Nonverbal Communication Abstracts

Martin, L. R. & Friedman, H. S. (2004).  Nonverbal communication and health care. In R.E. Riggio & R. S. Feldman (Eds.), Applications of Nonverbal Communication. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Abstract: Nonverbal communication – the use of dynamic but non-language messages such as facial expressions, gestures, gaze, touch, and vocal cues -- is especially important when emotions, identities, and status roles are significant, as well as in situations where verbal communications are untrustworthy, ambiguous, or otherwise difficult to interpret.  The importance of nonverbal cues is thus central in the health arena.

Friedman, H.S.  (2001). Paradoxes of Nonverbal Detection, Expression, and Responding:  Points to PONDER.  In J.A. Hall & F. J. Bernieri (eds.), Interpersonal Sensitivity:  Theory and Measurement. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum,  pp. 351-362.

Abstract: Ponder a number of puzzling paradoxes of interpersonal sensitivity.  In various situations, it appears that a tremendous amount of important interpersonal knowledge is being rapidly communicated, mostly nonverbally.  Yet we usually do not understand how this occurs.  On the other hand, there is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding in face-to-face human relations.  Here too we often cannot decipher precisely what is going wrong. Such matters undoubtedly involve the sounds, gestures, touches, odors, and faces of spreading emotion.  They are fertile grounds for the future study of nonverbal sensitivity in particular, and interpersonal sensitivity in general. 

Friedman, H. S. & Riggio, R. E. (1999). Individual differences in ability to encode complex emotions. Personality and Individual Differences, 27, 181-194.

Abstract: Based on past theory and research, three complex affective communications, sympathy (compassion), pride and seduction, were selected for focused study. 62 undergraduates (mean age 20.6 yrs) were measured on relevant personality variables and were videotaped while attempting to encode both basic emotional expressions and the three complex affects. Groups of raters rated the success of each attempted portrayal. Other raters judged the facial expressions employed. Analyses revealed the characteristics of successful senders as well as the errors made by unsuccessful communicators. Significant positive intercorrelations between Subjects' abilities to encode each of the complex affects and correlations between encoding complex and basic emotional messages suggested that there may be a general ability to express affect. Correlations between the personality measures and encoding ability showed that dominant and exhibitionistic Subjects and emotionally expressive female Subjects and male Subjects who were good 'social actors', were better encoders of complex affect. These results have implications for understanding the emotional subtleties of social life and the differential social success of various individuals.

DePaulo, B.M. & Friedman, H.S. (1997). Nonverbal Communication. In D. Gilbert, S. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (eds.) Handbook of Social Psychology, 4th edition.

Abstract: To understand fully the role of nonverbal communication in social psychology, it is important to analyze the perception side and the expression side, and then examine social factors that can undermine veridicality--self-perception and the interpersonal process of deception. Finally, the analysis must be taken to more complex levels of dynamic interaction and mutuality, involving social influence, attraction, interpersonal expectations and conversations. This is therefore the outline followed in this chapter.... After discussing the roots of nonverbal research, this chapter discusses: nonverbal cues in person perception; expressiveness and personal charisma; self-presentation; deception; social influence; attraction; expectancy communication; and conversation.

Tucker, Joan S.; Friedman, Howard S. Sex differences in nonverbal expressiveness: Emotional expression, personality, and impressions. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 1993 Summer, v17 (n2):103-117.

Abstract: Administered a comprehensive set of emotion-relevant personality measures to 40 female and 39 male undergraduates, who were also videotaped in 3 situations. The situations included engaging in natural social interaction, describing a past emotional experience, and posing various emotions. Videotapes were judged by sets of naive observers as to emotion communicated and overall impression. Expressive females, who appeared friendly and dominant in social interaction, were found to have a hostile/aggressive personality. Expressive females also tended to look angry/disgusted when describing happy and sad experiences. Findings suggest that nonverbally skilled, charismatic women may often possess a dominant/aggressive but self-controlled personality, in a new twist on the theory that sex differences in expressiveness result in part from the oppression of women in society.

