Need help writing a small description in paragraph form on someone you have observed for psychology class.

Expert Answers
Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some important considerations for observing human behavior:

Non-Verbal Communication (Body Language):  What can you infer from how they sit, move, behave?  Is your subject tense or stressed out? 

  • Posture can reveal much about a person's state of mind.  Depending on whether he or she is slumped over or sitting rigidly upright, your subject may be sleepy, actively engaged in something, or even stressed out.
  • Nervous tics: What the person is doing with their hands and feet.  Are they playing with their hair or touching their face?
  • Facial Expressions:  Pay attention to the eyes.  What are they looking at, or even more importantly not looking at. 

Verbal Communication:

  • Tone of voice can reveal the speaker's attitude toward their topic of conversation. 
  • Dialogue:  Listen for context, but also subtext.  Does the speaker seem to be straight-forward about the topic or purposefully ambiguous.  Are they serious or genial?  Listen also for sarcasm.