Tidy Picture, Cluttered Scene

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(6), 512–514. Reviews the book, Nonverbal Communication: The State of the Art by Robert G. Harper, Arthur N. Wiens, and Joseph D. Matarazzo (see record 1979-21049-000). In this volume, the authors focus primarily on studies that are, more than anything else, social-psychological in character. Missing is consideration of such broad areas as parent-child interaction, human ethology, the acquisition of communicative competence, pragmatics, systematic treatment of voice and body-motion notation systems. The authors characterize their review domain as being mainly concerned with studies using an external-variable research strategy, as opposed to a strucural strategy. I would judge that this review succeeds in its purpose. The coverage is broad. In pulling together the studies in this fragmented area, this review provides us with a solid platform for the next set of advances in research on nonverbal communication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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