Friedman, Howard S.; Miller-Herringer, Terry. Nonverbal display of emotion in public and in private: Self-monitoring, personality, and expressive cues. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 1992 Nov, v61 (n5):766-775.

Abstract: Individual differences in the expression and regulation of emotion are important components of social skill. The present study focused on the concealing of spontaneous expressions of happiness after winning in a competitive situation against peers. In a repeated measures design, spontaneous expressive behaviors in response to triumph were secretly videotaped when Subjects ( N = 38) were alone in a room and when they were with 2 fellow competitors (confederates). Edited tapes were analyzed by naive raters and trained coders. As predicted, the social context strongly influenced the expressive behaviors of Subjects, providing support for a social inhibition effect. More important, the self-monitoring construct (M. Snyder, 1987) was helpful in explaining individual differences in expressive regulation, with high self-monitors being successful at hiding their happiness when appropriate; they did so in particular ways. Low self-monitors did not conceal their emotions. Other findings with regard to personality and sex differences were also uncovered.


Friedman, Howard S.; Tucker, Joan S. Language and deception. IN: Handbook of language and social psychology.; Howard Giles, W. Peter Robinson, Eds. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England. 1990. p. 257-270.

Abstract: (from the chapter) it is useful to think of deception as part of a constantly negotiated social reality; deception involves an actor who has various feelings, motivations, expressions, and styles that affect the behavioral cues that he or she gives off to a perceiver; the perceiver, in turn, uses various perceptual and cognitive processes to draw inferences about the actor and responds to the actor based on these inferences; as the perceiver's responses feed back to the actor, the cycle of communication and reality negotiation continues... accuracy levels; perceived and actual cues to deception; a model of deception; a skills approach to understanding the deception process.

Friedman, Howard S.; Riggio, Ronald E.; Casella, Daniel F. Nonverbal skill, personal charisma, and initial attraction. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 1988 Mar, v14 (n1):203-211.

Abstract: Administered measures of nonverbal expressiveness, self-monitoring, and extraversion, including the Eysenck Personality Inventory, to 54 undergraduates. Subjects were surreptitiously videotaped while entering a laboratory and meeting new people and were rated by a separate group of 30 undergraduates on scales of likability and physical attractiveness. Results indicate that emotionally expressive, extraverted, and physically attractive Subjects were evaluated more favorably in these initial encounters than were Subjects scoring low on these dimensions. The relationships between expressivity/extraversion and initial likability were independent of the effects of physical attractiveness. Results suggest that conceptions of overall attractiveness need to move beyond the physical qualities to include dynamic, emotional aspects.

Riggio, Ronald E.; Friedman, Howard S. Impression formation: The role of expressive behavior. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 1986 Feb, v50 (n2):421-427.

Abstract: 35 female and 27 male undergraduates completed the Personality Research Form, Eysenck Personality Inventory, and Self-Monitoring Scale. Subjects were also assessed on posed emotional sending ability and on physical attractiveness. Subjects were then videotaped while giving a spontaneous "explanation." Trained coders measured 5 separate nonverbal cue factors displayed by the Subjects in the videotapes. Groups of untrained judges viewed the tapes and rated their impressions of the Subjects on scales of likability, speaking effectiveness, and expressivity-confidence. Males who were nonverbally skilled and extraverted tended to display more outwardly focused and fluid expressive behaviors, and made more favorable impressions on judges, than did males who scored low on the measures of nonverbal skills and extraversion. Females who were nonverbally skilled displayed more facial expressiveness, which led to more favorable initial impressions. It is suggested that these sex differences may reflect basic differences in the acquisition and use of expressive nonverbal cues by males and females.

Sullins, Ellen S.; Friedman, Howard S.; Harris, Monica J. Individual differences in expressive style as a mediator of expectancy communication. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 1985 Winter, v9 (n4):229-238.

