The Effects of Stress and Gender on Nonverbal Decoding Accuracy in Kinesic and Vocalic Channels

MAUREEN KEELEY‐DYRESON, WILLIAM BAILEY, Judee K Burgoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stress has the potential to impair accurate decoding of others’ communication. This experiment tested the effects of stress, induced through the Stroop Color‐Word Test, on the accurate decoding of kinesic and vocalic emotional expressions. Respondents (N =372) viewed or heard 30 emotional expressions interspersed with multichannel color stimuli that were redundant with one another (low stress) or conflicted with one another (high stress). Analyses of accuracy scores across three trials supported three of four hypotheses. Stress debilitated accuracy primarily in the vocalic channel and at the onset of stress. The kinesic facial channel also produced consistently higher accuracy than the vocalic channel, and females achieved higher accuracy than males, but this superiority dissipated by the third trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-605
Number of pages22
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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