Based on the assumptions that relational messages are multidimensional and that they are frequently communicated by nonverbal cues, this experiment manipulated five nonverbal cues ‐eye contact, proximity, body lean, smiling, and touch ‐ to determine what meanings they convey along four relational message dimensions. Subjects (N= 150) observed 2 out of 40 videotaped conversational segments in which a male‐female dyad presented various combinations of the nonverbal cues. High eye contact, close proximity, forward body lean, and smiling all conveyed greater intimacy, attraction, and trust. Low eye contact, a distal position, backward body lean, and the absence of smiling and touch communicated greater detachment. High eye contact, close proximity, and smiling also communicated less emotional arousal and greater composure, while high eye contact and close proximity alone conveyed greater dominance and control. Effects of combinations of cues and sex‐differences are also reported.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||28|
|Journal||Human Communication Research|
|State||Published - Mar 1984|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language