, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 209-228

Smiles, Speech, and Body Posture: How Women and Men Display Sociometric Status and Power

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Abstract

This study found that power and status have different effects on nonverbal behavior. Participants lived together for a term in ten member groups (50 women, 29 men) and rated their housemates on characteristics related to power (toughness and leadership) and sociometric status (popularity and being well-known). Smiling, arm and leg position, and total talking time were recorded in group discussions, one with housemates only and one with strangers included. Power, but not sociometric status, was associated with open-body postures in women and with frequency of talking in women and men. Smiling was unrelated to power and was positively correlated with sociometric status. Male body posture was more open, but women and men did not differ in frequency of talking or smiling.