Nonverbal cues and interpersonal judgments: Participant and observer perceptions of intimacy, dominance, composure, and formality

Judee K. Burgoon, Beth A. Le Poire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nonverbal cues play a central role in person and social perception. The impact of such cues on participants' and observers' perceptions of relational messages was examined in an experiment in which participants interacted with a confederate who systematically varied his or her communication style then assessed the implicit relational messages in the confederate's communication. Observers watched the videotaped interactions and made similar ratings. Nonverbal indicators of involvement and pleasantness were found to be systematically related to relational message perceptions of intimacy, dominance, composure, and informality. Participants and observers perceived relational messages in similar ways, although participants tended to give more favorable ratings. Results support a social meaning model of nonverbal interpretations, the multiplicity of nonverbal behaviors responsible for communicating relational messages, and the high congruence between participant and observer perspectives, despite some positivity bias by participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)X-124
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1999

Keywords

  • Dominance
  • Intimacy
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Person-Perception
  • Relational Communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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