Department

Psychology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

The human body plays a central role in nonverbal communication, conveying attitudes, personality, and values during social interactions. Three experiments in a large, open classroom setting investigated whether the visibility of torso-located cues affects nonverbal communication of similarity. In Expts. 1 and 2, half the participants wore a black plastic bag over their torso. Participants interacted with an unacquainted same-sex individual selected from a large class who was also wearing (or also not wearing) a bag. Expt. 3 added a clear bag condition, in which visual torso cues were not obscured. Across experiments, black bag-wearing participants selected partners who were less similar to them on attitudes, behaviors, and personality compared to the bag-less—and clear bag—participants. Nonverbal cues in the torso communicate information about similarity of attitudes, behavior, and personality; the center of the body plays a surprisingly central role in early-stage person perception and attraction.

Comments

This is the author’s accepted version of the article which has been published in Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10919-016-0227-y.

Version

Post-print

Share

COinS