ERIC Number: ED327797
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Counselor Attractiveness, Similarity, and Session Impact: A Field Study.
Nerison, Rebecca M.; Claiborn, Charles D.
Past research has suggested that interpersonal influence in counseling is enhanced as clients perceive their counselors to be interpersonally attractive and similar to themselves. This study examined the relationship of specific verbal and nonverbal cues to perceived counselor attractiveness in a field setting, and explored the relation between perceived counselor attractiveness and session impact, the client's perception of the qualities of a therapeutic session, and their feelings about the session. Clients (N=25) at a university counseling center, each seeing a different counselor, rated their counselors in terms of behavioral cues associated with attractiveness and session impact. Clients completed the attractiveness scale from the Counselor Rating Form, three additional items that assessed the similarity aspect of attractiveness, the expertness and trustworthiness scales from the Counselor Rating Form--Short Version, the Comparison Form to Measure the relative importance of six verbal and nonverbal cues in overall perceptions of the counselor, and the Session Evaluation Questionnaire to measure the impact of the counselor on the client in the session. The results indicated that counselor nonverbal behaviors were more salient to attractiveness ratings than were verbal behaviors. Perceived counselor attractiveness was not related to session impact, but expertness and trustworthiness were related. Similarity of the client to the counselor was associated with one aspect of session impact, session evaluation. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).