Department or Program


Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Robin Akert


Nonverbal decoding refers to the act of recognizing and interpreting the meaning of other people’s nonverbal cues. Decoding skills vary depending on many factors such as personality and environment (Knapp & Hall, 2009). The present study focused on six individual difference measures (the EPI, IOS, PSI, SCS-R, 20-item Shyness Scale, and TSIS) and an experimentally manipulated variable of self-consciousness, to determine their relationship with nonverbal decoding accuracy on two tasks: the METT and the VNDT. The results indicated that four individual difference measures—extraversion, sociability, shyness, and moving toward others—interacted at significant levels with the self-consciousness variable. These predictor variables were found to have a greater impact on performance on the METT than on the VNDT. It is suggested that future research utilizes real interactions as the basis of their decoding task.