Abstract: Examined the role of nonverbal expressiveness and self-monitoring as mediators in the communication of teachers' expectations for student performance to a 3rd party observer. 32 female undergraduates were recruited to be videotaped while teaching a brief lesson to a high school student who was presented as either very bright and motivated or not. Videotapes showing only the teacher were later shown to undergraduate observers who were asked for their impressions of the student being taught. It was hypothesized that teachers who were nonverbally expressive would communicate their expectations to the observers and would elicit from them responses similar to their own. On the other hand, unexpressive teachers would not communicate their expectations, eliciting observer responses unrelated to their own. The predictions were supported; however, it was found that spontaneous expressiveness interacted with self-monitoring in determining expectancy communication.

Riggio, Ronald E.; Widaman, Keith F.; Friedman, Howard S. Actual and perceived emotional sending and personality correlates. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 1985 Summer, v9 (n2):69-83.

Abstract: Investigated the relationship between 68 undergraduate's ability to facially express 6 basic emotions and their perceived success at expressing these emotions. Subjects completed a number of standardized personality scales and were videotaped while attempting to portray the emotions. Immediately following the videotaping, Subjects rated their perceived success in the emotional-sending task. 69 undergraduate observers then judged the emotional-sending videotapes to determine Subjects' actual sending abilities. Analysis indicated that actual and perceived emotional-sending were distinct factors. Zero-order correlations between the traditional personality measures and the actual and perceived sending factors also supported this distinction. Findings have important implications for the construction of standardized measures of individual differences in nonverbal communication skills.

Friedman, Howard S.; Hall, Judith A.; Harris, Monica J. Type A behavior, nonverbal expressive style, and health. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 1985 May, v48 (n5):1299-1315.

Abstract: 60 42-64 yr old males at high risk for coronary heart disease were examined in terms of their expressive style, specific nonverbal cues, personality, and health. As assessed by the Jenkins Activity Survey, half the Subjects were Type A's (coronary-prone) and half were Type B's (non-coronary-prone). To provide a more refined grouping, Subjects were further classified on the basis of scores on a self-report measure of nonverbal expressiveness. Videotapes of the Subjects were extensively rated and coded in terms of their judged appearance, the actual audio and video nonverbal cues emitted, and the words said (transcript). Two groups of Type A's were found: one that was repressed, tense, and illness-prone, and another that was healthy, talkative, in control, and charismatic. Furthermore, in addition to the expected healthy Type B's, a subgroup of Type B's was found who were submissive, repressed, and tense; had an external locus of control; and may have been illness prone. A refined conception of the Type A behavior pattern is deemed necessary in light of these findings. Implications for improving the validity of the Type A construct and understanding the link between psychosocial factors and disease are discussed.

Riggio, Ronald E.; Friedman, Howard S. Individual differences and cues to deception. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 1983 Oct, v45 (n4):899-915.

Abstract: In an extension of previous studies on deception and deception detection, the present study investigated the relations among individual differences, behavioral cues displayed when deceiving and telling the truth, and the perceptions of naive observers. 63 undergraduates were measured on the Self-Monitoring Scale, the Affective Communication Test, the Personality Research Form, the Eysenck Personality Inventory, their acting ability, and their overall appearance. They were then videotaped while deceiving and while telling the truth, and their verbal and nonverbal cues were rated and coded. Their success at creating an honest appearance was assessed by showing edited videotapes of their faces or their bodies to naive judges (176 undergraduates), with and without sound. Behavioral cues validly discriminated truthfulness from deception, but these valid cues were not necessarily used or were incorrectly used by the judges. Comparison of the facial and body conditions suggested explanations for the relative inaccuracy of face-viewing judges. Individual differences were related to the overall display of behavioral cues, to variance in the display of cues from deceptive to truthful conditions, to overall perceptions of truthfulness, and to successful deception.

Riggio, Ronald E.; Friedman, Howard S. The interrelationships of self-monitoring factors, personality traits, and nonverbal social skills. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 1982 Fall, v7 (n1):33-45.

