Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 176–190 | Cite as

The effect of postural lean and body congruence on the judgment of psychotherapeutic rapport

  • Deborah L. Trout
  • Howard M. Rosenfeld


Naturalistic studies have implicated both forward postural lean and interpersonally congruent limb configurations as nonverbal indices of social rapport, although both variables have been confounded with verbal and other nonverbal concomitants. In the present study direction of postural lean and congruence of body positions were systematically manipulated in each of six 40-second videotaped segments of simulated client-therapist interactions. Participating in the study were 30 male and 30 female undergraduate students, each of whom viewed one of six orders of the segments and rated the level of rapport in each interaction. A 2 × 3 × 2 × 6 analysis of variance on factors of Congruence, Lean, Sex, and Order revealed main effects of the Lean and Congruence variables (p<.001 andp<.05, respectively), and no significant main effects of Sex or Order. Both congruent limbs and forward-leaning postures on the part of the therapist and client were significant contributors to attributions of rapport.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah L. Trout
    • 1
  • Howard M. Rosenfeld
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KansasLawrence

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