Two experiments were conducted to examine the role of visual cues in interpersonal attraction and credibility. In the first study, 128 subjects viewed eight randomly ordered videotape segments of trained actors presenting a short speech accompanied by head nods, eyebrow raises, smiles, combinations of those cues, or no such cues. Ratings of the speakers on task and social attraction revealed that, as expected, the presence of any face or head cues produced more attraction than none; however, instead of the three combined cues producing the most attraction, the smiles-head nod condition produced the greatest social attraction and the head nod only condition produced greatest task attraction; expected sex differences were largely supported. In the second study, face and head cues were performed by confederates during a live interview situation while subjects observed the interaction from behind a two-way mirror. Results showed that smiles produced higher attraction and credibility ratings than did no smiles and nods, thus further substantiating the reward power of facial and head cues in social interaction.
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