Abstract: Examined the interrelationships of several standardized measures of nonverbal skills and personality in 2 studies. In Study 1, 68 undergraduates took the Personality Research Form--Form A, the ACT Assessment, the Eysenck Personality Inventory, and a self-monitoring scale; Subjects also participated in a videotaped attempt to send each of 6 possible emotions. Subjects were then asked to describe pictures by either lying or telling the truth. In Study 2, 82 undergraduates took the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale, the Rotter Internal-External Locus of Control Scale, the ACT Assessment, a self-esteem inventory, a sensitivity to nonverbal communications test, and a self-monitoring scale. The self-monitoring factor Acting was positively correlated with aggression, dominance, exhibition, and Machiavellianism. The self-monitoring factor Other-Directedness was positively related to social recognition, neuroticism, Machiavellianism, and manifest anxiety; and negatively related to self-esteem, social desirability, achievement and endurance. Self-monitoring measures the ability to send emotional displays and knowledge of social rules and social sensitivity.

Friedman, Howard S.; Riggio, Ronald E. Effect of individual differences in nonverbal expressiveness on transmission of emotion. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 1981 Winter, v6 (n2):96-104.

Abstract: Tested the possibility that individual differences in nonverbal expressiveness may function as a mediating factor in the transmission of emotion through social comparison. In a quasiexperimental design involving 27 highly expressive undergraduates and 54 unexpressive undergraduates (as measured by the Affective Communication Test), small groups consisting of 1 expressive Subject and 2 unexpressive Subjects were created in which the Subjects sat facing each other without talking for 2 min. Self-report measures of mood indicated that the feelings of unexpressive Subjects were influenced by expressive Subjects but the feelings of expressive Subjects were relatively unlikely to be influenced by unexpressive Subjects. Findings have implications for the role of nonverbal communication in the emotional side of group interaction.

Riggio, Ronald E.; Friedman, Howard S.; DiMatteo, M. Robin. Nonverbal greetings: Effects of the situation and personality. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 1981 Dec, v7 (n4):682-689.

Abstract: Investigated the effects of various situational and personality variables on the display of nonverbal greetings. 30 female and 23 male graduates and undergraduates served as Subjects. Five other females and 5 other males served as confederates. The sex of the greeting interactants, level of acquaintanceship, and the topic to be discussed were systematically varied in a number of role-played greeting situations. 49 observers then rated these role-played greetings in terms of intimacy and the type of greeting displayed. Greetings between role-played friends were judged more intimate than greetings between acquaintances. In addition, Subjects who scored higher on standardized measures of nonverbal skills were more intimate overall in their greeting displays.

Friedman, Howard S.; Riggio, Ronald E.; Segall, Daniel O. Personality and the enactment of emotion. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 1980 Fall, v5 (n1):35-48.

Abstract: Investigated the meaning of personality traits for social interaction by exploring the personality correlates of abilities to pose emotions. This framework focuses on individual differences in socioemotional skills. 31 male and 37 female undergraduates were videotaped while attempting to communicate 7 basic emotions nonverbally (i.e., using standard content communications), and sending success was measured by showing edited videotapes to judges. Hypothesized relationships between "acting" ability and scores on the Personality Research Form and the Eysenck Personality Inventory were than examined. Findings have implications for predicting individual strengths and weaknesses in social interaction as a function of certain personality traits and for understanding person perception.

Friedman, Howard S.; DiMatteo, M. Robin; Mertz, Timothy I. Nonverbal communication on television news: The facial expressions of broadcasters during coverage of a presidential election campaign. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 1980 Sep, v6 (n3):427-435.

Abstract: Examined the facial expressions of 5 network TV news anchorpersons during their coverage of the 1976 presidential election campaign. The possibility for systematic yet subtle nonverbal communication in the news was explored through a "nonverbal content analysis" in which the facial expressions that accompanied the uttering of the candidates' names were studied. Significant differences were found in the perceived positiveness of the facial expressions of broadcasters as a function of the candidates.

