Textbook Changes

You may have noticed (or will soon notice) a number of changes in your textbooks and I thought I’d note some of these here.

1.      Quotations that often introduce our chapters or that appear in margins will be a thing of the past unless they’re very old; contemporary quotations will be gone. The reason: permission problems. The same is true of quotations from research studies that occur within the basal text.

2.      Research instruments that have been so common in our basic texts for illustrating the concepts and also for introducing the nature of research (and something that I like to take credit for introducing into our basic texts, tho’ I may be wrong here) will be gone. Again, the reason is permission problems, especially the difficulty/impossibility of getting digital rights. NCA journals, for example, will be off limits. You’re likely to see “adapted from” as a way around these restriction but that approach is not likely to prove effective in the long run.

3.      References to other chapters in the text are likely to disappear. The reason here is that custom books—the books that instructors create out of existing textbooks and their own materials—are becoming so popular that cross references will only make sense if the entire textbook is used; they’ll prove incomprehensible when they refer to deleted chapters.

4.      Third party URLs are being deleted because of their unreliability. Although this system requires extra clicks for those using a digital edition, the lack of permanence seems to have been the deciding factor in eliminating all URLs except those of the publisher. When citing a website article as a source, the organization, college, or agency rather than the URL is given.

5.      A more rigid organizational structure with numbered Learning Objectives prefacing each chapter, repeated in the chapter’s main headings, and again in the summary will become standard. I think one reason for this is the assumption being made that it’s good pedagogy. Another reason I’m sure has to do with digitizing and coordinating the varied materials that now come with the textbook.

6.      Cartoons will probably be cut back or eliminated entirely, largely because of cost (they’re much more expensive than photos) and digital permission problems.  Cartoons are also different in that some people really like them and others don’t.

7.      Media components will be increased.  Online videos, exercises, and vocabulary quizzes, for example, will become part of the textbook package.

The Nonverbal Communication Book TOC

Here is the Table of Contents for The Nonverbal Communication Book.

The Nonverbal Communication Book


Contents in Brief Kendall Hunt


Welcome to The Nonverbal Communication Book


Part One. Foundations of Nonverbal Communication

1.      Introducing Nonverbal Communication


Part Two. The Codes of Nonverbal Communication

2.      Body Messages

3.      Facial Messages

4.      Eye Messages

5.      Artifactual Messages

6.      Space Messages

7.      Touch Messages

8.      Paralanguage and Silence Messages

9.      Time Messages


Part Three. Putting It All Together

10.  Attraction, Deception, Immediacy, and Power



A.    Researching Nonverbal Communication

B.     Creating a Video on Nonverbal Communication


Glossary of 200 Nonverbal Communication Concepts





The Nonverbal Communication Book Preface

Recently, I published The Nonverbal Communication Book with Kendall Hunt.  Here is the preface; the TOC will follow in another post.



The Nonverbal Communication Book
Kendall Hunt 


The Nonverbal Communication Book is one of many textbooks currently available for the popular Nonverbal Communication course. This book, however, is different in several important respects. Here I explain the focus of the text, its plan and organization, and the ways it may be used.


TGIF, Negativity, and Optimism


The other day I got a call from a person who wanted to sell me marketing services. In our “hello, how are you” phase, he responded with “very good, after all it’s Friday.” And so I thought about what he intended to communicate with this TGIF reference. It could have been lots of things: a cliché response that one says on Friday rather mindlessly, an expression of relief that the work week is over, a negative evaluation of life at work, or perhaps a comment to assure me that he had a life beyond work. And on Facebook and other social media sites a great number of people note their anticipation of Friday and the weekend, probably as genuine expressions of the joy of not working but perhaps also to communicate their (implied) exciting weekend.

 For many listeners/readers, however, the meaning communicated is not at all positive. For example, I didn’t feel that this marketing person was really interested in his job or in me; rather, that he was focused on Friday, the end of work, and the weekend—whether he really was or not. Do I really want to do business with someone who is just marking time? The customer, client, student, and patient don’t want to deal with people who are focused on after-work activities; they want to deal with people who enjoy their job because these are the people who make dealing with them a positive experience.

Perhaps the most important message that these comments communicate is to the prospective employer who reads the potential employee’s social media posts and concludes that this person really doesn’t want to work. It’s the equivalent of an interviewee bad-mouthing a previous employer—one of the major mistakes novice interviewees make. It conveys a negativity that is just not productive and not what employers are looking for. In the current issue of Fortune (June 10, 2013) there’s a great article on Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group—a huge real estate firm—panelist on Shark Tank and popular guest on talk shows. Among her advice to managers and others in positions of workplace influence is to protect your company’s optimism. “The minute I spotted a chronic complainer, I’d fire them,” says Corcoran. “I didn’t care how much money they brought in because negativity kills optimism and belief in the future.”

None of this is to say that it’s wrong or unethical to TGIF—hey, if that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel. The problem comes in when you post it and the prospective employer reads it, for example; you’re simply loading the dice against yourself.