Effects of alcohol on the nonverbal communication of anxiety: The impact of beliefs on nonverbal behavior

Anita E. Woolfolk, Lindsay M. Abrams, David B. Abrams, G. Terence Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Three male and three female raters were shown videotapes of 29 male subjects who were speaking to a silent female confederate. Raters were asked to make 10 judgments about the subjects' behavior. The subjects had been assigned to one of two expectancy conditions in which they were led to believe the drink they consumed prior to meeting the confederate contained alcohol and tonic or tonic only. Actually, half of the subjects in each expectancy condition received alcohol and half received tonic only. Judgments of the female raters viewing the videotapes were congruent with physiological measures of the subjects' anxiety. Those subjects who believed they received alcohol were perceived by female raters as more relaxed, less anxious, less inhibited, and more dominant than subjects who believed they received tonic. The actual content of the drink had no significant effects on the raters' judgements of the subjects' behavior. Male raters were unable to discriminate among the experimental conditions. Implications for possible gender of rater effects in behavioral assessment procedures as well as for the impact of beliefs on nonverbal communication are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-218
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Psychology and Nonverbal Behavior
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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