An Exemplar for Combining the Collection, Analysis, and Interpretations of Verbal and Nonverbal Data in Qualitative Research

Anthony J Onwuegbuzie, Valerie T Byers


Denham and Onwuegbuzie (2013) provided evidence that relatively few qualitative
researchers include any mention of nonverbal communication in their empirical articles. Of
those who do include this information, the vast majority of qualitative researchers devote as
little as one sentence to nonverbal communication data in their published articles. However,
this lack of reporting of nonverbal communication data likely stems from the scant guidance
in this area given by authors of qualitative research textbooks. Thus, the purpose of the
present article is to provide a framework for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting nonverbal
communication behavior. This framework yields guidelines for students to collect, to analyze,
to interpret, and to report nonverbal communication data. Underlying this framework is a
13-step nonverbal communication process that serves as a conceptual framework that we use
in our qualitative research methodology courses to help students develop a nonverbal
communication way of thinking. This 13-step nonverbal communication process occurs at the
following three stages: the Conceptualization Stage, the Planning Stage, and the
Implementation Phase. Rather than representing a linear process, the nonverbal
communication methodological steps within each stage and across stages are interactive and
recursive. After providing this framework, we present an exemplar for reporting nonverbal
communication data.

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