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In nonverbal communication, feedback signals from an audience to a speaker—usually functioning as small reinforcements that increase the rate of production of whatever was reinforced, but also used as cues in conversation turn-taking. The main back-channels are head nods, short vocalizations (e.g. ‘uh-huh’, ‘mm-hmm’, ‘yeah’), glances, and facial expressions (e.g. smiles). The absence of back-channel signals is usually interpreted as a negative audience reaction (Argyle). Providing such feedback is called back-channeling. The conventions vary greatly from culture to culture.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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