The NonVerbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs & Body Language Cues

NonVerbal Independence

Principle. The idea that nonverbal signs, signals, and cues evolve separately--as information--apart from the evolution of matter or energy.

Usage: Nonverbal independence is a reminder that messages emitted by gestures, clothing styles, and consumer products, e.g., have "lives of their own," not unlike the secondary products of aromatic herbs and medicinal plants. The mouth-like shape of an automobile's vehicular grille, for instance, evolved apart from the vehicle's energy, mechanical, or safety needs.

Cheek flange. A dramatic example of nonverbal independence is the conspicuous cheek flange of the adult male orangutan, which evolved solely for purposes of communication (see MESSAGING FEATUREBiology).

Copyright 1998 - 2010 (David B. Givens/Center for Nonverbal Studies)
Photo of the late, great orangutan, Ken Allen (copyright Zoological Society of San Diego)