ERIC Number: ED209697
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Sex Differences in Appropriateness of Communication through Multiple Nonverbal Channels.
Strube, Michael J.; Werner, Carol
A study investigated the use of nonverbal cues by male and female subjects during relatively pleasant and unpleasant interactions. Five nonverbal behaviors found to be effective in controlling both the quantity and the quality of interactions were examined: gaze, smiling, arm position, interpersonal distance, and personal space. It was expected that females would exhibit more appropriate use of nonverbal cues, but that this advantage would be limited to a favorable, open interaction. The 40 male and 40 female college students participating in the study were instructed to establish a pleasant or to avoid an unpleasant interaction with a male or female stranger. Results showed that women used nonverbal cues more appropriately and in more congruent patterns than did men, but only when endeavoring to be pleasant. Men were somewhat more appropriate and congruent in their nonverbal cues when avoiding unpleasant interaction. The results qualified previous findings that women were better encoders of nonverbal information and suggested that the purpose of the communication is an important mediator. (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 American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 1981).