Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 120-133

First online:

Nonverbal expressiveness and physical attractiveness as mediators of interpersonal perceptions

  • Ronald M. SabatelliAffiliated withHuman Development and Family Relations, U-117, University of Connecticut
  • , Michal RubinAffiliated withthe University of Wisconsin

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This research examines the impact of spontaneous nonverbal expressiveness and physical attractiveness on the formation of initial interpersonal impressions. It was hypothesized that in the absence of a relationship history with a person, those people who provide more spontaneous, uncensored, nonverbal information would be viewed as more interpersonally attractive. In addition, as a secondary focus of the study, data were analyzed to examine the relationship between physical attractiveness and nonverbal communication abilities. Results suggest that both physical attractiveness and nonverbal expressiveness independent of one another and in conjunction with one another positively impact on interpersonal perceptions. In addition, physical attractiveness was found to positively covary with nonverbal encoding accuracy but negatively covary with nonverbal decoding abilities.