Friedman, Howard S.; Prince, Louise M.; Riggio, Ronald E.; DiMatteo, M. Robin. Understanding and assessing nonverbal expressiveness: The Affective Communication Test. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 1980 Aug, v39 (n2):333-351.

Abstract: 577 undergraduates participated in an investigation of the concept of nonverbal emotional expressiveness. Subjects were administered a 13-item self-report Affective Communication Test (ACT) and a battery of other tests, including the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale, Rotter's Internal-External Locus of Control Scale, and Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. Results show the ACT to be a reliable and valid measure of individual differences in expressiveness/charisma, which is (a) a likely element of social influence in face-to-face interaction, (b) a logical extension of past approaches to a basic element of personality (exhibition), and (c) a valuable construct in approaching current problems in nonverbal communication research.

DiMatteo, M. Robin; Friedman, Howard S.; Taranta, Angelo. Sensitivity to bodily nonverbal communication as a factor in practitioner-patient rapport. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 1979 Fall, v4 (n1):18-26.

Abstract: Tested the relationship between physicians' nonverbal sensitivity and the satisfaction of their patients. In Exp I, 40 physicians were given a film test of nonverbal sensitivity (Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity) and evaluated by their patients. Exp II was a replication using 31 different physicians. Most noteworthy for research in therapeutic interaction, the present study contained 3 methodological advances: (1) the use of actual patients' ratings of satisfaction with treatment, (2) the extension of research from psychological to medical settings, and (3) the use of a standardized test of nonverbal decoding skill. Physicians' skill at reading the emotion conveyed through the nonverbal channel of body movement was found to be significantly correlated with their interpersonal success with patients in the clinical setting.

Friedman, Howard S. The interactive effects of facial expressions of emotion and verbal messages on perceptions of affective meaning. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1979 Sep, v15 (n5):453-469.

Abstract: The influence of facial expressions of emotion on perceptions of affective sentence meaning was investigated by pairing happy, angry, surprised, and sad faces of "teachers" with sentences of varying affective tone. 95 high school students judged the overall meaning communicated by these paired stimuli. The design allowed exploration of unique facial-verbal combination effects, overall cue integration effects, and sex differences. Clear effects of cue combinations emerged. Perceived sincerity was a function of the consistency of evaluative (positivity) but not dominance cues. The subtleties of cue combination were clarified through open-ended dependent measures. Also, as expected, females were more sensitive than males to verbal-nonverbal cue conflict in perceptions of sincerity. Findings are discussed in regard to the need for a firm empirical base upon which to integrate verbal and nonverbal research traditions in the communication of affective meaning.

Friedman, Howard S. The relative strength of verbal versus nonverbal cues. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 1978 Winter, v4 (n1):147-150.

Abstract: A caveat is issued regarding simplistic comparisons of the potency of verbal vs nonverbal cues. To illustrate the danger, data are reported from a study in which 95 high school students judged the meaning communicated by various face-sentence pairings. Results show that judgments were highly dependent on the nature of the questions asked. On a global positivity question, the nonverbal cues (i.e., facial expressions) had a greater impact than the words.

Ellsworth, Phoebe C.; Friedman, Howard S.; Perlick, Deborah; Hoyt, Michael E. Some effects of gaze on subjects motivated to seek or to avoid social comparison. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1978 Jan, v14 (n1):69-87.

Abstract: In a conceptual replication and extension of I. Sarnoff and P. G. Zimbardo's (see PA, Vol 36:4HK56S) study, 88 female undergraduates were motivated to seek (fear arousal) or avoid (embarrassment arousal) social comparison. They were then required to affiliate with another person who either encouraged social comparison by gazing directly at the Subjects or discouraged it by averting his or her gaze. This other person was either an appropriate reference person (similar state) or irrelevant for social comparison purposes. As predicted, fear Subjects liked a companion who looked at them and felt less tense in his or her presence, while embarrassed Subjects preferred the person who looked away. This interaction occurred only in the appropriate reference person condition, a result consistent with an explanation based on social comparison processes.

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