Symbolic Gesture

A Symbolic Gesture is a form of nonverbal communication made with movements of the hands or a change in body posture to express a feeling or idea. For example, a performer often bows after a show to give thanks and respect to the audience, and people make the thumbs up sign to convey “job well done” or “everything’s good.”

Symbolic gestures are also used to make requests: for example, putting the index finger to closed lips means “be quiet.” Meaningful gestures are found across cultures, but many are culture specific (the “thumbs up” sign is offensive in some countries).

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