ERIC Number: ED194921
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
The Perception of Nonverbal Behavior in Function of Visible Access to One or Both Interactants.
von Raffler-Engel, Walburga; McKnight, Steven G.
In a semiotic study exploring whether the visibility of both ends in a dyadic interaction affected a third party's evaluation of the interactants, subjects evaluated two versions of six simulated employment interviews. The six male applicants for employment simulated overgesticulation, lack of adequate eye contact, moderate aggressiveness, kinesic stillness, fidgeting, and positive aggressiveness. The subjects serving as evaluators of the simulations were 42 undergraduate students and 36 professionals who had rated people as part of their work. Half of the raters saw the version with both the applicants and the interviewers on the screen, while the other half of the raters saw only the applicants. Observers' perceptions of many of the behaviors changed depending on whether the applicant was viewed alone or within his full interactional context. Physically seeing or not seeing the interviewer greatly influenced raters' perceptions of the interactant to be judged. Hearing the questions to which the applicant replied and knowing there was an interviewer in the actual event was not a sufficient condition for an equal evaluation of both functions. It was difficult to see how semiotic theory could handle the discrepancy in the perception of an identical sign. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America (5th, Lubbock, TX, October 1980).