Professor Dane Archer teaches at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Prof. Archer received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and his B.A. from Yale University, and he taught at Harvard before coming to the University of California. His research and books have been awarded the Prize for Behavioral Research from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and several other national awards. In addition, Prof. Archer has received both national and University of California awards for distinguished teaching.
Prof. Archer created the University of California video series on Nonverbal Communication, and there are now twelve films in the series. These films have been described as the “gold standard” in educational media, and they are widely acclaimed for being at once richly instructional and keenly enjoyable. Perhaps most important, students everywhere respond to and love these videos.
Some of the films examine specific “channels” of nonverbal communication, such as gestures, facial expressions, the voice and vocal “paralanguage,” personal space, and kinesics. Other videos focus on gender differences, cultural differences, and improving cross-cultural communication.
There are also two video “self-tests” (“The Interpersonal Perception Task” and “The IPT-15”) that give the viewer a chance to “read” nonverbal clues to try to answer a question about the people and relationships shown in the scenes. These two videos were produced by Prof. Archer with Prof. Mark Costanzo.
The Nonverbal Communication video series has been remarkably successful, and Prof. Archer’s films have been shown to millions of students at universities in all parts of the world. Prof. Archer has also written books about his research on nonverbal communication, including Sensitivity to Nonverbal Communication (with Robert
Rosenthal, and others) and Social Intelligence.
Because of the unique subject matter of nonverbal communication, however, he believes that the written word is of limited use.
Prof. Archer says, “I can write about the Nepal obscene gesture, or about the Japanese facial expressions that reveal agreement or disagreement, or about the American foods that can disgust visitors from other cultures, or about the very different ways that women and men listen to another person in a conversation. You can read about these differences, but your understanding will be very incomplete. It would be like trying to understand American society without ever visiting the U.S. or even knowing any Americans.”
Prof. Archer adds, “You really need to see these nonverbal behaviors, you need to hear important nonverbal nuances in vocal “paralanguage,” and you need to observe real cross-cultural differences in communication along with explanations provided by native members of those cultures. Only film and video can capture the power and subtlety of these nonverbal behaviors, and that is why I created our video series on Nonverbal Communication.
“Most of us have spent our lives diligently studying verbal communication — language, literature, vocabulary, grammar, writing, and speech. But even though we are surrounded by nonverbal communication every day of our lives, most of us have never had a chance to study the nonverbal “channels” of human communication. Our video series provides this chance, and I am always delighted when I hear from viewers who share our excitement about the extraordinary world of nonverbal communication.”
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