Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 253–258

Nonverbal intimacy, sex, and compliance: A field study


  • Joel Brockner
    • Department of PsychologyTufts University
  • Brian Pressman
  • Jill Cabitt
  • Philip Moran
Notes In Brief

DOI: 10.1007/BF00987192

Cite this article as:
Brockner, J., Pressman, B., Cabitt, J. et al. J Nonverbal Behav (1982) 6: 253. doi:10.1007/BF00987192


The present study was designed to explore further the effects of nonverbal behaviors and sex on compliance. Male and female subjects who had just found a dime in a phone booth were approached by a male or female experimenter and were asked to return the dime that the experimenter had supposedly just lost. In the Eye Contact condition, the experimenter gazed at the subject as the request was made, whereas in the No-Eye Contact condition he/she did not. In addition, the experimenter lightly touched half of the subjects while making his/her request, but did not touch the other half. Replicating previous findings, it was found that both eye contact (significantly) and touching (marginally) produced increased rates of compliance. Extending prior results, these effects were obtained for male experimenters. Furthermore, a Sex of experimenter times Sex of subject interaction effect was obtained, such that subjects were much more willing to comply with the request of an opposite, rather than same sex experimenter. Questionnaire data suggested that: 1) subjects were aware of the touch, but not of the eye contact variable, and 2) the requesters were perceived as much more attractive when they were of the opposite, rather than the same sex as the subjects.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1982