Nonverbal behaviors and social evaluation

Patrick E. Shrout, Donald W. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Male and female observers watched videotapes of short interactions between previously unacquainted dyads of one sex or the other and then rated one target. An evaluation measure derived from the ratings was positively correlated with a majority of the diverse nonverbal behaviors coded from the videotapes. The significant correlations were all positive and all but one involved social behaviors directed toward the other person. In a multiple regression analysis, nod rate, short vocal back‐channel rate, smile time, filled pause rate, and gaze time were sufficient to predict evaluations by either sex. Although no overall effects were found for sex of target, weights for behaviors varied with sex of observer in the second root of a canonical correlation analysis. Consistent with the findings of others, the amount of nonverbal activity, especially socially oriented activity, is related to favorableness of observers' evaluative impressions. The contribution of some behaviors varies with the sex of the observer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-128
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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