely work and has a tendency of not knowing how to relate to her niece and nephew so she uses the same strategies with them as she does with the citizens she works with.
“Haptics is the sense of touch” (Woods, 2010). During the episode Mel and Joey act very distant with each other when other people are around but when they are alone they become very touchy with each other such as giving hugs, patting the other one on the back, and even sitting close by each other to where their knees touch.
“Kinesics refers to body posit ion and body motions, including those of the face” (Wood, 2010). Joey and Mel act like rival siblings at times but at other times act as though they are very interested in each other. They are both guilty of smiling at each other even when no one is talking. Mel is like a deer in headlights, every time something happens you can tell exactly how she is feeling by the expressions on her face. Joey is more of the straight face, sarcastic type that likes to mess with people and will eventually crack a smile to let you know he is fooling with someone.
“Paralanguage is communication that is vocal but does not use words. It includes sounds, such as murmurs and gasps, and vocal qualities, such as volume, pitch, and inflection” (Wood, 2010). When Mel and Joey get done talking, by the look on Mel's face, she is not happy and when Joey turns his back she squishes up her face saying something and mimicking what Joey's actions from their conversation. When Mel turns her back Joey does the same things or makes funny faces and random noises as she walks away. Was it easy or difficult to understand what was happening in the action while only observing the nonverbal cues?
It was both easy and difficult to understand what was happening. The show's main purpose is comedy and even though both of the characters use broad facial expressions and body language it was hard to interpret what was being said or happening. I kind of got the idea of what was going on but without sound I missed a lot of the sarcastic undertones and humor that