MonthMarch 2020

Observation of Body Language

Names of places and people will be omitted to protect the privacy of those involved. The majority of these people are known to me, though the level of interaction I have had with them varies. I personally find that they fit between: 
People I’ve seen – to – Those I consider a friend.

In this particular setting the participants sit in various different ways, though the three primary types that I have observed are:

  • Facing the front of the room
  • Facing their computer
  • or, Sitting at an angle

The first and second types are the most common and are switched between depending on the individual’s current focus. The third type happens most often when the first option is invalid, aka no reason to focus on the front of the room, and occurs more frequently during active communication with their neighbour/s.

Sitting at an angle also becomes more common the closer the participants are to the sides of the room.
That said, how people sit can just as easily be for reasons of comfort than it is for their focus of attention.

For the most part, the participants display an open or neutral body language. Through this I can tell that, in general, the participants are comfortable in this particular situation. Although when a question is asked of the group, there exists almost always, a pause of variable length in which no answer is given while the majority remains silent. I interpret this as the participants being uncomfortable with drawing attention to themselves from the rest of the room. That said some of this time can also be attributed to the participants working out the answer.
Which is the case cannot be reliably deducted unless I were to get an honest answer from the participants or have prior knowledge that they indeed know the answer.

At this point in time I can’t be completely sure of my interpretations as I have not known any of the participants for very long and as such have yet to establish a reliable baseline. By establishing this baseline I would then be able to more accurately decode the participants body language, as I would be more able to distinguish from what the participants norm is.

By Frank Schulz – 06/03/2020