, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 105-123

Beliefs about the nonverbal expression of social power

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In two vignette studies we examined beliefs about the nonverbal behavior and communication skills associated with high and low social power. Power was defined as both a trait (personality dominance) and a role (rank within an organization). Seventy nonverbal behaviors and skills were examined. Both Study 1 (a within-participants design) and Study 2 (a between-participants design) yielded highly similar results. Significant differences emerged for 35 of the 70 behaviors. The gender of the target individuals did not moderate beliefs about the relation of nonverbal behavior and power.

This research was supported by a National Science Foundation grant to the second author. Thanks are extended to Cheryl L. Carmichael, Marianne Schmid Mast, and Nora A. Murphy for their helpful comments on a draft of this manuscript. We would also like to thank Cheryl L. Carmichael and Jessica L. Federici for data collection, and Renuka Patel and Mahima Subramanian for data entry, help with the manipulation check, and reference checking.