ABSTRACT

Although speech has been the primary focus in communication research for many years, interest in the nonverbal aspects of communication has increased dramatically during the last decade. The surge of the "movement movement" (Davis, 1972, p. VII) in communication has attracted so much attention that today, according to Galloway (1979), "An awareness of the value of nonverbal communication appears everywhere: businessmen and salesmen, administrators and managers, actors and dancers, as well as teachers and parents have voiced an interest" (p. 197). With this new awareness of the importance of the nonverbal in communication, it has become standard research practice to start an investigation with the production of a video record. Agreement among investigators usually ends, however, right at the moment the recording machinery is turned off, when it comes to the question of how to transcribe visible movement from the video tape into a data protocol. As Badler and Smoliar (1979) have noted, the most pertinent feature of current research on movement behavior "is an almost total lack of agreement on how movement should be described. It is almost as if each research project started from scratch with an arbitrary set of movement characteristics to be observed" (p. 19).