The effects of nonverbal synchrony on message comprehension and persuasiveness

W. Gill Woodall, Judee K. Burgoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Previous research has not considered the effects of nonverbal synchronization by a speaker on message processing and acceptance by a listener. In this experiment, 178 subjects watched one of three versions of a message-high synchrony, minimal synchrony or dissynchrony-presented by one of two speakers. Receivers of the high synchrony message, which employed kinesic cues synchronized to the vocal/verbal stream, showed higher recall of the message and were more persuaded by it than receivers of the dissynchronous message, which had kinesic cues "out of sync" with the vocal/verbal stream. Results on three other dependent measures-credibility, distraction and counterarguing-were mixed but were generally consistent with the credibility-yielding and distraction-yielding formulations outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-223
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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