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Non-Verbal Behavior with Strangers

            As a transfer student, I am a stranger to many faces that walk amongst the campus of SUNY Geneseo. In the past week or so I have conducted observations of the persuasive technique of kinesics by means of eye contact and facial expressions. I have conducted these observations through my walks to campus from my apartment in The Meadows, and vice versa. This walk allows me to find an interpersonal experience with people I don't know, as they walk in the opposite direction of my path. While observing the persuasive power of kinesics, I have been able to learn and understand the impact kinesics carries in revealing a person's behavior or sense of himself or herself. According to Leathers, the face is "the most important source of nonverbal information" (Larson 288). I have conducted my observations with the help of Leathers, Orban, and Modigliani's theory of embarrassment. These scholars, with their own scholastic research and opinion, have allowed me to precisely conduct the discussion of eye contact, facial expressions, and the meanings behind them as a collective observation.
             Orban (1999) defines eye contact as, "visual interaction with the eyes of listeners" (Larson 288). Walking to campus, I participated and observed in the persuasive technique of kinesics through eye contact. While I walked to campus, I observed there is minimal to no contact with strangers while walking to campus. Rather than eye contact being made, I observed the eyes of the other party to have attention in one of the following areas: looking forward off to the distance, looking to the distance on their side of the sidewalk/walkway, looking at their phone, or looking at the ground.
             Through my observations of the parties who did not give eye contact, I found that there was a trend revealing the other parties' self-perception. When the other party gave their attention to the distance, whether it be straight ahead or to the side, Larson would assert this behavior to express their boredom, or that they are in a state of determination (Larson 288).

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