Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 247–268

The contribution of general features of body movement to the attribution of emotions

  • Marco de Meijer

DOI: 10.1007/BF00990296

Cite this article as:
de Meijer, M. J Nonverbal Behav (1989) 13: 247. doi:10.1007/BF00990296


The present study was designed to assess the contribution of general features of gross body movements to the attribution of emotions. Eighty-five adult subjects were shown ninety-six videotaped body movements, performed by three actors. Each movement was determined by seven general dimensions: trunk movement, arm movement, vertical direction, sagittal direction, force, velocity and directness. Using rating scales, the subjects judged the compatibility of each movement with each of twelve emotion categories. The results showed which movement features predicted particular ratings. Emotion categories differed as to the amount, type, and weights of predicting movement features. Three factors were extracted from the original ratings and interpreted as Rejection-Acceptance, Withdrawal-Approach, and Preparation-Defeatedness.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco de Meijer
    • 1
  1. 1.Tilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands