However, much of the study of nonverbal communication has focused on interaction between individuals, where it can be classified into three principal areas: environmental conditions where communication takes place, physical characteristics of the communicators, and behaviors of communicators during interaction.
Nonverbal communication involves the conscious and unconscious processes of encoding and decoding.
Encoding is the act of generating information such as facial expressions, gestures, and postures.
Encoding information utilizes signals which we may think to be universal.
While most psychology researchers were exploring behaviorism, the study of nonverbal communication began in 1955 by Adam Kendon, Albert Scheflen, and Ray Birdwhistell.
According to Darwin, humans continue to make facial expressions because they have acquired communicative value throughout evolutionary history.Decoding is the interpretation of information from received sensations given by the encoder.Decoding information utilizes knowledge one may have of certain received sensations. The encode holds up two fingers and the decoder may know from previous experience that this means two.It can also include chronemics (the use of time) and oculesics (eye contact and the actions of looking while talking and listening, frequency of glances, patterns of fixation, pupil dilation, and blink rate).Just as speech contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation, and stress, so written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the physical layout of a page.Nonverbal communication can portray a message both vocally and with the correct body signals or gestures.Body signals comprise physical features, conscious and unconscious gestures and signals, and the mediation of personal space." and "Why do we wrinkle our nose when we are disgusted and bare our teeth when we are enraged?" For example, a species that attacked by biting, baring the teeth was a necessary act before an assault and wrinkling the nose reduced the inhalation of foul odors.When the other person or group is absorbing the message, they are focused on the entire environment around them, meaning the other person uses all five senses in the interaction: 83% sight, 11% hearing, 3% smell, 2% touch and 1% taste.Many indigenous cultures use nonverbal communication in the integration of children at a young age into their cultural practices.