in human communication on an ethological basis is almost obsolete.
The reasons for this are manifold and lie partially in methodological
problems connected to the observation and description of behavior,
as well as the nature of human behavior itself. In this chapter,
we present a new, non-intrusive, technical approach to the analysis
of human non-verbal behavior, which could help to solve the problem
of categorization that plagues the traditional approaches. We
utilize evolutionary theory to propose a new theory-driven methodological
approach to the ‘multi-unit multi-channel modulation’ problem
of human nonverbal communication. Within this concept,
communication is seen as context-dependent (the meaning of a signal
is adapted to the situation), as a multi-channel and a multi-unit
process (a string of many events interrelated in ‘communicative’
space and time), and as related to the function it serves. Such
an approach can be utilized to successfully bridge the gap between
evolutionary psychological research, which focuses on social cognition
adaptations, and human ethology, which describes every day behavior
in an objective, systematic way.
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